In a previous post, Becoming Your Best Self, I mentioned briefly the importance of good habits and forming a routine. I accredit a lot of my recent success to these habits as they have helped me build a healthy lifestyle. I'll be the first to admit that this lifestyle did not come naturally for me. I have been in retail for 8 years now, and with that comes a not so "routine" life. I was envious of my husband for having a 9am-5pm job. I believed it was the sole reason behind his success. I would excuse myself of poor physical and mental health habits because I thought it was not possible with my schedule. I am here to tell you it is! I will also tell you that it's possible with any schedule. Good habits will allow you to still feel successful and fulfilled with any lifestyle you may have. If you want to know how I balance family, work, and personal time then keep on reading the habits that have helped me.
Wake up early
This may be the hardest habit for several people to form. I write this one down first because to me it is the most important habit I have. By waking up early, I am able to maximize the most of my day and ensure I have plenty of time for the other habits to follow. Even when I used to close the store in my previous position, I would still wake up at 5am the next day. I can't explain how off I feel if I sleep in until 6am haha. I definitely recommend going to sleep at a reasonable time to sustain this habit. I am usually in bed by 9:30pm.
get up and work out
I choose to work out first thing in the morning because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. I usually workout 5 days a week with still something on the other two days. For me, working out is more than physical. It's a way to distress and practice discipline. I also love working out at this time because the gym is usually pretty empty. I am able to shower and get ready for work with ease. I also believe this habit can have a trickle down effect for other habits. I eat healthier when I am consistent with my workouts and I also wake up early to allow myself enough time to workout.
listen to podcasts
I love to listen to podcasts in the car on my way to work. I can't remember the last time I had the radio playing in my car and I'm happy I've made that transition. This definitely helps put me in the mindset to be ready and help others. I'm motivated and eager to take on the next 9 hours of work!
My favorite podcasts to listen to include:
reflect on your day and practice gratitude
On my way home I drive in silence. Maybe I'm a weirdo ha, but this helps me relax after work. I reflect on my day and think of ways to make tomorrow better. This is where I also practice gratitude and give thanks for the day and things I have. I know that this habit has made me a happier person. I also give myself positive affirmations during this time and encourage myself for the days ahead. This time is my sacred time. I have tried practicing gratitude in the mornings upon waking, but after my day seems more natural and genuine for me. Start by doing this twice a week, then three times, then 4, and eventually it will be every day.
My family may not realize it, but I have my hour of gratitude in silence around them too. The other night we were watching the kid film Ratatouille, and I was reflecting on my recent trip to Paris. I was giving thanks while my husband and Aubrey were laughing and watching the movie. If you practice this habit, I am sure you will find yourself now practicing gratitude even when receiving your Starbucks. I am always grateful for coffee! In all seriousness, this habit has made me be thankful in the smallest situations. I smile and say thank you even when the sun makes it way to shine through the clouds.
get ready for the next day today
After I have family time, I start preparing myself for the next day. I pack my work bag, my gym bag, lunch, steam my clothes, and pick which podcast I will listen to the next day. It's true, "if you fail you plan, you plan to fail". This is one of the main reasons why I am able to consistently wake up early. I have prepared everything the night before and I can wake up and go. I believe it has also helped me sleep better. I'm usually one that has restless nights thinking about the following day, but when I have prepped for it there is not much more to think about. Try this and let me know how you sleep!
disconnect from the world one day a week
Sunday's are the only day that everything is OFF for me. We go to church as a family and after that there is no plan. We spend the entire day together and clean the house, do chores, go grocery shopping, and cook for the following week. I enjoy this day the most, and it really dictates the success of my following week. This may not seem like a "habit", but it is. I hear my phone go off or think about an email I need to reply to and I am then battling myself if I should stick to this habit. I will say with 100% certainty that this habit has made me a better wife and mother. It helps me live intentionally and give undivided attention to my family. Sunday's do not need to be your "disconnect day", but I strongly suggest you have at least one day a week you do.
There you have it! My 6 habits that have changed my life. Let me know what you thought and if you decided to try these habits for yourself!