Do you want to become a more disciplined person in order to achieve your goals? Yes? Well, it is easier than you think. Building new habits is hard especially as we get older. We get stuck in our ways because it’s the most comfortable. There is nothing wrong with this but to reach, sustain, and build on your goals all you have to do is simply choose to do these three things everyday. They will not only help you create intentional habits but bring peace of mind to everything you do.
Make the Bed
I don’t know about you but I wasn’t always the best at making my bed when I got up in the mornings. It seemed like such a silly thing to do growing up since I was going to get back into it several hours later. It wasn’t until deep into my adulthood that my husband, a military school alumni, shared why making the bed mattered. It created the habit of consistency. He explained that by waking up and starting my day by completing this one small task I set everything else in upward motion. It also made it easier to apply this same consistency to other things throughout the day. So, the first way to develop an intentional habit is to choose to make the bed.
Close the Curtain
The second way to establish intentional habits is to “close the curtain." I stayed at my aunt’s house one summer during grad school when she made me responsible for closing all of her curtains at sunset. I thought I did until I’d wake up to her telling me that I did not close her curtains. We went back and forth until she so loving pointed in the direction of the curtain and asked me if I can see outside. I could. Not to mention the fact that they weren’t pulled all the way. In short, I did a poor job. She went on to explain that closing her curtains was not about the curtains specifically. It was about me learning how to follow through. It was about choosing to be effective with finishing strong. Our culture places a lot of value on starting something and giving out free passes when we loose steam to not finish it. But, this causes more stress and makes for a poor reputation. Keep your peace of mind by choosing to finish strong and follow through on what you’ve started.
The last way to build an intentional habit goes along with following through, and that is starting small. I am guilty of getting too far ahead of myself and (over)thinking myself out of something before I even begin! Whether that was thinking of all the steps I have to take to get to the gym by 7am, and being so tired from thinking that I just lay in the bed, or overanalyzing a blogpost and not ever getting to it. I overcome my first challenge by simply starting. If it was the gym, getting out of the bed without thinking is the first battle won. If it was finishing a work task then it was simply turning on the computer. Choose to take a small step in the direction of starting and you will find the motivation you need to consistently finish strong.
Habits take time to build and they take time to break. By making the choice to make your bed, close the curtains, and starting small, you’ll have developed a strong foundation that makes it easier to build habits on later. It also simplifies your life and makes room in your mind, and your schedule, to get you back to what matters to you most.