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How to Create a Personal Development Plan

How to create a personal development plan

A few years ago, I started on my own personal development journey, and man, oh man has it been an incredible journey.

Once you commit to always working on becoming the best version of yourself, the possibilities are endless.

I want to help guide you through your personal development journey too. And the best way to do that is by making a personal development plan.

Making a personal growth and development plan will give you a clear overview of where you want to go and who you want to become. You’ll be able to make decisions easier because you already know what path you want to be on.

So if you’re ready to start improving your life, keep reading, because I’m gonna help you create your own personal development plan.

How to Create a Personal Development Plan and Kickstart Your Personal Growth Journey

What is Personal Development?

Before we start planning your personal development journey, let’s talk about what it is exactly.

Personal development, aka personal growth or self-development, is essentially the ongoing act of assessing your life goals and values. There is no set end or technical completion of “personal development”. Rather it’s an ongoing lifelong process.

You are never done learning because there is always more to learn. Humans are lifelong learners.

Also, as you go through life, your personal development goals will change to reflect who you are becoming.

Throughout your life, you’re building the skills and qualities to reach your max potential in certain areas of your life.

The skills you learn can contribute to your maturity, success, and satisfaction. You can develop these skills through education, advice from a mentor, personal development books, and more.

Want to learn more about personal growth? Check out this ebook The Ultimate Personal Growth Guide. You’ll learn 10 different strategies for working on yourself and start taking steps towards becoming the best version of yourself!

Why You Should Have a Personal Development Plan

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de-Saint Exupery

Did you know personal development is essential if you want to reach your goals and create the life of your dreams?

You can’t just say “I’m gonna run a half marathon next summer” with no plan on how you are going to train.

Having a concrete and clearly defined personal development plan will help you to actually accomplish the goals you set for yourself, rather than putting them on the back burner every single day and only pulling them out when you “feel” like it.

It’s like making your own road map to a dream life.

Without a plan, you won’t get the results you really want.

personal development quote

 

Create Your Personal Development Plan

Alright now that you know exactly what personal development is and the benefits, let’s create your personal development plan.

But where do we begin? Well, that will depend on what your goals are now.

So, the first step is to determine your goals.

1. What are your Personal Development Goals?

Before we turn our dreams into reality, we must first determine what exactly those dreams are.

If you don’t quite know, think about what’s important to you. NOT what everyone else says should be important to you.

Society has always told us that money, good looks, and fame are what define success. But you don’t have to be like that. Determine what success means to you.

What’s your definition of success? What’s most important to you? What does your ideal life look like?

Know Yourself

If you don’t quite know the answers to those questions, take some time to get to know yourself a bit better.

My favorite way to do this is to journal with the above questions in mind.

You could also use some other personal growth journal prompts like:

  • What activities bring me the most joy?
  • What stresses me out the most?
  • Am I happy with my current lifestyle? If not, what would I like to change?

Grab the FREE Journal Prompts below and start journaling every day. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about yourself by just having a conversation with yourself on paper every day.

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Level 10 Life

To help determine the areas of your life you’d like to improve I like to use a system called the Level 10 Life. This method, created by Hal Elrod, helps you get a better understanding of how you feel about your current state of life.

Essentially you want to reach level 10 in each area of your life.

You can be flexible with what categories you choose to focus on but the basic categories are:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Physical Environment
  • Giving and/or Contribution
  • Fun and Recreation
  • Marriage or Relationship
  • Career
  • Finances
  • Spiritual
  • Family and Friends

I use this method to help me come up with goals in each of the categories.

Choosing a goal for each category can be overwhelming at first so try starting with just your top 3 areas you want to focus on and go from there.

Now that you have the 3 main areas of your life you want to focus on, come up with a goal for each area.

For a more in-depth explanation of the Level 10 Life, check out this blog post.

 

Examples of Personal Development Goals

Here are some examples of goals for each category to help you out:

Health and Fitness
  • Workout 3-5 times a week
  • Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  • Drink half your body weight in oz of water each day
Physical Environment
  • Do a 15-minute clean up every day before bed
  • Develop a cleaning schedule
  • Renovate your office
Giving and/or Contribution
  • Donate a percentage of your income to a charity
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter
  • Donate food to your local food bank
Fun and Recreation
  • Get out and go hiking once a week
  • Read 1 book a month
  • Learn to play an instrument
Marriage and Relationships
  • Go on a date every Friday
  • Improve your listening/communication skills
  • Tell your spouse how much you love them every day
Career
  • Enroll in relevant training/school
  • Get promoted
  • Start a new career
Finances
  • Have an emergency fund
  • Open a retirement account
  • Pay off debt
Spiritual
  • Spread unconditional love
  • Participate in a bible devotional group
  • Meditate every day
Family and Friends
  • Plan an outing with friends/family once a month
  • Have a family reunion every summer
  • Go on vacation with your best friend

Make sure you write down your top 3 goals somewhere and then we’ll continue on to step #2.

hal elrod quote

2. How Are You Going to Reach Your Personal Development Goals?

Now that you have your goals, let’s make a plan for how you’re going to achieve them.

As I mentioned earlier, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

And you want your wishes to come true, right? So let’s make changes happen in your life.

We’re gonna set up a whole plan of attack to reach your goals.

In order to do that we are going to turn our goals into SMART goals.

What are SMART goals, you may ask?

Here’s what SMART stands for:

  • Specific – your goals need to be clear, detailed, and specific
  • Measurable – Your goals need to be measurable so you can track your progress and know exactly when you’ve achieved them.
  • Achievable – Make sure your goals are realistic (some goals are just not achievable – but then again with the right mindset you can do anything, right? – though seriously be smart when creating your goals, for example, while losing 30 pounds in a week sounds awesome, that can be very unhealthy)
  • Relevant – Are your goals relevant to your life purpose? Make sure that your goals are truly driven by your personal growth. Go back to those journaling prompts above if you aren’t sure.
  • Time-bound – Set a time limit for when you want to try and achieve the goals. Remember you can always change it later if needed.

Still don’t completely understand SMART goals?

Here’s an example.

One of my goals is to run a marathon by the end of 2022 so turning that goal into a SMART goal would look like this:

Specific – I want to run a marathon (specifically marathon, not half marathon, not an ultra, a marathon)

Measurable – Marathon is already measurable so I will know when I reach this goal because I will have run a full 26.2 miles.

Achievable – I know this is achievable because I have run long distances before and I am already in a healthy state. Notice how my goal is not to run a marathon by next week, that would be crazy since I’ve never run even a half marathon before.

Relevant – One of my lifelong goals is to live well into my 90s and still be able to move around and play with my grandkids (maybe even great-grandkids). So wanting to train for a marathon and having a love of running is something that contributes to that lifelong health and fitness goal.

Time-bound – I want to run a marathon by the end of 2022. Picking a date of December 31st, 2021 makes my goal time-specific. I could go deeper into how fast I want to run this marathon, but my main goal is to simply finish my first marathon.

I hope that helps you understand how to make sure your goal is a SMART goal.

For more help, check out this blog post: How to Set SMART Goals


3. Personal Development Planning 101

Now that you know your top 3 goals and made them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, it’s time to start planning.

Write it down

Your chances of reaching any goal increase if you write it down.

I know it sounds like a small step, but writing it down can be the most important thing. It can be the difference between reaching your goal and falling short.

So write your goal down on a piece of paper and don’t lose that paper, we aren’t done with it yet.

Have your goal written everywhere

This sounds strange but I want you to write down your goal on several sticky notes and put them all over the house.

