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by Steve Pavlina
Tony Robbins says that thinking is a process of asking and answering questions. He stresses the importance of asking the right questions to get the right answers and therefore the right results. I agree with him. Most people ask lousy questions that cripple their results. Lousy questions turn your focus away from what you want and towards more of what you don’t want. And since we ask and answer mental questions every day, our questions wield great power over our results.
Here are some examples of weak questions vs. strong questions:
Upon waking up early
Weak: Can I fall back asleep again? Should I go back to bed?
Strong: What would be the best way to start my day? How can I energize myself? Where can I find something inspirational or motivational to read right now?
When contemplating exercise (and feeling unmotivated)
Weak: Is it too hot/cold to exercise? Can I skip it for today? What difference will it make if I just skip a day? Don’t I deserve a day off?
Strong: Won’t it feel great hitting the showers afterwards? What should I listen to while I workout? Won’t it be wonderful to achieve my fitness goals? How can I make this session more fun?
When considering a dietary improvement
Weak: What foods am I going to have to give up? How am I going to deal with the deprivation? Am I going to have to eat like this forever?
Strong: What foods that I like will I get to eat more of? What new foods can I experiment with? Won’t it be great when I reach my goal weight? Won’t it be wonderful to finally master this area of my life once and for all? Once I succeed at this, who else can I help?
Nearing the end of the workday
Weak: Have I done enough that I can justify quitting for the day? Is this a good time to stop? Can I finish this tomorrow?
Strong: What’s next? How can I complete one more task? How much more can I get done today?
When spending time with the kids
Weak: Why do I have to do so much childcare? How can I keep the kids from draining my energy this evening? What’s the bare minimum I can do to keep them out of my hair? How early can I put them to bed?
Strong: What can I do with the kids that will leave me feeling energized? What do I appreciate most about my kids? What would I enjoy doing with them this evening? What would happen if I let my kids direct how we spend our time together?
When facing an unfamiliar social situation
Weak: How can I avoid looking like an idiot? What should I talk about? How can I keep from being too nervous or shy? How did I get myself into this situation? Can I get out of going?
Strong: Won’t it be fun to meet some interesting new people? If I see someone there who’s a bit shy, what can I do to make him/her feel more comfortable? What can I expect others at this event to have in common with me?
When feeling depressed, anxious, or otherwise negative
Weak: Why do I feel so down? Why can’t I be happy? How come I never get any time to myself?
Strong: What can I do to energize myself? Who can I talk to that would help cheer me up? What can I read or listen to that would inspire me? Are these feelings trying to tell me something — should I go journal about them? How long can I hold a fake smile before it forces me to start feeling good again?
What’s the difference?
Weak questions are disempowering. They keep your focused on your own ego, your problems, and your shortcomings. Weak questions keep you focused on what’s wrong… on what isn’t working. That might seem like a good idea, but all it does is further reinforce the situation you’d like to change. Weak questions will lead your brain to come up with answers that are useless, circular, or even destructive.
Yet weak questions are addictive. At first glance they may even seem helpful, and that’s why they’re so insidious. You might think that if you’re depressed, the best thing you can do is to ask, “Why am I so depressed?” Perhaps if you could diagnose the problem, you could cure it. But it doesn’t work that way. When you’re in a negative state or situation, you aren’t thinking clearly to begin with. You’re in no position to accurately diagnose yourself. Effectively you’re blind. So the answers you get back will be worthless. At best you’ll merely come up with a temporary solution, but the underlying condition will remain, and the problem will simply submerge and crop up again later, sometimes in a different form. Asking why you’re depressed merely feeds your depression. In answering the why question, now you’ve added a story on top of your depression. That goes way beyond acknowledging your depression and trying to do something about it.
Strong questions are empowering. They keep you focused on solutions, on what you can control. When you focus on what you can do, you avoid falling into analysis paralysis. Ultimately the way out of any negative situation is right thinking. Wrong thinking leads you in circles. Right thinking leads to action.
Going back to the depression example, the first thing you need to do is to get yourself to a more positive emotional state. And with practice that can be done in a matter of minutes — even seconds if you’ve studied NLP. Strong questions will help you shift your focus away from depression and the thoughts that reinforce it and towards action. When you focus too much thought on what you can’t control and don’t like, depression is a natural consequence. When you ask different questions to focus on what you can control and what you like, depression will lift.
Mediocre results largely come about from asking mediocre questions. Great results come from asking great questions. If you don’t like the results you’re getting, try asking completely different questions from the ones you’re used to asking. Ask questions that turn your focus towards your goals instead of away from them. Ask questions that allow you to enhance the pleasure in your life instead of creating greater pain.
“Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”
“Don't Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.”
“Don't Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.”
“Don't Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.”
“Don't Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.”
Elevate Films delivers the goods with a video on Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT. Learn these powerful techniques to reach your highest potential and reduce stress, increase focus and will, and overall acheive positive results.
Socrates, Albert Schweitzer, Ben Franklin and other great thinkers believed that self-reflection was necessary to lead a productive and fulfilled life. In a world where moving quickly and being the best have become top priorities, self-reflection is a great method to recharge the mind and body. Though you can do these activities anywhere, a quiet place with little interruption will be the most effective.
Much of our time is spent complaining about the things we don't like. Take this time to think about all the things you do appreciate. Get out a piece of paper and write "My Life" at the top of it. Think about the positive things you have in your health, relationships and workplace, and write a bulleted list on the paper. Every time you feel a negative thought creep in, attempt to trump it with a greater positive thought. Continue listing items until you can't think of any more. Try this activity every day for a week.
