An old Cherokee tale tells of a grandfather teaching life principles to his grandson.
The wise old Cherokee said, “Son, on the inside of every person is a battle between two wolves.
One wolf is evil. It’s angry, jealous, unforgiving, proud, lazy and everything negative.
The other wolf is good. It’s filled with love, kindness, humility, self-control and everything positive.”
“These two wolves are constantly fighting,” said the grandfather.
The little boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf is going to win?”
The grandfather smiled and said, “Whichever one you feed.”
What we feed daily grows. The more we feed bad habits and negative traits the stronger they grow and the more difficult it is for us to break them. Likewise good habits.
We become what we consistently do. And we are responsible for the outcome of our lives. No matter where you are right now, you have the power to change it, to create a better you.
And the best place to start is to take inventory of your habits and change the habits that are not helpful to your personal development journey.
Here are 12 helpful habits that will change your life and help you create a better you if you feed them daily:
1. Wake up Early:
As obvious and normal as this may sound, not all of us actually wake up early (as we want to). Waking up early, at least an hour earlier than your usual time helps you get a lot of important stuff done before you get choked up with busyness. You get an extra time to read, spend time with God, exercise, write/respond to emails, etc. This means you should:
2. Go To Bed Early:
They go together right? It’s simple, going to bed early helps you wake up early, and this generally improves your sleep schedule. This is something I’m working on, as a night owl that I am, it’s a bit of a struggle though, but I’ll get there.
3. Set Goals for the Day.
Write down the things you need to do in your journal or phone to-do list app, set reminders for each task, do them and tick them off as the day progresses. This provides direction for your day, helps you focus on what is important and getting things done.
4. Meditation/Personal Quiet Time.
Spending time with God through prayer, Bible study, or whatever form, and mediation shouldn’t be something we do sparingly or only in emergency situations.
Reading is one of those things the most successful people in the world do every day. Read this post on why you should read. Reading exercises the mind, improves vocabularies among other benefits. Read a few pages a day or for a set time.
You don’t have to be a writer to write something every day. It could be something as simple as journalling (there are abundant of journaling prompts to help get started), writing down whatever comes to your mind, talking about your day, mistakes and lessons learned.
7. Exercise or workout for at least 30 minutes.
Exercise, not just to lose weight, but mainly to stay healthy and fit. Your future self will thank you for it, trust me.
8. Listen to Something Inspiring and Motivating.
Difficult tasks, delayed expectations etc can drain our energies and motivation, leaving us depressed or unable to do anything meaningful. Listening to motivational and inspirational talks, audios and podcasts fire us up, boosts our energy and the vibe to keep pursuing our goals.
9. Create Time for the People you Love.
It could be friends, family, or just anyone in your social circle. We shouldn’t allow our schedules and ‘busyness’ to keep us away from our loved ones and social life, we will need them in the long run. Make it a daily habit to spend time with others.
10. Eat Something Healthy and Drink lots of Water.
Because we all need our bodies to function effectively. And so if we don’t take care of it, it’s our loss.
11. Stop Complaining, procrastinating or all those bad habits.
Make it a goal daily to not shift any task on your to-do list for the later (act now.) and to not complain about anything. Instead of complaining, give thanks for what you have.
12. Affirm Yourself.
Write and Read positive affirmations to yourself daily. This is especially helpful if like me you find yourself doing lots of negative self-talk.
Remember that consistency plays a big role in forming maintaining habits.
You have to do it every day until it becomes an automatic behavior… That is, something you do without exercising much willpower, without needing any form of push, persuasion or motivation.
What habit(s) has changed your life in the recent past? What would you add to this list?