Put one on the bathroom mirror, in your daily journal, in your lunch box, on the fridge, on your computer, etc.

Putting it everywhere will keep your goals in mind all the time, hence you’ll always be motivated to work towards them.

Plus, it gives you extra accountability because you probably share the bathroom and fridge with someone else, so if you see it every day so will your roommates or significant other and they’ll keep asking you how’s that goal coming along so you can take down that sticky note ?

Break down your goals

It’s really cool to see a big goal at first, but then it can become overwhelming.

If you don’t break down your big goal into smaller goals you may never even want to start working on your goal because it seems so daunting.

So let’s break down your big goal into smaller actionable steps, or “mini-goals”.

Taking my ‘run a marathon by the end of 2022’ example:

Running a marathon by the end of 2022, which is 10 months from now, can become: run a half marathon by the end of July.

Which then becomes: run a 10k by the end of April.

Then break it down for how much to run every week, like run X distance 3-4 times a week (I have a pretty specific weekly running plan but I won’t bore you with it)

As you achieve each of these “mini-goals” you’ll already be working towards your big goal with what will seem like half the work, which is exactly the point.

No matter your goal, keep breaking it down until they are so small they sound super easy.

Make time to reach your goals.

We all struggle with not having enough time in the day.

This is why we broke down our goals into super small bit size goals that can be completed in just a few minutes each day.

If your personal development goal is super important to you, you will want to work on it anyway. Setting aside time each day to work on your goals should be something you look forward to.

So again taking my marathon training example, I have implemented running for a set time and distance every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Running has become a part of my morning routine that I never miss because I enjoy it and want to succeed.

I recommend making 1-3 of your “mini-goals” into habits you do every day. Working on them every day will help you get closer and closer to achieving your goal.

Track Your Progress and Celebrate Every Win

Last but certainly not least, the most important step: Track your progress and celebrate every win along the way to your big goal.

Our energy levels, motivation, mood, etc. vary from day to day. Some days it will be easier to want to work on your goals than others.

The best way to keep yourself motivated is to track your progress. Watching a progress bar get closer and closer to the end is motivating, which is why we created the small goals to help you visualize it.

Yes, you should keep the end goal in mind, but focusing on the smaller goal can be easier to track and keep you motivated.

And finally, reward yourself. Celebrate every time you reach one of your “mini-goals”. Plan your reward in advance so you have something to look forward to.

Always take some time to realize how far you have come to keep you motivated to keep moving forward.


I hope this helped you to start planning your personal development goals. Every time you reach one of your goals, make sure to celebrate. It is a big deal to reach something you’ve been working on for months or even years.

And after you complete one goal, reflect on it, journal about it, and then pick a new big personal development goal and make a new plan, because it is never too late to start building the life of your dreams.

Are you ready to start your personal growth journey but don’t know where to start? This guide is for you: The Ultimate Personal Growth Guide. Learn the strategies you need to work on self-improvement and become the best version of yourself!

If you enjoyed this, please share it with others to help them begin creating the life of their dreams.

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How to do a Quarterly Planning Session

quarterly planning session

Quarterly Planning is something I’ve been doing for over a year now and it has changed my life. I originally got the idea of quarterly planning from Brian P. Moran’s book The 12 Week Year.

Most people plan their entire year all at once, in January. By doing it this way, you aren’t taking the time to review how your goals are progressing over the year. Instead, many get discouraged or fall off the wagon by February or March and just say “oh, I’ll just wait until next year to try again”, even though that’s literally 9 or 10 months away.

By dividing your year into quarters, you are more likely to achieve your goals and stick to your plans. You can also experience that “New Year, New Me” feel every 3 months which really gets me motivated to keep going every quarter.

Now how do we plan for just 3 months? Let me show you.

quarterly planning guide

What is Quarterly Planning?

First of all, let’s define quarters. Each year can be divided into 4 quarters. Making it easier to see the entire year on a smaller scale.

These quarter breaks are laid out like this:

  • Q1 – January 1st to March 31st
  • Q2 – April 1st to June 30th
  • Q3 – July 1st to September 30th
  • Q4 – October 1st to December 31st

Now that you know when each quarter starts and ends, we can discuss quarterly planning.

Basically, once every three months, you will set goals, document your progress, reflect on your lessons learned, and celebrate your accomplishments.

Each quarterly planning session should include time to reflect on the past 90 days and time to plan for the next 90 days.

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Why Quarterly Planning is Important

By following a 90-day plan, you are more likely to stay motivated and on track because the goals are more manageable. With a quarterly plan, you can break down your big goals into smaller, short-term goals that will drive you towards your long-term goals. This keeps you motivated because you are seeing progress on your goals every quarter. This makes you less likely to procrastinate because the tasks are more manageable.

Quarterly Planning vs. Annual Planning

There are benefits to both quarterly and annual planning. And these strategies can be used to complement one another. Essentially, quarterly planning breaks down your big annual goals into easier and more manageable tasks.

Benefits of Quarterly Planning

  • Sense of urgency for tasks to be completed because they aren’t that far out
  • Focused time to hone in on specific tasks for each 90-day plan
  • An opportunity to reflect on your growth and make necessary adjustments throughout the year

Benefits of Annual Planning

  • Provides the foundation and direction for the goals that are set each quarter
  • Helps you decide what your overall mission is for the year

How to Effectively Plan Each Quarter

When you sit down to do your quarterly plan, there are 6 key things you should do:

1. Revisit Your Annual Plan Goals

This is where annual planning and quarterly planning go hand-in-hand. Review what goals you set at the beginning of the year and see if they are still relevant in your life.

2. Reflect on Your Annual Goals

For the goals that are still relevant to your life, review how close you are to achieving them. If the goals still seem very daunting, break them down into smaller, mini-goals that are more manageable.

3. Decide on your goals for the upcoming quarter

Once you have decided which goals you are continuing to work on this year and broken them down into mini-goals, decide which ones you will focus your attention on for the next 90-days.

4. Create action steps and benchmarks

Now that you have decided which mini-goals you are going to focus on for the next 90 days, you need to break them down into smaller actionable steps.

5. Set expectations and timelines

Set specific timelines for when you want (or need) to have the smaller steps completed during the quarter. This keeps you from procrastinating until the end of the quarter to start working on a task.

6. Plan out your rewards

My favorite part of quarterly planning is making up small treats to reward myself for when I complete a goal or task. This is just another way to keep you motivated.

Example of a Quarterly Planning Session

To help you understand each step, here’s an example:

Steps 1-3:

Let’s say that one of my annual goals for this year was to become an early riser who can get up at 5 am most mornings. During Q2 I decide that is still something I want to work towards so I am going to break it down into smaller mini-goals that will contribute to my goal.

Three mini-goals could be to make a morning routine that I look forward to, go to bed earlier, and work on getting up earlier every day.

Then I’m going to decide that this quarter I am going to just work on making a morning routine and going to bed earlier.

Step 4:

I will break this down even further into action steps.

  • Morning routine: research the benefits of getting up early, pick 3 things I want to do in the morning, decide what time I will get up every morning, set an alarm for that time, do morning routine for 5 days in a row, do morning routine for 15 days in a row, do morning routine for 30 days in a row
  • Going to bed earlier: decide what time I should go to bed every night, research evening/bedtime routines, pick 2 things to do before bed that will wind me down, go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual for 10 days in a row, for 20 days in a row, for 30 days in a row, pair this will my morning routine

These may seem like a lot of steps and tasks but notice how they are all small, easy actionable steps.

