4 Habits That Will Keep Your Life Aligned With What’s Important

Photo by Ryan Holloway on Unsplash
“Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.” — Seneca

Life is short for those who waste it.

A life without alignment will eventually derail.

If you have no connection to what’s important, life will feel empty and meaningless.

Here are 5 Habits that will keep you aligned with what’s important:


1. Use the 80/20 principle

In 1896, Vilfredo Pareto noticed what has been termed the ‘Pareto Principle’, or what is commonly known as the 80/20 principle. Popularized by people such as Tim Ferriss and Jordan Peterson, it states that:

For many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

This of course, applies to your time-management as well. So you could ask yourself something like;

‘What are the 20% of things, that provide 80% of the happiness and meaning I’m experiencing?’

When you’ve formulated an answer, start to allocate more time to those things.

Start to invest your time wisely.


2. Have a schedule

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days… A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order — willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.” — Annie Dillard

A schedule works as an aid; it keeps you on track.

It’s like a friend, reminding you to do the things you’ve assigned as important.

A schedule helps you manage your time wisely, which makes you more productive, more structured, and more clear on what’s important. Consequently, it will also give you more free time.

A well-functioning schedule will have both fun and less fun activities. But ultimately, having it, will improve your overall well-being.

Schedule your responsibilities, but don’t forget to schedule your freedom as well. The trick is to not make the calendar your master, but rather, a friend.

You’re allowed to misstep, to skip an activity, and to not complete everything on it. Having it, makes you spend your time more wisely, regardless of your completion rate.

I personally use Google Calendar, but any calendar is fine. What matters is the structure you give yourself, and the time you make for the important things.

Start to organize your life.


3. Establish routines

To have quality routines — especially in the morning and evening — are like foundations to your life.

Carving out a portion of the day, and assigning it to yourself and the things you see as important, is an act of self-love.

If you spend your morning routine wisely, you make the conditions for a successful day.

You lay the foundation.

If you can get into the right mood, the right vibe, and the right mindset — then your day will be affected.

“If you could give yourself two hours, every morning, solely dedicated to learning, thinking, planning, meditating, praying, and writing in your journal, your life would change.” — Benjamin P. Hardy

Although there are several approaches and variants to a morning routine, here’s the one I’m currently following:

  • Wake up at the same time every day (roughly).
  • Drink water.
  • Meditate.
  • Journal.
  • Listen to music/inspirational videos.
  • Read.

An evening routine is important as well. It prepares you for quality sleep, which leads to successful morning routine, which subsequently leads to a successful day.

Again, there are several approaches and variants, but here’s the one I’m following:

  • Turn off all electronics.
  • Journal.
  • Go to bed at the same time every day (at least I’m trying to).

Establish some routines.

Start to establish your life.


4. Keep a journal

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” — Christina Baldwin

Marcus Aurelius, the emperor of Rome from 161 to 180, kept a journal. In it, he jotted down remarkable notes about his life, his philosophy, and his innermost thoughts. Today, it stands as one of the most impactful pieces of literature in human history.

Journaling is powerful.

It helps you align your life.

In your journal, write down reflections, goals, and dreams — as well as your plans and ambitions in life. Any insight, any aspiring goal, anything that you find to be useful, could be written into your journal.

A journal will direct your mind to what’s important.

It becomes like a second memory. A place where you can have a conversation with yourself. A conversation about what’s important, and how to align life accordingly.

Write.

In the mornings. In the evenings.

Take it with you, everywhere you go.

Start to keep what’s important.


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