10 Habits to start an EXCELLENT day

When I was about 9 I studied in the same class as a couple of twins. They were ordinary children except for one aspect.

One day I was invited to visit their house near the school. We did the homework together and then they got their violins and started playing. I was amazed.

The previous year I had ended my "violinist career" without ever having left the song "Shine Shines", hiding my violin under the bed so I did not have to practice.

To my amazement my friends were playing long, complex pieces. I sat with my eyes fixed on her fingers that moved with apparent ease in the strings.

If I had not tried playing the violin I might not have been so stunned. But I knew how hard it was to hit those strings. How challenging it was to keep the bow tilting and moving, making a soft or strong sound without getting strident. I knew the shoulder ached after a while. How could they know how to do this so well?

As I was always curious I asked these and many other questions and they counted. They began to learn violin at the age of three. The musician father, conductor of orchestra and composer, exposed the music from very early. However the ability to play had not been transmitted in the genes.

They practiced for 3 hours daily. It was what they were doing at that moment. But it did not seem to be suffering. No one had asked them to practice. It was so natural to them that they apparently had no alternative but to pick up the violins after school duty was done.

They were simply in the habit of practicing a violin so deeply rooted in their lives that it would be a major nuisance for them to stop practicing the instrument rather than practicing. It was not an effort, it was a natural part of life, something that would inevitably happen.

After the ninth year they moved on to a music conservatory and later became professional musicians and played in orchestras. Their older brother playing the cello won a prize in a competition for young musicians. All a natural consequence of years and years of daily training.


What skill or characteristic would you like to have?

Have you ever noticed any people who have a skill or a characteristic that you admire and would like to have? Maybe you wondered if it would be a born talent or if she or he makes a huge effort to have reached that level of knowledge, skill or dexterity in some area. Now you know. It is very likely that this person had a cultivated habit for a long time that enabled him to acquire that level of skill.

Do you realize the aspects of your life that are influenced by your habits? It's actually quite difficult to find something that is not touched by habits. The reason is simple. Our brain, a "device" more powerful than any computer, works with the principle of least effort. It seems contradictory, but it is not. Our brain enables us to do very complex things on a daily basis without having to devote any conscious thought to it-precisely because it makes use of habits that already exist as recorded programs in our minds.

What if this were possible for you?

If you want to understand more about how our habits are formed and how we can influence this process so that we can acquire the habits that could most help us achieve our goals and ideals, whether to get in shape, learn an instrument or perform well In studies or at work, I invite you to participate in the free webinar 9 Simple steps to acquire and fix new habits to know how to live well . Click the link here to register.

In order for you to start having ideas about what habits you would like to establish in your life, I will share some that I have chosen to cultivate. I'll tell you what they are and let's see if you identify the goals I'm trying to achieve through these habits.


10 Habits to start an EXCELLENT day

These are some of the habits I have chosen to practice daily. They are part of my morning routine. I hope they can serve as inspiration for you to choose yours. For me these are in fact the basis for an excellent day.

1. Arrange your bed

As soon as my feet hit the ground I start to clean my bed. It was not always like this, you can probably count on the fingers at times during the teenage years when I made my bed.

I decided to start this habit after realizing that what they said was true: if your bed is tidy the room seems to be in order. I love to see my room all tidy - or rather, apparently all neat, as soon as I finish making the bed. And it only takes a few seconds for that.

I recently gained more support for this habit when I read that studies that investigated impacts of certain habits came to the conclusion that it was possible to relate the habit of bed-mowing in the morning not only with a more organized bedroom but also with higher productivity, Well-being and even with a greater ability to stay within your budget. Apparently some habits have a much broader impact than expected.

2. Hydrate yourself

After a good night's sleep (another important habit) our body needs fluid. You are tired of knowing that you should drink 2-3 liters of water a day. Few people follow this medical advice. Would it help you to be motivated to drink more water in the morning if I said that drinking enough water will make your belly look leaner, will it benefit your skin besides facilitating digestion?