Step 5:

After that, I would plan some timelines and due dates for each small task to be completed during the quarter and put that into my calendar or my running task list.

Step 6:

And now I would decide on some rewards for when I complete my two mini-goals.

For example, maybe once I have completed all my smaller tasks for creating my morning routine, I would reward myself with buying a new personal development book that I would love to read.

 

Final Thoughts on Quarterly Planning

Quarterly planning is something that I definitely wish I would have implemented into my routine sooner. I have gotten so much done in this first quarter of 2022 because I planned smaller actionable steps that got me closer to my goals. And while my big 2022 goals aren’t even close to being completed, I know that I am just one step closer every quarter.

I hope this helped you understand what a quarterly planning session should look like and why they are so beneficial to your overall success and productivity.

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6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Mind, Body, and Soul

spring clean your mind body and soul

As the temperatures rise and the snow melts away, our mind turns to spring cleaning. A time to deep clean our homes just as Mother Nature is doing the same.

However, I like to think of Spring as another new beginning. A chance for us to maybe try our new year’s resolutions again or to finally get more fresh air like we always say we will until it’s too cold.

In the mists of doing a spring clean of your house, why not try to spring clean your mind, body, and soul, too.

Yep, you read that right. Your mind, body, and soul need a freshen up every once and a while too.

Try any of these 6 ways to spring clean your mind, body, and soul to kick off the new season.

spring clean your mind body and soul

6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Do a Detox

After a long winter hibernation your mind, body, and soul need a deep cleanse. So to kick off our spring cleaning, I recommend doing a full-on detox for yourself. Some activities could include:

  • Drink more water: aim for half your body weight in ounces. This will help flush out your system and give you more energy.
  • Have a salad every day: it’s time to get more fruits and veggies into your life again
  • Try meditation: meditating is a great way to empty and clear your mind of negativity. Breath in the fresh spring air and breath out any negative thoughts and feelings that have been clogging your mental space this past winter.
  • Social Media Detox: We’ve all heard about how toxic social media can be for our overall mental health. Try to avoid social media for a whole day once and just focus on yourself and how you want to improve your life. Not how your life compares to others.

Journal

Journaling has always been my favorite personal development technique to help me evaluate how I’m feeling in my current season of life and what I might want to work on next.

Take some time to evaluate where you are in your current goals or even use journaling to help decide on some new goals for this spring.

Use this season as a time to reevaluate your new year’s resolutions that may have fallen away and get excited about trying again.

Related read: How to Start a Journal

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Fix Your Sleep Schedule

Now that the sun is out longer it’s time to fix your sleep schedule. Many people find that they sleep more during the winter because of the dreary short and dark days.

Evaluate your current sleep schedule and make sure you aren’t sleeping your days away but also that you are getting enough sleep as well.

With the time change and longer days make sure you still go to sleep at a reasonable time so you feel refreshed every morning.

Change Up Your Routines

Sometimes just a small change to our current routines can make a huge difference. Life can become boring when we do the same things over and over, so take this opportunity to make a little change. Try adding something you enjoy to your everyday routines like reading or painting.

Or if you want to really make a change, create a whole morning routine for yourself.

Check out this blog post for help → How to Create a Morning Routine for a Super Productive Day

Get More Vitamin D

Now that the sun is out more, make sure you are taking advantage of that free Vitamin D. Not only does Vitamin D help boost your immune system, but is essential for strong bones and helps fight depression.

During the dark winter days, we don’t get as much Vitamin D as we should. So now that winter is basically over, it’s time to replenish that lack of Vitamin D in your system.

Purge Your House

Yeah, I know I said we were focusing on spring cleaning for your mind, body, and soul, but seriously, once you declutter your space, even just a little bit, your mind will feel so much lighter.

How often are you sitting at your desk doing something, when all of a sudden your mind wonders over that pile of stuff that needs to be gone through.

After you take some time to purge your house of things you don’t need anymore, you’ll have an easier time concentrating on the more important things.

Final Thoughts

I hope you decide to take some time this spring to focus on your mind, body, and soul. It can be very hard to take care of other responsibilities when you feel mentally and emotionally drained yourself. Make sure you plan some self care time throughout the spring as well, because you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Do something to take care of yourself first this spring and then go ahead and start that spring cleaning.

Which of these 6 ways to spring clean your mind, body, and soul are you going to try this spring? Let me know in the comments below.

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The Best Way to Start Your Day | 4 Things You Should Do Every Morning

best way to start your day

There are many articles and books that have claimed to have found the best way to start your day. But what they fail to mention is that no one’s morning routine should be the exact same.

In fact, if you copy someone else’s morning routine, you’ll never experiment to find exactly what you actually want and need in the morning. You will also always struggle to get up in the morning because you aren’t actually looking forward to doing someone else’s morning routine.

After many years of studying and testing out the best things you should do in the morning, I’ve come up with 4 categories of things that you should include in your morning routine. Not exact habits to do, but rather categories of habits so you can pick which things you want to do, while still experiencing the benefits of getting up earlier than everyone else.

So without further ado, here is the best way to start your day.

the best way to start your day

The Best Way To Start Your Day

The point of having a morning routine is so that you can start the day on your terms. So you can slowly wake up and not feel rushed before the sun even rises.

But when it comes to what exactly should be included in your morning routine, it can be hard to figure out. I’ve come up with 4 categories of things you should do every morning.

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4 Things You Should Do Every Morning

Spend Time In Silence

While many people say that you should meditate in the morning, I find that I can gain the benefits of sitting in silence in other ways too.

You could spend time journaling anything that comes to mind, many of my best ideas have come from a silent room with just me and my journal early in the morning.

Spend time in prayer and/or gratitude. Silently list in your head all the things you’re grateful for and thank God for each and every one of them. Over time this practice can shift your brain to a more positive mindset.

You can also spend time in reflection. Asking yourself a variety of reflection questions without the distraction of our noisy world will stimulate a lot of personal growth.

Try making a point to not play any music or turn on any technology in the first hour of your day. That could even be all the silence you need.

Benefits

Now I’m not just gonna tell you to do these things without listing why you should include this step in your mornings.

So here are 3 benefits of having a silence practice first thing in the morning:

  • It allows your mind to slowly wake up, rather than being jolted into having to making decisions.
  • Silence stimulates creativity. You’d be surprised how many ideas will come to you in the morning before you’re forced into the noisy world.
  • Silence lowers your blood pressure and calms racing thoughts. Therefore starting your day with little to no stress in your body. You’ll feel relaxed and calm.

Related:

5 Benefits of Gratitude Practice

What is Mindset and Why is it Important

The Importance of Self Reflection

Move Your Body

While going to the gym first thing in the morning is very beneficial, it can take up a lot of time.

You can gain the benefits of moving your body in the comfort of your own home in as little as 5 minutes in the morning.

Here are some simple ways to move your body:

  • Stretch your body as you get out of bed
  • Do a 15 minute yoga practice
  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood

Or if you’re feeling really ambitious, you could do a quick 15 minute HIIT workout right in your living room. Just do a quick search on youtube to find short but beneficial ways to move your body in the morning.

Benefits

Moving your body right away in the morning has so many benefits. Here are 3:

  • Leads to better concentration levels throughout the rest of the day
  • Helps fill your lungs with oxygen and increase blood flow throughout the body
  • Helps you wake up faster so you don’t feel groggy throughout the day

Do Something You Love

Before you have to start tackling the tasks that need to get done each day you should make time to do something you love. Be it a hobby or your favorite activity, doing something you enjoy first thing in the morning gives you time to be by yourself before having to do stuff for others.