Setting and Achieving Goals
Write a list of things you would like to achieve in the near and the far-off future. The goals can be as simple as "I want to lose a pound" or as complex as "I want to change the way that I connect with people." If you can't think of any, write down a few goals that you'd like to have. Since few people are leading their ideal lives, this shouldn't be too hard. Now, for each goal, write three actionable steps that could help you get closer to reaching each goal. Read the goals and the actionable steps out loud. Make an effort to re-write and re-read these goals every day for a month.
Talking to the Future You
Picture the future version of you sitting down to lunch with the present you. You can close your eyes if this helps. This future you has already accomplished many of the great things that you expect from yourself. Ask him or her how he got there and the directions that he took. This will help you in several ways. You can reassure yourself that your goals are possible. You can also gain some insight into how you might become the person that you want to be. As in many meditations, you may need to coax yourself into your imagination. This could involve relaxing for a few minutes before trying to picture your future self, or picturing a long-elevator ride or staircase deep into your mind.
The Rampage of Appreciation
This is an exercise in which you think about all the things you like about yourself. Find a mirror or compact and begin looking at yourself. Tell your reflection all the things that you like outwardly or inwardly about you. This can be as simple as saying "I like your hair" or as complex as saying "I appreciate your generosity on the weekends." This exercise can help to weather the barrage of negative things we are exposed to all day long. Do this activity as often as you like.
Start this activity by free writing for about half an hour. You can concentrate on a particular project you're working on or a part of your life if you'd like. Write down ideas that can make your life better. If you can't think of anything, just write whatever comes to mind. By doing this in a quiet, interruption-free place, you may be able to come up with new ideas for your life.
“The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions.” – John Simone
What questions do you ask yourself every day?
Believe it or not, the kind of questions you ask determine the kind of life you lead. That’s because your questions trigger its own set of answers, which lead to certain emotions, which then lead to certain actions (or inactions), followed by results. If you ask yourself limiting questions, you’ll get limited results. If you ask yourself mind-opening, forwarding questions, you’ll gain a lot more out of them.
Some people like to ask questions like “Why am I so unlucky?”, “What if I had done this earlier?” and “Why am I always in such a situation?”. Because these questions are backward looking, the answers you get with them are naturally disempowering. On the other hand, questions like “What can I learn from this experience?”, “What can I do differently move forward?” and “What am I grateful for?” are empowering. They provoke you and get you thinking, putting you on the path to a better life.
If you’re someone who normally doesn’t self-reflect, you might be stumped by questions. However, this is perfectly normal. I believe questions are a key to self-awareness and personal growth. In my 1-1 coaching sessions, I enable my clients to discover the answers to their goals/questions by asking them the right questions. It’d be easy if I just tell my coachees what they “should” do and what they “should not” do. But that’s not the point. It’s about empowering my clients to discover themselves through asking the right guiding questions, catered to their situation and their profiles. The right questions will help them untangle the blockages in them and connect with their inner self.
It doesn’t matter if you get stumped in the beginning, or if you don’t know the answers to the questions at first. Our minds are boundless. Just because you don’t get an answer immediately, it doesn’t mean there are no answers. The answers are there – it’s just that your mind is too foggy since you’ve not consulted it before. The more you ask, the clearer your mind will be, and the more ready you’ll be to receive the answers.
Below is a full set of self-reflection questions I’ve come up to help you live your best life. While the article says 101 questions, there are more than that, and I’ll continue to add on over time as I come across new ones. Some of these questions are questions which I ask my 1-1 clients, to uncover the real them. The questions will help you focus on what’s important to you, and what you want. They are not meant to be answered all at one shot – they are to be thought over again and again, as part of your growth journey. Pick out a few questions to reflect on today, then bookmark and check back a week later to think over the others. Check back regularly to reflect on the questions.
Remember, there is no 1 final answer. It’s a continuous discovery process. Your answers to the questions today will be different from your questions next month, 3 months, 1 year, 3 years down the road. Add it to your weekly review sessions. This is an important article for your growth journey.
Here they are:
- Who are you?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are the achievements you are most proud of?
- What are you most grateful for in life?
- What are the most important things to you in life?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What are your values? What do you represent? What do you want to embody? (On Day 9 of Live a Better Life in 30 Days, we work together to discover your values.)
- Do you love yourself?
- … Why or Why not?
- How can you love yourself more today?
- What is your ideal self? What does it mean to be your highest self?
- Look at your life now. Are you living the life of your dreams?
- If you have one year left to live, what would you do?
- If you have one month left to live, what would you do?
- If you have one week left to live, what would you do?
- If you have one day left to live, what would you do?
- If you have an hour left to live, what would you do?
- If you have one minute left to live, what would you do?
- What would you do today if there is no more tomorrow?
- What are the biggest things you’ve learned in life to date?
- What advice would you give to yourself 3 years ago?
- If you are yourself 1 year from the future, how would you advise the you now? (On Day 22 of 30DLBL, we travel to the future to give advice to the us today.)
- Is there something you’re still holding on to? Is it time to let it go?
- What are you busy with today? Will this matter 1 year from now? 3 years? 5 years?
- What are your Quadrant 2 tasks?
- What opportunities are you looking for?
- How can you create these opportunities?
- What are your biggest goals and dreams?
- What’s stopping you from pursuing them? …Why? How can you overcome them?
- If you are to do something for free for the rest of your life, what would you want to do?
- What would you do if you cannot fail; if there are no limitations in money, resources, time or networks?
- What do you want to achieve 1 year from now?
