6 Habits That Will Help You Reach Your Goals No Matter What They Are

6 Habits That Will Help You Reach Your Goals No Matter What They Are

Happy New Year!! It’s 2015 which means I, like so many of you will be setting some goals for myself this year. Regardless of what your goals are; getting in better shape, learning to do something, it is nearly impossible to reach goals with poor stress management.

2014 has been my most successful year setting and reaching goals because I started to adapt healthier habits to combat stress.

I find that stress is the most common theme that weighs us down and keeps us from reaching our full potential. So all of the habits I will mention in this blog will help keep stress in check so you can grow this year!

We are consumers… we buy way more than we actually need which more often than not results in clutter…

1. DECLUTTER

Clutter bombards our minds with stimuli, making us feel overwhelmed and anxious.

By clutter I mean items that have no practical use…dust collectors. Or items strewn about in a disorganized manner where they serve no purpose.

The more “stuff” we accumulate in our environment the more daunting the thought of organizing or getting rid of it becomes. We get stressed out, guilty and depressed.

SUGGESTIONS:
1. Be more selective. Ask yourself (is it dear to your heart,
does it inspire you or foster creativity? If you haven’t used
it in over a year chances are, you won’t.
2. Donate or sell “things” that are still in good condition to a charity or consignment shop
4. Fold and put away laundry immediately. Do not go to bed without doing the dishes.

Getting in the habit of holding on to less and keeping your space cleaner will free up your time and allow you to focus on other things with more clarity.

2. UNPLUG

Just as we need to de-clutter our environment we need to unplug from technology that is cluttering our thoughts. Just as we consume material things we consume entertainment.

I just read this article, I highly recommend by Joshua Becker called 7 Important Reasons to Unplug and Find Space. In the article, Becker recognizes the wonderful benefits of technology while also recognizing the unhealthy attachments we form to it. The internet can be used as a great tool but more often than not we use it to consume in one way or another.

He goes on to discuss the feelings of “jealousy, envy and loneliness” we feel as a result of social media sites. I believe most people experience similar feelings after watching television. Comparing ourselves to unrealistic socially constructed ideals.

You get sucked into this social media vortex for an hour and its an hour you can’t get back.

Becker suggests that the time we spend “unplugged” can be spent creating and contributing something to the world. The more time you spend unplugged the more time you can dedicate to focus on your goals this year.

In 2014 I really limited the amount of time I watched tv and logged into social media sites. When I was online I spent a lot more time figuring out how to do stuff, for example, editing and using a green screen.

SUGGESTIONS: Designate time to Unplug

3. GET BETTER SLEEP

I’m sure I don’t have to convince most of you that sleep deprivation is not great for our health but here are some facts.

Sleep can affect information retention, metabolism, mood and susceptibility to disease.

In years past my worst habit was choosing night time to be the most plugged in and staying up past the point of being tired. I would start browsing which stimulates me and before I knew it I would look at the clock and realize I have to be up in 4 hours.

So in 2014 I made it a point to get restful sleep. I got a really good mattress and pillow that was suited to the way I sleep. I’m a side sleeper and before this year I thought I preferred harder mattresses. Shopping for a mattress, I was informed that side sleepers do better on a softer mattress that protects spinal alignment better which actually turned out to be much more comfortable. I really believe your mattress is one of most important home investments you will make.

SUGGESTIONS:
Sleep experts recommend:

1.Setting a consistent bed time
2.Shutting off external stimuli
3.Deep breathing..which brings me to habit #4….

4. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Stress comes in many forms and wreaks havoc on your body. Work, kids, relationships, traffic…

During times of stress, hormones are released to deal with the stressor and we experience a range of physiological responses. This is our “fight or flight” response. Some of these responses include; an increased heart rate, muscle tension, and chest breathing.

If the aforementioned fight or flight responses last over an extended period of time (chronic stress), it can result in issues such as; high blood pressure, weight gain, inflammation, muscle pain, bad posture and disease. Fortunately, there are techniques we can implement to avoid the long term negative effects of stress on our body. Two of these techniques are diaphragmatic breathing (deep breathing) and myofascial release (see myofascial release).

As I mentioned before, when the body is stressed by an external event, it may respond by tensing or a shallow breathing pattern.

Rapid breathing through the chest does not allow for the diaphragm to go through a full range of motion, limiting oxygen intake. Diaphragmatic breathing involves inhaling through the abdomen instead of the chest. The increased intake of oxygen stimulates relaxation.

In addition to relaxing the body, the diaphragm is an essential muscle for thoracic extension and posture. The increased range of motion of the diaphragm allows for better spinal alignment.

Your lifestyle may be causing tension to buildup in your body. Practicing breathing can rewire the body to respond to stress differently.

5. STAY INSPIRED

It can be difficult to stay optimistic at times, which is why it is so important to create a positive environment for yourself in whatever way you can. I try to make it a habit to keep inspiring things around me.

I am personally moved by art, books, quotes, music, and any form of creative expression really.

Inspiration helps with momentum. NO matter what it is your are trying to accomplish.

As I mentioned earlier, the internet can be a great tool, especially when it comes to getting inspired…One of my new favorite blogs is becoming minimalist.Please share your favorite blogs and sources of inspiration in the comments section!

6. STAY THANKFUL

It is essential to stay in touch with what you are thankful for, experiences and achievements.

I read a great article on buzz feed that suggested decorating a mason jar and filling it with the awesome things that happen to you over the next year. They refer to them as “Rememberlutions.”

I have found that reflecting on what I have helps me reset. Remembering what all I have accomplished helps me to move forward.

Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope these habits help you to combat stress and reach your goals. I wish you the very best this year and years to come!

Come back soon :)

Sources and References

Chek, Paul. “Is Stress Affecting Your Health?” How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!: Your Personalized 4-step Guide to Looking and Feeling Great from the inside out. San Diego, CA: C.H.E.K. Institute, 2004. N. pag. Print.

Becker, Joshua. “7 Important Reasons to Unplug and Find Space.” Becoming Minimalist. N.p., 29 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 Jan. 2015.

Okun, Alanna, Alessia Santoro, and Tracy Clayton. “Here’s What You Should Do Instead Of Making New Year’s Resolutions.” BuzzFeed. N.p., 27 Dec. 2014. Web. 11 Jan. 2015.

Tunajek, Sandra K. “A Place for Stuff: Clutter Can Be Hazardous to Your Health.” WELLNESS MILESTONES (2009): 22-23. AANA, Aug. 2009. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. .

Carter, Sherrie B. “Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies.” Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies. N.p., 14 Mar. 2012. Web. 11 Jan. 2015.

“Importance of Sleep : Six Reasons Not to Scrimp on Sleep.” Harvard Health Publications. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2015.

Anafi, Ron C., Renata Pellegrino, Keith R. Shockley, Micah Romer, Sergio Tufik, and Allan I. Pack. “Sleep Is Not Just for the Brain: Transcriptional Responses to Sleep in Peripheral Tissues.” BMC Genomics. BioMed Central, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2015.

“New Releases.” Understanding the Stress Response. Harvard Health Publications, Mar. 2011. Web. 09 Jan. 2015.

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