5 Habits I Adopted in 2016 That Made The Year Extraordinary
Small actions that exhibited large changes for my well-being
December 30, 2015
I am pushing the stroller, walking aimlessly. I’m exhausted from the past 5 days of traveling and family visits for Christmas which was topped off by my 2 year old coming down with a high fever. He is still very ill and grumpy, so I just need to get out of the house.
I’m thinking about the past year and the one ahead. I feel frustrated over my unactualized goals, near-constant low energy, and financial situation.
“Something’s gotta change,” I tell myself, to which I immediately hear my “self” reply: “YOU.”
For someone like myself who has been on a spiritual and personal growth path since the 90’s, I thought I was doing pretty well, thank you very much. But when I really looked at my daily habits, I humbly acknowledged that I could do better.
I slowly, but consistently, adopted more positive habits that are used by the most happy, healthy and wealthy people in the world. It’s no surprise then, that 2016 has been a quantum leap year for me. Here they are, so you may consider them for yourself for 2017.
- MORNING POWER HOUR
I used to sleep in any chance I could get. New motherhood is exhausting and sleep was precious. But even after our son started sleeping through the night at 18 months, I was still sleeping longer than I needed to, out of habit. My wife, on the other hand, consistently gets up at 6am so she can enjoy her morning power hour for herself to set the tone for the day. I decided to start joining her.
I have since learned that this is one of Jack Canfield’s (Chicken Soup for the Soul empire) main ingredients for success. I’m not the kind of person who can ever do the same thing every day, but my morning power hour typically consists of meditation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, and stretching. I love starting the day with self-care and having the quiet time before our son wakes up and my busy day begins.
2. GRATITUDE JOURNALING
I have been a writer all my life (I still have my diaries from primary school!). Gratitude journaling was therefore a pretty easy success habit for me to adopt. It’s so simple: write down everything you are really grateful for in your life. I like to do it first thing in the morning, or the last thing before bed.
This cultivates an attitude of gratitude that becomes a positive way of being in the world. You start to appreciate your blessings more — and you’d be amazed at how quickly more good things come your way when you do this! You can also use it for magnetic manifestation by writing down “advance gratitude” for the things you desire to create in your life. Writing this as if it has already happened sets up your mental programming to “expect” your goals to come true, so your thoughts and actions are in line with that outcome. I call this Gratitude Journaling 2.0.
3. I LET MYSELF DREAM BIG
I have a pretty great life; an amazing wife and beautiful son, a safe peaceful home and a decent job. It’s so easy to get complacent with a “good enough” situation and when we are on the hamster wheel of work, eat, sleep, repeat, we lose sight of our goals and dreams.
In January 2016 I gave myself permission to dream BIG. I let myself imagine what more was possible for me. I brainstormed new ideas and avenues. I wrote it all down in my journal, I didn’t censor my ideas. I shared it all with my wife as I explored where my dreams and intuition were leading me. In doing so, I literally changed the course of our lives and re-wrote our future.
4. EFT TAPPING
I have been doing “mindset work” for many years, including meditation, affirmations, visualization, dreamcrafting, etc. Something I had never tried was tapping, known as Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. It’s been an absolutely incredible tool to move through my hidden blocks and limiting beliefs.
The concept is simple: using your fingers you tap along your body’s energy meridians as a form of “psychological acupressure”. While you tap, you say statements out loud that shine light on where you are holding yourself back. It’s amazingly effective. If you haven’t tried it, you must.
5. TAKING BOLD ACTION
All the success mindset techniques in the world aren’t going to amount to much if you aren’t also taking aligned, bold action in the direction you want to go. After my big ideas and dreams started to take shape, I made a plan to make it all happen. For some things you cannot set a date, but rather you must hold a strong vision and intention and move towards it bit by bit every day. For others, you need to just look at a calendar and choose when you’re going to do it.
You could wait your whole life, waiting to be ready. Remember: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” -Goethe
Here I am, one year later after that dreary day when I had my first breakthrough that the only person holding me back was ME. I hope that perhaps this blog will inspire YOU to make 2017 the year you expand into your greatest potential! Happy New Year.
Originally published at strengthandsoulwellness.com on December 31, 2016.