- … 3 years?
- … 5 years?
- … 10 years?
- How important are these goals to you?
- What if these goals are doubled? Tripled? Magnified by 10? How would you feel? Would you prefer to achieve these or your previous goals?
- Who are the people who have achieved similar goals? … What can you learn from them?
- Are you putting any parts of your life on hold? … Why?
- What’s the top priority in your life right now?
- What are you doing about it?
- If you were to die tomorrow, what would be your biggest regret? What can you do now to make sure that doesn’t happen?
- For every experience you get: What are the biggest things you have learned?
- How can you do this better the next time?
- If you had 1 million dollars, what would you do with it?
- Do you love your job?
- What is your ideal career?
- How can you start creating your ideal career starting today?
- What is your ideal diet?
- What do you need to do to achieve your ideal diet?
- What is your ideal home like?
- What do you need to do to achieve your ideal home?
- What is your ideal physical look?
- What do you need to do to achieve your ideal physical look?
- What is your ideal life?
- What can you do to start living your ideal life?
- What would you want to say to yourself 1 year in the future?
- … 3 years?
- … 5 years?
- … 10 years?
- What do you fear most in life?
- Is there anything you are running away from?
- Are you settling for less than what you are worth? … Why?
- What is your inner dialogue like?
- What limiting beliefs are you holding on to?
- Are they helping you achieve your goals?
- If not, is it time to let them go?
- What empowering beliefs can you take on to help you achieve your goals?
- What bad habits do you want to break?
- What good habits do you want to cultivate?
- What are the biggest actions you can take now to create the biggest results in your life?
- Where are you living right now – the past, future or present?
- Are you living your life to the fullest right now?
- What is the meaning of life?
- What is your purpose in life? Why do you exist? What is your mission?
- How can you make your life more meaningful, starting today?
- What drives you?
- What are the times you are most inspired, most motivated, most charged up?
- What did you do during those times? How can you do more of that starting today?
- How can you change someone’s life for the better today?
- Who are the 5 people you spend the most time with?
- Are these people enabling you or holding you back?
- What qualities do you want to embody? (Refer to Q7: Values and Q11: Ideal Self) Where can you meet people who embody these qualities?
- Who inspire you the most?
- How can you be like them?
- What is your ideal life partner like?
- Where can you find him/her?
- How can you get to know him/her?
- Are you afraid of letting others get close to you?
- … Why?
- Who is/are the most important person(s) to you in the world?
- Are you giving them the attention you want to give?
- How can you spend more time with them starting today?
- What kind of person do you enjoy spending time with?
- How can you be this person to others?
- Who do you want to be like in 1 year?
- … 3 years?
- … 5 years?
- … 10 years?
- Who are your mentors in life? (formal or informal)
- What is one thing you’re going to do differently after reading this article?
“We cannot become what we need to be, remaining what we are.” - Max Depree
- Commit yourself to growth (Be Growth-oriented). The more you grow, the better you become.
- Work on your negative traits. Are there any traits you dislike about yourself? Some traits which I didn’t like about myself in the past include being self-centered, arrogance, selfishness, critical, harshness, hardness, etc. Identify them, then work on them one at a go. It can be challenging to try to overhaul your character at one go. On the other hand, if you work on addressing 1 negative trait at a time, it’s a lot more manageable and achievable.
- Identify your ideal persona. What’s your ideal self like? Picture him/her in your mind, then write down all the traits of your ideal persona. Then, start living true to your ideal self.
- Find a role model. Having a role model gives us a concrete image of who we want to become. I see role models in people like Ellen Degeneres (for her genuineness and compassion towards others), Tyra Banks (for not being afraid to stand up for what she believes in, and inspiring women to do the same), Ivanka Trump (for her beauty, intellect and grace – representing the modern day woman), Oprah (for being a power mover in the world of self-help), among others. Who is/are your role model(s), and what do you like about them?
- Be a role model. The best way to be a better person is to be a role model to others. How can you be an inspirational guide to others? Live by example. In being a role model, remember it’s not about making yourself into someone you’re not (see #57 on Be Individualistic). It’s about living true to your ideal self (see #3).
- Be a better child to your parents. You only have 2
parents in your life, so appreciate the time you have with them. If your
relationship with your parents is non-ideal, it doesn’t mean that
everything ends here.
- Be a better friend to your friends. I used to be disappointed at how some of my friends aren’t always there for me when I need them, then I realized that I should think about how I can be a better friend to my friends first before making such expectations of others. Likewise for you, think: How can you be a better friend to your friends? Read: How To Have More Best Friends in Life
- Be a better sibling, if you have siblings. I’ve several friends who are the only-child, and they frequently talk about how they wish they had a brother or sister. If you’re lucky enough to have brother(s) and sister(s), treasure them. Spend more time with them; Show them care and concern; Look out for them if you need to.
- Be a better partner, if you’re attached. If you’ve a
girlfriend/wife or boyfriend/husband, think about how you can be a
better partner to him/her. When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to
make demands and expectations about what your partner should do/be, but
it’s difficult to take ownership for the things we aren’t doing/being
ourselves. Commit yourself to being a better partner, and release your
expectations of your partner. Both of you will be happier that way.
- Be a better parent, if you have children. Many parents have told me that having a child one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to them. If you have a child(ren), think about how you can be a better parent, without impeding on the child’s growth. Raising a child can be challenging especially as he/she enters adolescence years, but that’s also part of the joy of being a parent.
