Anyone who knows me, knows that I listen to a ton of podcasts and audio books plus read anything and everything related to personal development and growth. What I noticed is that there’s a common theme amongst my favorite thought leaders and the thread that connects them is that they all have developed habits that enhance their personal growth.
Do you know what yours are? What activities stimulate you mentally and physically, and that you turn too when you need to feel connected to your purpose? Identifying what works for you and finding a balance is an important part of the journey.
Below, are my TOP 3 habits that have followed me since I was a kid. Without these in place, I am less effective, productive, and just a lot more cranky!
I have worked out since High School, but it didn’t occur to me until very recently just how important exercise is. I got hooked because of how I looked and worked out solely for aesthetic reasons. Eventually, it became a habit and unbeknownst to my awareness at the time, I began feeling the symptoms of withdrawal when I DIDN’T work out.
I started to notice a pattern when I went a week or two without exercise – my mind became unruly and muggy and my body developed aches and pains when I didn’t keep it moving. I felt like poop, unhinged at the slightest comment that felt like a threat. There was a sense of unease and I’d feel like I was unraveling. Yet, as soon as I got back into the gym, I felt an enormous weight lifted off of my heart; I had more focus and energy and had more enthusiasm for life in general.
Today, I make a point to workout a minimum of 3 times a week. I listen to my body and chose exercises that I need at the moment, which is Yoga right now. I am focused more on keeping my mental health in check rather than how I look. From personal experience, I feel that exercise keeps both mind and body fit.
I’ve been meditating for about 6 years now and I can say with confidence that it has transformed my life. It is a practice that truly “sharpens the sword”. For the longest time I couldn’t grasp it, my monkey mind bouncing off the walls. It wasn’t until I hit emotional rock bottom when finding out my mom’s cancer came back that I reached for it, desperate for a cure that would bring me peace. It was my saving grace and I’ve made it a point to practice daily. By no means am I an expert and I only do 10 minutes a day, but when that helps me stay focused, grounded, and keep my connected to the voice within.
One activity that has been consistent throughout my life is writing. I kept a journal since middle school and referred to it anytime I needed to have a venting session. It was my form of therapy. With pen in hand and the blank pages in front of me, I felt free to purge my deepest, most shameful secrets onto the pages. I also really enjoyed the process of writing itself; it was an artful expression of self and my handwriting changed in conjunction to my evolution. Today, I journal about my vision and goals for the future, working steadily on creating the person I am proud of.