“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”
Not every habit has to be complicated… this is an easy one, but it is a “keystone” habit.
Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget. It’s not that a family meal or a tidy bed causes better grades or less frivolous spending. But somehow those initial shifts start chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.
~Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit)
Small wins are exactly what they sound like, and are part of how keystone habits create widespread changes.
~Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit)
Not only make your bed, but also keep your bedroom clean & decluttered. It’s a bedroom not a closet…
It’s a great feeling to enter a tidy bedroom when bunking in for the night.
Check out this cool youtube video….
Award-winning author and entrepreneur, Jonathan Fields, interviews New York Times investigative reporter and bestselling author of The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg:
I think “everyone” knows this one. Sure you can dig up arguments.. and the occasionally article from somewhere claiming that breakfast isn’t that important . But you surely know better.
“When we fail to “break a fast” with a nutritious breakfast, it costs our brain dearly. If you eat breakfast, you will be more able to think clearly, remember important information, keep your energy high, and maintain balanced moods. In some ways, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is the meal that ends the longest amount of time without eating – hence the term break-fast. Think of breakfast as the fuel for the day.”
~John Arden (From his book “Rewire your brain,…”)
Over a period of 20 years I used to drink around 10 cups of black coffee a day (Norwegians love black coffee). I usually drank 3-4 cups black coffee before having any breakfast.. truth be told.. black coffee was my breakfast. Normally I didn’t eat anything before lunchtime. During the last year’ish I’ve had a trasition from black coffee to tea, and I’ve started eating breakfast every day as well (but that’s another habit-post).
First off I slowed down… drinking only 3 cups a day: One @ 6am, one @ 9am & one @ 12. Next step was to cut the noon cup… and during the last 6 months I’ve only had one cup @ 0530 (and that’s an espresso).
Instead I drink tea… around 6 cups a day. 3 cups of green tea & 3 cups of different types (Earl Gray, yellow lipton, etc..).. Drinking tea is of course another habit I’ll return to.
I’v never felt more awake in my adult life 🙂 This fact is probably due to other new habits as well (physical & mental exercise.. among them)
Coffee (much like sugar) actually improves cognitive task performance (memory, attention span, etc.) in the short-term
performance increases due to caffeine intake are the result of caffeine drinkers experiencing a short-term reversal of caffeine withdrawal..
In essence, coming off caffeine reduces your cognitive performance and has a negative impact on your mood. The only way to get back to normal is to drink caffeine, and when you do drink it, you feel like it’s taking you to new heights. In reality, the caffeine is just taking your performance back to normal for a short period.
Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight or flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response.
Caffeine has a six-hour half-life, which means it takes a full twenty-four hours to work its way out of your system. Have a cup of joe at eight a.m., and you’ll still have 25% of the caffeine in your body at eight p.m. Anything you drink after noon will still be at 50% strength at bedtime. Any caffeine in your bloodstream—with the negative effects increasing with the dose—makes it harder to fall asleep.
When you do finally fall asleep, the worst is yet to come. Caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates and processes emotions. When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with an emotional handicap.
But it’s a good habit to learn.. we all “fall” now and then.
It’s about using that downward momentum to propel ourselves in the opposite direction. It’s about capitalizing on setbacks and adversity to become even happier, even more motivated, and even more successful. It’s not falling down, it’s falling up.
Shawn Achor has written brilliantly about this in his beautiful book “The Happiness Advantage“. Please check out my post about the book.
A “fall” is the perfect opportunity personal growth. Try to remember with each small or big setback to be better at something. Be kinder to people around you, be more grateful, smile more, visit friends and family more often, travel, go to concerts, … etc.
Meet “the fall” with more happiness…..
Study after study shows that if we are able to conceive of a failure as an opportunity for growth, we are all the more likely to experience that growth
Victor Frankl writes about three main avenues on which one arrives at meaning in life:
By creating a work or doing a deed (..work..)
By experiencing something or encountering someone (..love..)
Most important, however:
Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation.. may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by doing so change himself. He may turn a personal tragedy into a triumph.
Every screwup gets you closer to your masterpiece. Make mistakes as often as you can. Start falling.
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. —Thich Nhat Hanh
It’s important to understand that a real smile fuels your well-being & happiness.
When you smile:
People are more willing to help you.
You are more willing to help others.
You create a positive change in your body and mind. And you create positive change in the world.
– from the book: “Don’t die with your song unsung”
I’ve shared it before… and I’m more than happy to share this wonderful ted talk again: Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling