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5 Ways to Change Your Habits and Reach Your Goals

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American philosopher Will Durant once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Therefore, being excellent is not a single act, but a habit. Have you ever questioned how you choose to spend those precious 24 hours we receive every day? I bet you have. Most of us flirt with the idea of becoming more productive, satisfied, and successful in our daily activities.

However, most of the time, we fall short. We don’t check off the many things we’ve compiled on our to-do lists, let alone our bucket lists. But why? It turns out, no matter how much you plan and think about your goals, if your habits don’t align, you won’t reach them.

Habits start in the subconscious mind

Neuroscientists agree that habits are primarily formed in our subconscious mind. They’re triggered by the brain’s limbic system, which is the same area that controls our emotions. This means that the way you feel indirectly dictates which activities you decide to carry out at certain moments during the day—without you even realizing it.

Here’s an example: You’re driving home at rush hour. If a car suddenly swerves into your lane without signaling, and you’re in a bad mood, chances are you’re going to get angry and start honking at the driver, even before you realize what you’re doing.

Another example: You come home exhausted from a difficult day at work. You need to compensate for that feeling of exhaustion—and frustration—so you decide to raid the fridge and grab a big piece of chocolate cake to get an instant reward and “feel better.”

See how your emotions could influence your habits?

Let me give you another interesting insight about habits: The primal, reptilian side of the brain, in combination with the limbic system, also trigger the formation of our belief systems. Therefore, habits are the result of our deepest beliefs.

What does that mean?

If you believe, at your very core, that you’re inefficient or unskilled, your unconscious mind will act as if it’s following your mandate. You’ll put off what you “can’t do” and develop procrastination as a habit.

If, on the other hand, you deeply believe you can reach a specific goal—let’s say, you want to lose weight, and you really believe it’s possible—you’ll end up developing habits that will eventually set you on the right path.

Knowing this, what does it take to nudge your brain along and exchange your bad habits for good ones that will help you reach your goals?

“Your habits will determine your future.” – Jack Canfield

1. Develop a strong faith in your capability to reach your goals.

If your faith is strong enough, your belief that you can “make it happen” will send signals to your limbic system about what needs to happen next. It’s like our inner voice whispers and does its magic through the open channel of faith.

2. Become aware of your behaviors and actions.

If you really want to know yourself, you need to look at yourself with your eyes wide open. Observe—without judgment—what behaviors and emotions are driving your actions. It sounds simple, but it can be quite challenging in the beginning.

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s easier to fool people before you can convince them that they’ve been fooled.” I think this equally applies to what we do to ourselves when we develop bad habits. We prefer to deny them or find excuses about why we can’t change them.

But if you pay attention and become consciously aware of your habits, you access your inner power—your perceptions and belief system—and from there, you can change anything you desire.

3. Start micro.

In his book The Little Book of Talent, sports adviser and author Daniel Coyle emphasizes the importance of taking, and repeating, small steps to reach the highest levels of excellence. If you start micro and keep at it, you’ll likely end up mastering the activity.

That’s the secret of many elite athletes. They repeat their endurance trainings daily for several hours and make slow but incremental changes until they master their art.

4. Repetition is king.

Repetition creates long-lasting habits. If you want to change a habit that’s not serving you, then you need to consciously repeat the desired activity until it becomes part of your unconscious repertoire.

Remember: It takes conscious effort to detect patterns of thought, behavior, and action, but once you notice and change the targeted trait, you can use repetition and incremental steps to completely change your habits.

5. Fall in love with your self-identity.

Many people don’t recognize themselves anymore. In a world where we’ve overloaded with information, it’s challenging to keep our attention on the things that are truly relevant to us.

Habits that help you reach your goals should get priority over everything else. If you struggle to understand your priorities, you might be the victim of racing thoughts, which suppress your capability to think in a clear and orderly way.

So, what’s the remedy? Slow down. Make a conscious decision to do less. Commit to more meaningful activities. Look for those things that add real value and meaning to your life, and then build a set of habits that support those activities.

What might this look like? Well, do you love nature? Does it inspire you to do great work? Then make a conscious habit of spending at least 30 minutes of your day in direct contact with nature: a walk in the park, a quick swim in the lake, or some gardening.

Life is for living, not for imprisonment. Don’t let your habits imprison your self-identity. Instead, use your habits as a gateway to find yourself and what makes your life meaningful and worth living.

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20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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