Think of activities you enjoy doing that you often don’t have time for throughout the day and include some time to do them in the morning.

Maybe you love sewing or knitting; reading or writing stories, or maybe you really enjoy learning and researching different topics that interest you.

Take just 15-30 minutes in the morning, before other people who need you get up, and do something for yourself.

This not only lifts your mood right away in the morning, but you will be able to serve others better because you’re not pouring from an empty cup.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

This is the only thing in the morning that isn’t really a category of options because, honestly, you should really eat a healthy breakfast every morning.

We’ve always heard growing up that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And well, they weren’t lying to you.

You haven’t put anything in your body for 6-8 hours and if you keep your body from food any longer it’s going to be hard for you to stay awake and focus on your work.

You don’t have to make some huge elaborate breakfast, but you should eat something that’s not just a pop-tart for breakfast. Instead, give yourself something with nutritional value.

If you’re worried about not having enough time to make breakfast in the morning, you could make something the night before. There are many pre-made breakfast options, you just have to take the time to research and figure out what you like.

I personally make a huge protein smoothie the night before so all I have to do in the morning is grab it out of the fridge and go.

I’ve also made overnight oats or freezer breakfast sandwiches.

The options are endless. Just make sure it’s something you look forward to eating, otherwise, you’ll skip this step entirely.

morning routine workbook

Final Thoughts

If you choose an activity in each of these 4 categories you’ll be on your way to creating a morning routine that not only sets you up for success but that you also love and look forward to every night before you go to bed. Which will, in turn, make it easier for you to get up the next morning.

Plan your morning routine the night before and lay out everything you might need so that you’re brain doesn’t have to do much of the decision-making so early in the morning.

Have fun creating your very own morning routine specific to you because that’s the best way to start your day.

What are you going to include in your morning routine? Share with us the comments below.

More Blog Posts on Morning Routines:

10 Amazing Benefits of Waking Up Early and Having a Morning Routine

How to Stop Hitting Snooze | 5 Smart Tips for Breaking the Habit

The Incredible Magic of Having a Morning Routine

How to Create a Morning Routine and Stick To It

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5 Amazing Benefits of Gratitude Practice

title image: 5 benefits of gratitude practice

How would you like a simple daily 1-5 minute practice that will immediately improve your life? Sounds too good to be true, huh? Well, it’s so much easier than you think.

Practicing daily gratitude has become very popular recently and for a good reason. There are many articles out there that show it to be the strongest factor in our happiness level. With quite a small investment of time and energy, you wouldn’t think there would be that many benefits.

But there totally are!

And you can literally start practicing gratitude right now. I’ll tell you more about that later though.

First I want to talk about the major benefits of gratitude, because why would we want to start doing anything if there are no visible benefits, right?

There are so many benefits that you’ll notice in just the first week of starting a gratitude practice. And some even right after your first practice!

Alright, I’ll stop blabbing on, let’s get into the benefits of gratitude!

benefits of gratitude

5 Amazing Benefits of Gratitude Practice

Here are  5 benefits you will start to notice within your first week of practicing daily gratitude!

1. Puts you in a good mood

This benefit is instant! (and probably my favorite one!)

As soon as you think of something that makes you happy, you are immediately thrown into a more positive mindset. Just one minute of joyful gratitude thinking can completely turn your day around.

And being in a good mood is linked to a happier and healthier life. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

2. Puts things into perspective

So what about when we face truly big troubles, how can gratitude fix that? Often when things we don’t plan for happen, we can get stressed or frustrated when those troubles aren’t actually bad.

Like when it rains when you planned to go for a walk. Or when your friend cancels on your coffee date.

At times like these, gratitude can bring us some much-needed perspective.

Take the rain when you didn’t want it example; we haven’t gotten rain in a while; now I don’t have to water my plants; this saves me money this month. The sound of rain is soothing and makes a perfect atmosphere for a rainy day project that you’ve been pushing off.

Or what about the friend canceling on you example; now you have time to do something else that you may have pushed off; or turn that already blocked out time into a self-care session and go out by yourself.

We often take things for granted so easily, but it’s actually pretty freaking cool that we have access to all these things in our life.

When you realize this and feel grateful for it, you’re less likely to make it a big deal the next time it happens.

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3. Rearranges your priorities

After a few days of your new gratefulness practice, you’ll notice small things you never really did before.

Like that warm cup of coffee in the morning, or a moment of peace and quiet to yourself. Or the beautiful sunrise coming through your living room window.

Once you realize how much you love these little blessings, you can start making them a priority in your life. This may mean you spend less time on social media or doing things that don’t necessarily bring you joy.

By focusing on prioritizing the things you enjoy, your day will completely change.

4. Break Negative Thinking Cycles

When you notice yourself getting upset or starting down a negative spiral, do a short gratitude practice.

Gratitude has the power to shift your negative thoughts to more positive ones.

When you focus on forcing yourself to think about things you are grateful for, your brain will push out the negative thoughts.

As you do this multiple times, it’ll become a new shift in your mindset that makes it easier to break negative spirals whenever they come up.

5. Makes you a more fun person to be around

Think of that coworker that you just can’t stand to be around. Is it because they are always complaining? Or that they always see things in the worst-case scenario?

Now think of a coworker you do enjoy being around, someone who is always uplifting and positive and has so much energy. 

Which coworker do you want to be? The uplifting and inspiring one, or the down in the dumps one?

As you practice gratitude more and more, you’ll notice that you will become a more positive person and people will genuinely want to hang out with you.


How to Practice Gratitude Daily

Now that you know some amazing benefits of gratitude, you’re probably itching to get started, right?

A quick disclaimer though; there is no right or wrong thing to be grateful for. You can be thankful for anything and everything.

No one else needs to know about your gratitude list. So who cares what you write down each day. Maybe one day you’re grateful for just being alive, and the next day you are just so grateful that someone invented the dishwasher.

No matter how big or small – you can be grateful for it.

Alright, now here are my 3 favorite ways to practice gratitude:

1. Write down 3 things in the morning

If you already journal in the morning, this is the easiest way to implement a new gratitude habit. At the beginning or end of your journaling session, write down 3-5 things that you are grateful for.

If you don’t journal in the morning – don’t worry. This new simple habit will only take 3 minutes.

Find somewhere you want to write down your gratitude list, (your phone, a smaller notebook, a scrap piece of paper) and write down what you’re grateful for that day.

Quick tip: don’t just jot down a few things and forget about them. Really spend some time thinking about each point. It doesn’t have to be some deep thought, just ask yourself – why are you grateful for this thing?

2. Meditate in gratitude

Here is another practice that you should try in the morning to set you up for a positive day.

Take some time to sit in silence. Close your eyes and picture 3 things that you are grateful for and meditate on that feeling of gratitude. As you do this you may even notice you start to smile a little bit.

I like this practice when I just need some peace and quiet and more positivity in my life. It’s a super simple practice that doesn’t need any props.

3. Share with your partner / family before bed or at dinner

You don’t need to keep this new exciting practice to yourself. Share it!

You can do this either right before bed or while everyone is at the dinner table. Have everyone take turns sharing what made them happy or grateful today. This will not only help you get to know your family or partner more, but you’ll also end your day on a positive note.

Hearing what other people were grateful for that day will also inspire you to look at those things differently. And you now know how to cheer up a family member more with things that they enjoy.

And the last benefit to this practice; things become more powerful when you speak them out loud, instead of just thinking about them. They become more real when you speak them out into the world.

How I Practice Daily Gratitude

For those that are curious, here is how I practice gratitude every day.

