Welcome to the New Year, 2021! Let’s hope that this year will be a quieter one than 2020, where here on the East Coast of Australia, we had record bush-fires, record storms and record floods even before COVID-19 reared its ugly head!
Every year around now, people get excited and make New Year’s Resolutions, and in most cases they have been forgotten by the end of January. So this year, instead of making resolutions which you won’t keep — there is a scientific reason why resolutions made in January fail — why not try to stick to my “12 Daily Habits For A Better You (And A Better Business)” instead?
They have worked for me, and I am sure that they will work for you too, if you just stick with them, and take them one day at a time. In my case, I use a program called “Remember The Milk” for task and appointment management, and have these twelve set up as daily tasks, but you could do the same with whatever software you use, even Google or Apple Calendars. Good luck with them, and remember, if you miss one habit one day, don’t beat yourself up or just give up, just make sure you get it right tomorrow.
During The Day
1. Drink at least a half-litre of water when you first wake up.
Most people are under-energized because they’re under-hydrated. Hydration is energy.
Keep a litre bottle of water at your bedside table before bed, and crush it immediately on waking. In my case, I have a 1250ml bottle to start the day, and three 2.1l water bottles I bought from Kmart which I sip on through the day.
2. After you brush your teeth, pause for a moment and smile at yourself. Then say “I LOVE YOU”!
Most people don’t love themselves enough. As Aristotle said,
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
If you are what you repeatedly do, then why not repeatedly affirm something positive to yourself?
Pro Tip: One of the most powerful affirmations I have ever heard, and used, is this short, simple, but powerful one:
“Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better”.
You might want to try that one instead.
3. Be grateful.
If you feel sad, if you feel like you don’t have enough of something; stop and think of three things that you are grateful for. You’ll immediately feel better, I promise.
4. Make your bed.
I know, I know! Most of you already make your bed because your mother made you do it.
But some of you don’t make your bed because your mother made you do it when you were living at home.
I am saying, do it because it is a small, positive accomplishment, a “quick win”, which helps set you up in a positive frame of mind for the day.
Then when you get to step 8 you will be in a more positive frame of mind to tackle the job.
5. Take a walk.
Walking has been known to help people solve problems, come up with new ideas, and have revelations that seem to have come out of nowhere.
But they don’t come out of nowhere, they were there all along. Taking a walk just changes the context from ‘desk’ to ‘nature’.
And nature is going to win every time.
6. Compliment someone.
I started doing this several years ago and it feels great to give someone something without expecting a damn thing in return.
In fact, you get a biochemical reaction of “happy chemicals” like oxytocin and serotonin when you give a genuine compliment to someone without expecting anything in return.
7. Only check your email twice a day.
Most of us have our email reader open all day, notifications on, and one eye on the reader all day.
When you do get an email, the instinct is to answer it immediately. Get out of that habit!
Once you get used to only checking and answering emails twice a day, you will be amazed how much time it frees up and how much more productive your day will become.
Pro Tip: I use and recommend the 4-D method for dealing with email:
- If you can reply in two minutes or less, Do It Now
- If someone else is better qualified to answer the email, Delegate It
- If it needs a reply, but not right away, Defer It
- If it isn’t important, or urgent, Delete It.
Once you start using the 4-D method, you can skim through your Inbox in minutes, then reply to the ones that need a reply later in the day, in one batch.
8. Do your ONE most important thing today.
Before beginning your work, review your one most important thing you need to do today. Then get started on it.
Your focus and effectiveness will be far higher when you approach your day this way.
Thanks to Mark Twain, this is also known as “eating the live frog”!
9. Meditate for 10-20 minutes.
If you don’t know how to meditate like the Gurus, just sit down somewhere quiet and count to 4 while you inhale; then 4 more counts as you exhale.
Just focus on your breathing. Try to do that for ten minutes, then work your way up to thirty minutes.
10. Read a book.
The best way to get the greatest ideas is to read, read, read.
There’s a great quote that goes like this:
“Books are the hardbound drug of my choice.”
I like that one a lot. Plus, the only side effect of reading is a positive one — the more you read, the more ideas you get.
Read something every day to expand your mind, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.
For me, reading an actual, physical book last thing at night helps me to relax and unwind as well as increasing my knowledge.
11. Revisit your day and remember the good stuff.
Write it down in your journal if you can. I like to end each day by asking myself,
“What’s the best thing that happened today?”
Always remember to celebrate the wins, big and small, every night!
12. Tell your partner how much you love them.
One of the best sayings that I have ever heard is “Never go to bed angry”.
If you guys need a reason, then just Google “John Wayne Bobbit”, but take my word for it, if you have an argument with your partner, settle it before going to bed, and tell them how much you love and appreciate them.
You will all live longer.
And there you have my “12 Daily Habits For A Better You (And A Better Business)”. Enjoy, and don’t forget to let me know how you get on with them.