Today's blog is a little longer than usual but it’s key to start 2022 on the right foot!
These five habits or routines will provide an amazing foundation to help quiet the noise and create more space in your life for new possibilities. They touch all the different sources of noise energies, namely physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, in no particular order.
#1. Decide what’s essential and track it: new habits or routines are great, but it’s the follow-through that counts. Like Yoda said in Star Wars, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Doing less is better than trying for more. Decide what’s truly essential. If you’re not working out and want to start, don’t plan for six workouts a week. Start with one. Track it. Make it a habit. Then try for two, etc. This is about nudges. New habits take time. You want to build a foundation, not a house of cards.
#2. The morning routine starts the night before: a morning routine is critical. It should consist of a quick practice to quiet the mind (including gratitude), a glass of water, a quick bout of movement, morning sun on your face, and no tech for at least an hour. But where we often fail is not creating the right conditions to get at least 7 ½ hours of sleep. Check out the infographic here for more: Morning + Evening Routine
#3. Eat less food: we typically consume too much food, and often the wrong food. Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, makes it simple, “Eat (real) food, not too much, mostly plants.”
#4. Learn to breathe and do it often: we spend most of our lives as shallow breathers. We rarely focus on taking deep breaths in through the nose, and even longer breaths out through the nose. From immediately reducing stress levels, to increased energy, breathing provides a simple gateway to better health. James Nestor, in his book Breath, makes learning the why, and the how, to breathe more accessible.
#5. Create a routine around managing anxiety: anxiety and stress have become the number one barriers to better mental health. Not only do they hinder our performance but they also are a source of inflammation in the body. Whether it’s a mindfulness practice, breathing, or something to take the edge off, we all need to be more intentional with managing anxiety. A great place to start is to recognize when it appears. This is the cue to execute the habit, with the reward being greater focus and peace of mind. I personally reach for a Zero dB when I get acute anxiety. For my lower-level chronic anxiety, I rely on scheduled 2-minute breathing practices spread throughout the day. Remember that it’s all about: CUE - ROUTINE - REWARD. Decide what these are for you and find a way to remain accountable.
And when in doubt… Pause. Breathe, And Quiet the Noise.