One of my mentors, the entrepreneur Jesse Itzler had a unique recommendation late last year. He pointed out how much of our life experience lies in our daily habits, and wouldn’t it be fun to pick one habit a month to pursue? That way, by the end of the year we’d all have incorporated a dozen life-changing things into our routines and lives.
I thought it was a fun idea, and I realize I maybe should have mentioned it sooner, but if you like the idea too, you can always start right now and make it a May-to-May mini-program for yourself.
What’s fun about it is the clarity and focus you get by thinking about what small change you’d like to make next. You could certainly plan all twelve at the outset, but I just take it month-to-month and I’ve found something always presents itself.
Just to give you some ideas, here is a list of what I’ve done thus far:
January – I picked drinking more water because that is a healthy habit and it’s easy to forget it during the winter months. I put attractive bottles of water everywhere I spend time and successfully incorporated much more hydration into my day and I’ve kept it up ever since.
February – I focused on hydrating my skin because I get super dry in Ohio when it’s cold out. It was a fun month of luxuriating in the nicest-smelling body lotions after my baths and showers and again, I still do this habit even months later.
March – I was inspired to meditate regularly after reading Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans and learning 80% of the heavy-hitters in all different fields credit this one habit as most important. I did well with this habit too and found a little niche in my day where it works for me to meditate regularly. Win!
April – This month I read the sleep book I recommended in a recent post and focused on making sure I always breathe through my nose. Starting in April whenever I notice myself breathing through my mouth I shut my mouth and breathe through my nose instead. I noticed many interesting mood benefits of nose breathing. Highly recommended habit.
May – This month I purchased a pair of blue light blocking glasses and have been wearing them after sunset when I’m on my phone or computer screen. Proponents say that blue light after sunset stimulates our brains to think it’s daytime. I experienced greater relaxation and more gentle sleepiness at night by wearing these things. I really think there’s something to it and plan to keep up this habit moving forward as well.
So there you have it! It will soon be June and I’ve already incorporated five new healthy habits into my life without much difficulty. If you feel inspired to do this too, I’d be curious what habits you decide to start with. My only advice is to keep it small. The big gift is in the cumulative effect of the whole 12. You don’t want to pick something unwieldy and then quit, so just choose a small one like those listed above so you can stick with it.
Barbara Wayman, APR