Today, we’re sharing five specific habits that, if implemented into your life today, will make a huge difference in your overall feelings of happiness and success. We’ve selected one key habit from each of the five focus areas within our site (Life Architecture, Productivity, Health, Family, and Spirituality).
And let us be perfectly clear, these are habits and areas we’re still working on ourselves—but as we have made progress, we are seeing tremendous results! For more details, listen in to the podcast–just click ‘play’ above! Enjoy the process (and who you are becoming along the way)!
(1) LIFE ARCHITECTURE: Create a five-year plan (and then revise it annually).
We don’t want to wake up each day and “let life happen to us.” Instead, we want to live with purpose and be deliberate in our actions. Even though life circumstances and opportunities may end up changing that plan, having a prepared framework from which to operate will greatly impact our choices, the habits that we develop, the activities in which we choose to engage, and where we invest our time and energy.
Action: Use the accompanying template attached at the end and invest 30-60 minutes identifying your five-year goals in each category shown. After you have your goals envisioned, move to the second section and identify several specific ways you can move toward those goals over the next three months. You can take more time to further clarify your goals, but we recommend you at least get started with an hour or less. (This will be fun!)
(2) PRODUCTIVITY: Identify next actions on each of your projects.
It is far too common to procrastinate when a project feels overwhelming. Whether it’s starting a new business, completing insurance paperwork, or cleaning out the garage, those kinds of multi- step tasks weigh on us. David Allen, the best-selling author of Getting Things Done®, defines a next action as “the next specific, visible task that will move a project toward completion.”
When we identify a next action, we want to boil it all the way down to something we could do in one step. For example, if we’re cleaning out the garage, our next action could be, “Spend 15 minutes creating a map of what we want our garage to look like.” Each next action should look so doable that there is no reason to procrastinate. (That’s how we know if we’ve done it right…)
Action: Building upon your work on the first page of the template, select one of your activities from the 3-month section for each category. For each selection, identify and write your very next action (the smaller and more doable, the better) to move it forward. (In other words: What is one super specific thing that you could do now to move closer to each goal?)
(3) HEALTH: Eat green vegetables.
We’ve been hearing for years that we should “eat our vegetables,” but how are we doing with that? And how many green vegetables have we eaten today? Green vegetables have been unanimously declared as optimal sources of goodness for our bodies. And, according to our friend Jonathan Bailor, best-selling author of The Calorie Myth, eating 10+ servings of non- starchy vegetables each day (preferably green vegetables), can point us in the right direction when it comes to long-lasting health and wellness.
Action: Consider how many green vegetables (like kale, spinach, broccoli, collard greens, romaine lettuce, and brussel sprouts) are currently in your diet, and then, if there’s room for improvement, identify one way you could increase the number of servings. (This may include sautéing kale with eggs in the morning, blending green smoothies, or adding a big salad to your lunch or dinner menu each day. Extra points for creativity here!)
(4) FAMILY: Schedule your family into your life.
We know life’s busy. There are a million things to do, and never enough time to do them. But in the midst of all the “stuff” of life, our most important relationships often get brushed to the side. Have you noticed that scheduling time to specifically be with your family strengthens your relationships and helps you more fully enjoy your life…at least, when no one is fighting? Whether it’s having a regular Weekly Review as a partnership, planning a few nights a month when we’ll “just be home” with our families, or setting aside certain hours of the day when we’ll be available (no devices, no screens), plugging family time into our calendars show that our family members matter to us. And more often than not, we’ll also realize how much we matter to them.
Action: Go to your calendar and schedule 30-60 minutes when you can do a Weekly Review/Preview (a simple planning session where you look back at last week and then look forward to the coming week). Briefly evaluate what kinds of things are working with your family time and what things you could do better, then, schedule in specific time blocks that will be saved just for activities with your family members.
(5) SPIRITUALITY: Connect with the Divine FIRST
All of us come from different backgrounds and beliefs, but many of us hold to a central belief that there is a Higher or Divine Power at the foundation of our lives and the universe we inhabit. If a Divine Power (God, Nature, a Great Spirit, Cosmic Forces, Karma, etc.) does exist, then it stands to reason that the best principles, values, systems, frameworks, thinking, and answers will incorporate that Divine Influence into them.
If we allow ourselves to meaningfully and consistently connect with this Divine Source, our thinking, our plans, our activities, and our relationships will be so much the better. Consider those you know who regularly make this connection—what gifts and benefits do you see in their lives from the practice? How do you think your life would improve by regularly making time for that interaction?
Action: Decide upon one Divinely-connecting activity for you—this could be prayer, meditation, journal-writing, studying holy text, taking a walk in nature, etc. Then commit to setting your alarm tonight (you may need to get to bed a little earlier than usual) and doing that activity tomorrow morning (and you may want to get up a little earlier than usual, too). At the end of the day, take a moment reflect on how that new start has impacted your day. If you agree that this brings a new level of power to your life, do it again the next day.
Note: To be successful at completing this action item, it might be helpful to take 5 minutes now to consider the following questions:
(1) What is the Divinely-connecting activity you want to use?
(2) Describe briefly how you will engage in it?
(3) When in the day will you do it (early morning, midday, evening)? (4) Have you put it on your daily calendar/schedule?
These five habits may seem to be previously considered or even well-known—but considered and known do not translate into understood and done. It has been said, “To know something and not to do it is to not know.” Others might view these five habits as small or inconsequential— doubting that these efforts could really make a difference in these areas.
Aristotle is oft credited with a statement (though it most likely came from historian Will Durant), “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” It is the innate nature of every human being to want better in their lives, to strive for excellence. Excellence does not happen overnight, but rather comes to those who decide what they want, develop a plan (simple as it may be) to achieve it, and then consistently work that plan to fulfillment.
Growth and change—even excellence—in these areas does come through small, simple, consistent efforts in the right things over time—in the positive habits we develop. We have seen it manifest in the lives of great men and women in the world and we have seen it developing in our lives as well. If truly desired, it can happen for you too.
This is the purpose of LearnDoBecome.com and the community that is growing around it.
We invite you to spend some time exploring the LearnDoBecome.com site to discover the resources available to help individuals and families become better in the ways they want. If you find these resources helpful, please feel free to share them with your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and social media connections—with anyone who also might benefit from them.
Once you’ve explored these initial materials, we’d love to hear from you! (How did it go? Which ideas resonated? What is one goal you’ve set that you’d like to share?) We’re really looking forward to getting to know you.
Again, thank you for spending some time with us—we are so glad you are part of the community and look forward to hearing about your growth and success stories in the days and weeks ahead!!
We’ve created an ebook that you can download and/or print to keep this information handy–if you’d like, you can save it to Evernote or your computer!
Here’s a worksheet you can use to fill out your goals and plans in each of these five areas!
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We have a free training that you will LOVE. Come watch to learn four steps you can apply today to eliminate all the piles in your life–mental or physical! Can’t wait to see you there!