"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." ~Aristotle
We’re at the end of this six week series. I want to thank you for taking this journey with me, and congratulate you on all that you've accomplished not just in this six weeks but this year. I hope you'll take the time to stop and celebrate how amazing you and your life are.
Writing and doing this with you has been a helpful and enlightening exercise for me, and my deepest hope is that it has been the same for you. It’s called “Six Weeks to More Time & Energy for What is Most Important to You”. In reality it will take as long as you want it to. This is an ongoing process. It’s meant to be a guide to focus your efforts, a framework that is yours to use in whatever way serves you best. The goal is more time and energy for what is most important to you. Only you know what you value most, what you want to experience more of in your life. Only you know what is blocking and draining you, what you’re giving focus, time and energy to that isn’t in your best interest. Only you can do this work. You are worth the time and effort. You deserve to be happy, fulfilled, healthy, energetic, and connected to the people you love….we all do.
“Success without fulfillment is failure.” ~Anthony Robbins
Our final session is about what we want to add to our lives. Whether we realize it or not at a conscious level, everything we want is ultimately about how we want to feel. If you really dig into any goal or thing you want, if you keep asking yourself “Why do I really want it?”, then you will ultimately uncover how you believe achieving that goal or having that thing will make you feel. We discover that we ultimately want to feel secure, love, a sense of contribution, special, safe, important, adventurous, healthy, strong, fun, smart, valued, desirable, relaxed, calm, peaceful… whatever it is for us. The most exciting part here though is that once we understand how we want to feel on a consistent basis, we get to choose to do things every day that will make us feel that way. We can consciously do things each day that are moving us towards our goals by making choices about the positive actions we can take (or not) to feel and be what we truly want. The things you’re doing that do not serve you and you want to change, you’re doing them because of how they make you feel. There is some kind of emotional pay-off, as crazy as it can seem sometimes. Understanding what you’re after though, and then coming up with empowering ways to feel that way is a huge step in you being the captain of the ship that is your life, and being able to navigate that ship to go wherever you want it to go.
I’ve read several things about brain studies that show we create pathways in our brains with the things we habitually do, and this is part of why it can be tough for us to change. But the good news is that we can create new pathways, and we can do this by choosing new habits. You get to decide what you will focus on, what you will do, how you will show up each day. And every day, every moment is an opportunity to start again, keep going, choose a new path, learn and move on…to stop looking behind you because you’re not going that way.
We’re bombarded by decisions, new information and difficult situations all day every day. By making certain things as “no brainer” as brushing our teeth and showering, we make life immensely easier on ourselves. It takes energy to use “will power”, to decide for example…will I exercise today or not (not to mention the energy drain of the guilt if you don’t, or debating what exercise you’ll do for how long, etc.). The easier we make it on ourselves the more success we’re likely to have. So planning exactly what exercise you’ll do, when you’ll do it, and for how long, with a plan B backup plan, makes it less “work” for us and more likely that we’ll be able to follow through.
In the book “The Power of Full Engagement”, authors Loehr and Scwartz make a compelling case for establishing positive rituals, and the impact this has on our energy levels. “The power of rituals is that they insure that we use as little conscious energy as possible where it is not absolutely necessary, leaving us free to strategically focus the energy available to us in creative, enriching ways. Creating positive rituals is the most powerful means we have found to effectively manage energy in the service of full engagement.”
So what about you, are you in? Do you want to consciously choose and add some positive rituals to your life? Isn’t it exciting to remember how much say you have in your own life?! Isn’t it absolutely thrilling to realize that you can completely re-invent and transform your life?! People are out there doing it every day.
OK. There’s one last, but important, step…your purpose. We will not follow through on change if we do not have a compelling reason to change. What are your reasons for wanting to change? Why is it important to you to change? What is the penalty for not changing…today, five years from now, ten years from now? Don’t skip this step, it is crucial!
Remember, they are just habits. They have no mystical hold over you. Don’t give them more power than they actually have. You get to decide what you will and won’t do. Depending on the situation, the day, and what is going on in your life, you get to decide what is best for all involved and makes you feel how you want to feel. Sometimes getting the feeling of love means going out and having fun with those you love…and sometimes that means loving yourself enough to know that right now you are exhausted and need to get some sleep!
Your 10 Daily Habits Worksheet is on the way!