One of the most profound realizations for me over the last three years has been internalizing and applying the idea that Success is a habit. In other words, most successful people have developed ingrained habits of thought and action they repeat consistently in their lives that create or contribute to the outcomes they want.
Recently I was sharing with a group of people what I call my “Daily-ates.” And they were adamant that I should share those with others. So, I decided to follow their suggestion.
The Daily-ates are 9 daily rituals that I have begun implementing over the last couple of years that have had a profound impact in my live. They have increased my energy, my clarity and focus, my inner joy and peace, my discipline, and most important…my results!
The first five I always do in the morning. The next two (exercising and reading), I often do in the morning, but sometimes move them to the afternoon or evening depending on my schedule. And the final two I almost always do at bedtime, because they are great rituals to help you fall asleep with good thoughts in your brain. The magic has been the CONSISTENCY of making these rituals my DAILY PRACTICE.
So here are my nine daily rituals I call “THE DAILY-ATES”:
Hydrate Your Cells – “Drink (H20)”
Americans are chronically dehydrated. We as a culture consume so many drinks that are NOT hydrating such as soda pop, energy drinks, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, etc that can actually act is diuretics (“dehydrators of your body”). There is nothing that is more essential to good health than adequate hydration. In fact, most headaches are either caused on impacted by being dehydrated. A lot of times people who feel hungry are more thirsty than they are hungry. It’s amazing what a refreshing glass of purified, room-temperature water will do for your hunger pangs.
Every day I try to drink one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. That will provide optimal hydration for almost anyone. The classic recommendation of 6-8 glasses of water per day is not a great starting point, and is considerably more than the average person drinks. The key is that you start drinking more than you’ve likely been drinking.
Oxygenate Your Blood – Breathe
Simply put, oxygen is the most critical fuel for our bodies and our brains. Most of us do not breathe enough. We tend to breathe very shallow which severely limits the amount of oxygen going to our brain and bodies. And the worst part is that when we get stressed we tend to breathe even more shallow and deprive our brains of oxygen even more severely.
If you will, 3 or 4 times a day, take a break for a few minutes at a time to do some deep, diaphragmatic breathing, it’s amazing how much that can energize you. Plus increasing the amount of oxygen you are sending to your brain can do wonders for your concentration and memory and ability to handle stress.
Meditate Your Mind – Center
Have you ever wished you could get your mind to stop racing? I call it “mind chatter.” And for most of us, our thoughts are constantly racing.
Meditating even for a few minutes, is amazing in it’s ability to quiet your mind and release pent up tension and anxiety. It is so awesome to just take a few minutes to close your eyes, relax your body, release your thoughts and focus on your breath.
State Your Truth – Declarations
We’ve know for years about the power of affirmations. Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) called it “the power of auto-suggestion.” And it IS powerful.
I like the term “declaration” (which I learned from T. Harv Eker), better than “affirmation” simply because a declaration implies something spoken with conviction and strength. It’s not just a few words or a though repeated over and over with no feeling or emotion. As Napoleon Hill taught us, the more feeling and emotion you attach to the declaration, the more power and influence it will have in your subconscious mind.
The best declarations are first person (e.g “I am”), present tense, and emphatic. Adding adverbs to increase the strength of the statement is also helpful. As an example, instead of saying, “I am confident,” you can declare, “I AM TOTALLY CONFIDENT.” And the modifier “totally” simply increases the impact and force of the declaration. You can have as many daily declarations as you are willing to consistently say and internalize. I have found that 5 to 10 daily declarations is a great place to start and you can add to it from there if you want.
Create Your Future – Plan & Visualize
Abraham Lincoln said “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” How do you create your future? I do two things every day that are extremely powerful for my productivity and focus.
First, I spend about 7 minutes every morning PLANNING MY DAY. That way I am clear about my priorities for the day, to make sure I accomplish what is most important rather than going through my day in constant reaction to others’ agendas and/or in constant distraction.
Second, I spend another 7 minutes or so reviewing my life and business goals every morning and (this is the important part) VISUALIZING myself having already achieved them. I was looking over my goals recently that I’ve accomplished this year and realized that I had 58 key goals that I’ve already accomplished this year! I was astonished! And I credit this daily practice for having many of those successes.
Activate Your Body – Move
The more you exercise, the more energy you have and the better you feel. Period. This doesn’t mean you have to workout two hours a day…or even an hour a day. Here’s what I’ve done that’s made a huge difference…21 minutes a day. That’s right. I simply set a minimum standard for myself to do a minimum of 21 minutes a day of some form of exercise. Some days I do more, but EVERY DAY, I get at least 21 minutes in. And anyone can carve out that amount of time in a day to improve your health and increase you energy level.
Some of my exercises are very simple and may only consistent of some good stretching and pushups and sit-ups. Or I may do some resistance or high-intensity training. My favorite is probably 21 minutes of yoga (which also gets in my breathing!) The key is that you get off your butt and MOVE…every day. You’ll love the way it makes you feel.
Educate Your Brain – Read
This one is a gamechanger. There are few activities more transformational the reading. This is not watching video or listening to an audio (all that is cool too). But there is something about reading a good book that is very stimulating and invigorating for your brain. Again 21 minutes a day is my personal minimum standard. My daily goal is an hour, but even if I don’t get that, I definitely get in my 21 minutes of super-food for my brain.
As your reading goes, your thinking grows…and so do your results.
Appreciate Your Blessings - Journal
These last two are probably the biggest game changers of all. There is nothing that opens our minds and lives up to success like gratitude. Gratitude is one of the most attractive forces in the universe.
Here’s all I do, at the end of every day (and you can also do it first in the morning), I write in my journal at least 5 things I am grateful for that day. And I can write anything I want. Just having this daily practice of appreciating my blessings allows me to go to sleep at night thinking thoughts of abundance (gratitude for what I have) rather than scarcity (unhappiness for what I don’t have).
Celebrate Your Day - Journal
This one is my favorite (and was the hardest one at first). Every night I journal my five biggest wins of the day. Some of the victories are huge. Other times one of the wins may simply be that I complimented Julie (my fiancé). Even tiny wins are worth celebrating!
It’s not the size of the victory that is important. What’s important is that you acknowledge yourself for the things you did right that day. Big achievements that everyone knows about, or tiny actions that made a difference just for you…it doesn’t matter. There is something very powerful about celebrating the good things we do. Subconsciously it just feels good. And you go to sleep feeling good about yourself, which programs your subconscious mind to seek out more wins…and bigger wins.
Don’t feel like you have to implement all nine of these rituals right away. I didn’t. I just really implemented one or two at a time and focused on those until they became habits. And then I added more. The most important thing is the direction you’re moving. If you are consistently improving your daily habits, it’s amazing how powerful the cumulative effect of that can be over a year or two.
I look forward to hearing about your wins and your progress. Please share your comments or questions below. And let me know about how these ideas have helped you, or other habits and rituals that you have that are powerful for you. Embrace life. Engage opportunity. Expect “yes.”