Do you know someone who always seems to be frazzled? They are always in a rush and never seem to have time for anything? The folks who are always late and tend to blame external forces in their life for their shortcomings and harried existence?
Maybe that is you? I hope not! This is not meant to be a rant on these types of people. Most individuals we come across or encounter are well meaning and good souls to be sure, but they lack something in their life which could help them on their path.
We all have times in our life when we are stressed and things seem to go wrong. However, if you adopt a daily set of standards, you can bring a bit of structure and guidance to your life. These are just some daily patterns I have created in my day to day musings to help me out with my goals and well-being.
One thing to note, I have called these patterns and not habits. Habits are something you do from an external perspective. In other words, many times you do them without thought or action. So indeed, they become habitual. Patterns on the other hand, have forethought and intent behind them. This is a very powerful ideal. When you put thought and intention behind something, they become energetic and you can manifest a great many things.
If you are having trouble with this concept, I might ask you to think of a clothes pattern or a floor plan. Does a dress or pair of pants just come into being? Or is it a creation? Does it have thought and intent? It most certainly does. What about a house? Does it just arise up out of the ground or is it made manifest by individuals with their creative power and intent? I think we all know the obvious answer. So from here on out, we are not changing HABITS we are CHANGING PATTERNS. Make sense?
Let’s get started. These are 10 things I do every day. These are what I call my Daily Standard.
1. Wake Up Each Day At 5:00 A.M.
You would be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a day when you wake up at this time. For some of you, it might be even earlier or it could be at a later time. Perhaps 6:00 A.M. I would not wake up later than the time prescribed. If your schedule does not permit this because of shift work, then just adjust the times. For me, right now, I am working out in the early A.M. and it has made all of the difference in my training regimen. I am not a morning person either yet I have changed my pattern and enhanced my life.
2. Develop A Stretching Routine.
I incorporate this into my morning workout. I do it as part of a warm up and then after my session as part of a cool down. You can also do this just before you go to bed. Try it! You will sleep better as you prepare your muscles for sleep. As they become more relaxed and supple, so does your body and you will ready yourself with more rest. This is also a time to incorporate foam rolling into your daily routine. See Jay’s example here.
3. Brush your Teeth Twice A Day And Floss Once At A Minimum
I don’t think I have to tell you the importance of good dental hygiene. It is a vital part of your overall health regimen and probably does not get mentioned enough regarding general fitness and nutrition. While there is still some debate as to whether or not you should brush more than this during the day remains to be seen. There is also some debate as to whether poor oral health gives way to heart disease.
At any rate, it never hurts to brush after every meal or floss more than once a day. The above is a minimum standard.
Tip: Are you trying to cut some weight or lose fat because of a calorie deficit? If you find yourself with hunger pangs check to see if you are hydrated. If you are good with your water intake but still hunger than BRUSH YOUR TEETH…sometimes just the act itself can take your mind off of the food and an extra brushing can’t hurt.
4. Practice Situational Awareness or Mindfulness
When one thinks of situational awareness we usually think of a mindset dealing with self-defense techniques or what soldiers hone when they are in combat. While the first thought about awareness is correct in terms of tactical situations and your surroundings, I am going to expand this definition a little more. There are those in the self-defense community who have given levels to situational awareness and it is all well and good but I want to focus on everyday life. I guess a better way to look at it is to “focus on the task at hand”. If you are going to do something, give it your utmost attention. We all run on autopilot sometimes but I don’t think we realize how much we do it. Do you text and drive? Do you use your cell phone and drive? Are you constantly looking down at your device and looking for updates or need some kind of approval or attention? Put it away! Whatever you are doing, whether it be driving, watching a child, walking your dog or spending time in an unfamiliar place or neighborhood, just pay attention to what you are doing there and finish the task at hand and pay attention to the people around you. This goes for work, meetings, sales calls and all other forms of human interaction. In short, eliminate distractions and pay attention to your life and the things that are most important to you in your daily routine.
5. Practice Good Posture ALL Day Long
Mike over at Danger and Play has some excellent posts on posture and proper walking. This is crucial to our human movement. A goodly percentage of body ailments can be linked to poor posture while driving, sitting at the office or simply poor body movement. Cultivate good posture habits and it will pay you back tenfold.
I don’t care what it is you are reading. It does not have to be a great American novel or some obscure German philosophy book. Just find the time to read something that is of interest to you and something you can gain wisdom and knowledge from whilst digesting it. I read a lot of philosophical books, books on esoteric knowledge and a whole host of other interesting topics. At times however, I can grow weary of all of the stuff I like to read and I need something a little lighter. I often like to read poetry, especially haiku. I love the simplicity of it. At any rate, I think it is something each of us should do every day. I believe in the age old axiom of the ancients which states “before you can be a good writer, you must first be a good reader”. I need to read much more!
Each day, shut off your phone, shut off your tablet and shut off your computer for a given amount of time each day. There are actually apps you can use to help you with this pattern. Enough said.
8. Be Grateful & Have Perspective.
Jay and Monica practice this each day. They have a group of people on an email list and each member gets a daily email in their inbox. Without fail, Monica has a list of “niceness” that she is grateful for each day and it is amazing to see the things she is thankful for each morning. We all need to practice more of this each day. It really works! I do mine in a different way. I take the time each day to write in a gratitude journal (with one of those things called a pen) and thank the Source for the things I manifest in my life and the things that come to me each day on a whim. It does not matter if it is joyful or painful. You can learn from either one of them. This helps me realize some things in my life and puts it into perspective. No matter how hectic things get sometimes, there is always something to be thankful for in this existence. It also forces me to look at and gain some deeper perspective. How bad can our lives really be in this country? I am blessed with abundance. Millions, if not Billions of human beings subsist on this planet with nothing more than a few scraps of food a day and live in poor sanitary conditions. Somehow, the traffic jam I am stuck in during the morning drive pales in comparison.
This is a game changer. If you practice it daily and show some devotion to it, things will change in your life. I guarantee it. It may be hard at first, but once you master it, many things will be revealed to you. It does take practice however, and it does not come to you overnight but when you get in the “zone” you will find you have an increased ability to focus and deal with stress.
10. Go To Bed At The Same Time Each Night & Get 8 Or More Hours Of Sleep.
I happen to think this is one of the most important health benefits of all. We all know them. If you want a well-rounded feeling of health and vitality, get your prescribed dosage of sleep each night. It might be 8 hours. It might be 10. It really does not matter, what matters is getting the right amount each night and going to bed at the same time every day to set your circadian rhythms. For me, sleep comes at a premium cost. I have a disorder known as sleep apnea and it does not afford me the best sleep each night but I am diligent about retiring and waking at the same time each night. So if you do nothing on this list except the last one, you will be in good shape. Get your sleep!
If some of these things seem elementary it is because they are meant to be this way. It’s easy stuff folks. Making these little pattern changes WILL make a HUGE difference in your life. It is my hope these patterns or “Daily Standards” will work for you on your journey. These are just some of the little things I do each day to create my vision and manifest my day. You can do it too.
By no means do you have to stick to this list. These are just simple examples to get you started. Create your own set of daily standards and see what changes you can bring about in your own life. Believe me, they work!
Note: There will be a companion piece related to this topic dealing with Fitness & Nutrition.
Be the BEST YOU EVER!