Up to this point in my life I have done well. I have a loving wife and family, great friends, a career where I look forward to going to work every day, two university degrees, and good health. This is only a small part of what I want in my life. I want to help people on a large scale, I want to climb Mount Everest, I want to race sports cars on a race track, and I have plans to build myself in a way I once never thought was possible before I began this self-improvement journey. I am choosing to create my own destiny, and to never settle for not reaching it.
A lot of creating my destiny is preparation, both in mind and body. The more we know about ourselves, the more opportunity we have to invoke change. We are constantly changing, and nothing will stop that change. So if we are always changing, wouldn’t it be better to guide that change into who you want to be? It is not an easy task to learn how you work, but through the activities below, you can discover more about who you are, and in turn know what you need to do so you can grow into the person you desire to be. All of these activities are critical in promoting change, and once you master them, real change is just around the corner.
I read a lot, at least an hour every day is my goal, and I usually do this. I am able to read this much by waking up a bit before my wife to give myself time to relax with a book. Reading is probably the most important thing I have chosen to do that has helped me to start shaping my destiny. I read a lot of information texts, allowing me to learn from others’ experiences, tribulations, and triumphs. I am able to see what works when shaping your destiny, and strategies to stay away from through successful people’s experiences. Some of the activities I do have been learnt from the books I have read.
If you already read every day, then you are doing what you need to in this area. If you do not read every day, then it is important for you to carve out 15 minutes to begin reading. Everyone should be able to find 15 minutes a day to read. If you are having trouble finding the time in your day, make the time. Set your alarm clock for 15 minutes before you usually wake up. This will give you the needed time to devote to your own improvement. Once you begin reading for 15 minutes, you can expand from there, but the first step is to find this time for yourself because you deserve it.
I meditate daily as a method of stress release as well as training myself to be in the moment as much as possible. I always meditate in the morning to start my day off on the right foot, and I usually meditate in the evening to help clear my mind before going to bed. Most often, I use guided meditation on YouTube when I meditate. The Honest Guys, and Great Meditation channels have great selections of guided meditations, from stress relief to finding your destiny and life’s purpose. There are also great apps like Calm to help you track your meditation on a daily basis, much like marking an X on the calendar for completing your mediation that day.
Meditating can be done anywhere you can be by yourself without interruption in as little as 5 minutes. You can use guided meditation as I mentioned above, or you can simply sit, close your eyes and focus on your breath. At first it can seem difficult with a million thoughts and ideas running through your head, but eventually you learn to calm your mind and body, allowing yourself to relax. You will learn patience through practicing mediation, and learn to calm yourself and be in the moment.
Another activity I do for building my mind is write in a journal twice a day. I have adopted using the process I found in the 5 minute journal created by the people over at intelligent change. Each morning I will write about something I am grateful for. This is important to ground me at the beginning of the day. Next, I ask “what 3 things will I do today to make it great?” Brainstorming 3 things to do allows me to think about the day ahead, what needs to be done, and what I can do to make a difference in the world. I then write a daily affirmation letting myself know I am moving toward my dreams and desires.
In the evening, I reflect with two questions. The first is “what 3 things went well today?” I ask this in hopes that I completed the tasks I set out to do in the morning, but also as a way to appreciate any good that happened throughout. I then ask “what could I have done better today?” This question is another reflection on my day that is never negative, but constructive because we can always improve. Some nights, if I have had a great day this can be a difficult question to answer, but I will always find something so I can continue to grow. On days which seem to have had everything go wrong, this final question allows me to only choose one so I do not dwell on negativity.
Reading, meditating and journaling have really helped focus my mind on the growth I want to reach. Reading an hour each day is probably the most important component of my growth because I learn from others’ success and mistakes so I can incorporate them into my own growth. All self-improvement starts in your mind and these activities help to prepare for the growth I expect to happen. Not all growth happens in the mind. We are living, moving beings, and we need to feed our need to move in order to keep growing.
I work out every day in the morning with a quick 5 minute morning workout routine. This gets my whole body awake, including my mind. This also gives me some exercise each day if I am not to work out those days. I also lift weights 3 times a week, as well as do yoga and cardio twice a week.
Keeping your body fit is one of the best ways to improve yourself, but it is not a 3 month (12 week) transformation, one and done thing. Working out is a lifestyle that everyone, and I mean every single person on this planet, needs to schedule into their lives to feel healthy and vibrant. I know I have continually said my goal is to have a superhero body, and that is not changing, but more importantly I am making sure I continue with this healthy lifestyle. I am proud to give myself an identity of one who exercises. This identity gives me energy and has a cyclical effect of making me want to exercise. Changing your mindset into someone who is healthy can be your first step into integrating exercise into your daily routine.
I do my best to eat foods that are going to fuel my body and my mind each day. Yes I do eat junk food and more often than I would like, but I do my best to keep it to a minimum. More importantly, I make sure to eat vegetables, quality protein, and quality carbs at every meal. Balancing my meals also allows me to enjoy a treat once in a while because I know my diet in general is giving me the energy I need throughout the day.
Meal prepping my lunches is one of the best strategies I use to make sure I get healthy food each and every day. On Sundays, when my wife is at her dance class, I prep our lunches for the week. I will cut enough vegetables, and place them into large containers, making them easy to grab each day. I will then portion yogurt, oatmeal, and cottage cheese into containers for each day of the week. This whole meal prepping process takes about an hour of my time on Sunday, but then saves me loads of time each morning because all I need to do is grab the containers and place them in my lunch bag. Meal prepping now serves two purposes for me; saving time each morning not worrying about what I am having for lunch, and always having a healthy lunch.
Routine can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. Creating a positive and productive routine can help you in every area of your life, from physical and mental wellness to climbing the corporate ladder. The main thing you have to be sure of is that your routine works for you and the vision you have for your life as well as it is sustainable.
The best thing I have done to help with my growth in many areas is to have a morning routine. A morning routine starts off your day on the right foot, and once you are able to consistently perform the activities you wish to complete each morning, you will be amazed at how much you can get done in one morning. Another important aspect of any routine is to always work on improving the routine, as well as be flexible with what you do. This way when something comes up, you will be able to go with the punches instead of freaking out because you didn’t have your second cup of coffee by 8:30.
My routine started with the simple idea of getting up early to read and meditate, and has now morphed into a 2 hour routine involving everything from writing to working out. I have been able to do this because I have given myself the time in the morning to think about my day ahead, as well as reflect on how to refine my routine so it can be the most affective for me. I have now expanded my morning routine into an evening routine, and am looking at what other routines I can establish to get the most of the free time I have available to me.
Making up your mind to always improve yourself can be one of the most fulfilling adventures you ever begin. Reflecting on yourself and always wanting to hit your next level can have huge effects on your life. You can do this by continually working on your body and mind, looking for new ways or refining old ways you do things so you can hit that next level. Using routine, and even multiple routines as a vehicle to get the growth you desire will allow you to live your vision and become your best self.