Choosing the right direction in life starts with knowing the Self – learn more here: Discover Your Wild Heart: 7 Keys to Self Wilding. Then, it’s about cultivating habits to get you reaching your destination.
The following ‘good habits’ essay lists five things to do to get you unstuck and living the life you desire. These are also good habits for kids to adopt, to start them early on a journey that will support them through life.
While the fourth and fifth are about actions and perspectives throughout the day, the first three take an average of 15 mins in total. Just think, 15 mins a day to an improved life and betterment for the collective ‘good’.
If you make a habit of sincere prayer, your life will be very noticeably and profoundly altered ― Alexis Carrel
Spoiler alert: I don’t align with a religion. However, I see tremendous value in praying – because I’ve experienced it and because there’s evidence supporting it.
The most powerful form of energy one can generate” with its effect on the mind and body “as demonstrable as that of secreting glands. ~ Alexis Carrel, Nobel Prize laureate
A list of the scientifically-supported benefits of prayer:
Prayer has a way of lifting us up for a higher look — transcending our Ego, our personas, and others’ perceptions for a worthwhile perspective.
Prayer is a way of increasing our sensitivity to the spiritual aspects of life. ~ Robert I. Kahn
It’s about faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something, that will get you achieving your goals.
Inspiration comes from wherever my heart leads me. It can come from Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Mother Nature, or Native American beliefs, among others:
Christian Prayers of Gratitude and Care | Buddhist World Healing Prayers | Muslim Green Worship Resource | Hindu World Healing Prayers | Jewish Green Worship Resource | Tao Quotes on Nature and the World | Native American Beliefs and Prayers| Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime
Great continuing power that sustains and strengthens comes from prayer in depth. ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Prayer nourishes the soul. A favorite prayer of mine is the St Francis of Assisi prayer.
Other than prayers, affirmations rate a powerful second best. 🙂
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect). ― Mark Twain
Reflecting is next on my good habits list. This routine is not the same as praying (in this context). It involves thinking (not over-thinking), contemplating, and acknowledging.
Reflecting opens the door to noticing what needs change, what needs adding, and what’s been achieved:
At times, I like to open a book at a random place to find inspiration, a spark or message for reflection.
The 7 Keys to Self Wilding covers behaviors and attitudes for reflection.
A gratitude diary is a great tool. I enter at least three things to be grateful for each day. After a month of doing this, you will notice a marked difference in your perspective, I assure you.
Janice Kaplin’s The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life is a worthy read to find out more.
Practically, all you need for a gratitude diary is a notebook – it can be digital, but I find hardcopy works best for me.
It is highly recommended you make the writing journal a special one, like this gratitude journal.
Reflecting will prepare you for the next routine on my good habits list – imagining.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. ― Søren Kierkegaard
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand ~ Albert Einstein.
To imagine is better than to know, according to Albert Einstein, and it’s number 3 on my good habits list.
IMAGINE achieving the desires you’ve just reflected upon; imagine yourself attaining steps in achieving these.
For this to work, you need to be relaxed:
To imagine is to form a mental picture or concept. It is a powerful tool for attracting conditions you desire. The best approach is to imagine with creative visualization.
More importantly, the aim is to access a state of mind that resonates at Alpha level, 8 – 13 Hz. There are numerous ways to attain this. People regard this as “being in the flow.” (More on this in future posts.)
Especially, what’s known as creative visualization, is potent at this Alpha level. Creative visualization involves using your imagination to manifest conditions in your life. Many successful professionals in health, education, business, sports and creative arts use this technique to succeed.
Creative visualization might seem out there, but it works — be patient though and continue practicing. Make it a daily habit. Over time you will soon find mastery. Be like a child and let your imagination run wild.
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. ― Albert Einstein
Number four is a mindset: Make a habit of moving. You’ll find this in most top 10 good habits lists.
Fundamentally, humans are built to move and to be in motion.
So, get outdoors; walk among the trees in the park; nourish your mind, body, and soul — exercise!
