Getting the results you want from any activity can start with combining a few items; creating rules to empower you, embedding these rules into routines or rituals to then form habits, which finally produce new results!
Rules – rebel or regain power?
I always used to think rules were bad – I have rebelled against them from an early age :). It seems however, it is all in your perception or perhaps it is the terminology. The trick is to use the rules to empower you, rather than restrict you.
If you make them part of your personal beliefs and philosophy they actually work for you. Have a read of The Perfect Day Formula (Craig Ballantyne) to get his insight on this. For example – I don’t eat red meat; this is ingrained in me, and non-negotiable….I go to a BBQ, and just don’t eat it – simple!
If you take the time, to create the rules ahead for yourself and instill them in your belief patterns, it is easier to follow through. For example – if you don’t want to wake up hungover, make it a rule to only drink so much and stop. If you want to lose weight, make it a rule not to eat sugar or not to eat after 7pm. It makes thinks a lot simpler to stick to when they are “rules” or embedded beliefs.
Do whatever works for you, but make the rules part of your beliefs and personal “philosophy” of WHO YOU ARE and see yourself that way. I no longer drink, that’s just who I am now. Create your own rules in the different parts of your life – emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally.
Routines and Rituals
Rules, once embedded into our daily routines become habits.
I believe that my dog has to get a walk twice a day. I have built this into my routine. We usually walk or run (usually in a place with a beautiful view!) as part of my morning exercise, and my partner and I now have a nightly habit, to walk after work. This is a perfect time to catch up, debrief, reflect and transition out of the day.
My favourite routine would have to be a morning ritual . There are many articles and books on this, and I will recommend a couple, but make your own ritual to suit YOU, what works for you.
I swear by my morning ritual, as being the predetermining factor for the rest of my day.
Robin Sharma (The 5am Club) has some awesome methods for creating the morning routine and some compelling reasons why. He incorporates movement (exercise), growth (learning) and mindfulness (meditation, journaling, prayer), into his acclaimed “Victory Hour” .
Most of what I have read, and have to say I too believe, is that not only is it the routine, but the EARLY start. I love PRE-Dawn, before the rest of the world awakes, the silence and serenity, the birds and nature, and just the stillness to be quiet and mindful.
It gives me focus, and hours in my day. What is your magic?
Combine the rules and routines together to form new habits – and this is where you begin to see new results! For example:
- Start with: I am not an early person.
- Create a new rule: I get up at 5am every day
- Build a new routine around this: Set a ritual and know what you will do in your early morning
- Turn this into a habit: By continuing the practice regularly you will find motivation that has you WANTING to jump out of bed!
Follow these same steps for any part of your life where you want to create new results. Habits are all about driving change – creating momentum to constantly effect new outcomes. In the long run these new habits provide FREEDOM …from addictions, bad habits and unproductive behavior.
It takes time. Don’t give up after the first week, give it at least a month, or as Robin Sharma suggests 66 days to make a new habit.
Change is hard in the beginning, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.Robin Sharma
I write about this, and other productivity tips on my book “Work-Life Balance My Arse” which has just been released! Enjoy it on Kindle or as a Paperback. If you live in New Zealand or Australia, I did get a few printed locally and will personally send you one, look at this link here. Enjoy 😀