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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them
- Albert Einstein

Breaking Old Habits

Habits are built over time, and it can take time to change your behaviour and build new, more constructive habits. To change habits, be very clear on what you are wanting to achieve, and what this new habit or way of doing things is going to involve. It helps to actually write this down so that you can see it. Once you have decided on this, set yourself up for success by making sure you have everything you need to make this work and be prepared to work at it for at least 6-8 weeks for it to become a new habit.

For example, if your new habit is to be more time efficient by only working on emails at certain times of the day, say for 30 minutes when you first start work, for 30 minutes prior to lunch and then 30 minutes towards the end of the day. Set yourself up by turning off your email notifications so that this doesn't tempt you, use a timer to make sure that you only spend your allocated time doing this task and schedule it in your diary. At the end of each day, reflect on the benefits of this new habit, or tweak it slightly to better meet your needs. Set a realistic time frame for it to become a habit for you. There is no set time period as each person's brain works differently, but expect it to take at least
6-8 weeks in order for your brain to assimilate it as your new habit.

This approach will work for pretty much any task, but it does require thought and commitment to see it through.

Planning Your Day For A Win

How good would it be if every day felt satisfying and as though you'd achieved everything you wanted to accomplish? You can take steps to make this happen by starting off your day in the right mindset, and this can be supported by following a morning routine that sets you up for success.

When you read about some of the most successful people on the planet, one of the consistent things they talk about is the importance of a morning routine that they try to stick to wherever they are in the world. Usually this includes some form of exercise to raise energy levels. This can be an early morning walk, a surf, a gym session or even some simple stretching exercises. For many of these successful people, a 20-30 minute meditation will also have priority in the morning.

A high-protein breakfast is essential for setting your day up for success as it keeps your blood glucose levels stable and provides essential nutrients for your brain. This can be very easy and quick to prepare, such as a healthy smoothie, eggs or granola. It’'s also important to prepare and eat this food mindfully, rather than having the distraction of emails and television, as this allows your digestive system to prepare itself for your meal and absorb your nutrients properly.

Another key point to plan your day for a win, is to be very specific about what you want to accomplish. Try setting mini-goals for the day. You'll create a feeling of satisfaction as you work through your goals and achieve them, as you'll give the brain a reason to release dopamine.

These goals can be as simple as a ‘To Do’ list or as complex as a Project Plan.

Constructive Rewards

Research shows that the prime motivator for humans and animals is reward. Rewarding yourself for achieving your goals is a great way to keep yourself on track, particularly when the goals are difficult or not particularly interesting to you. Often people reward themselves with food, such as a sugary treat. While this is fun, it may not always be the best reward for your body. Rewards can be as simple as allowing yourself to relax in the outdoors for 10 minutes with no distraction, or going to a yoga class, having a massage or a catch up with a friend. Simple pleasures that are really about self-care and giving yourself the gift of free time which you’'ll have when you are motivated and achieving your goals in an efficient way.

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