“Your ability to discipline yourself to set clear goals, and then to work toward them every day, will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor” … Brian Tracy
Recently, a dear colleague and friend, who is also a mediator and counselor, sent around an email asking for some input. He started a project to compile a list of daily practices. He was starting up seeing counseling clients again and found most of them did not have a daily practice that kept them grounded in their beliefs and values.
He first asked a group of counselors and was surprised to discover many were also looking for ideas about daily practices. So, he sent his request to his friends and colleagues.
This was my contribution. 10 of my Daily Practices. Enjoy!
1) Morning Meditation
I always do a morning meditation. A few tips:
– Commit to doing it always. Also make it in the getting up time – as non-negotiable as going to the washroom or brushing teeth. I don’t think about it or argue with myself about it. It’s done.
– I have a pre-chosen selection of guided meditations I can do – guided ones help my mind settle and make me think: “This is easy – I can do this”
– These guided meditations vary in length from 5 minutes (I have many at 5 minutes) to 15 or 20 minutes to one hour.
I also have a written out selection of prayers that I do. Having been brought up Catholic, I have no problem calling them “prayers” but others not as comfortable with religious language could call them mantras, intentions or even heart-felt wishes. I do them before I meditate. There are affirming statements about myself, about the support I can feel from the world/universe/god, about what I’d like to see manifest. These prayers are written down and carried with me in my day timer. I read them every morning.
The 2 above practices are pretty well guaranteed – the rest happen sometimes:
There are so many ways to journal, how many can you fit in one suggestion?! Here are some I’ve been into lately. Can take me about 15 minutes:
a) List 10 things I’m grateful for
b) Write out a positive statement about who I want to be – 10x
c) Write out something I want in the future as if it is now – “script” that future.
4) Future Self
Brendon Buchard studies those with high performance habits and a significant one is seeking clarity on your future self. Who do you want to be? I have a pre-recorded message of the highest ideal of myself, which I can listen to while I make the bed and putter around getting myself ready for the day
5) Throughout the Day – Use Your Alarm as a Reminder
For years now, I set my alarm on my phone to go off a few times during the waking hours. Sometimes I puck 2 or 3 times in the day, sometimes 5 or 6 times. What I do when the timer goes off varies widely and include:
– Think of one thing I am grateful for
– Think of 3 things I’m grateful for
– Feel some love
– Breathe/notice my breath
– Focus on my heart area
– Notice what I can feel joyful for
– I read of someone who started off all her sentences with “I am so happy and grateful that…” I would need to be reminded of that, so that’s another way to use your alarm.
6) Throughout the Day – Collect Joy Points
This daily practice comes from Emotional Brain Training which I love – so much so I co-wrote a book with one of their Master Trainers, Judy Zehr. The practice here is to track throughout your day what are your micro-moments of joy. Notice them. Ideally, savour them when you notice them. Savouring is a happiness practice/skill. Sometimes I’ve written them down as I notice them in the day so I have a collection of Joy Points I can go back to and savour at another time.
7) Meal Time Reset
Say prayers of gratitude with our meals – an oldie but a goodie!
8) Cued from Your Physical Environment – Gratitude in the Everyday
I have at times set up my home and work environments to remind me to think of something to be grateful for or to be mindful of my breath. I’ve done that by putting linking this practice to a mundane experience like passing through every doorway in my house and/or going to the washroom. I have a collection of stickies up in various parts of my house to remind me of these things as well. For a while I had one in my bathroom that said: “Think of 3 things to be grateful for.”
9) Stickies with Affirming Messages
I love stickies! I have stickies with affirming messages in many places. I have stickies on doorways that say things like: “Beautiful” “Blissful” “Bountiful” I have some in my medicine cabinet in the bathroom and the spice cabinet in the kitchen.
Music must be a daily practice. It’s magic. I will play it. Listen to it. Dance to it. It elevates.
BONUS – End of Day Practices
I find I don’t have as much energy for the end of day practices, but some I have done include:
– List 3 things that went well today
– List 3 things I’m proud of from my day
– 3 things that didn’t go well and what can I learn
– Think of what I’d like to see happen tomorrow that would be amazing
– Stretch before bed
“A child reminds us that playtime is an essential part of our daily routine” …Ralph Waldo Emerson