My gratitude practice happens during my morning routine. I have a small journal just for my practice. Every morning before I do my usual journaling, I write the date on a new line in my gratitude journal and then write 3-5 things that I’m grateful for that day. 

Then I like to close my eyes and think about why I am grateful for each thing I wrote down that day. Pausing after each one to just sit and meditate on it. This calming 5-10 minute practice every morning sets me up for a very positive day.

Final Thoughts About Gratitude

However you choose to practice daily gratitude, you’ll start to notice many benefits right away. And over time your mindset will grow to be more positive than you ever thought possible.

I hope this article convinced you to start a gratitude practice. Let me know how you are going to incorporate gratitude into your daily routine and what you are grateful for today in the comments below.

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The Importance of Self-Reflection for Your Personal Growth Journey

Every day we look at our own self-reflection in the mirror, but that is only our outer appearance. We know our outer self very well. What color our eyes are, the shape of our nose, how tall we are. 

But how often do we take time to examine our inner-self?

I believe that the practice of self-reflection is a skill everyone should work on more.

In this blog post, we are going to take a look at what self reflection is, why it’s important, and how to make it a part of your daily routine.

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What is Self Reflection

Self-Reflection is a method used to get to know your inner-self better in a mindful and open-minded way. It is the key to better self-awareness as it allows you to look at your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. 

Through self reflection, you can learn more about yourself – who you are, why you do and think the way you do, your values, motivations, and attitudes toward your life and desires.

It is important to know these things about yourself so you can see where you are headed and adjust accordingly with the person you want to be.

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Why is it Important: 5 Benefits to Self Reflection

As I mentioned, self reflection gives you the ability to focus on becoming the person you wish to be. That is why it’s important to include self reflection as a part of your personal growth journey. After all, how can you expect to become a better version of yourself if you don’t examine yourself regularly?

There are many benefits to practicing self reflection as a part of your personal growth journey.

Here are my top 5 benefits:

1. Improves Mindfulness

Self reflection can help you be more mindful throughout the day. It helps you to think deeper about situations and helps you understand why you react the way you do to different circumstances.

As you reflect more on yourself, you’ll start to better understand your values and what you want out of life. You’ll become more mindful of your choices because you know what you want the outcome to be.

2. Gives You a Better Perspective On Life

Self reflection is a way to analyze your thoughts and emotions. It can help you view situations with a more calming sense, and without the cloud of emotions. 

This can be very effective when you are feeling overwhelmed about something. Try sitting with your emotions and reflect on why you feel the way you do. It can make that emotion feel much lighter and give you a sense of relief.

Reflection helps you determine what really matters, because we often think up things to be much bigger than they really are.

3. Helps With Decision-Making

As you use self reflection to get to know yourself better, you will begin to understand what really matters to you and what doesn’t. Then when you face a certain situation, you can make the decision on how to deal with it easier.

Did you know most of our daily decisions we make come from our unconscious mind? In fact, about 90% of our decisions are made unconsciously!! Isn’t that crazy?!

That’s why self reflecting often is so important. It helps you program your values and motivations into your subconscious mind so that you can make unconscious decisions that are still a line with your values. 

4. Forces You To Slow Down

Most days, everyone, including me, are often moving at the speed of light.

We are busier and burnt out more than ever, and we often measure our worth by how much we get done in a day, or how quickly we can do a task.

Unfortunately, many people end up viewing being busy as a badge of honor.

Having a daily self reflection practice will instead help you to slow down and live in the present moment. This allows you to appreciate the little things you do get done each day, and will less likely lead you to burn out.

5. Gives You Time to Celebrate Yourself and Your Accomplishments

How often do you actually take the time to celebrate your accomplishments, big or small?

You always have something to celebrate.

Did you get out of bed before noon today? That’s an accomplishment!

Did you make a salad instead of grabbing a bag of chips? That’s also an accomplishment worth celebrating.

If you stop and reflect on the past day, week, or month, you’ll see you have a lot to celebrate.

Tip: during my morning routine time, I like to write down a minimum of 3 things that I accomplished the day before. This helps set me to celebrate myself first thing in the morning and gives me the motivation to keep working on me every day.


How to Practice Self Reflection

Before we dive into how to reflect, I want to share a quick tip:

Self Reflect Without Judgment

During your reflection time, make sure you aren’t judging yourself for decisions you made in the past. It already happened, it’s in the past, so don’t dwell on it. 

Instead, focus on how you can improve going forward. 

Self Reflection is about improving yourself, not bringing yourself down.

Use Journaling 

There are many ways to practice self reflection, but I’ve found that the best way is to use writing as a way to process my thoughts and feelings. If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that I’m big into journaling. Ever since I’ve made journaling a daily practice of mine I’ve discovered a lot about my inner-self.

Journaling can help you learn more about your attitude patterns, your habits and notice regular themes that come up in your life.

Try using journaling as a way to practice self reflection. You could start by just free writing with whatever comes to mind or try some of these journal prompts:

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Related: How to Start a Journal

Make Self Reflection Part of Your Daily Routine

Another way you can practice self-reflection is by doing a quick check-in at the end of every day. 

You can review what you accomplished that day, what made you most grateful, and what you wish you had done differently.

Tip: Do your quick self reflection check-in right before you make your plans for the next day. Partnering the two tasks will give you motivation to plan to accomplish even more tomorrow. Plus you can take note of the lessons you learned that day and apply them to your plan for tomorrow.

5 Quick Self Reflection Questions

Here are a few self reflection questions to get you started:

  1. What are my strengths? Make note of the things you do well, that make you proud of yourself.
  2. What are my weaknesses? Not your personality traits or personal habits that you think make you less effective.
  3. What are 5 things that make me happy? Write down things in your life, big or small, that fill you with joy every time.
  4. What are 5 things that bring me down? Write down things in your life that stress you out, make you anxious, or make you less happy.
  5. What did I do today/this week that I’m proud of? Celebrate your accomplishments, big or small.

Self Reflection on Your Personal Growth Journey

Self reflection is a very important practice you should do while you are focusing on your personal growth and development. A major part of your personal growth is being able to look at your own personal characteristics, behaviors, attitudes, and actions, and how they play a role in making up who you are.

Make a plan to include self reflection in your daily, weekly, and monthly routine. I recommend starting with a monthly reflection routine. It’s less overwhelming than finding time every day or every week.

Want to learn more about personal growth? Check out this ebook The Ultimate Personal Growth Guide. You’ll learn 10 different strategies for working on yourself and start taking steps towards becoming the best version of yourself!

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How to Set SMART Goals and Actually Achieve Them

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I hate to break it to you, but setting and accomplishing goals isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be crushing goals every single day.

Setting and accomplishing goals is actually what sets successful people apart from everyone else. But remember it’s not easy and requires a lot of work.

Don’t worry though, cause I’m here to help you break it down into some actionable steps, use the SMART goal-setting strategy.

Let’s get started.

the ultimate guide to goal setting - smart goals

Evaluate Your Situation

Before you can even begin to set goals, you need to take some time to reflect on your past and present situation. Many people will skip this step, but it is crucial in order to make sure you are setting goals that you truly care about.

Before you start, take a moment to assess your strengths, weaknesses, past lessons learned, current limiting beliefs, mental and physical roadblocks, etc. Go through all of these to help you get in touch with your “why”.

This will offer you some clarity, better understanding, more motivation, and give you a sense of what it will actually take to set and achieve a goal you personally set for yourself.

Think of it as a personal meeting with yourself to evaluate all the things we discussed above. You need to know what has worked in the past and what hasn’t in order to get an idea of what next steps to take.

