“Life is either a quest of learning yourself and becoming your highest potential, thereby contributing to the world as you’re inspired – creating fulfillment, or, if not, it’s a more simple participation, being swept along in the version, conditions, and temptations of the world provided.”
If you’re like most people you can probably relate to having intentions to enjoy more success, more health, more progress, and more productivity or creativity, even more peace and calm. But again, if you’re like most people, things keep happening, or not happening, that cause days to go by, then weeks, months, and even years without actualizing all those all those intentions. What’s the hang up?
The pursuit for greater health, wealth, and happiness is important to every individual and the collective human story…
Let’s elaborate about these terms and ideas where “health” is less about appearance and more about feelings of vitality. Where the meaning of “wealth” is less about a race for more money and more about creating positive progressive results and real value. And where “happiness” is less about short-term satisfaction and more about cultivating a life of real enjoyment and fulfillment.
In this article, we’ll explore a deliberate path forward with practical actions from tried-and-true understanding for what it takes to get clear and focused, throttle-up, and achieve your dreams more than you already are, one day at a time.
It’s worth mentioning that everyone’s starting point in life is different. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a trust fund baby or sharing a two-bedroom apartment with five other people. Authentic personal advancement and a rich engagement with society in a fulfilling way is based on far more than simple stats or appearances. While, when looking at the big picture, a few stats are worth note – that only 3 out 10 Americans claim to be generally happy in their lives, and a not-so-astonishing epidemic 85% of workers worldwide admit to hating their jobs when surveyed anonymously (Gallop poll). Yikes!
In this article there are three sections that follow, each will take a handful of minutes. You can choose to engage however much you like. First, is a personal exercise section with questions and reflections to make this content real and meaningful for you yourself specifically. Second, is an outline of insights to create a lifestyle structure that will help cultivate more energy, more clarity, and more results. Third, gives more explanation with legitimate “how-to” insights and more comprehension for how to make sure you can create immediate and lasting results. All together the flow is somewhat in an order of – why, what, and how – with insights spread throughout.
Learning matters most when it applies to you specifically. In this section, I’d encourage you to explore the 10 italicized questions, with a quick pace but sincere reflection. These questions are just for you to exercise for yourself. Act fast and write quick shorthand responses to each question if you really want to gain some focus. Start with these –
1) Do I have areas of life and within myself where I seek growth and advancement? What areas?
2) Do I have any habits of idle or dormant intentions I want to overcome? Why does it matter?
3) If I can learn practical, tried-and-true, and authentic ways to initiate myself on a better path to success and fulfillment, what would stop me from following through with it?
I’d like to invite you to consider the rest of the time you take passing through this section as a distinct opportunity to lean further into a personally constructive mode of thinking – holding away from your other computer activity for a moment, away from other thoughts, ideas, and priorities, and away from distractions.
Okay. Now, welcome to the world of forging a new path with your thoughts. Creating this kind of “space” for yourself gives you proper time to focus on aligning yourself with your best path forward.
Here’s how – first, let’s assess your general direction of attention in your life right now. Allow yourself to simply surface responses to the questions below like a narrative, removed from self-involved judgments. Be as objective as possible. Answer as though you’re an outsider to your own life and try not to get too wrapped up in any one question… (try to be quick)
4) How is my attention generally distributed? To what things?
5) What are my daily rhythms?
6) Upon waking up, what do I focus on? What is the mood of my focus?
7) What topics seem to snag my attention or disrupt my best flow?
8) Through the midday, what am I engaged in and immersed? What am I reacting to?
9) Over the span of the usual week, how am I spending my time and attention?
10) What things outside of me tend to consume my attention?
Looking over the general summary of your responses, consider that any general patterns are “formative” in the results in your life. Meaning, anything that we think about and act on with consistency creates the results we get. If we want different results, we need to evolve our focus and actions.
Let’s talk about the power of rhythm…
Whatever the current status is of your lifestyle rhythms, it’s likely that you have opportunities for notching-up toward even better rhythms. You might range anywhere from haphazard to super dialed-in. But just as you’re thinking that, what do we really mean by “rhythms”? We’re using the idea of rhythm in this context as a general quality of healthy and productive lifestyle flow from day-to-day and week-to-week.
Let’s look at the kind of rhythm with a multiple snooze wake-up, in a hurry to get out the door or jump right into work mode, grabbing available food as you go, binging on the internet until late hours, and generally feeling tied to usual obligations and relationships. This is one version of rhythm – unfortunately, quite common. It may not be pretty, but if it’s consistent, that’s the rhythm.
Let’s image the kind of lifestyle rhythm where you’re usually awake at 6am and enjoying some tea and a productive morning routine, throughout the day you’re following up with open channels of communication, you’re advancing your objectives with home and work life, you’re enjoying some time for study and growth, you’re attributing time and energy toward your health and fitness, and you’re generally winding down with quality evenings before another night of healthy sleep. This kind of daily flow would describe an overall excellent balance of rhythm.
Okay, so version two sounds nicer, but what makes it happen?
Not all lifestyle modifications are created equal. Creating a lifestyle to help you achieve your dreams requires setting up a structure that helps you thrive and adapting nuances that create more efficiency.
