New Year, New Habits?

New Year, New Habits?

At this time of year, everyone is about the New Year’s resolution or at least talking about whether they make one.  According to a new study I learned about this morning, 41% of people make New Year’s resolutions and only 9% of those people succeed.  What were the top resolutions?  It might surprise you, because it wasn’t losing weight, making more money, or quitting smoking.  For women, the top resolution was to “get the best D of their life”.  For men, it was to get “more time alone with the TV to watch basketball”.  🙂

I’m not one who makes New Year’s resolutions because I have found that most often, I fail.  Instead, I’ve decided to make small changes to my lifestyle habits that will contribute to my overall happiness and success, with a specific focus on the morning.

This intention actually started about six months ago for me.  During most of the past two years, it was tough to focus on enhancing my morning routine.  I had been on my grind and getting up extremely early, usually by 5am either to commute to an office or do a couple hours of consulting work before starting my regular workday.  Luckily, my efforts from the past two years have paid off, as I no longer need to go to an office or work multiple jobs.  I have almost complete freedom now to structure my day the way that I want to.

Even though I am a night owl and believe I can sometimes be more creative at that time of day, I am making a conscious effort to get up earlier to make sure I have time in the morning to do the things that are going to set me up to be successful for the rest of the day.  Here are five things I strive to do every single morning before checking email, text messages or social media:

  1. Meditate – I highly recommend meditation to build a higher level of spiritual awareness and focusing the mind.  I use an app called Headspace most regularly, and it only takes 10 minutes to do.
  2. Eat breakfast – Whether it’s something easy like cereal or oatmeal, I decide to cook myself eggs, or walk down the street to buy a breakfast sandwich – I eat something to give me energy throughout the day and avoid overeating later.
  3. Read or Write – Finishing a chapter in a book or writing something (blog post, ideas, lyrics, speech) even for a short period of time feels like an accomplishment and gets creative juices flowing for the rest of the day.
  4. Make the Bed – This sounds like the easiest thing in the world to do, but can be easily forgotten.  For me, it makes the bedroom feel peaceful and not chaotic.  When the space around me looks and feels better, I find myself in a better state of mind.
  5. Look in the Mirror & at the Morning View– After grooming, I like to look in the mirror and appreciate the body that I’ve been given.   I also take a moment to appreciate my morning view out the window or right outside, wherever I am.

All five of those things can be done in less than an hour if I’m in a hurry that day.  Honoring myself with this time has really improved my overall outlook on life.

I would be curious to know what your thoughts are on New Year’s resolutions and what daily habits you have in your routine.  Please feel free to share in the comment section or reach out to me directly!