When we want to be our best self, it’s easy to think that you have to overhaul everything. But take that approach, and the task soon becomes overwhelming. It’s terrible news! Overwhelm puts the brain [and body] into stress mode – and when brain fog and confusion strikes, it becomes hard to do anything.
We have to remember that change is NOT easy. The reality is that humans are creatures of habit! We like our comfort zones [because we know who we are in that space]. We don’t like change because it forces us to do things differently. So ease up on yourself! You can change your life, but it doesn’t have to be an overnight thing.
Instead, you can make significant improvements to the way you feel [and the things you’re able to do] when you put your focus on your habits. When habits are your go-to methods for change, you don’t need to take the big leaps to create a transformation. Instead, you can leverage the power of momentum and the compound effect to let your best self thrive.
Let me show you how…
Habits are everything!
Habits are the things you do automatically, without thinking, and on autopilot. For example, cleaning your teeth, making your bed, or eating granola for breakfast.
When your habits are ‘good’, autopilot is hugely beneficial because it takes very little brain energy and momentum to check them off. Instead, you just take action.
Your habits create your identity. As Sean Covey says in the quote above, they dictate who you are.
So if you want to be more successful, more courageous, better at writing, healthier, stronger – you name it. You won’t achieve these things overnight. Instead, they happen when you take action day-by-day, one step at a time.
Better still, your life-improving habits needn’t take up stacks of your time. Instead, there are plenty you can do that will take you no more than 10 minutes a day. Let’s explore some of these now.
1. MEDITATE for calmness
A busy, hectic life can create a chaotic, overloaded brain. In this state, it’s harder to think, trickier to make decisions, and more challenging to stay in control of your emotions.
Meditation is a 10-minute habit that can help you create that calm, peaceful state within. If you can sit for just 10-minutes a day, you can cultivate a clear space inside that you can retreat to whenever things become too much. Cultivate this skill, and you get better at ensuring outside influences don’t get the better of you.
It’s why meditation has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s also a habit that many top-performers and high-achievers swear by.
Meditation can be hard in the beginning – especially if you have an overactive mind! But stick with the habit, and you’ll soon become more zen!
A great place to start is Headspace’s free trial.
2. IDEA-GENERATION for innovation
We’ve all heard the stories of how a single brilliant idea changed someone’s life.
If you’re someone who’s able to keep coming up with ideas, you’ll tap into a power that makes it easy to problem solve, create, innovate, and consistently add value to your business or career.
It’s tempting to look at those people who always seem to have access to a river of ideas and think it must be a natural trait – but this isn’t true. Idea-generation is a practice as well as a skill. It’s a muscle you can strengthen with the help of your habits.
Here’s an idea to try…
Each day, spend 10-minutes tackling a problem and challenge yourself to come up with at least ten different solutions. Don’t worry; you don’t have to give ten genius answers! A chunk of your thoughts will probably be duff, but that’s part of the creative process. You have to be able to clear through the noise to be able to get to the good stuff.
This daily ritual will turn you into an idea-generator – a title you can own and a skill you can use to enhance all areas of your life. And if you’re looking for a tool to help you commit to this habit, check out the Edison Deck. With 150 problem prompts to explore, this deck will keep you busy for months!
3. JOURNALING – for self-awareness
The more you know yourself, the better equipped you are to be your best self in the outside world. Hands down, journaling is one of the best practices you can adopt to help with this.
A daily journaling practise will help you tune in to what’s happening for you on a day-by-day basis. Through journaling, you can get in touch with your beliefs and values. You can work through problems, and you can craft solutions and map out your goals. You can even dig into your past to better understand your actions and behaviors and understand at a deeper level why you do things the way that you do.
With journaling, you can overcome your limiting beliefs and empower yourself to achieve bigger goals – it’s why so many top-performers have made journaling a habit.
It’s super easy to get started with this habit. All you need is your notebook, pen, and some time to dive into your inner world and ask questions. And if you get stuck with the blank page because you don’t know what to write, the Wordsmith Deck is here to help.
Packed with 150 journaling and writing prompts, this tool offers inspiration on steroids!
