All of us have habits that we do in our daily lives...but are we fully aware of them and if the habits we have formed are conscious or unconscious, helping or harming us?
Today, I want to specifically talk to you about three things:
Why habits are so powerful
The type of habits we have
Why having a morning and evening routine can become a real game changer
Why are habits so powerful?
We all have habits whether we realize that or not. Habits can be a powerful tool in your life because they’re the things we don’t have to think about. They happen automatically.
When we have routines that we do every single day, our brains don’t have to think about each step it takes to perform them. It becomes automatic which then frees up space in our brains to think about something else.
It’s like brushing our teeth. We don’t have to stand there and think about each step. Our brains already know what to do because it is something we commonly do. Therefore, our brains sync with our bodies, and the task just gets done.
When your brain already knows what to do, it is free to think about other stuff, whether that stuff is good or bad. That’s why having a habit is so powerful.
When we create habits and routines, we give our brain the chance to do the double duty which can set us up for success.
Once you can utilize habits in a way where your brain can focus more on self-love and self-growth, whoosh! Your life will take off.
Think about that for yourself.
What are the different types of habits?
Are your habits things that set you up for success or are they just the things that help you exist and get by from day to day?
Habits that help you exist are things like:
taking care of your food
taking care of your kids
going to work
getting the kids to and from school
Those are necessary things that need to get done.
Are you a natural habit former or a conscious habit former?
Natural habit formers are those whose natural rhythms are to create habits.
My partner is like this and she’s phenomenal. Her morning routine is on point: Getting in a workout, getting in meditation. All of that is done on automatic like clockwork every single day.
Conscious habit formers or people who need to make a conscious effort to form habits and to stick to them till it becomes an unconscious act.
For me, my natural rhythm is to take things as it comes, to go with the flow. I like to discover each day instead of having it planned out.
So, for me, habits are something I must be conscious of because I have a sort of natural resistance to them. My natural rhythms are to just be in flow.
Regardless of what type of habit former you are, you still have habits. Sometimes we don’t even realize that the things we do every day are habits that we’ve formed.
When you wake up, do you immediately start thinking about everything you need to get done that day? That’s a habit.
Or do you immediately wake up, open your phone, and check your messages or social media? That’s a habit and a bad one at that.
Think about that…are the habits you have first thing in the morning setting yourself up for success? Will these habits help expand your knowledge or propel you forward on your journey?
OR...are you limiting yourself? Did you create those habits to give you a sense of safety, to give you something you feel you have control over?
What can we do to take our lives to the next level?
Imagine having habits that serve you, that work to help make yourself a better you.
All too often we set ourselves up to survive this life and that’s just a shame. What about creating habits that will not only help us survive but also thrive? That’s where I want us to be. That is my hope for you.
So, let’s think about this for a moment...are you doing things at the start of your day that makes you feel stressed? Are you ending your day with stress as well? Or are you doing things to intentionally celebrate yourself, soothe yourself, or surround yourself with love?
As I mentioned in the beginning, I’m more about going with the flow and not planning out my day. But when I sat down and really thought about this, I was not doing things to serve myself for the better. I was much more inclined to do things that put me down.
As black women, we are surrounded by a society and a culture where we feel obligated to hold ourselves to a higher standard, to be stronger. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the way we go about doing it is often to put ourselves down, to give ourselves a hard time. Saying things to ourselves like, you could have done better at that or why didn’t you get the job done. We put a huge amount of stress on ourselves to do everything right and to get everything done. We’ve surrounded ourselves with these habits that just create stress and self-loathing. These types of habits aren’t sustainable or conducive to personal growth and happiness.
What I want for you, what I HOPE is that you walk away today intending to create habits for success.
I want you to create habits where you take time to love and adore yourself, where you give yourself grace, where you set yourself up for success, and to learn who you truly are. I want you to create habits that take care of your mind, body, and soul.
When you intentionally create habits that serve you, your life will shift.
The Importance of Morning and Evening Routines
Having a morning routine or ritual is critical because it sets the vibe for the day and helps you tackle whatever might come your way.
What is one thing you can do for yourself in the morning that would really set you up in a better way to start your day?
Here is what I do:
Before I get out of bed, I say affirmations to myself while I lay my hands on my chest, over my heart. As I say those affirmations, I pour love from my hand to my heart, and I say how much I love myself. I acknowledge whatever I want to acknowledge about myself as well.
Often, we are looking to be loved, seen, and accepted on the outside but we are forgetting to do that for ourselves on the inside.
Tip: When you add a physical component to something energetic or emotional, you’re going to ground it into your body even deeper.
Now that I’ve started a neurological circuit that’s connected to the physiology of placing my hand on my chest, I automatically start feeling better. It’s like a warm sensation that tingles and expands in my heart. This happened because my body is used to this touch signifying an expression of self-love and peace. When I put my hand on my chest, my body knows that as a sign of me loving myself.
Whatever routine or ritual you choose to do to start your morning, add a physical element to it so that it becomes an even stronger trigger for your body and soul and happens automatically without additional effort on your part.
Having an evening routine or ritual helps us to wind down from any stress we encountered throughout the day and to recenter our body and our minds. If you are not ending your day well, you are setting yourself up for restless sleep during the night and stress in the morning which is a recipe for failure.
Are you staying up too late? Are you ending your day feeling anxious or stressed?
You need to give yourself permission to rest and rejuvenate, to heal, and do all the things our bodies need to do while we are sleeping.
What is one thing I can stop doing that doesn’t serve my mind or my body?
To start your morning off on the right foot you must first stop picking up that phone and checking your messages or emails. When you do that, it can pull your thoughts and emotions so many ways and none of it is toward peace. Besides, when you focus on something or someone else you are not staying present with yourself. The whole point of positive rituals is to ground yourself and get in touch with what you need.
I’m not saying you can’t check your phone in the morning or lay in bed and watch tv at night. Those things are fine to do. What I am saying is don’t make it the first and last thing you do. Give yourself time in the morning to peacefully connect with yourself, to set positive intentions for the day, and to show yourself some love. When it comes to the evening, give yourself some space between looking at a screen and going to sleep. Take at least 5 minutes before you head to bed to ground yourself, to help your brain understand that it is time to rest and slow down.
If sitting or lying quietly while connecting with yourself makes you feel uncomfortable, you can accomplish the same thing by journaling your thoughts and adding positive affirmations about yourself and gratitude for the things in your life.
Taking time out to be with yourself in the morning and evening will have radically positive results. Once you’ve got this basic morning and evening routine down you can add more that serve specific purposes in your life.
Habits and routines are powerful tools that can help us continue to grow in our journey to be our best selves.
If all of this feels a bit overwhelming or intimidating, don’t worry. I can help walk you through the process of creating habits that serve you through my program. I will also share some rituals of other successful women and show you how you can incorporate them into your own life, for your own needs.
Don’t hesitate to share this article with someone you care about and let me know:
What are some of the habits that you have that aren’t setting you up for success?
What are some of the habits you’ve implemented to better serve your mind, body, and soul?
What are some habits you would like to add to your daily routine?
Sending you big love!