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How to Create the Ultimate Habit of Happiness

How to Create the Ultimate Habit of Happiness

Do you think happiness is a state that only a few can achieve?

I think Happiness is your birth right, it is available to each and every one of us.

But if this is true why does it elude so many?

It eludes so many of us because our habits don’t support a life of harmony and happiness. I have heard it said that our collective habits determine the quality of our lives, in that case we need to ensure that our habits are positive and help us work towards creating an overall habit of happiness

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There are many constructive habits that will help bring us more joy

  1. The Act of Gratitude
    Any time you spend giving thanks and appreciating all that you have in life is time that will be misery free. It is very difficult to feel low or depressed when feeling grateful.
  2. Doing what you love
    Spending each day doing what you love will ensure a more meaningful life. According to Scott Dinsmore, of Live Your Ledgend, in his TEDX talk How to Find and Do Work You Love 80% of people work in jobs they don’t enjoy.
  3. Exercise
    Exercise has a multitude of benefits, health, well being, mood, increases energy and helps you to sleep better. Fit people are more productive and generally happier.
  4. Living in the Moment
    Practicing the art of mindfulness is another sure-fire way to be happier. Living in the moment eradicates any future worries or past regrets.
  5. Helping others
    Another tried and tested manner to create more happiness, giving is just as powerful as receiving. Those who live helping others have a greater sense of purpose and live more meaningful lives.
  6. Nurturing Positive Thoughts
    So many people forget that their thoughts are within their own control and allow negative thoughts to overtake their minds. If you want to live a happy and successful life you cannot afford a negative thought.
  7. Smiling
    Apparently smiling releases serotonin, a chemical that makes us happy. Smiling even when we don’t really feel it will have the same effect.

While we know that all of these things contribute to our overall happiness why are so many of us still going around miserable?

You probably already practice one if not more of these habits and maybe your overall level of happiness is still not where you would like it to be. If this is the case the missing ingredient is not what you do but how you do it. Are you giving these habits enough attention? Are you focusing on them with intensity and belief?

What I see is that most people focus on a positive habit for a short time and then decide either consciously or sub consciously it’s not working and give it up.

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But if we were to have a plan and focus on the new habit intensely, what would happen then? Let’s take the habit of positive thinking and follow my habit method

1.Start with a plan
Decide what you are going to do and when you are going to do it.

2. Commit to 31 days
It is said to take between 21 and 31 days to form a new habit and make it part of your life. Commit to taking it on fully for at least a month

3. Use triggers to encourage the new habit
Have set times to check your thoughts. First thing in the morning, before bed, set reminders on your phone. Put positive affirmations around the house, reminding you to think positive thoughts each time you see them

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4. Record the benefits
Remind yourself why you are doing it and what are the benefits for you and your life.

5. List the potential pitfalls
Why hasn’t it worked before and what can you do to make it work this time? If there are people who drag you down avoid them, if the news depresses you, stop watching it.

6. Reward yourself
Reward yourself with your achievements, if you complete a week; make sure you acknowledge the greatness of what you have done. Do something nice for yourself or go somewhere to celebrate.

7. Think you can
You must believe that you can and you will form this new habit. Often we take on board a new habit, and deep inside we don’t believe we will actually do it. Don’t waste your own time – unless you really believe in yourself, don’t bother. Wait until you are feeling more positive and confident in your abilities

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Follow this Habit Method and bombard yourself with positive thoughts morning noon and night. Have a mantra or affirmation that you can say on waking and before sleeping, you can also use this for the times when you have a negative thoughts, replace the negative with your mantra.

If you follow this advice you will be happier at the end of a month – guaranteed. Remember we get what we focus on, so focus on happiness and positivity. No place for negativity excuses and blame.

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses
George Washington Carver

Start next year by taking responsibility for your own future and make 2013 your best yet.

Featured photo credit:  beautiful young woman opened her hands via Shutterstock

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Ciara Conlon

Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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