Act in ways that are Self Wilding and a key to attaining harmony and balance in your life, that of others, and the Earth.
Schedule in motion at lunch time, before work or after work activity.
Why does it matter so much?
Try… natural movement or fitness outdoors. Check out
Places like MovNat offer workshops and other resources specially designed to get you moving as nature intended and to “reclaim your nature”.
Getting out into nature is a wellness hack (see #1 Way to Naturally Feel Better).
This action might involve uncovering your true Self, working to support others, or promoting a healthy Earth.
Look to bring positive energy into your life. This movement might mean decluttering. Or, in light of Fung Shui, simply moving furniture or home décor to shift blocked energy and increase energy flow.
The saying: “Change is as good as a holiday” is right. While too much change can be stressful, a certain amount is necessary for energy to flow and to remove blockages – shift the ‘tired’ and stale.
Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change. ~Jim Rohn.
You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and EXPECT to win ― Zig Ziglar
Number 5 is also a mindset.
Science tells us the power of expectancy is evident in the placebo effect, for example. It is seen in personal bests of weightlifters, in people mimicking their avatars, and even with wine tasting.
Expect BIG! Everyday.
You are limited by what you believe.
As Mark Manson puts it, non-believing is a reason to fail, since: “The mind’s unconscious beliefs about possibilities inform the level of effort and expectation of success from the body’s behavior.”
Remember…Jedi Master Yoda’s reply “that…is why you fail” to Luke Skywalker’s exclamation: “I don’t believe it!” in the Empire Strikes Back.
The book offers a captivating look at the frontiers of expectations research.
Chris Berdik, in Mind Over Mind: The Surprising Power of Expectations, draws on psychology, neuroscience, history and fascinating true stories of expectations in action.
As Shakti Gawain noted, “…we always attract into our lives whatever we think about the most, believe in most strongly, EXPECT on the deepest levels, and/or imagine most vividly.”
A person can try to convince himself that he is happy, but if his mind is filled with counter intentions and self-limiting beliefs that tell him otherwise, he will never make any progress. ~ Dr. Joe Vitale
As Henri Nouwen said:
Each day holds a surprise. But only if we EXPECT it, can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.
Finally, expectations can be powerful. The trick is to use expectation to your advantage.
That’s the last of my good habits list.
Step 1: Choose an anchor to trigger starting the routines. For me, it’s cleaning my teeth.
Step 2: Decide on the flow that best suits you. For me, it’s reflecting (by journaling), followed by prayer, then imagining (in meditation), with expectation and moving continuing throughout the day.
Step 3: Use a prayer or affirmation form that resonates with you: e.g. religious, eastern, western, spiritual, your own, or a mixture.
Step 4: Find a quiet place, position, and space where you feel comfortable and enjoy the moment. For example yoga or sitting quietly in a special spot, kneeling in formal prayer, or walking in nature.
Step 5: Have a journal or other writing material handy for reflections and gratitude journaling.
Step 6: Practice stilling the mind. Meditation with creative visualization is my recommendation.
Step 7: Keep a track of your efforts each day to use for motivation and for commitment.
The hardest part is committing to practice the wellness routines every day. I know… it’s tempting to say: “I don’t have time”, “I’m too busy”. The ego will say that always. The inner knowing voice says “make time!”
Try swapping the daily news (which is often negative and misleading) with your good habits list.
These are also good habits for students. I wish I had adopted them during my years of studying.
Habits take a minimum of 21 days to form according to Maxwell Maltz in the greatly referenced Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life.
Research shows it’s more likely to be two months before a new behavior becomes automated — 66 days on average to be sure.
Persistence is the key.
It’s a good idea to schedule time in your calendar every day for two months at least until you no longer need to …because, like brushing your teeth…it becomes a daily routine. A habit tracker is vital for keeping you to account and also looking back and seeing what you’ve achieved. It’s a good motivating tool. You can download mine here.
Keep P R I M E in mind in your good habits list:
P R I M E is the prompt to recall your routines to do each day. But, don’t forget to get my habit tracker to record your efforts for keeping you on track.
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