Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Habits that Make You Powerful

Aristotle noted that excellence was not a one-time big event, but rather a series of decisions and commitments that added up to a lifetime of excellence. Note that a life of excellence is not synonymous with a life of being perfect.

One of the many things I've learned from Jack Canfield also relates to habits. He suggests making 4 new habits each year. I'm not that systemic about it yet but I keep making some small-but-powerful adjustments to my habits that are paying off. Adjusting your current set of habits is easier than starting new ones, but I'm not saying not to invite a new habit into your life.

Habit of Exercise

I've always been an exerciser. It helps me in so many ways. Over the last three years or so, swimming has been my "big" exercise, while walking is my "small" exercise. I used to do one or the other on most evenings.

About a month ago, I switched to the morning. Small change, big impact.

I hesitated to do this for a long time because I'm a morning person, not a night owl. I thought it was best to use my prime morning hours for my important tasks of writing and teaching.

These are some of the benefits of exercising in the morning, rather than in the evening.

1. You get to feel superior all day long.

2. My energy actually lasts longer in the day, I'm able to get more work done.

3. I exercise on more days because it's over with so early, the unexpected events have less chance of derailing me.

4. The gym is not so crowded; the morning air is cool. (Not sure how I'll like this in the winter.)

5. You're in really good company when you exercise in the morning. That's when most high-impact people get in their workouts. Donald Trump, fyi, gets up every morning at 5 AM.

Based on my work with clients, here are some areas in which you may want to rethink your own daily habits:
  • Blocking out your week in advance.
  • Committing to better presentations.
  • Downloading professional photos for your visual support.
  • Time for fun.
  • Saying "no."
  • Healthier food substitutions.
  • Setting aside money to work for you.
If you're not sure which habits you want to refine right now, revisit your list of goals. You'll know what to do.

Your power comes from realizing that you decide, you commit, you achieve.