Determine What Type of Goal(s) to Set

You can set goals in every area of your life.

For example:

  • Career Goals (career change, career development, getting a promotion)
  • Financial goals (get out of debt, save $$ for an emergency fund)
  • Personal goals (create a morning routine, get in the habit of brain dumping every day)
  • Health goals (lose 10 lbs, run a half-marathon, eat more fruits and veggies)
  • Business goals (get first paying client, scale your business, post more to social media)

I highly recommend you only focus on a maximum of two goals at a time.

Why?

Because it’s extremely hard to focus on more than two big projects at once. 

Remember in high school or college when you would have so many final projects and tests to complete before the end of the semester and you were super stressed. You probably didn’t like that before so why do it to yourself as an adult.

You get to make your own path for success, so don’t stress yourself out.

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Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Now that you’ve evaluated your situation and determined what type of goal you want to set, the next step is to actually set your goals. There are many ways to do this. But I’m gonna teach you the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting strategy.

S = Specific

Your goal needs to be specific. The more specific you are and the more you understand it, the clearer and more manageable it will be to accomplish.

The number one reason many people fail to complete their goals is that they aren’t specific enough with what they actually want.

Let me give you some examples of vague non-specific goals:

  • I want to lose weight
  • I want to get in shape
  • I want to eat healthier

These are flat goals with no idea of what the endpoint is. When trying to make your goal specific, ask yourself questions using what, who, why, where, when, how much, and how often.

Using our examples above, you could ask yourself:

  • How much weight do I want to lose?
  • Why do I want to be in better shape?
  • How often will I workout every week?

M = Measurable

The next step in setting SMART goals is to make the goal measurable.

Goals need to be measurable so you are able to track your progress over time and evaluate what is and isn’t working. Try using numbers or concrete targets whenever possible.

For example, instead of saying I want to lose weight, set your goal to lose x number of lbs by the end of the month.

A = Attainable (and Actionable)

Many people will encourage you to aim high and set goals that may be out of your comfort zone. That is awesome advice but you also need to make sure your goals are attainable in the time frame you set.

This helps prevent getting overwhelmed when the deadline is coming up and you are still so far from your goal. Instead, you could break your goal up into small, consistent, and actionable steps.

This is where it’s a good idea to incorporate your actionable steps into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines to make sure you are always moving the needle. 

You are also more likely to stay motivated because you can always see the needle moving.

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R = Relevant

Goals need to be in line with YOUR core values and be relevant to YOUR life, not to society, or to your parents.

When you set relevant goals, you can make sure you are always making progress towards who YOU want to be, where YOU want to be, and what YOU want to accomplish. Not what others think is good for you.

This is also where I would suggest that if you chose to work on two goals at once, make sure the two goals are related to each other. This will keep you from getting distracted and pulled in different directions.

T = Time-Bound

In order to truly turn a dream into a goal, you need to have a sense of urgency.

That’s where the T in SMART goals comes in. You must make your goals Time-Bound (or time-sensitive).

Making a deadline to complete your goal by a certain date helps prevent procrastination and create a sense of urgency.

Use deadlines like 7 days, one month, or 90 days. These are the most common time-frames people use for their goals.

How to Take Action on Your SMART Goals

Now that you have your goal and it’s set up as a SMART goal, it’s time to create an action plan.

There are many ways to do this, but here is how I recommend you do it:

1. Write it down

Have your goals written down and posted somewhere you can see them every day. Having your goal actually written down on paper helps clarify and strengthen your intentions.

And by having your goal posted somewhere you’ll see it every day, helps remind yourself to stay focused and avoid distractions.

2. Break it down

Next, you should break down your goals into easy, simple, and manageable action steps.

This is when you would determine some habits to include in your daily, weekly, and monthly routines.

Small steps and micro-habits help with keeping up momentum and avoiding procrastination.

Related:

How to Build New Habits with these 8 Simple Steps

What Is A Routine? Why Are Routines Important?

3. Hold Yourself Accountable

Remember, these are YOUR goals, no one else can do them for you so it’s up to you to develop some self-discipline and stay focused.

Here are some ways to keep yourself accountable:

  • Post your goals on social media
  • Tell a friend about your goal
  • Get an accountability partner
  • Hire a coach to help guide you

Another idea that helps me a lot is to assign consequences for when you aren’t reaching certain milestones. You don’t want to beat yourself up about it, instead, use it to motivate you. You could have to donate money to a charity you don’t like or say you’ll do someone else’s chores for a month.

4. Reward Yourself

Going along with assigning consequences, you should always have a reward system. Set up a way to reward yourself when you reach certain milestones. This will not only help you recognize that you did a good job but will also help set you up to accomplish more because you want the reward.

Some examples I use are:

  • Going to my favorite coffee shop
  • Buy a new book I want
  • Put money towards a vacation

Ready to dive deeper into goal setting in 2022? Check out the Slay Your Goals Planner to start planning for a goal-crushing year.

Final Thoughts

Remember the most successful people set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. By following the SMART goal-setting strategy and then making an action plan, you’ll start crushing goals so much faster.

Remember though that everyone fails at one point in their life, but the most successful people don’t let that stop them. Pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes, and continue to strive to create the life of your dreams.

What goals are you currently working on? I’d love to know and cheer you on. Let me know in the comments below.

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What are Affirmations and How to Write Them

The first time I ever heard about affirmations was in Hal Elrod’s book “The Miracle Morning”. Reciting affirmations is one of the 6 things Hal does every morning during his morning routine. I became super interested in exactly what they are and how they work.

Over the course of about 6 months, I started reciting a few affirmations of my own every morning. At first, I didn’t see much effect, but eventually, I realized my mindset started to shift towards what I was saying in my affirmations.

I started feeling more confident in myself which led to increased motivation to stick to my goals. Affirmations are so much more powerful than people give them credit.

In this blog post, I’m gonna dive deep into what affirmations are and how you can use them to shift your mindset and achieve your goals.

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What are Affirmations?

Affirmations may sound like a big and scary concept, but it’s really quite simple. They are simple, short, and powerful statements that aim to affect the conscious and subconscious mind. When the statement is ingrained in your mind, it’ll start to affect your behavior, thinking patterns, and daily habits.

This is why it is so important to recite your affirmation daily, but more on that later.

Research shows that there are about 45 to 50 thousand different thoughts that cross our mind every day. That is about 150 to 300 thoughts each minute.

Ok take a pause and read that again. 300 thoughts each minute of each and every day?! That’s insane! 

Unfortunately about 80% of those thoughts are negative ones. That is a lot of negativity. But don’t worry because positive daily affirmations can help shift your mindset to a more positive one, and decrease the amount of negative thoughts.

Affirmations make you consciously aware of your thoughts. This way when you constantly think positive thoughts, it becomes easier to control the negative ones that threaten to take over.

Affirmations help reshape the mind one day at a time. As a motivational speaker and author of “The Success Principles”, Jane Canfield explains it best: “daily affirmations are to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

So now that you know what affirmations are and how they have the potential to reshape your mind, let me tell you about a few amazing benefits.

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The Benefits of Reciting Affirmations Every Day

  1. Daily morning affirmations can motivate you.
  2. They help you to stay focused on your goals.
  3. They influence the subconscious mind and affect the way you think and behave.
  4. Positive statements make you feel more positive, energetic and active, which puts you in a better position to transform your inner and external world.
  5. Affirmations will help increase your self esteem and feelings of self worth, which will help in boosting your performance in your daily life.
  6. Positive self affirmations help shift your mind and perspective from negative to positive.

