Consistency is the key

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Does this ever happen to you that you start something new so energetically  like meditation or blogging or exercising and within a few days, the motivation drops drastically and you feel like you are not getting the results? Does that mean you are doing something wrong, or doing it the wrong way?

No, nothing is wrong except for our impatience. We have forgotten that ‘slow and steady wins the race’ even in this fast paced world. Anything and everything in our life needs a constant and consistent effort before the results emerge out.

Imagine a person who starts going to gym to lose weight. He goes and exercises daily and looks after his diet too but after 7-10 days, the weighing scale is still being cruel in showing no progress. There are high chances he will quit soon and go back to his previous lifestyle. In fact, more than 80% of the people would do the same. But those 20% who don’t lose hope and stay consistent in their efforts, will one day, surely see the positive outcome.

It is like going to the dentist twice a year and expecting the teeth to stay healthy and germ-free. But the daily 2 minutes of brushing the teeth every single day of the year, is what plays a bigger role in the shine of those white pearls. And it is these ‘2 minutes’ of our daily life that actually make the difference! Similarly, for any new regime that we start, the everyday little effort, the everyday monotonous routine, and the everyday dedication that we show and put in, is what brings the fruitful end-result.

It is a well known theory that to develop a new habit, one must perform it consistently for at least 21 days, and only then it becomes a natural way of one’s life. So clearly, consistency breeds the mastery. If we talk about the Olympian legends, be it an athlete, or a soccer player, or a swimming champion, we just see the tip of the iceberg. We just see the ten minutes of their final race and we applaud at their success. What lies beneath this visible achievement, is the thousands of hours they dedicated to their practice, the daily devotion to their fields of interest, the everyday little effort to get one step closer to success.

So, in short, there is no short cut to success. There are no elevators. You have to take the stairs, one step at a time, everyday!

 

 

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The power of ‘daily routine’

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Lately, I have been watching a lot of videos on ‘self-discipline’ and ‘the power of daily habits’ and I was amazed by how our daily routine shapes our future. After my second kid, I left my job and since then, there has been no routine, no fixed times to sleep and wake up, no discipline at all. And I always have my toddler as an excuse for that. But it is high time now, I must take charge of my life, I must start bringing discipline in my daily habits.

So, I thought why not gather down all the points and make a plan to improve things. After brainstorming for days, and going through sources on internet, I could come up with the following five habits to begin with. Sharing them with you so that I can have a company to keep me motivated. So lets get started!

  1. Win the morning, Win the day : – Now it may sound obvious that waking up at a fixed time every day (preferably before sunrise) is beneficial but despite of knowing its importance, how many of us actually implement it in our daily lives? The famous brain expert and mental coach Jim Kwik stresses on the importance of the first and last hours of our day, how we need to keep technology to the minimum in these hours, and rather work on our inner self. He says “Don’t touch your phones for an hour after you wake up”. And same goes for the bedtime. As these are the hours you can actually program your subconscious mind and get fruitful results if you know how to!
  2.  Eating right :- In this era of obesity and weight issues, people go on diets of all kind and then lose some weight only to gain it back in no time. Eating out at restaurants, depending heavily on coffees/teas, having fast foods every other day etc. are all leading us to an unhealthy lifestyle. With little efforts and pre-preparations, we can have home cooked meals, eat more greens, eat simple and local food and avoid junk to a great extent. I know we have a cool excuse of ‘busy life’ but as they say, either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The choice is ours!
  3. Positive self-talk :-  I don’t remember the name of the public speaker, but I came across the concept of ‘No whining Wednesdays’ from her in a YouTube video. It means, every Wednesday, you will prohibit yourself from any kind of complaining, whining, bitching like ‘why did you’, ‘when will I’, ‘why always me’, ‘I can’t’, ‘How could you’ etc. etc. It is quite challenging because when you start observing how many times a day you whine, you will be astonished at how much negative energy you create all day long! And it is not just one day, we are continuously creating negative thoughts and words without even being aware of it. So make it a rule, to watch your thoughts, words and actions and turn them into a positive sentence or affirmation if there is even a slight trace of negativity in them. I cannot emphasize enough on the value of ‘positive self-talk’ and ‘positive affirmations’ and how people all over the world have significantly changed their lives through them.
  4.  Minimalism :- Yeah, this one sounds strange but I have started realizing its impact on our minds and lives. The more clutter you have surrounded yourself with, the more clutter it adds in your mind, and the more stress in your life. We can start making slight changes in our lifestyle by keeping only things which we need and give us happiness, rather than things which we think will bring us value after a year or so. I have started this by keeping my wardrobe simple and with outfits that I feel comfortable in. I have stopped buying things out of impulse and just because they are in trend. Another aspect of minimalism is to delete all the unused apps on your phones and cleaning your email inbox regularly. Basically, clearing space in your phones, laptops, house, and minds too.
  5.  Reading and writing :- ‘Good readers become good leaders!’, ‘Books are man’s best friend!’, and this one is my favorite – ‘You are today who you will be in five years except for the people you meet and the books that you read!’. Books open your mind, expand your knowledge, and strengthen you as nothing else can. So, reading good books everyday (even if it is just one page a day) is a habit everyone must adopt without any delay. Now, just like reading, Writing is powerful too. Make a habit of writing each day, write your goals, write your affirmations, write your to-do tasks, write your dreams. Each word you write has a vibration of its own and it does make a difference!

Now, these are just the few daily practices that I picked for myself as of now. There are a lot more that we all need in our lives like – exercising daily, writing our gratitude lists, spending time with nature, stopping procrastination etc. But before starting with any of these, we must be clear with how big impact our habits  have on our life, they literally shape us. Only when we acknowledge and understand their power, we will be able to make them a permanent part of our life. These small daily habits lead to long term growth. We’ll never be able to change our life until we change something that we do daily. After all, the secret of our success is hidden in our daily routine!