I was listening to a podcast this morning (Lewis Howes "The School of Greatness"...HIGHLY recommend it!), and one of the points discussed was how often we have habits that make us feel good, show up at a higher level, and assist us in executing our desired results in life, and then, out of nowhere, we stop. Not only do we stop, but our momentum slows down, we feel more lethargic and we just feel "off"...all the while wondering why. Of all the personal development I have participated in through seminars, books, and coaching, there are definitely common themes around creating healthy habits in life and sticking with them. Life is, of course, a process with many layers, ups & downs and experiences to be had. Nothing though, will replace the importance of daily action steps that nurture your core foundation and set the tone for living the great life we all aspire to lead.
That being said, I have observed my habits and results through the years and there is an undeniable correlation between when I am eating well, exercising regularly and feeding my soul with positive, happy thoughts, with those times when I am happy, less stressed, decisive, in-tune to wants and needs and overall at my best physically and emotionally. It is easy to say "I am busy and stressed thus don't have time for xyz (insert healthy behaviour here)", but what I have experienced is, it is during those times where it is MOST important to engage in healthy, nurturing action steps. As a result, we actually free up more time (because we are more efficient), reduce stress (because we can clearly see through rational eyes and heart what we need to do to move forward), and feel a greater sense of control over our experience.
The podcast today made me stop to reflect what behaviours move me towards my ideal life. I encourage you to look at your own life and see what is working and what isnt, what has worked in the past that you may no longer be doing (and start doing it!), and eliminate what is bringing you down. Here are some of my essentials:
- Yoga- I have found that starting my day with an early morning yoga session clears my head and sets a positive tone for my day. I am not a morning person, but ALWAYS feel better after class. If I can't make it to class, even a few sun salutations help to get my body moving and blood flowing.
- Physical Activity- yoga can fit into this category too obviously, but although there are obvious physical benefits, I am attracted to yoga for the mental/ emotional aspect. Physical activity for me, is anything that gets my heart rate elevated and causes a good sweat. Running, swimming, spin/ road biking (yay for spring!), hiking, you name it. Having a number of activities I enjoy keeps it motivating for me, because it no longer becomes a question of if I'm going to do something or not, but more WHAT I'm going to do.
- Water! I feel SO much better, especially in our dry climate, when I'm consuming water throughout the day. Seems simple, and I recommend it to my practice members, but it's easy to forget...I now ensure I have a full water bottle when I leave home and work and bring one with me when I have to drive anywhere.
- Words with impact- I always feel more grounded and centered when I am feeding my brain with healthy perspectives, either in books I'm reading, conversations I have (friends, practice members, colleagues, family), or audio books and podcasts. I am far less-stressed driving place to place, when I am listening to a great message.
- Eating well- Don't you find that the worse you eat, the worse you eat? I find my cravings as a symptom to how kind I have been to myself in the previously weeks. Unhealthy behaviours breed more unhealthy behaviours, but the opposite is true too. Healthy habits, be it exercising or eating more vegetables, are truly a reflection of how much respect you have for yourself. You are afterall, more valuable than a freaking mazaratti...so treat yourself that way!
- Keeping my body "in tune" with regular Chiropractic adjustments. The adjustment keeps my nervous system working at its prime, allowing all of my other behaviours to integrate optimally.
- One of the biggest lessons I learned at a personal development event, was the importance of keeping agreements...not only with other people, but most importantly with yourself. If I set an intent for my day or week, it is more likely I will adhere to it (vs. winging it, hoping for the best, and complaining when it doesn't work out).
We all know what we need to do, so find that anchor that links the daily habits with your greater purpose and intended outcomes, and get started! We are all works in progress, the question is if we are progressing in a direction toward health and vitality or one of illness and dis-ease.