How to Write Affirmations

Now that you know some of the awesome benefits of reciting daily positive affirmations, I bet you’re ready to actually start writing some of your own.

Writing affirmations that are truly effective is kind of like an art form. There are several steps to take to craft a meaningful affirmation and I’m gonna help walk you through each of them.

Step 1: “I am…”

Begin each of your affirmations with the words ‘I am’. This is what makes them the most powerful because that language gives your subconscious mind a command. This way your mind interprets it as something it must follow through with.

Example: ‘I am a runner’ vs ‘I want to be a runner.’ 

Step 2: Use present tense

With your affirmation, speak about things as if you already have them. This helps your mind visualize the outcome which inturn makes the mind more open to opportunities that will cater to that outcome.

Example: ‘I have a beautiful cottage on 5 acres of land’ instead of ‘I will buy a house with land this year.’

Step 3: Speak about what you do want

Do not use negatives in your affirmations. In fact, the subconscious mind doesn’t recognize negative words.

For example, if you say ‘I don’t hit snooze in the morning’, your mind just hears ‘I hit snooze in the morning’. So instead say ‘I get up without needing to hit snooze’.

Step 4: Keep it brief

They don’t need to be that long. In fact it’s easier to remember and recite something that is short and snappy.

Example: ‘I am a half marathon runner’ instead of ‘I am someone who runs 4 days a week because I am training for a half marathon.’

Step 5: Be specific

When you are more specific in your affirmations, it makes it easier for your mind to visualize the outcome.

Example: Turn ‘I will save more money this year’ into specifically ‘I feel financially stable with $5,000 saved in my bank account.’

Step 6: Write it for you

This one is simple. Make sure when writing your affirmations, you are writing them to describe your actions, not the actions of others.

Step 7: Make it mean something

Make sure your affirmations speak to you on a meaningful level or they won’t have much effect.

Examples of Positive Affirmations:

  • My life is full of amazing opportunities.
  • I can do anything I set my mind to.
  • Success comes easily to me
  • I am worthy of my life dreams.
  • I am creating the life of my dreams.
  • I am likeable and fun to be around.
  • I am beautiful.
  • I decide how I feel. Today I choose to be happy.
  • I see all challenges in my life as opportunities for growth

How to Use Your Affirmations

Now that you have your affirmations written to be the most meaningful for you, let’s discuss how to use them for maximum benefits.

First of all, consistency is key. You need to repeat these statements daily. The best way to make sure you do that is to set up a routine and make sure you stick to it.

I recite mine during my morning routine. Starting your morning with your affirmations can ensure you have a positive start to your day.

Write down your affirmations and put them somewhere you will see every day. For example, the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, or the wall behind your desk. Write them down in your journal every morning and recite them to yourself in front of a mirror with a confident and strong voice. Basically the more often you repeat your affirmation, the more effective they will be.

Visualize as you recite your affirmation. Imagine you already achieved your goal and feel all the emotions that come with it. This can literally ‘trick’ your subconscious mind into believing that different reality. And this has the power to change your mindset going forward with your goals.

Just a few more tips:

I have just a few more tips before I send you on your way.

  • Remember affirmations are only powerful when used correctly. Follow my steps above to create affirmations that will be effective for you.
  • Don’t make too many of them all at once. Start with focusing on just a couple 2-3 goals to make affirmations for. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
  • Be consistent. Repeat them daily, even when you may not feel like it.
  • Start with committing to do them for 30 days, no matter what. Reciting affirmations is new and is a habit you need to work to form. It won’t come naturally at first.
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Final Thoughts

The life-changing results people talk about with affirmations will not happen right away. In fact, they may not even happen within the first 6 months of you doing this practice, but don’t give up. Even in just a few short weeks, you’ll notice your mood lift and you’ll feel more inspired to keep working towards your goals.

So no giving up, ok? Promise me, because it’s so worth it.

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How to Build Self-Discipline for Success

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The most common trait among successful people is that they have mastered the art of self-discipline.

They do things that they may not always want to do or don’t feel like doing, because they know it is essential to their success.

Having discipline helps people reach their goals faster, aim higher, and accomplish more, just because they are able to push past whatever is holding them back.

However, self-discipline doesn’t come naturally to everyone – and I mean everyone. It is a learned skill that requires ongoing practice. Like any other skill in life, it takes time to develop.

Those successful people you hear about weren’t born with self-discipline already, they worked to develop it. And you can too.

Before we talk about how to improve this new skill, let’s first talk about what self-discipline actually is.

women meditating and building self-discipline

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What is Self-Discipline?

The dictionary definition of self-discipline is: “the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.”

So basically having self-discipline means you have self-control. You are able to avoid things that you know aren’t good for you and may have negative consequences. And instead do something that will have greater gain and more satisfying results, even if it requires more time and effort.

Now that you know what it is, let’s discuss why it’s an important skill to master.

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Why Mastering Self-Discipline is Important for Success

Self discipline is one of the many tools available to enhance your personal development.

Fitness experts, success coaches, doctors, and personal development gurus, like myself, stress the importance of self-discipline because it is a critical factor when it comes to achieving your goals.

Also, many people with higher levels of self-control have better relationships and communication skills, higher self-esteem, and better emotional responses. And they are often more content, satisfied, and happy in their day-to-day lives.

In order to achieve success, you need to work hard and behave in a particular way without someone else telling you to do so.

discipline is the bridge between our goals and accomplishments.

How to Build Self-Discipline: 10 Powerful Tips

1. Countdown from 10 and Then Take Action

Whenever you are feeling particularly unmotivated, count down from ten, and then force yourself to do whatever it is you should be doing.

This quick countdown can help you shift into the right mental space you need to get motivated.

For example, your alarm goes off and you know you need to get up or you won’t have time to shower before work. Instead of hitting snooze and telling yourself, it’s not worth it, count back from ten and then force yourself out of bed.

Sometimes all we need is a little push and the simple act of counting backward from 10 can get you to that next step.

2. Put Your Goals Where You Can See Them Every Day

Write your goals down and hang them up somewhere you will see often to inspire you. Hang it by your desk, on the bathroom mirror, in your car, etc.

For an added bonus, write motivational quotes related to your goal and hang those around your house, too.

A little motivation goes a long way to increase your self-discipline.

3. Start with Small Habits

Nobody can go from couch potato to running a marathon overnight. Making a shift in your lifestyle is easier if you build up gradually.

Pick some small habits to help you with your self-discipline, like making the bed before you leave your bedroom in the morning, or washing dishes right after you finish a meal.

Small habits are easier to incorporate while you are working to make a lifestyle change. And they can be built upon later.

Related: 29 New Habits to Start this Year

4. Stay Consistent

Consistency is key when building any new skill. You need to work on it every day, even if for just a few minutes, to really seen improvement.

Like I mentioned earlier, self-discipline is a skill that is learned over time. And repeated practice will make it easier to make better decisions along the way.

5. Set Yourself Up for Success Ahead of Time

Guess what, you know yourself best. If you know you might find a way to get out of something, plan for it and make it harder for that to happen.

If you know that you will go and get fast food for lunch tomorrow because it’s easier even though you want to eat healthier, pack a healthy lunch the night before to grab as you head out the door.

Make the habit you are trying to build easier to do and the habits you are trying to break more difficult.

**For more information on making habits easier, check out: Atomic Habits by James Clear

6. Know Your Why

I talk about this tip a lot, but it really works.

If you don’t truly know why you want to start a habit or make a lifestyle change, you can easily tell yourself to stop as soon as it gets hard.

