(Over the next few days I’ll be talking about a few Habits and Hacks that have changed my life for the better.
This is all a lead up to my new eBook “The AlphaDad Protocol” that will be going on Sale in early 2015.
Click HERE to get on the early notification list and receive a code to download the book for only $7.)
Last week I told you about My Code and the 3 Rules that constructed my code and dictated how I was going to live my life over the the next 28 Days.
You can read about those HERE.
Believe it or not, there has been one habit that has transformed my life for the better over the past year…
- This habit has allowed us to fulfill our dream of living abroad for a month (we leave next week for Costa Rica).
- It’s allowed me to set forth events to accomplish one of my goals of becoming an Original Strength Lead Instructor.
- It’s made me a better family man understanding the difference between just physically being “here” and being fully engaged and “present” with my wife and kids.
This is a habit that I find so important and that has contributed success to so many people that I know personally, that I feel it’s my duty to share it with you.
Each morning after my alarm goes off at 4:45am, I put on my navy blue “Carolina” sweatshirt and my comfy grey sweat pants and mosey on downstairs to turn my alarm clock off.
(#AlphaDad “Hack”: Putting your alarm clock downstairs does 2 things… 1) It makes you get out of bed to turn it off and if you’re awake anyway and have to go all the way downstairs to turn it off, then why bother going back to sleep? And 2) resarch has shown that electrical devices in the bedroom are not good for healthy sleeping patterns.)
After making my morning water concoction of freshly squeezed organic lemon juice, all natural baking soda, apple cider vinegar and Himalayan sea salt, I plop myself down on my kitchen table, pull out my Moleskine Notebook and write in my Gratitude Journal for 30 minutes.
Gratitude Jouranling is nothing new. My good friends Alex and UJ came up with their own version – The 5-Minute Journal – which is very popular now and really sytemizes the approach to make it easier.
I highly recommend it if you’re short for time or really just want to develop the habit of journalling to start out.
But one of my long-term goals is to become a better writer, so in order for me to really put my time in and learn and master the craft, 5 minutes won’t cut it for me.
Instead, I’ve come up with a journalling system that I’ve used over the past 6 months that have allowed me to elevate my life in ways that I could not have imagined.
Here’s my system that you can model…
First, write down your goals.
YES, you do this EVERYDAY.
You want to write your goals down daily to engrain them into your subconscious.
I stick to FOUR GOALS in different areas of my life – health, wealth/business, personal development and relationships.
For example, my goals for this past quarter were…
I will peform a 1-Arm-1-Leg Push-Up by February 21st, 2015.
I will be an Original Strength Lead Instructor by July 18th, 2015.
I spend at least an hour of one-on-one time with each member of my immediate family every 2 weeks.
I will have read 8 books by February 22nd, 2015.
But don’t just write your goals down and “believe” that you will accomplish them at some point in the near future.
Write them down knowing that you will accomplish them – use “I will” – and make it time dependent by setting a deadline for yourself.
So it’s not… “Drop 11 pounds”.
It’s “I will drop 11 pounds by March 4th, 2015”.
I’ve heard versions of Goal Setting Programs where they suggest you write things down as if they’ve already happened, but that has never worked for me in the past. It’s almost as if I’m lying to myself and I know that I haven’t accomplished those things yet.
Instead, you can adopt the “I will” approach, and then consciously make the decision that YOU WILL accomplish what it is that you set out to do.
That’s a big thing… deciding.
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
So it’s one thing to write a goal down and just pay it lip service. It’s a completely different thing to write it down and then decide to commit to it.
The second element to Gratitude Journalling is the actual Gratitude Part.
I grew up a religious person – I went to Catholic School all my life; I went to church every Sunday with my family; I prayed every night before I went to sleep.
And then I got away from it towards the end of highschool and into university, through my twenties and most of my 30s.
It hasn’t been until just recently that I’ve found God again – in a different manner that what I thought He was when I was younger – and have started to communicate with him. I attribute this to me actually going out and seeking spirtual counselling. Which was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
Please don’t misunderstand, this isn’t a religious post and by no means am I trying to tell you that you should be religious or believe in God. That is a personal choice and one that I am not equipped to counsel you on.
What I am offering though, is that if you are going to express gratitude for the people, experiences, opportunities or even the material things in your life, that you actually thank “someone” or something.
It could be “The Universe”, it could be a friend, it could be yourself – although I find that kind of selfish – or it could be God.
I’ve chosen God because, well, it’s easy. It complicates things less and it put in my mind an actual “person” that I can thank for the blessings that my family and I have received.
Once you’ve chosen the “who”, you just express gratitude for anything and everything you’re thankful for that day.
I’ll be honest with you, there are days when I’m thankful for things as simple as a hot cup of coffee in the wee hours of the morning.
Right now as I write this it’s -30C with the windchill here in Toronto. So I’m thankful for the roof over my head, the ability to pay my gas bill so that we can have heat and the Nike compression tights that my brother bought me that will keep my legs warm while I walk to work.
The point is that there are things in your life to be grateful for, no matter how small or trivial they may seem. And by acknowleding those things you realize that no matter what obstacles you face, life isn’t as bad as it could be. There is likely someone out there who is worse off than you.
You also realize how insignificant we really are and that the universe and our entire being is only a tiny element of the big picture.
Finally, the most important element to the Journaling Habit is just finding time. Making that commitment and carving out that time in your schedule to make it happen.
As I mentioned last week, The HOP is the best time for me to do this because it helps get my mind right for the entire day. it sets the tone and keeps me in “proactive mode” with an abundance mindset (as opposed to reactive mode with a scarcity mindset).
It also allows me to be thankful for the quiet time that I get to spend with myself and then with my wife who wakes up shortly after I do before the organized chaos that is our life.
The early AM may not be the best time for you, but I encourage you to give it a shot.
Don’t allow yourself any technology for that first hour of the morning – wake-up, go to the can, drink some water, but by no means are you to check your email, social media, The Book of Face…NOTHING.
Pour yourself a nice cup of coffee, sit down at a table with an open book and spill your guts… everything you’re thankful for at that moment and the previous day.
There’s more to life than reacting to a chime every time the iPhone goes off.
Take some time for yourself, be thankful for what you have, and change your life.
I did and it was the single best thing that I have done in the past year.