As some of you might have read in my most recent article, I've just wrapped up a lockdown "Monk Mode".
During that monk mode I adopted a bunch of new habits to try and 1) build a stronger routine to make the lockdown more manageable and 2) as I've always been interested in biohacking, I always love to try and tweak my existing daily protocols to find more optimal modes of existance.
So, as a few weeks have now passed since this lockdown a few habits have emerged and made there way into my daily protocols for good, so I thought I would list down some lesser known habits that have considerably changed my life.
Make your bed
The viral speech and book by William H. McRaven, an ex-Navy SEAL posits that this small habit of making your bed each morning as soon as you wake up, allows you to achieve something from the get-go, making you feel more productive.
This is also the perfect encapsulation of what this post is all about. stacking up small "wins" to create positive momentum in your life that can "compound" in the long run.
To reference one of my favorite blog posts:
Top performers in the business world often find time to step away from their urgent work, slow down, and invest in activities that have a long-term payoff in greater knowledge, creativity, and energy. As a result, they may achieve less in a day at first, but drastically more over the course of their lives.
Very fitting for a self-proclaimed "monk mode" but in all seriousness, meditation has been a real game-changer for me in terms of slowing down and checking in with myself.
I meditate for a minimum of 10 minutes each day usually around lunchtime or first thing in the morning and do a mixture of guided and unguided.
While it's difficult to put my finger on exactly the benefits of meditation, I've noticed a shift in my emotional balance and rarely get frustrated and stressed by my day to day work life.
Manifestation and Visualization
Kind of a big and potentially divisive one, but after tuning in to a few episodes of a podcast called "The Reality Revolution" I began trying some manifestation and visualization techniques with the mindset of "why not".
So I have generally combined this with my 10 minute meditation sessions by ending the session visualizing completion of certain goals or overcoming potential doubt in certain scenarios i.e success of a project, meeting etc.
Similarly to my meditation sessions, I haven't had any revolutionary results from doing this but have noticed some shifts in my confidence levels and found it an extremely effective means of aligning your actions each day with your goals.
For me I've always been on and off with journaling and oftentimes it's the first to slip when I'm trying to build it as a habit. But, since my monk mode I've managed to make it part of my day and night routine and am increasingly finding it to be an extremely valuable method of self-development.
As part of my morning routine before checking any emails or messages I set my intention for the day i.e "today I intend to work with diligence and patience" and also write down some things I'm grateful for. In the evening I write some reflections on the day; what was good, bad etc. and then do a mini "brain-dump" listing down anything and everything that may be on my mind.
Setting the intention and expressing gratitude in the morning has generally helped me feel more positive and primed for the day. In the evenings, I tend to do it as the last "tech-based" activity before I unwind before sleeping and seems to help my brain slow down and not sit with a thought or idea that prevents quality sleep.
For all my journaling I use the Day One app as I love the resurfacing feature that is built in. Over time, you will be able to read over what you wrote on a particular day the year before. This gently "forces" you to look back whereas in a traditional hand-written journal I feel like I wouldn't do that as much.
So these are just a few habits that I've built over the last couple of months that have hada significant impact on my productivty and wellbeing.
Even if you don't thrive on structure like me and prefer more spontaneity in your life, I think having a few habits and routines that you stick to each day allow you to tweak and adjust things that benefit you and improve your life.