Do you ever wish you had more hours in the day, because you simply don’t have enough time to accomplish everything? I hate to break the news, but time will continue to exist for us in finite 24-hour increments, at least for the foreseeable future. The good news? You may be able to do more with the time you do have, by developing a routine that helps you live your best life.
Science show us that the power of habit is quite remarkable, enabling us to re-train our brains with small changes repeated over a period of time. This neurological concept has monumental benefits, particularly if you harness the power of associative learning to defer to habits that enable you to lead a more fulfilling, productive, and meaningful life.
What is associative learning, you ask? Essentially, this principle explains how we form habits. The key to unlocking the potential here is recognizing that habits are formed when we act intentionally. Over time, these choices and actions become the actions we defer to automatically when we make unconscious decisions – which is exactly why I feel so strongly about approaching each day with intention.
What if, instead of merely running on autopilot when exhausted, you programmed your mind to revert to healthy habits you currently wish you had time for, that you know would help you manage your energy?
The impacts could be life-changing.
1. Cultivate an attitude of accountability.
A study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology demonstrated that intention and thoughtful planning actually increased the likelihood of individuals to follow through with healthy habits like regular exercise.
Think about it – you’re much more likely to stick to a plan or goal if you write it down, or share it with a friend or colleague. Intentionally developing a routine ahead of time that serves your needs and centers you on a daily basis means you’re probably going to stick with it once, and then again, and then again – until it’s second nature.
2. Influence your tendency to act out of habit.
As I emphasized previously, the brain is constantly reprogramming itself based on past actions and experiences. The more you do something, the more likely you are to default to that type of behavior when you’re operating under a state of exhaustion, stress, or distraction. That’s exactly why rewiring your intentional mind to engage in the kind of behavior that energizes and inspires you – just when you need it the most– helps you remain productive even when your habitual mind takes the reins.
You’ll likely find that those people who you view as “unattainably healthy” or having “impossible willpower” didn’t get there overnight. It’s not willpower or choice that helped them achieve their health-centered mindset – it’s habit.
3. Elevate your sense of purpose.
Missouri University psychologists demonstrated that experiencing connections and regularities in one’s environment can lead to a more meaningful perspective of life.
As a result, developing a mindful routine – one that helps you lead a more balanced life – can actually enhance your sense of purpose and the way you view the world around you. The compounding benefit? You feel more energized, more inspired, and more motivated to be productive – which creates a positive cycle you won’t want to break.
By developing a routine that helps you enhance your time management, productivity, and overall level of fulfillment, you can make small changes that impact your life in a big way. Contrary to what you may believe, rewiring your mind to develop habits that empower your holistic health is less about willpower, and more about daily choices. If you have the right tools, understanding what choices center you on a daily basis can help you learn how to manage your energy – and ultimately help you achieve balance and have more time to do what you love.