“First we make our habits, then our habits make us” – John Dryden. This is an important reason why healthy habits must be formed in other to achieve our goals. Since habits affect our productivity, it is only common sense to form healthy habits that will move us closer to our goals. I’ve made a list of healthy habits you can cultivate to move you a step closer to your goals; number 5 is unbelievable. Read to the end!
1. Wake Up Early
A great way to start the day as a goal-getter is to get up early. A popular quote I love by Tim Terris is “If you win the morning, you win the day” and one of the best ways to do that is to wake up early.
Many times, this is something we desire to do but can’t get ourselves to do, which may be for the following reasons:
No motivation to wake up in the morning
Some people only wake up early when they have school, work, or some urgent stuff to do, and asides from that, they are attached to their beds. This should not be! Your goals, plans, and vision should get you up early. This is real motivation in contrast to the motivation myths we’ve been told.
While some claim to not have the motivation to get up early, it is appalling to see that others have but are simply very lazy. Laziness will only lead to emergencies and unnecessary regrets in the future. Trust me when I say the consequences, later on, are far more grievous than the present pleasure. When you think this through, it will be best to overcome laziness. Be diligent. Work hard now so you don’t have regrets in the future.
This is another challenge we face from time to time. When you understand why we procrastinate, it becomes easy to overcome it. I’ve written extensively on the reason we procrastinate. Read it here and overcome procrastination today.
Now that you are aware of some of the hindrances to waking up early, the only way to overcome it is to wake up early. Remember, your goals depend on it.
How to Wake Up Early
If you sleep late, it will be difficult to get up early. The popular quotes goes: “Early to bed, early to rise”. Here’s a tip: Keep the alarm clock (or in this case, your phone) away from you. This is to prevent you from hitting the snooze button or putting off the alarm and going back to sleep. You should keep it at the other end of the room so you’d have to stand up from the bed and walk over to put it off, hopefully, you won’t go back to sleep.
Note: Do not sit it or lie on the bed to do whatever you want to do next. You should leave the bedroom completely or sit at a table.
Honestly, the above will only work for people that can be awakened with alarm. If you’re not one of them, you could ask for help from family and friends to wake you up at a certain time.
I challenge you to pick a time earlier than the time you usually get up. Start gradually. If you have a target, let’s say 5 am, and you usually get up at 7 am, you could start by waking up 6:45 am and keep reducing the time by 15 minutes till you hit your target. Do not be too hard on yourself. Reward yourself a little anytime you find yourself pulling through and simply encourage yourself to do it again if you don’t get it. I’m cheering you on.
2. Practice the Art of Visualisation
Another habit you should cultivate to help you achieve your goals is visualisation.
Visualisation means using our imagination to pre-live an outcome that is desired. You can increase the focus on your goals and maintain that focus by using visualisation techniques. By reading your goals as images, our brain works to make those images a reality. There is an emotional interpretation and a behavioral response for every image in our subconscious mind.
Benefits of Visualisation
- Activating the creative subconscious which is the home of creative ideas that help to achieve goals.
- The brain will more readily perceive and recognize the resources you will need to achieve your dreams.
- The law of attraction can be useful, and visualisation will help to find the people, resources, and circumstances you will need to achieve your goals.
- Visualisation builds your internal motivation to take the necessary actions to achieve your dreams.
Now that you’ve known the meaning and the benefits of visualisation, how do you do it?
How To Visualise
Visualise for a moment what you would like to accomplish for that day. Imagine yourself accomplishing this goal and allow yourself feel the pleasure of having accomplished it. You could take it a step further to visualise your goals on a longer term.
What happens is that since you have visualised yourself accomplishing that goal, your brain would begin to search for opportunities to let it become a reality. A simpler way to put it is this, if you don’t believe you can be great, you will never be great; but once you believe and visualise it, your brain would begin to search for opportunities that can make you become great.
Don’t be afraid to visualise. It is different from dreams because you actively do it. Make it a habit.
3. Make positive affirmations
This is what you do when you tell yourself things like;
I can do it.
I’m the best.
You make those statements to promote self-confidence and belief in your own abilities—thats affirmation.
Now, just as it is possible to make positive affirmations, it also is to make negative ones, which happens quite easily than making the positive ones.
I need you to hack your brain by making positive affirmations because your brain does not know the difference between your reality and your imagination.
If you imagine something long enough, it will get to a point, you’d actually think it happened. I need you to add positive affirmations to visualisation and use them as tools to start achieving your goals.
The thing about visualisation and affirmation is that with time, you begin to act in consistency with what you believe and think about yourself.
For example, if your affirmation is that you’re dull, even if you’re not, because you’ve said it long enough, and believe you are, you begin to act one. You won’t bother trying out the assignment yourself when it’s given. You won’t bother attempting questions in the exam hall, etc.
Make positive affirmations about yourself and get started on your goals and vision.
You can do it!
4. Express Gratitude
Another habit that can help you achieve your goals is the habit of expressing gratitude.
As simple as it may sound, this is something some of us are not used to. Expressing gratitude does amazing things to the brain. You can check some of them out here.
It is not enough to be grateful but it is important you express it. It helps you dispel negative emotions and live a positive life.
How to express gratitude
- Learn to say thank you
- Keep a gratitude journal: A gratitude journal is one in which you write daily on the things you are grateful for
- Count your blessings
- Appreciate yourself
Gratitude helps you live a happier life. It is a habit that can be cultivated. Cultivate it today.
5. Make Your Bed
This final habit sounds unbelievable as one that would help you achieve your goals but as a goal getter, it is one you’d want to cultivate. It has outstanding scientific and psychological benefits.
Reasons you should make your bed every morning
1. It lowers your stress and improves your mood: This is because it gives you a sense of organization and makes you feel happier. We might not realize it but it’s true.
2. It leads to better productivity: In his book, “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg talked about how daily bed-making becoming a keystone habit, kickstarts a chain of other good decisions throughout the day, and gives you a sense of taking charge. Duhigg claims that these keystone habits cumulatively lead to “a greater sense of well-being and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.
3. It starts your day off right: It might be a little accomplishment but making your bed sets the tone for the day. At the end of the day, that one task completed will lead to the accomplishment of other tasks.
4. It encourages you to keep the rest of your room tidy: A tidied room without a made bed doesn’t feel complete and the opposite is also true. When you make your bed, it encourages you to keep the rest of your room tidy which is helpful for focus.
5. It just looks better: Wouldn’t it be amazing to come back to a made bed at night? The room looks better when the bed is made.
Are there other habits you know of that would help in achieving your goals? Drop them in the comment section. I’d love to read them.