Let’s consider nuances first, and then look at structure below. Sometimes improvements and better rhythm come from nuances like setting up your kettle and pot of tea the night before, for quick access in the morning. Or, putting your phone into do not disturb mode for an hour while you’re writing your daily notes or business ideas in the morning. Or, perhaps creating two or three scheduled blocks within your day for emails, rather than allowing your attention to jump in-and-out of different conversations all the time. Nuance improvements can be great time savers. So, nuances are nice, but sometimes they slip. Some lifestyle modifications are more valuable that others though – if they can provide a stable structure that holds up.
While everyone has their own unique goals, and personal needs can be somewhat different, there are a few keystones that remain constant with people who cultivate excellent daily rhythm and are most successful and fulfilled in their lives.
Here are the four top suggestions to optimize your lifestyle rhythms going forward –
- Wake-up intentionally, and probably wake-up earlier, in order to give yourself real quality quiet time toward your goals and get yourself more focused. Enjoy ample fluids in the morning – herbal teas are best to help flush your body from its nightly cycle of restoration – helping your digestion, supporting your organs, and giving you a calm nervous system to think and feel more smoothly. Take a walk or a stretch for 10-15 minutes; write notes about what’s on your mind and what your current goals are. Visit a state of calm and peace aside from any other actions you’re going to engage for the rest of the day. The addition of 1 or 2 intentional hours in the morning of this nature can bring massively positive changes to your life. Try it for the next week and see for yourself.
- Sustain attention to your health and check-in with yourself throughout the day for your general wellbeing – check you posture, plan ahead your meals and nutrition for the day, ensure you loosen your body up, engage some fitness, move, and feel better.
- Reclaim and recharge your attention from the constant race of responsibilities, tasks, and usual conversations – take time each day to focus on your growth with study, practice, and focus. In order to actually reclaim your attention, step-back and identify the thing(s) that are most distracting or not serving you well and deliberately set them down while choosing what else to do instead. Choice is your best power. It’s worth mentioning that while it’s important to visit the moment of making a choice for change, you’ll often find that any real choice comes with the need for constantly choosing that choice and carrying that effort from day-to-day until its momentum becomes automatic.
- Wind-down intentionally in the couple hours before sleep at night – establish cut-off times for technology and eating, build a consistent habit for reflecting on the day while taking notes for a few minutes each evening. You can note things like “wins,” “opportunities,” and “gratitude.” Attention to these thoughts will give you profound clarity while preparing you for the next day. Try a little light movement – perhaps include few stretches on some tight areas on your body. Try taking a hot/cold shower. Read a few pages of a book. And be sure to climb into bed at least 7 hours before you’d like to be awake the next morning.
How do you make sure this holds-up?
New intentions and a plan for structure are great and all, but like we started out with at the beginning of this article, it’s important to be sure that they don’t fall idle or flat on their face. It’s essential to take some simple immediate action to reinforce your new intentions. For example, if you want to read for 20 minutes before bed and take notes about the day, go clear your nightstand. Clean-up that part of your room, set the book in its new place with a notebook and pen. Now, each evening you can move toward bed and your evening reading and notes are ready to go.
Often, before the design of a new plan can go into place, it’s necessary to clear away clutter or any old stagnant influences. Start with a clear canvas. This topic deserves a whole article to itself, but it’s important to mention it here. Clear away clutter to help start your momentum in the right direction.
Be careful to put yourself in check and be honest about your follow-through. While mentioning this, I think it’s important to emphasize two things 1) don’t dabble – if you really want something to happen, make it simple and just start 2) go easy on yourself – don’t be hard on yourself for not being perfect or for having a couple of lapses on your way toward better habits. I call this gentle persistence.
In order to truly honor your intentions, master your focus, and start creating the results you want, it takes honesty and authenticity within yourself. A daily journaling habit can help you realize where all your thoughts and energy are going, hone in on what you really want, and formulate plans in order to get there. Sometimes when you’re leveling-up, people will take notice – perhaps because you’re smiling more, you have more energy, you’re more on-point with feedback and ideas. This is all part of the plan. The more you create forward momentum, the more you’ll find opportunities open up, relationships come into more balance, and your sense of possibility will only increase.
In summary, create space for your thinking, then engage simple actions with definite consistency, and nourish yourself to have more energy and focus while you gain progress and momentum.
Note – there are a lot of tips throughout this article, feel free bookmark it and review it few times while you make plans for the happier, healthier, wealthier you.
Thank you for reading, and if you like some these ideas, I’d encourage you to follow my activity on social media and join my weekly newsletter at MichaelSophia.com where we explore more of these kinds of topics and get into more details on a regular basis. We also have an online academy, where we love offering courses and direct interaction and guidance for people who are deliberate about learning and implementing more for themselves in the areas of personal growth, personal fitness, and peak performance. Also, we love the world of entrepreneurship and blur the lines with these topics in another organization called Prosper & Purpose where we infuse these topics with the ideal of purpose-driven enterprise in business and marketing.
As always, wishing you peace and gratitude on the path,