- Be a better employee in your company (if you work for someone). Often times, I hear people complain about how their companies are not giving them enough benefits/wages/support/etc. While this may be true, think about how you can be a better employee instead. Check if there’s anything more you can do for your manager. See if there are any new projects you can take on. See how you can improve your current performance.
- Be a better manager/leader (if you’re managing others). Many people leave their jobs because they’re unhappy with their managers. How well you manage your employees can dramatically affect their motivation levels and their performance. Put their needs before yours and bring the best out of them.
- Be a better member of your community. What communities are you a part of? Say, interest groups? Recreational clubs? How can you be a more active part of the communities?
- Be a better human to others. How can you treat the fellow humans around you better? Start treating them this way.
- Be a better being in this world. How can you make the world a better place? Start doing that today.
- Be Able. Equip yourself with skills. Your skills
are like the tools in your toolbox. The more skills you have, the more
able you become.
- Learn something new. There are always new things to learn, no matter how much you already know. The more you learn, the better you become. Read: Skills Development
- Hone your current skills. With your current skills, strengthen them. You can never be too good at a skill – there’s always room to improve. Even the best people in their fields, such as Tiger Woods (Golf), Michael Jordan (Basketball), Beethoven (Pianist) never stopped honing their craft. Read: Leveling Up
- Be Accepting of differences – be it different people, different thinking, different lifestyles, different cultures. For they add variety and color into our lives. If everyone is the same, life will be bland – monotonous, even.
- Be Adaptable / Flexible / Versatile. Have your goals and plans, but be able to change them accordingly when the situation calls for it. Rigidity is a sign of weakness, while adaptability makes you so much more powerful.
- Be Adventurous.
- Step out of your comfort zone. Are you sticking to the same routines and hiding behind a safety net? Step out and do something you’ve never done before. It’ll broaden your mind and make you a better person.
- Travel. Traveling broadens perspectives and widens horizons. Since June 2011, I’ve been touring the world, starting with Europe and I’m gaining so many insights about different cultures that it’s amazing. The trip has definitely enriched my perspective on the world.
- Be Altruistic.
- Always have the best intentions for others. Go for the highest good in everything you do, every decision you make, every path you take, every thought you have.
- Volunteer (for a cause you believe in). Not everything has to be measured in money. At PE, I spend hours every day writing the best content and giving it away for free, without asking anything back in return from the readers. With volunteer work, you may be giving your labor for free, but this is time spent in good stead. Don’t underestimate the kind of difference you can make in others’ lives with just a few hours of work.
- Save the environment. Our world is being wasted away, day after day, with the harm the society at large is inflicting on it. What can you do to protect our home?
- Be Assertive. Stand up for your rights and things you believe in.
- Be Attentive. When someone is talking, give him/her your full attention. Don’t busy yourself with something else; that’s just rude and inconsiderate.
- Be Bold. Life is an adventure – don’t live it in fear. Boldly pursue your dreams. Boldly act on your instincts. Boldly create the life you’ve always wanted. Read: How To Overcome Fear and Pursue Your Dreams
- Be Candid. Be frank, be outspoken, be earnest. Say what’s on your mind – Don’t feel the need to censor your words because you’re afraid of what others think. Be true to yourself. (But not at the expense of others’ feelings, of course – See #39 on Be Empathetic.)
- Be Caring.
- Show concern. There’s no need to wait for a cry for help before showing your care and concern. You can do it right away, right now, to those around you. Even if there’s nothing wrong, it’ll warm the hearts of others to know that you cared.
- Call your friends. Are there any friends you’ve not contacted for a while? Call them today and check on how they’re doing. They may not show it, but they’ll be happy that you called – because it showed you cared.
- Be Coachable. There’s always something we can learn
from everyone, no matter his/her age, background or area of expertise.
Don’t close off on opportunities to learn just because you think you
know enough. Open your mind and let every encounter be a learning
lesson. The moment you close yourself off is the point where you stop
- Find a mentor. A mentor guides you to become greater than you can be by yourself. You should only get a mentor if (a) the person has something to teach you (b) your personalities gel with each other. Back when I was working in P&G, I had informal mentors who often stepped in to make sure I was doing well. At the same time, they themselves had mentors who guided them. No matter how senior or experienced you may be, there’s always someone who has something to teach you.
- Be Committed… to your goals and dreams. If you’ve set a goal, go all out and achieve it. If you’ve laid down a plan, stick to it all through the way. Don’t waver, for that’s not in you to do so.
- Be Compassionate / Kind. Always look out for opportunities where you can help others. Don’t get caught up in your own space – instead, look outwards and see if there’s anything you can do for others. Even the simplest things, like helping someone carry his/her belongings, is very much appreciated by others.
- Be Confident… in who you are and what you do. There’s no reason not to be. Read: How To Be The Most Confident Person in the World
- Be Conscientious / Meticulous. Are you attentive to everything you do? Such a quality is rare, but so precious. Conscientious people put their heart and soul to what they do; consequently they do a complete and thorough job in whatever they do. You’ll naturally be a valuable asset to whichever organization or team you’re a part of.
- Be Considerate / Thoughtful. Make a habit to
consider others in your decisions and actions, for they affect other
people. Make sure no one is negatively affected before you proceed with
- Practice the Golden Rule. It’s the ethic of reciprocity, which states “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself”. How do you want others to treat you? Shower others with this behavior, and you’ll attract more of the same.
- Practice the Silver Rule. Related to the Golden Rule, it states “Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you”. It’s to make up for the shortcomings of the Golden Rule. How do you not want others to treat you? Make sure you don’t do this to others.
