“Ordinary things, consistently done, produce extraordinary results.” – Keith Cunningham
‘Tis the season for New Years Resolutions – Eat less, Exercise more, Work less, Sleep more, Spend less, Smile more…
Many of us start the New Year with great intentions and by the middle of the month, most of us can’t even remember what our resolutions were.
So, instead of falling into the Resolution Trap, I suggest you do something every day you can imagine doing until you’re 102 years old (ie something you can do forever, not just 2 weeks or 6 months).
Scrap the resolutions and instead how about incorporating some easy, healthy habits into your life. Ones that are easy, and will make you feel successful every day because they are both simple and healthy.
1. Make your bed.
It may seem like a small insignificant task, but as Admiral William H. McRaven described in the commencement address at The University of Texas on May 17, 2014.
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”
Getting extraordinary results is about creating simple habits that lead to a domino effect in your life.
2. Drink 1 extra cup of water each day
We all know that staying hydrated is good for us. It reduces unhealthy food cravings, improves our energy and it helps us stay mentally sharp. So why do so many people fail to drink enough water? Usually, it is a lack of habit and convenience.
If you are a tea or coffee drinker you need to fill the coffee maker or teakettle to make said hot beverage. Why not simply fill 1 glass of water at the same time and drink it then and there, and voila, mission accomplished.
3. Meditate or Pray for one minute.
Consistency matters with all habits – especially things like meditation or prayer.
Inner work is tough to measure, and while we all want to be less stressed and more mindful, these goals often seem elusive and challenging to make into a habit.
The biggest mistake is trying to do too much too soon. Instead, make it small, make it specific, and make it as easy as possible.
Make it small. One minute.
Make it location-specific. The kitchen.
Make it time-specific. 7 am.
Make it easy. You’re already in the kitchen waiting for your coffee to brew(after you’ve had your cup of water) at 7 am every morning. Why not meditate or pray while you wait?
These may not be your habits of choice, but if you are prone to making and then breaking New Years Resolutions, I encourage you to take a closer look at what you want to do, break it down into teeny tiny pieces and tackle those first.
The sense of accomplishment and improvements in your health will be worth it.
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2020!