This post is destined for beginners who might just be getting into personal development. These are the 5 most important habits you can install in your life, and will form the foundation of your growth.
They’re not difficult habits to install, but do them, and the results will compound over time.
Here’s the list:
Meditation has gotten a ton of press in the last few years with spirituality becoming a bigger pert of society and people realizing the benefits of it.
You don’t have to be a spiritual person to get the benefits of it. There’s plenty of scientific evidence to back up how important a tool it can be. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress and cravings, and increase happiness and productivity.
I’ll do another post with all the benefits and implications of meditation, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. This is just an introduction.
As you probably know, there are hundreds of ways to mediate, thousands of guided meditations, and seemingly conflicting techniques.
Don’t worry. There’s nothing to worry about.
The best definition of meditation I’ve found is simply: what is.
I can highly recommend actualized.org‘s guided meditation, consisting of letting go. It’s the one I use every day.
As for how often to meditate? You can go the hardcore 8 hours a day, but just start with 20 minutes. 20 minutes sitting down meditating, if that’s all you can do, is great to start out with. After a while, increase it.
Warning! Meditation is NOT all sunshine and rainbows. You’re dealing with the inner workings of your mind. It gets messy. You’ll get stressed out, then worry about not meditating right, you might fall asleep a few times… Not super relaxing when you first start out.
The next habit to add is a journal.
This isn’t a fixed habit like meditation or exercise are. I just like having a place to right down things that come to mind, or venting, or trying to solve problems on my own.
There are tons of ways to journal, none of them wrong, just go with what works for you. Make it personal, creative.
I also recommend having a gratitude section in your journal.
A journal is great for solving your own problems, as it allows you to get a third-person perspective on your life.
It’s probably the easiest habit to install. Think of it as installing a second brain.
This is more of a lifestyle switch than a habit.
Much like meditation, people are starting to wake up and see the many benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.
Most people realize the surface level benefits: more energy, longer life span, clearer mind, happier…
What most people don’t realize is that moving your body also impacts your growth on a psychological level.
How do you access your intuition? Access your body. Intuition comes or through the body, not the head. Treat your body like an instrument that you fine-tune.
This healthy lifestyle is made up of 3 aspects: exercise (working out, sports, movement), nutrition (eating a balanced diet), and rest (getting enough sleep, keeping stress levels low). All three are important for a healthy lifestyle.
Again, this is a more personalized topic than meditation. Do what works for you in each aspect: exercise, nutrition, and rest. Go with what feels right and make you feel physical good.
In the spirit of cultivating deeper understanding, which is one of the ultimate goals of all this (click here for that post), we need to read. A lot.
For beginners, try reading 1 self-help book per month. Once you get some areas of your life handled, expand your range of material, mostly into the spiritual realm. Develop a big-picture understanding of what’s going on here.
For examples of good, basic PD books to read, well, you’re on the right site 😉
Reading and learning is a good way to develop yourself, but there are traps associated with it. Beware becoming the armchair philosopher. I know I fell into this trap, and still do. Knowing is only half the battle, doing is the part that counts.
5. Being / Reflecting
The last habit that I want you to install is one of being / reflecting. Our lives are mostly run by doing doing doing, more more more. Take time out of your day to slow down.
As you develop yourself further, you’ll see that the truest thing you can do is simply be. Just sit and do nothing. If you’re not used to it, it can be harder than it sounds.
At some point, being and doing nothing can become the most fulfilling activity of your life.
Another aspect of this is reflecting. Reflect on life, on how little we know, on how lucky we are, on your death, on how you want to feel on your deathbed…
Contemplate the big questions, and the little nagging stuff falls away. It simply doesn’t bother you.
So hopefully this short post gave you some ideas about how to build a foundation for personal development.