- Be Cooperative. Don’t be insular and seclusive. Be willing to work with others if they need your help. We do not exist in this world alone; Life is possible because we have each other.
- Be Courteous. Practice good etiquette. Always remember your “hi”s, “bye”s, “thank you”s and “welcome”s.
- Be Courageous / Overcome Fear.
Is there anything you’re scared of? Don’t be. Fear is mental – It’s
only what you perceive it to be. If you challenge that which you’re
afraid of, you’ll realize there’s nothing to be scared of at all,
because there is nothing to lose – We entered this world with nothing
but our consciousness, we’ll leave the world with the same consciousness. Read: How to Overcome Fear and Pursue Your Dreams | How To Overcome Fear(Series)
- Be Curious.
- Have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. So you’ll always be learning new things.
- Ask questions – often. The more questions you ask, the more information you can uncover.
- Get feedback from others. Feedback is one of the fastest ways to identify areas of improvement, since others can see our blind spots. Day 13 of 30DLBL is about asking for feedback from others around us so we can improve.
- Be Dependable. Be there for others when they need you. Always check if there’s anything you can do for your friends. If they call you, make time out for them. If they email you, take the time to respond. You never know when it’s someone in pain and reaching out for help. Read: How To Have More Best Friends in Life
- Be Discerning. Don’t blindly accept everything you hear or read; Always evaluate what you’re given with a discerning mind. This doesn’t mean you become skeptical; but rather you exercise your judgment appropriately.
- Be Emotionally Generous. Emotional stinginess means
to be stingy with your emotions, while emotional generosity is to be
generous. So, an emotionally stingy person is typically negative, unhappy, critical,
judging, imposing; while an emotionally generous person is positive,
happy, encouraging, supportive, etc. Be as giving with your emotions as
possible. Encourage others. Be positive. Share happiness. Read: Are You Emotionally Generous?
- Compliment others (with genuine intent). Part of emotional generosity is to be generous with compliments (that’s genuine and not fake). Get into the habit of giving compliments. When you meet someone and if you recognize something nice about him/her, let him/her know. You’ll make his/her day.
- Be Empathetic. Empathy is the key to successful relationships. Learn to see things from others’ perspective. It’ll let you understand people better, resolve conflicts, and develop meaningful connections.
- Be Encouraging. No one likes a wet blanket. Be encouraging when your friends share their problems with you. Be supportive when they tell you about their goals.
- Be Enthusiastic. Life is too beautiful to live dread and boredom. Embrace every day with joy and love. Start every day on a fresh new start! Approach every situation with excitement! And bring this energy to everything you do and everyone you meet.
- Aim for Excellence.
- Take on more than you can handle. If you’re managing your responsibilities fine at the moment, challenge yourself by taking on more. If you’re always doing the same things, you’ll never develop anything. You’ll no sooner atrophy in your growth. Take on more work. Push your boundaries. Stretch yourself. This way you increase your capacity.
- Expect nothing less than the best. Hold yourself to the highest standard in whatever you do. Always aim for the highest goals, the best results, the grandest vision.
- Live your life to the fullest. Because why should you settle for a life that’s anything less? Read: 101 Ways To Live Your Life To The Fullest
- Be Fair.
- Don’t bad mouth other people. Don’t speak ill of people behind their back, because it’s unfair to them and doesn’t give them a chance to defend themselves. Let the person know if you don’t like something he/she did, or otherwise make peace with it within yourself.
- Don’t discriminate. Give equal treatment to everyone, regardless of race, language, religion, nationality, gender, age, social status, financial status.
- Don’t judge. Don’t make conclusions about others’ character of their life based on 1-2 things you see about them. Always give others the benefit of the doubt.
- Uphold justice. If you see unfairness being exacted, step in to right the wrong. This includes intervening when someone is being bullied, or standing up for someone when he/she is being unfairly judged.
- Have Faith. Don’t put too much pressure on an event or a person to give you the results you seek. Do your best within your capacity, and have faith that everything will fall into place.
- Be Filial. Our parents have dedicated half of their lives to having us and raising us. Now that we’re grown up, it’s our turn to repay them for the life they have given us. If your relationship with your parents is not the ideal state you envision, be sure to read How To Improve Your Relationship With Your Parents (Series)
- Be a Follower. Aristotle said it best with this quote: ”He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.” Are you a good follower? Are you able to take directions from others? Are you willing to take directions from others? Before you think about becoming a leader (see #60), you’ve to learn to be a good follower first.
- Be Forgiving.
- Let go of your anger. Is there anything or anyone you’re angry with? Perhaps it’s time to give it/him/her and let things go.
- Bury the hatchet with someone. Beyond embracing forgiveness inside you, reach out to the person you had grievances with in the past. This is not going to be easy, but it’ll bring you a huge step forward in your growth. When I was younger, I had some conflicts with schoolmates here and there, due to misunderstandings. After I started PE, I decided I had to live by example if I was to pursue my purpose to help others how to achieve their highest potential. So, I reconnected with old schoolmates whom I had conflicts with. It was much easier than I thought – most of them reciprocated in kind, and after that we stayed connected as friends. Read: 30BBM Day 24 – Right a Past Wrong
- Be Friendly / Approachable. We are all humans, here
to connect with one another. If you see someone you don’t know, take
the first step to know him/her. With people you know, keep yourself
accessible so they can approach you whenever they need help. Read: 10 Tips To Make New Friends
- Be Generous. Find joy in giving. Remember life is
not a zero sum game. By giving, you get to gain even more. By giving,
you open the channel to receive new things in life. When people
experience the beauty of giving, they’d want to give back too, so what
goes around, comes around.
