What I’ve come to realise in my short life span is that we are what we repeatedly do, our habits shape us. Progression and reaching our goals is about our habits. You can’t expect to be sub 8% body fat if you have a habit of eating a Snickers bar daily – generally speaking anyway. I believe our habits shape us. Much like we share amazing content, great people and products through word of mouth, we should all share things we do – so here it is – 7 habits of mine.
1) I drink 500ml of water as soon as I wake up.
This is a tip I picked up from India. My grandad used to fill a cup of water and keep it bedside when going to sleep. At first I thought it may just be something an elderly gentlemen needs to do. He expressed to me the benefits and passed the habit onto my father. We’ve been doing it ever since.
Not only is it a great way to reach your goal intake (be it 2 litres or more) it helps my digestion, kick start my energy levels and keep me hydrated for my training (on an empty stomach every morning).
2) I write daily to-do lists right after that.
I recently bought myself a white-board for my workspace in my room. Great little tool. On it, I write a list of things to do every morning. This gives my day some purpose. I’ve never been a great goal setter, always writing things that involved a few days work. I changed my methods and have seen better results since. Try writing every single thing, be it however small or significant. ‘Eat a nutritious breakfast’, ‘go to the gym and open a can of whoop-ass on legs’ and ‘check emails and messages’ being some examples. These small tasks are something I’d do anyway, but when you have big projects in progress it’s good to get some ticked off the list and some momentum built up.
I don’t know the psychology behind it, but I at least, feel a sense of accomplishment.
3) After that I workout and eat a nutritious breakfast.
Personally I like to workout first thing in the morning. Starting the day this way gives me lots of energy for the remainder of the day. There is also a great level of accomplishment which translates into a productive day.
Post-workout I like to spike insulin with some fruit sugars (fructose) or a sweet treat alongside a protein shake. 30 minutes later I eat a nutritious breakfast filled with essentials for my day. Usually some oatmeal, blueberries, honey and almonds.
I can’t stress the importance of having a good morning. It influences the remainder of our day. It is also the time I feel everyone should workout. Many people use the excuse of not having enough time in the day to workout. I think it’s pretty easy for everyone to wake up an hour earlier and get it done. You then have the whole day to do whatever.
4) I shower daily with ice cold water!
For the last few years I’ve only showered with cold water. This is not only refreshing and good for muscles it’s like taking a willpower challenge every single day. It’s amazing, try it.
5) I listen to motivating, engaging speakers in down time.
Whilst I’m driving, whilst I’m doing my morning ritual or other inactive time, you’ll always find me with my phone on loud blasting some thought provoking speeches. I think it’s very important to make the first thing you hear everyday positive and inspiring.
They say the first 20 MINUTES of your day affects the rest. If you slouch and scroll through Instagram, don’t be surprised if you have an unproductive day.
Downtime as I like to call it is time spent driving, completing rituals, cleaning etc.
Activities which don’t require much brain activity. I find this a great time to listen to audiobooks and speakers. I find myself getting through an audio book a week just through my driving to and from the gym. It’s so cool!
6) I listen to different styles of music (let me explain).
Sometimes I need to get pumped up to workout, sometimes I want to meditate and have something soothing on in the background. Music is my answer. From Linkin Park to 50 cent to Ravi Shankar instrumentals, Reggae and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I tailor each musical piece to a time it will benefit my day. This includes me time – sometimes I just sit at my harmonium, pop a tune on and jam.
I have something I listen to before training to get my mindset right, even a classical piece I hear when I get in bed to help me sleep. Music is a powerful tool. Expand your library 🙂
7) I take time out for me!
It’s really easy to get caught up in work, projects, studies etc. I’ve been there, I’m sure we all have. Stress plays a big role in modern society especially in the Western world.
I think it’s important to give sometime for yourself daily. My workouts are a huge part of me time. But apart from that I like to give at least an hour or two a day to ‘chill’. Planking whilst watching Netflix, doing situps in between playing Call of Duty, or deep breathing and stretching whilst I meditate.
Take out time for yourself to unwind and don’t be afraid to treat yourself. I’d hate for you to have read this and think I’m a productive machine. Some days I do wake up and sit on Instagram all day. There’s no shame in that. That’s a result of over exposure to work and needing to majorly unwind.
I’m currently treating a good 3 days of dieting, training and work with Lindor strawberry and white chocolate goodies and a binge on Netflix. It’s all good 😉
Try these things, I promise you’ll feel better.