End Of Year, Beginning of New Habits

I think it’s safe to say that most people know (even if only in their guts or the backs of their minds) that positive habits are the key to any amount of success in life.  Doing things that will take you from one point to another via small, repeatable, and most importantly consistent steps is the best way to achieve your goals in life, no matter what they are.

Here’s my situation this week:  I am home with my kids for the next two weeks as I took the time off work to spend with them, enjoy the holidays, and work on myself a bit as well.  And frankly, that last bit is going to be tricky because I’m not in my normal routine of getting up early, getting myself ready for the day, etc.  I can basically sleep in later if I want, not do much during the day and let the day happen as it will as the kids and I have fun, etc.


If you start with a couple new habits to work on, and add more good ones as you go, your success will turn into an unstoppable avalanche that will propel you into the New Year!

But that’s not going to set me up for starting 2016 in a big big way.  As you know, I have a lot of goals for the next year, such as my OCR World Championship qualification and such.  Those things aren’t going to happen unless I get to work and start the year off with a bang, on the right foot.  So I am working to set myself to succeed this year, not to fail.

And how am I doing this?  I’m working with a template created by Hal Elrod in his fantastic book, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM). Hal shows us in this book how to set ourselves up for success by starting our days with a series of habits that get us ready to go out and do things in a way that is positive, effective, and functional.  I won’t ruin the book for you (and you really should read it – it’s fast and Hal gives a lot of information in a short amount of time, but he covers all the bases about starting a day positively.

So how am I instituting this in my life?  Well, the first step is to make sure that I’m getting up before the rest of the house and getting my butt moving without interruptions as much as I can.  And during this vacation, it’s going to be even more important because the temptation to stay up late, get up late, and just chill is going to be greater.

I already get up early most days – about 5:00 AM – to do things like this, but now the focus will be on using that time wisely.  And I’m planning on doing this a little bit at a time – adding pieces into my morning ritual piece by piece and slowly moving into such things. For me, this will let me know exactly how much time each of these tasks will take and I can figure out if waking at 5:00 is early enough (I know, right? 🙂 ).

I have been getting up and drinking some water each morning to refresh myself, and also doing my deep breathing exercises with some essential oils-based aromatherapy.  Here’s some detail on that from my Instagram feed:

Yeah, this works nicely to get myself re-hydrated after the night, wake up my mind from the slumber of the previous night, and get ready for the list of stuff I need to do.  Lately I’ve also been tossing a scoop of a greens supplement called TerraGreens into my water to give myself a little more of a boost (as well as getting some extra nutrients into my system early in the day).  About five-ten minutes here.

Then I do my morning workout.  Some days, it’s just the warm-up routine from the Animal Flow workout, other days it’s that warm-up plus something else (usually an interval workout of some kind with bodyweight exercises and/or running).  That’s anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on the day.

So that’s what I’ve been doing already – the very basics.  What I’m adding into it is some more mental stuff.  I’ve been a member of an awesome personal development called MorningCoach.com for years – they release a members-only podcast every weekday morning, but I’ve usually listened to it on the way to work.  I think it’ll be more valuable to start the whole day with that sort of thing instead of just my work-day.  So there’s another 15 minutes.

And that’s where I am right now.  I want to add in a couple other things into the mix… something in the meditation realm, for starters.  I’ve had an iPhone app called Calm.com for a while now, and used it to good advantage.  It has on-ramp programs and also programs for various traits that you might like to improve – prosperity mindset, reducing anxiety, etc.  The on-ramps are free, the other programs cost money on a subscription basis (like ten bucks a year – seriously, not a big deal).  Go check out the website now… there is some functionality available there, too, for free.

I also need to get into journaling more. I’ve journaled on and off for years, but more off than on.  It’s a very valuable habit to keep track of your progress and the good things happening in life over time, and it’s one I want to build into my routine.  You can track events, workouts, food eaten, feelings, and more – all according to your own schedule and methodology. Journaling is an open-ended way of tracking life’s progress – you do it in the way that most benefits you.

But here’s the real reason I want to start my new habits now:

I want to be ready to go at the beginning of 2016.  I don’t want the excitement of the New Year to peter out and having this all end without any real accomplishment.  We have two weeks before the New Year at this point, and I want my plans and habits to be past the two-weeks mark at that point because that’s when we frequently start to lose the interest and even get tired of the habit-forming process.  The jolt of new energy brought about by the excitement of the New Year will be just the thing to keep me going and really cement those habits into my routine/rituals.

And the other side of it is that if I can use those habits productively NOW, when my routine is off due to the vacation, then I will be in great shape to keep it all going when I am back to the normal routine.  I’ll have those habits cemented so securely in my day that it’d almost be unthinkable to not do them at that point.  I generally have an hour and a half to get my stuff done in the morning if I wake at 5:00 AM before the kids get up to get ready for school.  And that’s what I need to shoot for now.

How are you using your last few days before the New Year to get ready for maximum success?  Share below, and please share this post to your friends and family!