Daily-HabitsOne of my daily habits is to read. The last book I finished was John C Maxwell’s ‘Today Matters’.

If you were to ask people about their expectations and circumstances in the future most people would indicate that their future will be brighter than today and that things will get better. The truth is for many people it will not.

Most of us look at our days in the wrong way: We exaggerate yesterday. We overestimate tomorrow. We underestimate today. Today is the key to your success. Hoping for a good future without investing in today is like a farmer waiting for a crop without ever planting a seed, says Maxwell.

In the book Today Matters, Maxwell offers 12 decisions and disciplines-he calls it his daily dozen-that can be learned and mastered by any person to achieve success. I wont go over his list of 12 daily habits however I did take the time to reflect on my daily habits and made a list of the habits that I will continue to improve upon, and of those that I will work to reduce or eliminate entirely.  This exercise is something I’d recommend as a regular check up to see if you are indeed making the most of each and every day.

In order to change your life you need to change something you do daily. 

Habits to continue:

Daily food tracking. For the last 315 days consecutively I have entered what I have eaten and drank into myfitnesspal. Im 30 this year and I have been training for 15 years. I’m now in the best shape of my life and have held a low body fat percentage year round without resorting to severe caloric restrictions or an unsustainable diet plan of tuna, broccoli and brown rice. Tracking my food is one daily habit I do not regret working on. It is now something I don’t even think about.

Weekly weight training, with structure, planned de-load and recording. I love getting better at things, so do you. I have made the habit of  working out at an appointed time with a trainer or dedicated partner, adhering to a structured plan with incremental increases in overload over time with designated de-load periods.  Doing so has transformed my sessions from much of the same (groundhog day anyone) to new levels of strength, muscularity, leanness and most importantly motivation. I train in 4 week blocks, have monthly measure ups + photos and I test my 1 RM’s to track strength gains and to plan my next workout block. By focusing on the key movements like dead lift, squat and bench press I can efficiently train the body and get maximum benefit without spending an unrealistic amount of time in the gym.

Getting up early. I rise from sleep most days before 5am. This allows me to be super productive from the hours of 5-8am before most people have started thinking about getting the most from their day. Here I can build on my habits with morning rituals, my workout and have time with other like minded successful people over coffee or breakfast.

Family time. I spend a lot of time with my kids and wife, this is something I’m very proud of. But especially my day off on Thursday where I do not work at all. That is sacred time where I can take my son to swimming lessons and despite the cold during winter and sitting through countless renditions of ‘the wheels on the bus go round and round’,  I know the effort here will be very satisfying once he can swim on his own safely, a skill I didn’t learn till later in life. My daughter although still too young will soon follow suit. Creating the daily habit of spending time with loved ones is of critical importance to me.

Habits to develop:

These are the hard ones to admit where we can improve upon but its necessary to acknowledge and assess. Here are a few of my daily habits to improve upon, reduce or eliminate.

Gratitudes. I write in my journal about once per week. However I know I’m really letting myself down and not fully setting myself up for a great start and end to the day without stopping to think about and be thankful for the blessings in my life. And it doesn’t have to be big things. Turn the tap, running water. Flick a switch, lighting. You get the idea. Daily Gratitudes are a fantastic habit to fall into. I will endeavour to verbally acknowledge to people my gratitude, and in the written form with increased regularity.

Less screen time. With an almost relentless supply of access to the internet wherever I go, I find myself all too often staring at a screen. I’m sure we all can relate to this. I need to set the example for my kids and eliminate all screen time, including phones whilst at the dinner table.

Stop comparing myself to others.  As Maxwell says: “Either you perceive the other person to be far ahead of you and you feel discouraged, or you perceive yourself to be better than the other person, and you become proud. Neither of those is good for you, and neither will help you.”

The important thing it to be at and improve on your own previous best given your own unique story. As long as I know I’m maximising my potential that is what counts and I will continue to work on the habit of running my own race.

I hope this will inspire you to look at your daily habits. Focus on the importance of each day, as what you are to be you are now becoming.

Elliott