Many people make resolutions for the New Year and overtime ends up not reaching those goals that were set. The reason for this being that many goals are unrealistic, there is no plan of action put in place and the first sign of failure scares people away. We all have these dreams in our hearts of where and what we should be but never take the time to develop purposeful habits to help reach those goals. So, I stopped making a whole bunch of resolutions and have rather decided to form healthy habits that will ultimately lead me to greater heights. When good habits are formed, one can achieve anything. Hebrews 5:14 says “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil”. The intention here is to invest in building a positive mindset, so I hope these few habits will help you on your way to taking on 2020.
- Good sleep: Many people underestimate the power of good sleep. I formed a bad habit where I would take my cell phone with me to bed and maybe watch some series before I sleep. I found that I was continuously exhausted and woke up with body pains. Let your bedroom be only for sleeping because the distractions from your phone stimulate your brain so much that it steals from you even after you fall asleep. I know most people work late, have different shifts and sleeping rhythms are different. However, I urge you to make a conscious decision to sleep at a specific time and wake up at a specific time every day. If you are like me, sleeping at 10 pm and waking at 5 am works miracles. You will fail a few times but keep that alarm set and the more you do it daily, the greater your productivity will be.
- Choose to be happy no matter what: Our society has labelled depression as a disease, so people latch onto it in their minds when something doesn’t go their way and it becomes a stumbling block to progress. There are so many things that can go wrong in our lives but if we take everything to heart and choose not to be happy, we stagnate. I believe it is a holistic approach to wake up and purposefully declare that you will remain happy no matter what happens today. Satan will want to trample on that thought process but remember that the only person that has control over your mind is you. Do not allow yourself any reason to be depressed because life is full of opportunities, so many variables and things can turn around in a second.
- Make the word of God your favourite book: This is definitely a difficult one for us because of the fast pace of life. However, part of investing in your mindset has a lot to do with the word of God. Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”. Only the word of God can show you how to deal with circumstances, how to trust God more, how to live right, how to dispel darkness and fear and most importantly, how to live a full life. It is a love letter from God to us all. I can’t tell you when and where you should read it but make a conscious choice to savour it every day.
- Keep moving: You only stop moving when you die. So while you are still alive, keep moving. Movement gets your heart pumping, increases blood flow, and releases endorphins which in turn make you feel good. These movements could be signing up at the gym, walking, house chores, playing with your kids, joining a yoga class, swimming, etc. You may or may not drop a few kilos but the main point is to give your lungs and heart work to do so that you are healthy.
- Have a wake-up routine that positively prepares you for the day: This does not include checking your social media when you first wake up. This was a bad habit I picked up and it never helped me become productive. Imagine the first thing you read is bad news or you find someone has beat you to something you wanted in a long time, then your day is messed up already. Most people prefer a delicious cup of coffee in the morning, a nice early morning run, bible reading, listening to a beautiful song while brushing their teeth, writing down what they are grateful for, etc. One I discovered that works for me are to go out on to the balcony when I awake and inhale all that fresh air. The day is not chaotic yet so I have time to breathe, smile and talk to God. What works for you? I would be happy if you leave me a comment.
- Accept the things you can’t change: Many times we want what we can’t have and even if we know we can have it, we are impatient. Your body can only handle a limited amount of stress and any more could be detrimental. I have learned that I can’t always make things happen my way and I must let go and accept situations I have no control over. It was hard to accept that there is nothing I can do about the recurrent miscarriages I have. Every time the tests came back normal, I was plagued with the question of what is really going on. It took a while but I realised that this is not in my control but God’s. If there is a situation in your life you cannot change due to certain circumstances, my advice is to move on and let time heal or change things.
- Do not shy away from opportunities or something new: I have heard people say “lady luck is never on my side, so I won’t even bother trying”. God has purposefully brought you into this world to play a certain type of role, so do not devalue yourself. In the meantime, never say no to new opportunities unless it is illegal and dangerous of course, leave the nest, take on some new challenges, and try something new every day. This might seem small but because of how I was raised I never like seeing people walk barefoot. Lately, I decided to just let myself be dirty and walk around barefoot and I could not believe how good I felt, I mean it was so freeing. The Star online fitness 2018 wrote that walking barefoot helps reduce inflammation, pain, helps you sleep better, regulates cortisol, etc. Do not be afraid of change.
- It is ok to fail: Many people are so afraid of failure because of the pressure our parents, friends, and society puts on us. This was one of my biggest problems because I have always excelled in many things. At some point like flying darts, failure and rejections kept coming from all angles and I thought my life was over. What I didn’t realise was that my learning capabilities increased, my skin got thicker and I discovered hidden talents. There is a purpose for everything my friends. If you have not failed at anything, you are not ready for success. You may have gone through life never experiencing failure but please when it does show up, do not be dismayed or depressed because it means you are close to a breakthrough. Today we have wireless cell phones, airplanes, light bulbs; computers, different car engines, etc. because the inventors did not allow failure to stop them. When you fail, see it as a learning process and try again.
- Educate yourself more: You never miss out on life as long as you keep improving yourself. The age of technology has made it possible to learn a lot of things on the internet. Take a course on something, learn new skills or read more books. I took an online course on interior decorating and its one of the best feelings ever.
- Get rid of negative atmospheres: Negative atmospheres are gateways through which we are deceived and kept in bondage by Satan. If you are to become productive and live your best life, you cannot surround yourself with negativity. These negative gateways come inform of who we hang out with, what we see and hear. When you spend time around negativity, you begin to project that darkness. I am a very sensitive person so I am quite careful of the people or things I surround myself with.
It is time to disconnect from that news or TV show that brings fear of the future and rather focus on things that bring you joy. If you are in relationships that do not bring out the best in you, I suggest it is time to walk away. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Proverbs 22:24 also says “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man”. If you are attached to anything in life that brings you sadness, it is time to let it go. Many times we wonder why we feel like there is a dark cloud over our heads or we can’t seem to break out of certain addictions. This is because we are not guarding our ear and eye gates. Search out those in your life that help mold you into who God wants you to be and never take them for granted. Hebrews 3:13 says “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin”.
These are the few tips I wanted to share with you and I pray that 2020 is a blessed year for you.