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“You don’t decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future.” – Dr. Mike Murdock

Someone asked me an insightful question last week and it kickstarted a robust conversation.

The question was …

“What current habits (if you were to remove them) would significantly impact your life?”

Habits are the cheat code to success.

Plug in the right habits and success is simply a matter of repetition.

But the opposite is also true…

Stack the wrong habits and… well… best be prepared for a life filled with frustration, discontent, and regret.

Truth is…

Your life at this very moment is the culmination of the habits and routines you’ve hardwired into your programming.

These are the habits I’m currently finding useful:

21 tiny habits that will transform your life

1) Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.

Your body needs to be hydrated to function optimally.

Want to go into the day firing on all cylinders?

Drink a glass or two of water upon waking.

2) Meditate before coffee.

I love my coffee.

So I play a game with myself. I don’t get to enjoy my coffee until I’ve meditated.

I set the coffee maker to brew.

I meditate for 10 minutes.

And then I enjoy a cup of coffee.

3) Get morning sunlight.

It improves your mood, wakes up your body, and resets your internal clock.

I combine this with walking the dogs.

4) Plan focus blocks the night before.

Lay out the ideal next day.

Plan for at least one uninterrupted, 60-90 minute focus block.

This reduces the mental bandwidth required to execute.

Then, just open the calendar and do what it says.

5) Dumb down your smartphone.

Your phone is too smart (and addictive) for your own good.

Dumb down your phone to make it less interesting.

If it’s less interesting, you’ll be less inclined to pick it up when you’re bored.

And you might just focus on something important.

Turn off alerts on email and social apps.

Ninja move: uninstall apps that you routinely use when you are bored.

6) Get out of breath for 30 min/day.

Your body is the vehicle carrying you through life.

Keep it tuned up.

I love doing the 30-minute Peloton bike bootcamps.

Brisk walks, pushups, & squats work too.

7) Sit less, move more.

Set a timer to do 20 air squats every hour.

Easy activity. Massive ROI.

8) No phone screen time after 8:00 PM.

Minimize this distraction before bed.

You’ll fall asleep faster and sleep better.

Your brain will thank you.

9) Give your partner or pet a 15 second hug every day.

This releases serotonin and oxytocin.

Important chemicals for generating feelings of well-being and overall happiness.

10) Write your five most important goals on a notecard.

Write down your top 20 goals.

Circle the top five.

Take the 15 goals you did NOT circle and put them on an “avoid-at-all-costs” list.

11) Carry them everywhere and look at them often.

12) Focus.

You can’t multitask.

Stop trying.

13) Feed your curiosity.

Read books.

Listen to podcasts.

Watch educational videos.

Go on. Indulge.

It’s good for you.

As long as you also…

14) Deploy creativity daily.

Don’t just consume.

Creativity is a muscle.

Use it or lose it.

Write. Speak. Paint.

15) Engage in a hobby just for fun.

Try something new.

Or re-engage with something you once enjoyed.

Kayak, cook, ski, read, fish, yoga, garden, hike, paint, dance, learn a language.

Just choose something and go.

16) Date night.

Surprise your lover, partner, or friend.

Ride bikes to pizza.

Set up a picnic in the park.

Try that new restaurant you’ve been hearing about.

17) Sleep for 8 hours.

Sleep is THE foundation for your mental and physical health and performance in all endeavors.

It’s also a stress reliever, immune booster, and emotional stabilizer, among other benefits.

Get lots of it.

18) Plan a trip.

Where are you inspired to go?

Costa Rica?

Croatia?

Mexico City?

Idaho?

Start researching and planning.

Then book the ticket.

19) Connect with a friend.

Who inspires you to be a better person?

Or makes you laugh?

Schedule time with them.

Grab coffee. Buy them lunch. Go for a walk.

20) Be curious.

Ask more questions.

Listen.

Expand your worldview one question at a time.

21) Weekly Performance Review.

That which gets measured gets improved.

What worked?

What didn’t?

Why?

What will you continue or change?

This is called self awareness, and it’s how we improve at this thing called life.

What else would you add?

Live bravely,

Michael

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