Habits, Life, Transformation

100% #Day 13

100%

I’m often amazed at how many times the same thing happens to me, again and again before I realize it. I’m supposed to be getting more intelligent every minute, with every experience adding to my life. However, despite that I end up making the same mistake again and again. And on the contrary, if I succeed, the same action is hardest to repeat. Success is a difficult habit to imbibe.

I have come to a conclusion that it is important to breathe, pause and reflect, not only in morning, without distraction, but also at regular intervals in time during the day. During this brief 2-3 minutes period, I would be only be only aware of myself, where I am, and what am I doing. Sounds surreal, and I can assure you if you do the same, it will help you being present where you are with 100% efficiency. When you do so, you are no longer the slave of the passing moment, but master of your destiny. You may not reduce your mistakes, however, you will be present 100% with yourself and would take a conscious decision. And therefore more responsible for your action.

This post has been the essence of the new habit that I’m trying to inculcate, the habit of night audit. This is a 5 minutes exercise where I’m writing the answers to following questions…

  1. What were the good results of my day and why do I think they were good?
  2. Which outcomes I would categorize as bad and why?
  3. What actions I could have avoided and why?
  4. What could I have done more during the day which would have made my day 100%?

The activity takes 15 minutes at night to complete. At this point in time I’m writing only specific points and not elaborating the why as text. The Evernote application is a great cross device application, which I can access both on my laptop as well as my phone. At times when I’m in hurry, I would use my phone to write the points. If I don’t have any points for any of the above headers, I don’t write them.

Since I go through these points, just before sleeping, I also try to think about the why while I’m sleeping. Especially the point 3 and 4, which is the learning part of the exercise. I’m also hoping that this way few deeper experience connect with the sub-conscious and help me raise red flags, when I would be close to encountering such experience again. Only time will tell, how successful this exercise has been. I’m quite sure, when you start looking, you end up finding amazing things.

These 15 minutes like morning, should be completely by yourself, where you start tracing back the day minutes by minute. You can also take help of your calendar to recheck, if you’ve had a hectic day. Answers to the questions will be the treasured experience of the day, and more often it would be a gratitude list for the first question. In all my 13 days of this habit, my “Good” experiences have outnumbered the bad and could have avoided. It is a feeling of contentment when you end the day in such a way.

What I would like to start is the extension of this habit through the day, which I was talking about earlier. I would like to take a 3 minute break after every 2 hour, when I’m in office. In these 3 minutes, my intension would be to repeat similar questions. The only difference would be that the response of these questions would be tied to the objective of that hour. Such as if I’m working on an important proposal, during that hour, I would like to remind my self whether I’m making a satisfactory progress or no and what would I need to make it a success.

It takes only a few minutes to pause and to reflect what went well and what didn’t. A brief pause is what you need to be 100%.

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Leadership, Life, Transformation

Habits #Day 1

habits

Today is my Mom’s birthday; she still watches me from high above. I’m blessed. It is not surprising that I’m inspired to start something new, to make this day special. And test something that I read a lot today.

It is said that any habit takes 66 days to be a part of you. I have read a number of these articles including the elaborate article by James Clear, which is one of the top searches (https://jamesclear.com/new-habit) & research by Phillipa Lally (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0908/09080401).

But is it really true? Therefore I’m going to try one to carry on for next 66 days and really see if this research does make sense. No more preaching, it is action time. And therefore, I come to the most fundamental question, which one to try?

There have been a number of the habits that I have been trying to develop over last few months and have successfully failed. The list is a long one…

  1. Writing journals

  2. Evening meditation

  3. Night audit

  4. Giving up carbohydrates

  5. Weekly session of gym for strength training

  6. Giving up biscuits

  7. Giving up coffee

  8. Eating candy

  9. Saying No

  10. Finishing people’s sentences

  11. Fidgeting

  12. Exaggerating

  13. Drinking from carton

  14. etc. etc.

The list is also a complicated one, which means if one has to test then, it should be an activity that can be done on an everyday basis. This therefore excludes 4, 5 & 13. At the same time, it should be a habit that would benefit me on the long run. Items 1, 2, 3 & 9 fall in that category.

Tough decision to make today.

An old Swedish proverb says, “The pillow is the best advisor.” It is only later that I got the true meaning – if you sleep over a problem, you will get the best advise in the morning. Though I’m inclined to hit the bed today and go as the Swedes say, I have made my decision.

I would be maintaining a night audit records for next 66 days, which will have my positives and negatives for the day. Because I have been in travel industry for a long time and love Hotels (& technology), my natural inclination is for the night audit. For those who don’t know, Night audit is performed is a key hotel operation where the auditor takes the stock of status of the hotel with respect to the guest, how many checked in, how many checked out, how many rooms occupied and how many vacant. It is one of the better ways to check the status quo so that one is prepared for the next days.

My night audit would consist of the good, bad and points that could have been avoided, before sleep. I would follow my night audit for the next 66 days, assuming that on 67th day it would become a part of me. This is assuming that I fall in the bell curve, which may also not be true. I would be using a Evernote to manage these audits in 3 simple headers…

a. I did good

b. I did bad

c. I could have avoided

Because Evernote is available across devices for me, I won’t be looking for a reason. I would have liked to add my spends and earning (monetarily), but have decided to have this a nice to have. First the three simple points, and depending on progress the spends and earning.

The second habit that I will practice for next 66 days is to say “No”. I read somewhere that “No” is a complete sentence; it is big and profound one. “No.” doesn’t need any reason; just like it is for my 8 years old daughter. For Dhriti, “No.” is followed by a full stop. It is uncanny how powerful it is and how these young ones teach you.

So all the best to me, this would be a good journey. And as the cliche goes “Worth the experience!”