I have been drinking a large glass of water with a bit of lemon juice (a small piece of lemon squeezed) as soon as I get into the kitchen - it seems to restart your digestion at the same time.

On cold mornings I drink green tea with nothing. It has a slightly bitter taste that not everyone appreciates. I learned a tip from my sister to prevent the tea getting too bitter. You put the green tea bag in water just below the boiling point and leave it for only 1 minute. It should not be squeezed. This way it gets less bitter.

From what Dr. Google informs green tea contain flavonoid which are antioxidants - which means it combats the free radicals that can cause cancer in our body. If you know how to explain this better than I leave your comment at the end. What matters to me is that it does well and is warm.

3. Pursue tasks while preparing the coffee.

While the oats are starting to cook or the water from the eggs boils, I start by carrying out some task. I empty the dishwasher, put clothes on the machine, and pull meat from the freezer for later. This habit of adjusting things slowly in the intervals is not something I have absorbed completely yet - how much later in the day, more difficult these mundane tasks seem to me.

When I manage to do some small tasks early I feel much more competent. I believe that the habit of keeping small maintenance tasks up-to-date strengthens our self-confidence so that when larger opportunities arise we do not question our ability to take on a new responsibility - after all, the ones we already have, however different they may be Category or sphere of life, are in order. But who wants to sacrifice long periods to maintenance tasks? That's why I think it's a good solution to take advantage of the waiting times and the intervals to solve some small task before it becomes bigger and more demanding.

4. Eat a nutritious breakfast

I learned a few years ago that what we eat influences our mental acuity for the next two hours. Since I usually need to do my most demanding work in the morning, I need the clarity and energy I gain from a very nutritious breakfast.

With nourishing I'm saying something like cooked oats served with a sliced anana and milk or scrambled eggs with some vegetable or vegetable like a very small onion, tomato and maybe a little zucchini. It can also be Greek yoghurt with fruit and granola. I've tried making the so-called green juice a few times, but this has not yet become a usual choice.

How could you improve your food choices early in the morning? It might be worth doing some experiments and seeing how you feel.

5. Do an inspirational reading

I read at least one chapter of the Bible, sometimes more. In the same pile I keep two other books of reflections that I read when I feel I have time for this. I have a notebook where I write down the points that stand out for me and where I record some thoughts.

As a teenager I read a biography where I learned a routine that I followed for years. The routine was to read two chapters of the Old Testament, two from the New Testament, one chapter from the Proverbs and four from the Psalms. It was great while my responsibilities were few. Having children, having a quiet time for reading has become a huge challenge. I had to adjust my expectations and start over by reading only a little bit a day.

The most important of this spiritual practice for me is to receive other stimuli than my own thoughts. Many times I sit down to read having a worry, an irritation with something or a sense of anxiety that when I do the reading, they become undone or become a much more useful attitude.

6. Pray and reflect on the day

Along with my reading I reflect on the context of my life and how it is put into perspective in front of what I am reading. I note some motives of gratitude in my notebook and verbalize my concerns and feelings, putting them before God. I just stop, calm down and appreciate that moment of peace.

7. Talk to your other signifier

About this time my husband is coming home after taking the children to school. While he drinks his coffee, we talk, plan the day, etc. Often we pray together.

Keeping emotional closeness in marriage is important to me and I believe that for this to become a reality it is important to keep the dialogue flowing. Placing yourself vulnerable to the other, admitting failings, and understanding and forgiving the other's mistakes is the basis for a lasting relationship.

8. Exercise

When one of today's greatest entrepreneurs, Richard Branson of Virgin, was asked about what he thought had most contributed to his business success, his response was: physical exercise. Tony Robbins, a very successful author and speaker, said the same thing.

If you are thinking that this would need to involve daily visits to the gym and endless series of painful exercises you may be surprised. For physical exercise "counting" you do not need to be wearing matching colored knit sets or pay tuition at the gym - just move. Every kind of movement counts: walking with the dog, cleaning, caring for the plants in the garden, climbing the stairs, making love and walking in the mall. If you simply stop using the car or a car to solve chores on the street or to pick up or take a child to school or to an activity, you can already compute those minutes of movement.

