Believe me when I say I (used to be) lazy. The circumstances I was in did not urge me to work hard and find something I should be busy with. However, time and people change. As I grew older, I found that working hard is valuable and that whatever situation I will be in, I should strive to look for reasons to do what is right. My priorities have changed and my goals have now become clear. Staying who I used to be did not satisfy me anymore; I hungered for the future, I dreamed big. It was about time to be new.
My year started with a shift of lifestyle. This did not come easy. It was a collective effort from yeaaarss of thoughts, experiences and lessons. These include 13 habits that changed my life:
- Sleeping at 10:30
For so long, I declared myself insomniac and a night owl. While in my late teen years, I found pleasure in late night movies and thought I was productive. Ten years after, my body is screaming back the stress I had been putting in – migraine, body pain, drowsiness at work and more. But then, when I began to sleep early, it was magic. There is no more headache. I can now focus at work and I am energized through the day. I believe that a great day should start with a full-filled and good sleep.
P.S. It is hard at the beginning. My mind worked so much that I could not sleep. I used my phone and ended up sleeping in the morning. The solution for this is closing my eyes and doing number 2.
- Turning the WiFi off
Yes! The beep and vibration disturb the sleep. Worse, it is a temptation to check the phone and end up being more nocturnal. Try disconnecting and see the results yourself.
- Waking up at the same time even if it’s weekend
Because I sleep early, my body adjusts and wakes up on its own at the same time everyday. By nature, the body gets energy from the sun. When the sun is up, I know I am in sync with nature because my body responds to it. When I wake up early, I feel more motivated, calm and focused. I have ample time to do other things. On the other hand, when I wake up late, I tend to rush. I feel weak and tired and want to sleep again. You can see, the cycle continues.
- Having breakfast
Elon Musk doesn’t eat breakfast but I would say it is not advisable. The act of cooking or preparing and eating breakfast is therapeutic and nourishing. I can compare my life rushing and buying subs to my new habit of cooking and eating breakfast at home. The latter gives me time to chew slow, to think about my last night’s dreams, to process my feelings, to set my day. Breakfast is a kicker.
After eating, I grab my bible and my devotional. Regardless of the religion, we all have ways to connect to God. Before, I used to allot an extra time for prayer. Now, I make time for prayer and allot the extras to the rest. The divine intervention has always been the anchor of life. The strength, power, wisdom and life itself can never be gotten from this earth. My need for spiritual food is as important as my need for a physical satisfaction. When my body is full but my soul and spirit are hungry, I still cannot function well. Prayer is the food for both the soul and spirit and when these are fed, the body will just follow.
- Writing a journal
I write personal notes to start my day. I jot what I should feel and what I should become. It may sound petty but it is powerful. Journals are also treasures, they’re the future’s history. It is also an exercise of the mind and a therapy of the soul.
- Working on something
Now that I am at home, I make sure I work on something. I cannot flip the day knowing that I just watched movies or played on my phone. Working hard is gainful. It leads to my goals and builds my character and discipline. Regardless of how I feel, I show up to my table and achieve something even in the little ways.
My new rule: If I don’t work, I don’t eat.
- Drinking water
This is a given for some but for people like me, this is a task. I started up with a Water Reminder app until I practiced on my own.
I am not a very active person but because I love my self, I take care of my body one day at a time. I began with simple stretches until I did a 30-minute cardio. It is painful but it is a good pain. Every breath taken is strength gaining.
- Listening to the news only in the afternoon or evening
In as much as I am drawn to reading or listening to what is going on, I stop my self from clicking the links and leave them for the later part of the day. News, social media, chats and calls are reserved for later unless they are super necessary. These platforms aren’t bad but they trigger reactions and negativity more than the calm and peace that I want to achieve. News, social media and secular music are set in the afternoon. And life has never been this light.
- Removing Facebook and limiting Social Media
I think uninstalling Facebook is one of the best decisions I have ever done. Social media nowadays have become a venue of negativity, toxic ideas, and non essential stuffs. People are now wired to be easy, to be shallow, to be very open and to react even to those we do not fully know. While I am easily affected and distracted, removing and limiting my exposure keep me on track. My distancing to such also saved my time and energy which are now spent to people and circumstances that truly matter.
Whether I have an income or not, I have been respecting my self by spending and saving my money the right way. This habit has always been a lifeline.
- Surrounding with real and true people
Most of all, with all the little habits that I have maintained, I most of the time, surround my self with few people, more or less ten of them excluding my family. At this point, numbers don’t matter, the people that I am choosing to be with is worth the while.
I am done with the quick fixes. This is it. Some days I fail but most days I win. Little by little, I shall get these through. You too, will!