Are you stuck in a rut and running on autopilot? Are your thoughts foggy and your mind scattered? I feel you, I’ve been there and I’ve hated every second of it!
Let me share the 3 key habits I’ve adopted over the years that truly helped me to gain clarity and focus in my day-to-day life. Adopting these habit lead to, among other things, the creation of the Piece Of Your Time project, to me embracing entrepreneurship, teaching yoga and living life on my own terms.
What is a habit?
Habit, in psychology, [is] any regularly repeated behaviour that requires little or no thought and is learned rather than innate. A habit—which can be part of any activity, ranging from eating and sleeping to thinking and reacting—is developed through reinforcement and repetition. Reinforcement encourages the repetition of a behaviour, or response, each time the stimulus that provoked the behaviour recurs. The behaviour becomes more automatic with each repetition.Encyclopaedia Britannica
Our habits play such an important part in the game of life. They can help us move forward and towards the lives we dream of but they can also hold us back and drag us down and through the mud.
I could write pages upon pages on the topic of habits and how to change them but since James Clear has already written the perfect book on the topic, Atomic Habits, I’ll leave you with a recommendation. Read Atomic Habits if you haven’t already! It’s packed with easily-digestible information and step by step guides. Seriously, read it!
Now to the actual habits that I believe are very much worth adopting.
#1 – Daily Morning Routine / Ritual
Having a set morning routine is probably THE #1 habit that made the biggest difference to my life. I’ve gradually been building it up one tiny habit at a time – the concept of habit stacking (read the book!). My morning routine is now 60 to 150 minutes long depending on my schedule for the day and I absolutely love it!
This is what it looks like:
- Get up at 6 am
- Make the bed
- 5 – 30 minutes meditation
- 10 – 60 minutes yoga practice
- Pull a card from my Goddess Power Oracle deck
- 5 – 10 minutes of bullet journaling & pinpointing my top 3 priorities for the day
- proper yum yum breakfast
And then I start my day…
I roll with the 80/20 rule here. There are some days, for example when I’m travelling, visiting friends for the weekend or when life just throws curveballs at me, when I skip parts of my routine. We can’t be 100% all the time…
This routine works perfectly for me and helped me gain clarity and focus I didn’t even know I could have! However, what works for me doesn’t have to work for you and vice versa. Feel free to use this as a template and tailor it to your needs, schedule, priorities and personality!
I think it’s also fair to say that it took me a couple of months and lots of trial and error to build my routine up and figure out what worked and what didn’t (Cold showers in the morning just didn’t make the cut. Maybe in the future…) so don’t expect to just write this down today and magically make it work the next day. You’ll have to put in the work but I promise you it’s sooooo worth it!
I recommend you pick one habit at a time and slowly build up around it (habit stacking). Pick what you believe is most important first. For me, it was 5 minutes of meditation every morning and after I’d made that a solid habit, I added 5 minutes of bullet journalling and identifying my top priorities for the day.
These two steps alone have completely transformed my life because they force me to check in with myself, with my goals and my why. As a result of that, I think about what is really important to me every-single-day and am able to start each day with utter clarity and focus.
I am an avid yogini and yoga teacher so it makes sense to have yoga practice a part of my morning routine.
Check out the Piece Of Your Time Virtual Yoga Studio if you’d like to practice with me.
You could make anything else you’d like to be doing regularly a part of your routine. Want to learn to play the guitar? Add 5 minutes of practice just before breakfast. Want to learn French? Make 15 minutes of Dulingo your first task for each day…
Above all else, make it work for you and make it fun!
#2 Plan Your Week Ahead
Sitting down every Sunday for 20 minutes to plan the week ahead has been a game-changer.
I don’t know about you, but being organised is absolutely crucial to me. If I’m not organised and I don’t know what I’m doing when then I get stressed. If I’m not organised and I don’t know what I’m doing when, I say yes to too many things, I leave no space for my extremely introverted self to re-charge, I get even more stressed and anxious and often arrive in a very dark place. I don’t like that place. I’ve had enough of it!
I do a lot of things. I teach yoga, online and in person, I take photos of peeps, I have a part-time job, I sometimes dip my toes into filmmaking and I like to make music for fun. I also try to be the most amazing cool aunt to my niece and nephew, a good sister, daughter, grand daughter and friend while moving between Czech Republic and Wales.
Planning is key to staying sane for me.
Each Sunday I sit down to write down what I’d like to get done in the next week. I have 4 areas I focus on: Work, growth, relationships & community, health.
I put a star next to the really important things and only then I transfer it into my calendar, making sure all categories are equally represented.
I also do this on every last Sunday of the month for the month ahead.
#3 – Assess & Adjust – The power of reflection
Each Sunday I also do a weekly review. (And a monthly one on the last Sunday of the month.)
This allows me to gain clarity and focus in on what needs adjusting in the way I’m doing things.
I used to struggle with journalling in the past because I didn’t know what to write about. I didn’t know where to start… So I never really stuck with it. I can’t believe it took me so long to figure out how to do it! But hey, better late than never… My weekly/monthly review is nothing too elaborate. It basically means answering two question:
What went well this week/month? What am I proud of this week?
What didn’t go quite as well this week/month? Why? What can I do better to make it work next time?
Some weeks I write down two short bullet point answers. Some weeks I fill 12 pages of my journal with what could be considered an essay in existentialism. (I call this a brain dump).
That’s it. Three very basic habits that completely transformed my life.
- Daily morning routine
- Plan your week/month ahead
- Assess & Adjust regularly
I hope you found this helpful and that you can start implementing similar steps to gain clarity and focus in your life.
Also, read Atomic Habits! Really, do it! You’re welcome.
Sending loads of hugs, smiles and positive vibes your way!
Oh and btw, if you’d like to try an amazing guided relaxation technique, yoga nidra (also called yogic sleep), you can download it below! You could even make it a part of your routine if you like…