Ideally we should move for at least 30 minutes 3-4 times a week - however if you want to not only maintain but improve your fitness it would be good that it was closer to 60 minutes 5-6 times a week.

Many days in the morning I go for a walk or I do some localized exercises. Other times I count on the walk involved when I go on public transport for an appointment or when I need to resolve some matter on the street or do some minor grocery shopping.

Let me guess - do not you have the time for this? Of course, every minute of your day at the moment is taken by something else. That's why getting a new habit is challenging - we need to get rid of some other habit to make room for the new.

Without getting too much into the content I'm going to pass on the Webinar, it would be good to think of the new habit as one enters the party. It needs to go unnoticed, preferably along with someone who is already known. How could you include more movement in your day in the most subtle and easy way possible?

9. Get ready to receive the day

I work from a home-office - which in clear Portuguese means that many days I am at home all day and I may not see anyone but my family. In theory, you could spend the day in any old T-shirt or pajamas and slippers. But I see a clear improvement in my own attitude toward my chores when I dress up the same way as if I were leaving to work in an office or going to a meeting with a client. It seems that I take my work more seriously.

The way we present ourselves impacts not only the impression we make on other people but also our perception of ourselves. Companies like Mary Kay teach their consultants how to even get in touch with customers over the phone because they realize the difference in the way the person presents himself when he feels confident in himself by being well in his presentation as well.

You may not need to impress anyone well, but you impact yourself and your self-image by the way you take care of yourself.

When I offered the Saber Viver Course for the first time it was clear to me the change that occurred in the presentation of participants throughout the course. At the same time as we were stirring up inner issues and goals, it seemed that this also affected the way they looked and felt. This was reflected in the fact that they began to value themselves more, including fixing their hair, putting on a lipstick and choosing the clothes more carefully.

I'm not recommending some sort of frenzy of beauty treatments and unreasonable spending on clothes, accessories and makeup. It is not necessary. What it takes is just a little bit of intentionality when it comes to taking care of yourself and choosing how you want to be present in the world. 
Is there anything you would like to do in this direction?

10. Sharpen your professional ability

This will vary according to your profession or activity. For me it means that I spend some time (which can be between 15 and 60 min) at professional reading before starting my work. Every year I choose some themes in which I want to go deeper. I search and acquire books and other resources related to the subjects in question. And the habit I practice, but that is not yet fixed, is to spend these first 15 min, at least, studying. My ideal is to be able to read one book a week, but I still do not achieve this ideal consistently.

This is the habit that I have had more challenges in establishing. Which is a bit strange because I love reading and learning. I spend a few weeks firm and strong, making progress, and then I get worried about projects that need to be completed and tasks to be done, and I think I need more time for these things and I slow down in the study. But there is no doubt that it is essential for anyone who wants to grow and improve continuously, to continue learning and always updating. That's why I'm always starting over.

What are the 2-4 areas or skills you would like to perfect? What daily habit could you adopt to sharpen your skill and knowledge?

Is that you? Already choosing what habits you will want to establish in your life to support your priorities and goals? Leave a comment below saying what habit you practice or want to adopt. And do not forget to sign up for the webinar  9 Simple Steps to Adopt and Set Habits to Know How to Live Well .

In this webinar I will give a very practical summary of everything I have learned about how habits work, how we can influence our ability to acquire new habits with very specific tips that align with what neuroscientists are bringing us about brain functioning .

You will leave this webinar knowing exactly how to start a new plan of habits and indicating several resources to make this change affect your life as a whole, if this is what you want.


This article was written by Anna Korkman Lopes, a psychologist, family therapist and coach and first published on www.saberviverbem.com

Visit www.saberviverbem.com to be inspired and challenged to overcome the challenges of everyday life, to learn how to live well. Receive the Reflection Book of the Year for free to help you learn from your experiences and make your plans and dreams finally come true.