- Share the good things in your life. What are you happy for? What do you have that others don’t have? What are you proud of? Don’t keep them to yourself – Share them with others. Happiness isn’t a zero sum equation.
- Donate. Get in the habit of donating things you don’t need anymore. For example, old clothes, textbooks, books, toys, and the like. All my unwanted clothes are always donated to others. Sometimes I take the nice, unworn pieces and give them to my friends who can better appreciate them.
- Be Gentle. Our society has brought out a very
“hard” side in all of us – one where we’re abrasive, one where we’re
hard, one where we’re demanding. Bring out the gentle side in you for a
change. It’ll make you a warmer person to be around.
- Be Grateful. For the good things you have, because
not everyone gets to have them. For the bad things you have as well,
because they strengthen your character and make you appreciate
everything so much more. Day 15 of 30DLBLis all about gratitude.
- Write a thank you note to a friend. I think a lot of times, we take our friends for granted. We forget about what they’ve done for us and are doing for us, as well as the value of our connection. Write a thank you letter/note/email to a friend and let him/her know how much you appreciate him/her. He/she will be very happy to receive your letter.
- Be Hardworking / Diligent. Without hard work, we can’t wish to get far in life. I’ve seen people who like to take the easy way out, and this is not what I promote at PE. There are no “quick tips” or “hacks” that will give you instantaneous results – at the end, it boils down to sheer, hard work.
- Be Helpful. Offer your help even if people don’t ask for it. There’s always something you can do for others.
- Be Honest. To lie is to shrink into a lesser self; To tell the truth would be take a step up in your growth. (Unless there’s a higher value at stake, such as protecting someone’s well-being.) One of my values is truth – To discover the truth via personal experience and constantly challenging what’s around me, and to be truthful in everything I do and say. I don’t achieve this 100% of the time, but I do my best to uphold it every moment of the day. Read: How To Deal With Dishonest People
- Be Humble. People who are arrogant tend to suffer from an inferiority complex, which is why they feel the need to parade their accomplishments. Learn to be humble. There’s no need to talk about what you’ve achieved – if they’re really good, the results will speak for themselves.
- Be Independent. Learn to manage your life. Learn to tackle your problems by yourself, without imposing on others. Feel free to approach others if you need help, but you should never expect them to solve your problems for you.
- Be Individualistic. Always be you – don’t try to be anyone else. Read: Finding Your Inner Self
- Have Integrity. Set your moral and ethical principles and stick to them. Never compromise on them no matter what.
- Be Intuitive. Follow your gut instinct. Let your intuition guide you. You’ll never go wrong with it. The more you follow your gut, the stronger your connection with your intuition will be.
- Be a Leader. A leader is someone who is able to bring the best out of others, who is able to inspire others to be bigger than who they are, who is able to energize people into action, who is able to lead a way with a common vision. Contrary to what many think, leadership doesn’t begin when you lead a group of people; it begins in our everyday life, with how we conduct ourselves and how we live our lives. Are you a leader of your life? Read: You Are the CEO of Your Life
- Be a Listener. The ability to listen is quite
underrated in our society today. Many people are good at talking, but
not listening. For today, make a point to listen to what others around
you are saying. Ask questions. Clarify their answers. You may discover
new things you didn’t know before. If you own a copy of Personal Excellence Book (Volume 2), be sure to check out 13 Tips To Be a Better Listenerarticle on how you can be a better listener.
- Embrace Love. Be a beacon of love. Start by loving
everyone around you. Show love to your friends, family, partner,
colleagues, bosses, clients, teachers, etc – whether explicitly or
- Love unconditionally. The highest form of love is unconditional love, where you love others without expecting anything in return.
- Be Loyal / Faithful. To the people that you care for, to the values that you stand for, to the things that you believe in. In the article Discover Your Values in Personal Excellence Book (Volume 1), I share in detail about values: the importance of values, my values and how you can create your own.
- Be Kind.
- Don’t criticize. It’s easy to pinpoint faults in others, but really, it’s not in our place to do so. Not only that, it doesn’t make others feel good about themselves.
- Be Magnanimous. For every thing that people do you wrong, be ready to forgive and forget.
- Accept criticism. If someone offers criticism, accept it. Accepting isn’t the same as agreeing. You don’t have to agree with the criticism, but at least give yourself the opportunity to consider it. Every criticism is an opportunity to improve, to become better. Read: 8 Helpful Ways To Deal With Critical People
- Ignore malicious attacks. If someone flames you, take the higher route – ignore the person. You can defend yourself on areas where your values are infringed, but overall, keep a hands-off approach. It’s not worth it to engage in such discussions, because the flamer will only keep attacking, with no desire to achieve a resolution.
- Be Meditative. Those who meditate will know that meditation cultivates an inner peace within you. It makes you calmer and connects you with your inner self. Read: 10 Reasons You Should Meditate | How To Meditate in 5 Simple Steps
- Be Merciful. Instead of punishment, think forgiveness. Forceful actions – Pain, suffering, death, etc don’t bring closure to issues.
- Be Moral. Do what’s right over what’s wrong. The
question of “what’s right” can be subjective depending on your
upbringing, but universal values include equality of humans, gender
equality, freedom of speech, freedom of choice, etc.
- Go the non-cruel path. I commit myself to a vegan lifestyle because I didn’t want to harm animals. While you don’t have to turn vegetarian/vegan for this purpose, think about how you can follow a lifestyle that inflicts less pain to other living beings.
