There’s a reason they call them “power” habits..

Have you ever wondered why you didn’t stay with something?  Have you ever thought you lacked self control or had no discipline?  The fact is that we can and do stay with things.  We have self control and we have discipline.  It just might not be where we’re looking for it.

PowerWhen I began to understand that we all have the same capacity within us to achieve whatever we committed to, my life began to change.  I took responsibility.  I discovered my values and set my priorities; and planned my life to honor them. And I created what I now call my Power 5 or P5 practices.

One of the thought leaders that I enjoy and learn from every time I hear from him is Robin Sharma.  In his Little Black Book for Stunning Success (visit his website and get it if you don’t have it already!) he talks about this subject and shares his own personal daily practices that bring him personal power.  Some of his practices were aligned to mine.  The list below combines them:

  1. A morning writing routine.  One approach to this comes from Julia Cameron in our program The Artist’s Way.   Personal development expert Brian Tracy advocates beginning each day by re-writing your top ten goals.  What works for me is to take the time to center my thoughts through expression.  This can be digital writing, hand writing or even recording your voice.  But create a journal that is part of your routine. I’ve done a prayer journal, a gratitude journal and for one period of time I did a health journal.  Choose to write and then write what you choose to.
  2. A morning “movement” routine.  This can be stretching, walking, a work-out; whatever meets your own need best.  Sometimes it’s good to alternate but have time devoted to your physical body.  Remember that this is part of a routine that’s going to generate “power” in your day.
  3. A morning nourishment routine.  Are you someone who skips breakfast?  Stop.  It was the one “habit” hardest for me to break that has made the most difference.  A smoothie, a piece of fruit – something that generates fuel.  I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase – “If you want the lamp to keep burning, you must put oil in it.”.
  4. A morning spiritual routine.  This can be reading; can be listening to music; it can be meditating or prayer or any combination.   This is a personal space but extremely important.  God created us as a multi-dimensional being and we must care for each of those dimensions.
  5. A daily learning routine.  This is the only one that I have as optional on timing because sometimes the learning activity is scheduled for a class or requires additional time.  But each day should have some activity included that is about enhancing your skills.  Whenever I do not have an actual activity planned, I spend at least 30 minutes reading or listening to an audio tape.  This is also a great one to do in conjunction with the physical routine.  The key is that it has priority and it part of your daily plan.

Sometimes when we don’t know what our next “big adventure” is going to be; the best thing to do is to just focus on these daily practices and let it unfold.  Another example of “living the question” and letting the answers just come.

A valuable lesson I’ve learned is that creating meaningful change is less about what we stop doing and more about what we start doing.  Begin here.  Establish your own version of a morning routine.  Stick with it for the next 30 days.  My hope is that you will continue.  There is power in daily practices.

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