Good habits breed success.
I attended The Feast yesterday. It was the second of four talks in the series “Overhaul: Change your life in 30 days”. The four talks: Purpose, Plan, Practice, Produce.
While Alvin Barcelona gave the talk, I was inspired to reflect about my own habits.
Here’s an excerpt from The Feast newsletter from the Founder, Bo Sanchez:
Success Is Not An Act But A Habit
Haven’t you noticed?
Some people are always broke.
Some people are always late.
Some people are always making money.
Some people are always on time.
Some people always create happiness wherever they go.
Some people always create trouble wherever they go.
Some people always achieve their dreams.
Some people never achieve their dreams.
Life is really about habits.
What kind of habits do you have?
– Bo Sanchez
What kind of habits do I have? Let me list a few habits I like:
- Thinking positive, being positive
- Being a disciplined driver and pedestrian
- Writing a list of things to do the night before
- Prioritizing by choosing my top 3 things I need to do for the day
- Reading – books/articles that nourish my soul (Like Bo’s articles)
- Reflecting, learning the lesson in all experiences
- Writing – sharing my thoughts knowing that it will benefit other people
- Spending time with people I love
- Having meaningful conversations
My friend, what kind of habits do you have? List them down and tap yourself on the back. We DO have good habits, let’s be grateful for these good habits.
There are habits that I want to develop further.
Let me share the techniques I use:
- Writing on my gratitude journal
It’s important for me to nurture my soul. When I am grateful for what the blessings I’ve received for the day, grateful for what I’ve done for the day, I re-assure myself that God loves me as I am right here, right now. Rezza gave me a Gratitude Journal for Christmas and it will be my companion everywhere I go.
- Being in bed by 11pm.
I need enough rest to have a productive day.
Some techniques I used in the past to develop this habit:
– leave my laptop charger at the office. This limits my evening computer time to just 3-4 hours when I get home.
– sound an 11pm alarm, turn it off only when I’m in bed.
This time around, I will use my gratitude journal to wind down my day and put me in bed by 11pm. It’s my way of tucking myself in bed and reassuring myself that my day was productive and it was just the way my good God has planned it to be ;-) .
- Top 3 priorities
My day starts the night before. Typically, at the end of the day, I write a list of things I want to do for the next day. And then I prioritize. I identify my top 3 priorities.
My guide question is: “If there were only three things I want to accomplish, what would they be?” I mark out the three things. Then I go to sleep and wake up with a clear direction for the day. I work on my top 3 priorities as early as I can in the day.
What I want to do now is to start identifying my Top 3 on a weekly basis, monthly basis and yearly basis. Actually, my top goals for the year will be more like a set of 7 dreams for 2012. I will use my Novena to God’s Love for this list of goals.
- Getting up right away when my morning alarm rings
I’ve learned this habit when I was in Intel back in 2005-2008. I used a technique from Steve Pavlina. In essence, the technique is to *practice* just like a dress-rehearsal. But practice the act during the day or evening when your mind is alert. What we’re developing is a routine for getting up when the alarm rings. (If you want more details about this technique, read Steve’s article . If you want to know about my experience, send me an e-mail.)
- Morning Prayer
Everyday in the morning when I wake up, I read my 7 dreams written in my Novena to God’s Love! With sincere belief and faith in the Lord, I fervently pray that my dreams are reality, and it’s just waiting to happen through God’s grace and by my actions guided by my good God.
I also got myself a copy of Didache . I use this to guide me in my daily morning prayer. I also thank my mom and my friend, Jun Bulos, for the bibles they gave me.
My friend, what habits do you want to develop this year? Write them down. Take a break from reading this article if you need to. Write down the habits you want to develop.
Here are my tips for developing habits:
Choose your top priority habits. Just choose from 3-5 habits to work on first.
Make a daily checklist of your top habits. On a table, list your habits on the left column. On the header, write down from left to right the days of the week. I start with Monday, Tuesday and end with Sunday. At the right most column, I write “Reward”.
Each day that I accomplish my habit, I put a check mark. And then I reward myself at the end of the week. ;-) .
- Minimum performance.
I got this tip from Jack Canfield. Principle: It’s better to do some than do none. If you’re developing a habit, it’s best that you do the habit consistently, even in the minimum level. For example, if you want to read a book as a habit, what is the minimum you would do each day? Say, for example, read 1 paragraph — that’s your minimum. If you aim to do your minimum everyday, you are more likely to do it consistently do your minimum without fail. Besides, you’ll find yourself doing more than your minimum as the days go by.
- Have fun.
Enjoy developing your habit. Tell your friends about the habits you’re developing. Tell them what you enjoy about it. Write it down in your journal of your blog.
- Be grateful.
In all things, be grateful. Gratitude brings more of what you are thankful for.