- Be Mindful / Present. Don’t live in the past or future, but focus on the present moment. For this is where you’re living at now. Meditating helps you to be present (see #66).
- Be Nurturing. There’s always ability in everyone. How can you nurture it out of each person?
- Recognize the strengths in others. Our society today has eased into a state where we keep looking at what we lack or don’t have, as opposed to what we already have. The former is a scarcity mindset, while the latter is one of abundance. Rather than think about what’s missing in someone (be in character trait, knowledge, ability, etc), focus on his/her strengths. What does she/he have? What is he/she good at? What do you like about him/her? Focus on these vs. what you don’t like.
- Be Open-Minded. Be ready to accept different beliefs, attitudes, personalities, cultures, practices, rituals, lifestyles, habits, races, nationalities, diets, etc, for everyone is different. No one thing is right; it’s just a matter of what works best for the individual.
- Be Optimistic / Positive. For life is too short to be negative.
- Don’t complain. Complaining generates all this negative energy that makes you no different than an energy vampire. While it’s okay to vent every once in a while, be conscious of the times when you do that. Cut down on the time you spend complaining and think about what you can do about the situation instead.
- Smile. How often do you smile a day? Smiling is something we don’t do enough. Whether you’re out on the streets or at work, it’s more common to see people with stoic expressions and hard frowns than smiles. The next time you see someone, even a stranger, smile at him/her. You’ll be surprised how many people will return the smile. Even if they don’t, trust that they have been warmed by your smile.
- Laugh. As they say, laughter is the best medicine. Learn to laugh at the jokes people make, at the obstacles you’re facing, at the mistakes you’re making, and at the mystery that is life.
- Be Organized. The state of your life now reflects
how organized you are. If everything is constantly in a mess, it
suggests you’re probably disorganized in how you manage yourself. In
being organized, you create structure, stability and predictability –
which frees up your resources to pursue new goals. Creating a life handbookwill help to organize your life.
- Be Patient. Do you get edgy when something/someone is late? Time is fluid; it’s a construct created to help us organize our schedules. Learn to be present and live in the moment instead. Impatience breeds anxiety; Patience brings calmness.
- Be Peaceful. Where you have a choice, go for peace over violence. The latter solves nothing, but creates more pain. The former is the start to a healing journey.
- Be Persistent. No matter what you do, never give up. You will achieve whatever you set out to do, as long as you have the will to do it. My story of how I pursued my passion and turned it into a successful business is an example of that. The only time when giving up is the way to go when your priorities change and you realize the goal you were pursuing isn’t what you want anymore. Read: Quitting to Win
- Be Prudent. Be bold and daring, but at the same time exercise caution. A touch of practicality never hurt anyone; it helps you to be more ready for what’s ahead.
- Be Purposeful. Pursue a cause that’s higher and larger than you. When you do that, you’ll naturally grow into someone who’s bigger than who you are today. Pursuing my purpose to help others grow has made me embark on journeys and make decisions which I wouldn’t have pursued if I was just living my life for myself. Read: Discover Your Life Purpose in 30 Minutes
- Be Reasonable. Know your rights, but don’t overstep your boundaries. Act within good reason – You’ll be the best judge to that.
- Be Repentant. Has there been anything you did that you’re not too proud of? Repent and process it; don’t leave it inside your system, because it’s like rotting flesh – it’ll create an invisible stench and affect you subconsciously in your daily actions. Read: 30BBM Day 24 – Right a Past Wrong
- Be Resilient / Be Strong. Are you facing any obstacles that are making you waver in your goals? You have the strength inside you to do whatever you want – you just have to draw from it. Read: How To Start When You Have Nothing
- Be Respectful. Treat everyone with utmost respect, because every living being deserves that.
- Take Responsibility.
- Live up to your responsibilities. What responsibilities do you have? Are you living up to all your responsibilities? Shrinking away from your tasks is an act of avoidance. Stepping up to them makes you a better person.
- Don’t self-victimize. It’s easy to say “Why me?” when bad things happen. But it does nothing to build your character – in fact it makes you weaker over time, because you’re not taking ownership for your problems. Believe it or not, everyone faces these problems too – it’s not exclusive to you. Rather than wallow in self-pity, accept your problems as part and parcel of life and address them. The more responsible you are, the more control you have over your life. Read: You Always Have A Choice
- Be Self-Loving.
- Be Kind to yourself. Do you often beat yourself up? Stop doing that. You, above all else, deserve kindness and respect from yourself.
- Love yourself. For when you love yourself, you will automatically start loving others too.
- Be Self-Reflective. I make a habit to reflect on
everything that happens to me, because that’s when I can draw learnings
on what I can do better in the future. Self-reflection can take place
via a private journal, an online diary, or conversations with others.
Asking yourself the right questions is paramount in the self-reflection
process. Read: 101 Important Questions To Ask Yourself
- Be Sensitive… to others’ needs and feelings. Always check to make sure you’re not neglecting anyone.
- Don’t Impose. Imposing means to force your opinion on others. It’s okay to offer your opinion, but if others are not taking it, then there’s no need to repeat it over and over again. Keep it to yourself.
- Don’t give unwanted advice. One biggest problems people face in relationships is when the other party tries to dispense advice that’s not needed. Many times, people converse as a way of sharing. Check if the other party is looking for advice first before you try to offer your 2 cents. It may help prevent unnecessary conflicts.
- Dedicate yourself to Service. It’s said that service to others is the highest thing one can ever do in life. Think about how you can contribute to others and to this world. And dedicate yourself to it.
- Be Sharp. Develop your observation skills. Sharp people are always the first to catch on to something; because of that they’re ahead of everyone else in their thinking too.