4. CONVERSATIONS – for connection and self-expression
How often have you heard the saying that your net worth is your network? It’s a fact that the people you interact with have a huge impact on your life. People influence everything from opportunities to the depth of friendships in your life.
And one of the best ways to strengthen that network is through the power of conversations.
Most of us get stuck with superficial small talk. It’s not threatening, and it’s easy to do, but it doesn’t allow us to really get to know another person. But cut through the surface level to ask the more profound questions and your level of connection increases.
Getting in the practice of asking better questions is a habit that can enhance all areas of your life.
From the questions you ask your children, to the conversations you have with your partner, all the way to the people you meet at an event or a conference. If you can ask the right question, bam!
Our range of conversation decks can help you cultivate this crucial habit.
Spend ten minutes a day with these decks and see how your relationships improve.
5. REFLECTION – to extract your lessons and learnings
If you want to move forward faster, it’s smart to get into a habit of reflection.
One of the reasons we get stuck is we keep doing things the same way – even if they don’t work. The trouble is, we can’t be aware of how our actions hold us back, unless we reflect on them.
This easy daily practice needn’t take any more than 10 minutes.
Simply end the day by asking yourself some thought-provoking questions. For example:
Simply choose questions that resonate with you and use them to extract the day’s lessons and celebrate the wins. If you can reduce the time it takes you to learn something that doesn’t work – and change it, the more your best self can grow.
6. PLANNING – to leverage your time and maximize your day
When it comes to becoming your best self, one of the biggest objections you have to overcome is a lack of time.
You know how it is…
You have an idea for what you want to achieve, but somehow the day gets the better of you. You finish work with a pile of outstanding to-dos, and the evening gets lost in a Netflix binge or a social media fix.
Then you promise to do better tomorrow to make up for it!
Time is our most valuable resource, but a lot of people don’t treat it that way. Instead, we waste minutes because we’re not intentional with our plans.
This challenge is easy to fix. Simply spend ten minutes of your day planning out how you want the day to look. Treat every task or activity in the same way you do a meeting or an appointment – schedule it! When something is on your calendar in black and white, you’re less likely to procrastinate or spend longer than you should be catching up on emails or checking through low-level tasks.
Each has space to plan your day in 30-minute chunks. Make this granular approach to your planning a habit, and before long, you’ll be getting a lot more done in a lot less time. This is how you make time for all the new habits you want to build.
Schedule them in your planner and they’ll be as good as done – especially when you integrate habit seven as well.
7. TRACK YOUR HABITS – so you’re not tempted to skip a day
We started this article by exploring how hard it is for humans to make changes – even good ones! We’re creatures of habit and staying in our comfort zone is always the safest bet.
As a result, even if you start with masses of enthusiasm, there will come a time when you feel the urge to let your new habits slip. For example, you’ll feel tired or bored – or you’ll make an excuse or justification as to why it’s OK to skip a day. And you know what happens next! The second you take your foot off the pedal is the moment you allow yourself to fall back into your old ways.
So how can we get around this?
One of the simplest things you can do is hack motivation – something a Habit Tracker will help you achieve.
A habit tracker is a visual tool that allows you to track a winning streak. Award yourself with a check each day you complete your habit. Before long, this streak of checks creates a chain that becomes too painful to break. In short, a tracker makes it more likely that you won’t drop the ball.
The Habit Roadmap allows you to create a 90-day streak for up to 12 daily habits and eight weekly habits. Simply write down the habits you want to build and pin on your wall in a visible place. Use this tool to keep yourself going, and your new habits will become part of your identity before you know it!
Start today – and then keep going
You can do anything when you start small and chip away at something every single day. It’s consistency for the win and if you master this skill, you can mastermind big wins.
So take this opportunity to choose the 10-minute habits you want to infuse into your life – and remember to share your commitments in the comments below [it’s a good practice to hold yourself accountable.]
Choose something from the list above – or add something of your own. Then remember to plan time into your day and monitor your progress with a tracker.
Imagine how you’ll feel in 90 days if you’ve meditated daily.
Or journaled consistently.
Or sharpened your ability to ask questions and speak with people.
The action you take on a single day may not look like much. But over time, your daily habits will compound into exceptional results.
Then it’s best self, here you come!