“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
― Samuel Smiles
I am really interested in the role of habits, how we develop them and the effect they have on our results in life. If we can develop good habits then these habits will propel us in a positive direction in life. A bad habit such as smoking will damage your health and may eventually kill you.
This week I came across the a useful website by Stanford University lecturer Dr. BJ Fogg http://www.bjfogg.com/
BJ teaches about how to develop tiny habits. A tiny habit is:
- something you do at least once per day
- that takes you less than 30 seconds
- that requires little effort
BJ says that simplicity changes behaviour so make sure your habit is easy to do.
You can go to BJ’s site and try out his Tiny Habits® program to create new behaviors in your life. I have decided to give it a go and my tiny habits for the week will be as follows:
- “AFTER my feet touch the floor in the morning, I will say “It’s going to be a great day.”
- “AFTER I hear any phone ring, I will exhale and relax for 2 seconds.”
- “After I put my head on the pillow I will think of one good thing from my day”
A tiny habit is designed to come after an existing habit. In one of the above examples putting my head on the pillow is the trigger for the new tiny habit to occur. Linking your new habit to an existing habit is key to doing the new habit.
The idea is to take a very simple habit you want to create for starters. Once you get practice on creating simple habits then you can take on the creation of bigger habits.
I will post an update on how it goes and of course you are free to join me on the tiny habit challenge – just go to BJ’s site for more details.
If you would like to learn more about habits I recommend the books below. There is also an app below (called the Habit Factor) which you can use on your smartphone or tablet which is an excellent way to track your positive habits. I used this app and found it to be very useful.
Write a letter to your future self imagining that everything has gone according to plan and your life has worked out exactly as you would have wished.
Of course, life doesn’t always go according to plan, but research has shown that setting future goals increases well-being and optimism. Try writing a letter to your future self one year or 5 years from now and see what happens. Of course you can also write to your future self one hour, one day or one week from now. It’s up to you! You are much more likely to have realised your dreams if you write them down. You can write to your future self in your diary. I do this all the time. I recommend using a diary software called The Journal by DavidRM Software (see links at the bottom of the page). I have used this software for 5 years now and really enjoy it. I use the software to plan and also review. I also use my journal to time travel to the past and head to the future. You can, for example, post your letter to your future self in your diary to be discovered one year from now. It’s always exciting to see what I was planning and doing this time last year and how much of what I had planned actually happened. The future is the child of the present. Many times I find that I have achieved what I had planned but it has just taken much longer than anticipated. When I am making an entry in my diary for today I often click back over the years to see what I was thinking on this day one year, two year etc ago. What sometimes occurs to me is that the same problems keep recurring because I have not taken action on them. You tend to get a better sense of patterns emerging when you build up a body of journal entries to look at.
There is also a really useful website called Future Me. I have used this site a number of times in the past. What happens is that you create an account on Future Me (for free) and write a letter to your future self using their website. The site also allows you to add a picture of yourself (or anything else) to the letter. On the schedule day you have selected, your letter will be emailed to you automatically. Imagine writing to yourself and then receiving an email from the past in one years time. It’s a fun way of planning for the future and also reflecting on how far you have come (and how young you looked back then if you added a picture!). You can write a letter to be delivered to yourself by email any time you wish – a week, a month, 6 months, a year, 5 years etc. You decide. Once you have an account all your letters to yourself are kept on file so you can go back at any time to view them.
Overall I find the Journal software the most useful way of writing a letter to your future self because the software can have so many other functions as well such as capturing your daily thoughts and conducting a weekly after action review. You can of course use both options as it really is a nice surprise to receive an email from your past self.
To find out more about The Journal software please use the links below:
Demo Download Link
Product Information Link