If you are having trouble understanding your why, spend some time journaling about it. Make sure you really understand why you want what you’re about to put a lot of effort into.

7. Set Rewards and Consequences

Setting up a reward system like chore money worked when you were a kid and guess what, it works on adults too.

Yes, as an adult you can technically treat yourself anytime you want to. But setting up a system that includes rewards and consequences keeps you motivated to make a change until it becomes a habit.

Quick reminder, the rewards don’t have to be big or cost money. It could be as simple as ‘I’m not allowed to have coffee in the morning if I hit the snooze button’. Trust me, I’ve done that and it works, I value my coffee time in the morning, so I get up as soon as my alarm goes off.

8. Remove All the Temptations

You don’t have to become “strong enough” to resist temptations, instead just be smart enough to remove them completely.

Separating your temptations from your environment to help you stay on track is a must for building your self-discipline skill.

If you don’t have the temptation right in front of you, it’s easier to resist it.

For example, if you consistently reaching for your phone while your studying, leave it on the other side of the room or, if you can, shut it off.

At first, this is easier said than done, but as you gain control over your temptations, you’ll not only build self-discipline but also feel more confident in yourself.

Related: How to Stop Wasting Time

through self-discipline comes freedom

9. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

I know that’s easier said than done but how often do you find yourself comparing yourself to others and losing motivation.

Know that everyone is on their own journey, working at their own pace, and achieving their own goals. You do not have the same goals as the person next to you.

You are on your own unique path, don’t let the comparison trap influence your decision to get up and master your self-discipline.

Related: What is Mindset

10. Be Nice to Yourself

Building new habits and changing your current lifestyle is hard. I won’t sugarcoat it for you. Our minds like familiarity, and once you try something new, part of your subconscious will fight back.

Don’t allow obstacles to cause you to give up on your big goals.

If you made the commitment to get up early and work out 4 days last week but only did 2, don’t get frustrated with yourself. You already made a huge accomplishment just by working out 2 more times than you did before.

Unless you’re the most self-disciplined human in the world, you are going to hit the snooze button or miss a workout. You are not the only one. It’s going to happen while you are fighting your subconscious through a new habit.

Forgive yourself and keep on moving forward.

Final Thoughts

Remember self-discipline is a skill that is learned over time. There is never really an “end result” when it comes to building skills like these. But that doesn’t mean you will struggle with discipline forever.

I like the think of discipline like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets, and the easier it is to use it.

Stop waiting around for the motivation to kick in, cause it won’t when you need it most.

Start implementing these 10 tips into your life now to build that self-discipline skill, and you will start seeing results

Mastering self-discipline is important for a happier and more full-filled life. You cannot succeed in life without it.

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What is Mindset and Why is it so Important

mindset

A lot of people seem to be talking about mindset these days. At least that’s what I’ve been hearing. They talk about positive and negative mindsets, growth mindset, abundance mindset, etc.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on it lately because I wanted to make sure my mindset wasn’t holding me back in any way.

Well, let me tell you, there is a lot about mindset on the interweb. There are also tons of books on it too. Literally, there’s so much information out there.

Now, I don’t want to see you spending half your day researching all there is about it. So instead I’ve done that for you (though I might have spent an entire weekend researching instead…)

In this blog post, I’m gonna help you understand what mindset actually is and why it’s important for your personal development.

Are you ready? Let’s dive right in.

What is Mindset?

Before we go any further, you need to understand what mindset is exactly.

In simple terms, it’s a way of thinking. But let’s dive deeper than that.

Your mindset is a collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape your thought process. Then, in turn, affects how you think, feel, and do everything.

So really your mindset impacts how you make sense of the world and how you make sense of yourself. It’s your view on what is possible.

So, your mindset sounds like a pretty big deal, right?

Let’s talk about why in much more detail.

Why is your Mindset so Important?

Alright, here’s the thing, understanding your mindset is pretty important, and I’ll tell ya why.

Let’s say you’re thinking about quitting your 9-5 job in a big corporate office to start your own sewing business. (I know, big example, but stay with me). You are pretty excited about the idea but your best friend says that it’s a terrible idea because once when you hemmed up her dress, it came right out a week later. This incident is now in your brain and you might tell yourself if you can’t even sew your friend’s dress, why would you even bother trying to open your own sewing business. You give up on the idea of opening your own business and stay at your soul-sucking 9-5 job. Sad right.

This is an example of how your mindset can be self-limiting, often called a fixed mindset, but more on that later.

Now hey, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, other people’s beliefs about you do not define you!

This is where really understanding your mindset becomes so important.

You have to go through all the crap you’ve heard or seen to figure out what you truly believe. This can be hard work, especially if you’ve been on this planet for a while, but it can be so rewarding if you are able to change and grow your mindset.

You know what? I think you can do anything you put your mind too. The world will never know your amazing talents and abilities if you don’t try.

The question is not “Who am I”, the question is “Who am I Becoming”.

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    Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

    Now that you know what mindset is and why it’s important let’s discuss the different types.

    There are two main types of mindsets: Growth and Fixed

    A Growth Mindset is when people believe their most basic abilities and qualities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This view creates a love of learning that is essential for great accomplishments.

    Basically, these types of people believe that “Great learners are made, not born”, and they focus more on the journey rather than the end result, or goal.

    On the opposite end, a Fixed Mindset is when people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talents, are fixed traits. Meaning their abilities are unchangeable.

    With this attitude, you believe that you are essentially born with abilities you can’t change or get better at.

    They believe that if talent is fixed, ‘why bother improving’ or ‘why even try’.

    Using the example above, if you believe you can only hem dresses that fall out a week later, you have a fixed mindset. You believe that you can never get better at it, no matter how much practice you put in, so why would you even bother trying.

    People with fixed mindsets view failure as permanent and are not encouraged to try again. While people with growth mindsets view failing as a chance to learn and try again.

    You Have Control of Your Mindset

    The best part about understanding mindset is that now you can start to learn how to control it yourself.

    You can craft it to work for you, not against you. To give you the strength and power, rather than drag you down.

    However, we only have control if we take control.

    Here are a few steps you can start today to begin taking control of your mindset:

    1. Start learning to hear your fixed mindset “voice”

    The next time you approach a challenge, notice the voice that says: “Are you sure you can do that?” or “What if you fail – people will laugh at you.”

    Pay attention to when and why you are thinking that way.

    2. Recognize that you have a choice

    You have a choice in how you interpret the challenges, setbacks, and criticism.

    You can continue to interpret them in a fixed mindset with that voice in the back of your head saying “You can’t do it”.

    Or you can start to interpret them with a growth mindset, as signs that you should ramp it up and expand your abilities.

    3. Talk back to it with your growth mindset voice.

    When your fixed mindset says “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.” Respond back saying: “I’m not sure I can do it now, but with time and effort I can learn how to.”

    More examples:

    Fixed: “What if you fail?”

    Growth: “The most successful people had failures along the way too. I can learn from my failures and continue to improve.”

    Fixed: “If you don’t try, you can protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

    Growth: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

    Practice hearing both voices, and focus on cultivating your growth mindset.

    Final Thoughts

    Your mindset affects everything from creative risk-taking to how you view feedback from others and whether or not you finish difficult tasks.

    In the end, it’s one of the greatest factors in determining whether or not you will grow and improve in your abilities.

    Now that you understand how important your mindset is, you can start working to change it from fixed to growth.

    Related books:

    Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

    You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

    Rewire Your Brain by Richard Kim

    what is mindset and why it's important