“Good habits exist despite circumstances.”
—Rohan Rajiv, a Product Manager at LinkedIn
Image from Unsplash by Nubelson Fernandes
How true is today’s quote for you?
What habits do you stick with regardless of the circumstances?
Consider the areas of family, health, faith and your vocation. What tried-and-true behaviors occur like clockwork even when facing the winds of change?
Just as a sturdy tree can yield and bend with the breeze, our good habits act as roots that keep us upright and grounded regardless of the weather.
Where in your life do external circumstances make keeping your good habits difficult?
How can you shore up these best practices with greater discipline and grit to keep up your forward momentum whatever comes your way?
“You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make an earnest effort to confer that pleasure on others?”
—Carolyn Fansler, ElderShare Program Manager at Central Pennsylvania Food Bank
Image from Unsplash by Tyler Nix
Over the holidays I had extra time to be with family and friends, and for a bigger helping of entertainment.
One quiet afternoon while others were napping and digesting their last meal, I finally got a chance to begin watching the Apple comedy, Ted Lasso.
After only a handful of episodes I can see why it is a fan favorite.
Ted’s cheerful personality and warm “good old boy” charm definitely smooths the rough edges on virtually everyone he meets.
Who are the cheerful people in your life that bring smiles to your face and brighten your world?
To what degree would you be mentioned on the list of others as you try to lasso their lives?
Some say that birds of a feather flock together. To expand your world, you may wish to seek out and embrace an odd duck now and then.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Kevin Gedge
Take a few minutes to examine your personal and professional communities.
To what degree do the people around you look, act, and think like you?
Where and in what areas of your life do you observe and participate in groups of people with diverse backgrounds?
Where do you notice some odd ducks that challenge your thinking and your comfort?
Where might you be the odd duck, feeling out of place and awkward?
How do these experiences expand your world and help you grow?
How does flying with your current flock limit the places you can go?
How would a few detours with some different birds reveal some new sites to build your next nest?
“If there was no money, and everything depended on your moral standards, the way that you behave, and the way you treated people, how would you be doing in life?”
—Tupac Shakur, 20th Century American rapper and actor
Image from Unsplash by Markus Spike
Money and possessions are a primary way many of us measure our success and status.
Who are the people at the top in your various professional and personal communities?
What are their extrinsic and intrinsic measures of excellence and achievement?
How do you measure yourself against these people?
How often do you use good character and high moral standards as benchmarks for a meaningful life?
If you were to eliminate all external evidence of success how well would you be doing?
Create a list of 5-10 people in your life that model the moral standards and behaviors you most admire.
Do your best to spend additional time with these folks and let their example help you up your game.
“In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have taken for granted.”
—Bertrand Russell, 20th Century British Philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Jon Tyson
Did you do a year-in-review assessment for 2022?
If you did, where did you notice things not progressing as you had wished? You may have even noticed some areas regressing.
If this is the case, it may be because we keep doing and thinking the same things over and over since they worked reasonably well in the past.
So many things around us have changed in the past year. When we remain fundamentally the same, it’s not surprising that a good number of our efforts miss the mark.
Questioning our thinking and adapting our behaviors accordingly seems like a wiser strategy for the year ahead.
In what areas of life would a few more question marks help you break some of your personal patterns so that new worlds may emerge?
“A classic sign of addictive behavior is when something not human starts to supplant human relationships.”
—Arthur C. Brooks, faculty member of the Harvard Business School
Image from Unsplash by Unsplash
Over the 4th of July holiday we attended a family pool party. The weather and water temperature were perfect. It was extra special because everyone focused on each other the entire day without a cell phone in sight — except for one individual.
When not swimming or eating, this person was head down in his device, even when his bathing-suit-clad children were seeking his attention to talk or play.
Where do you or others in your life prioritize things over people? What addictive behaviors need some adjustment to demonstrate that the best things in life are not things?
“Before you try to increase your willpower, try decreasing the friction in your environment.”
—James Clear, Writer, Entrepreneur and Behavior Science Expert
Image from Unsplash by Sandeep Singh
In any new coaching engagement, it is very helpful to examine the personal, social, and structural supports that are already in place.
Better outcomes are unlikely without a significant degree of motivation, ability, and willpower.
Having the social support of friends, family, and colleagues provides both encouragement and accountability.
Structural support is often trickier in that environmental cues already in place often trigger old, entrenched habits that do not serve new behaviors and better results.
Explore James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits for more ideas on this subject, and his 1-2-3 Newsletter to get you thinking differently to create better results in many areas of life.
I also recommend the book Influencer — The Power to Change Anything for other strategies to decrease the friction in our environments.
Upgrade your morning routine to get an even better start to your day. What small or significant adjustments will you make?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Khadeeja Yasser
What do you include in your morning routine? How often do you need an alarm to wake you? How often do you push the snooze button for a few extra minutes?
What time do your go to bed? What bedtime rituals occur before your head hits the pillow?
When was the last time you experienced jet lag?
When have your circadian rhythms been knocked out of whack by changing time zones, daylight savings time, or even staying up extra late to watch a movie or go out on the town? When we do, there almost always seems to be a cost we pay the next day in our ability to focus and be productive.
Consider reexamining your bedtime and morning routines. What tweaks or tectonic adjustments can and will you make to get a better start on your days?
“Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.”
—Leonard Cohen, late Canadian singer-songwriter
Image from Unsplash by Kyle Head
To what degree are you the person you want to be? Where do you see gaps that you wish to bridge in your personal or professional worlds?
Consider examining the lives of people you admire and respect within your various communities. What are others doing and achieving?
Examining the lives of people outside our communities and studying the biographies of remarkable people from the past can also provide clues to how we wish to live.
Where and how can you begin acting in the way you would like to be?
What specific behaviors have been modeled for you by others, to guide you to act the way you would like to be?