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How to Create a Habit Stack, Save Time, and Get Things Done

One of my favorite lines in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear is:

You become your habits.

That may not be news to you, but I’m guessing most of us don’t really stop and think about it, or give it the credence it deserves.

We think more in terms of goals, achievements, and outcomes. The focus is on “end points” instead of “the process” to get to them.

The problem with that kind of thinking is that it usually stops at the desire stage. You want to lose weight, get a new job, go back to school, lower your blood pressure, find a new partner, or whatever the case may be, but you don’t have a system in place to get there.

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Why Meditation is the Most Important Habit

Of all the tools we have to help us navigate life, the mind is the first and most important.

Everything we do, think, feel, and remember is facilitated by our minds. It’s our starting point, our perceiver, our interpreter, and ultimately has the last word on how we experience our lives.

The paradox is that the mind can be an amazing tool to help us actualize our desires and goals, but it can also be our worst enemy.

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So-Hum Meditation Technique

Meditation is a life-changing habit that has cumulative effects over time. There are many types of meditation, and I encourage you to explore them all and decide what works best for you.

If you’ve never tried it before, you might find this technique simple and effective as a starter. It can also be practiced long-term. Either way,  it’s easy and will get you engaged and on your way.

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Creating “Padspace”

When I leave for my office, it usually takes me about 20 minutes to drive there. If I have an appointment scheduled, I like to be on time, so I allow the 20 minutes.

The real truth, however, is that 20 minutes is cutting it close and only works if there’s no traffic glitches on my driving route. In fact, if there is heavy traffic, a lot of red lights, an active school zone, slow drivers, rain, or anything out of the ordinary, I will be late if I only allow myself 20 minutes.

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Keystone Habits

One of the most useful ideas I’ve come across in regard to making changes is the notion of “keystone habits.” This idea is outlined par excellence in the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

A keystone habit is one that sets change in motion and initiates the creation of other habits. It’s a starter habit that creates a shift in energy both emotionally and mentally, and sets in motion a domino effect that results in much greater change than was initially intended.

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Daily Gratitude

If you’ve ever read any success literature or listened to CD programs about how to be successful or how to reach your goals, then you’re very likely familiar with the current focus on “practicing gratitude.”

There are many ways to accomplish this including such things as keeping a gratitude journal, writing little notes of gratitude directly to people you want to thank for something, putting up reminders on the wall where you work or in your home that say something about gratitude, posting words of thanks on social media, and so on. There’s no one correct method.

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