- Be Sincere / Genuine. Speak from the heart, always. Don’t say something unless you mean it. One of my core values is authenticity – I only say things that I mean, and never say things if I don’t believe in them.
- Be Spontaneous. Be uninhibited! Allow yourself to
act freely, without restrictions. Not everything has to adhere to a plan
all the time. Allow yourself to just go with the flow.
- Be Sympathetic. If others are sharing their problems with you, be sympathetic. Don’t jab in with insensitive remarks. Don’t dismiss their feelings and thoughts. Get yourself into the same state as them and express your sympathy, so they know they’re not alone in the situation.
- Be Tactful. There’s no need to be rude or abrasive. Be polite to your fellow humans – everyone has feelings, even if sometimes it may not seem that way.
- Be a Teacher. You don’t have to be a formal teacher
in name – The very act of sharing knowledge to someone is already
teaching in itself. By teaching others, we become better. What are
things you’re good in? Share the knowledge with other people. Start by
doing it informally, and soon formally teaching others will be
second-nature to you.
- Be Trusting. Always give others the benefit of the doubt. No matter what you think, the baseline intention of people is always good. No one deliberately does something to harm others. When they do, it usually comes from a place of lack, but not out of sheer malicious intent.
- Be Trustworthy. Always honor your commitments and uphold your promises. If you make an agreement with someone, be sure to stick through to it.
- Be Unattached. For all things are transient in life. This doesn’t mean you become jaded and an emotionless being. What this means is you relish in every moment of your life, every situation you’re in, every person you’re with, as it is, without clinging on to it when it has passed. For we live in the present, not the past or future.
- Be Understanding. Learn to comprehend things from others’ perspective. A common understanding is needed for relationships to be build on.
- Be Vigilant. While the world is a safe place by and large, keep a watch out for possible dangers, especially when you’re in a foreign place. Keep a look out for suspicious people. Stay clear of potentially dangerous spots. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Be Visionary. Set the highest goals
and the biggest dreams you can imagine. Then set off and bring your
vision to life. Be sure to create your vision board too at the same
time. In Day 5 of 30DLBL, you get to create your vision board. I’ve also created a video on Creating Your Vision Board.
The vision board of one of our past 30DLBL participants, Theresa
- Be Vulnerable. Through PE, I’ve learned that sharing our vulnerabilities is what gives us the greatest strength as humans. In the past few years, I’ve opened up about some of my deepest vulnerabilities, including my relationship with my parents, my past heartbreak, my disappointments, among others.
- Be Wise. Being wise means “having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion”. Practice good judgment by exposing yourself to different contexts; considering different perspectives; gathering as much information as you can; weighing out different possibilities. The more experience you gain, the more you learn, and the wiser you’ll become.
In comes the 21-Day Trial Program . It is a self-initiated program where you stick to a certain activity for 21-days – every day continuously. While it can be used to cultivate good habits, you can also use it to try out new things which you may not necessarily pick on, just to see how they are like. These activities can be anything, from exercising, waking up early, quitting soda drinks, sticking to a certain diet, making new friends, reading a book, meditating, going to work on time, quitting smoking, etc. The list is endless.
This is one of my favorite self improvement tools because it is simply so effective. When you think about it, the success of many of your goals and the quality of your life are actually built on certain fundamental habits. When you get those habits in place, your output also increases dramatically as a natural corollary to that.
Why 21 days?The 21-Day Trial is inspired by Steve Pavlina’s 30-Day Trial and it’s a modified version of it. I tried the 30-day trial before and decided it worked better as a 21-day trial for me. There are two reasons for that:
- 21 days is what it takes to fully break/form a new habit. There has been research which shows that it takes 21 days to fully cultivate a new habit because 21 days is the time required for new neuropathways to be fully formed in your brain. I recently did a raw vegan diet trial and found that 21-days was well sufficient to cultivate this new habit.
- A 21-day trial is more efficient than a 30-day one. It appeals a lot to me as one of my key values is efficiency. I rather finish something in the shortest possible time (provided there is no compromise on quality of output, where there isn’t any in this case), get the relevant findings, draw the necessary conclusions and move on from there to try other habits.
Benefits of this trialThere are several very attractive benefits of this 21-day trial.
1. Highly manageable.Many people procrastinate on getting certain things done, even though these may be good habits which will bring significant benefits into their lives. The procrastination is typically because they get overwhelmed by the thought of having to do this for the rest of their lives. With the 21-day trial, the task becomes much more manageable and feasible. 21 days is but a short period of time – it’s merely 3 weeks. No more excuses like ‘it’s impossible for me to do this’ or ‘it’s too difficult to maintain this’. It’s easy to channel your efforts into getting something done for just 21 days as opposed to infinity. Before you know it, the 3 weeks will already be over, and it’s all behind you.
2. No commitment required.Since it’s a trial program, there is no commitment required beyond the 21 days. After the trial, you evaluate whether your life has been better off with or without that habit. Based on that, you then make the decision on whether to continue the habit or not. If it’s the former, you can easily do so, since you have already stuck with it for 21-days without fail. If it’s the latter, you are free to revert to what you were doing before. There are absolutely no strings attached.
The highly manageable and non-committal nature of the trial gives rise to 2 other benefits.
3. Highly effective in getting good habits in place.Many people often have a laundry of good habits they want to cultivate on their to-do list, such as exercising, going to work on time, cutting down on unhealthy food. While they make a mental note to get them in place, they never get around to doing that because of different reasons.
Rather than waste incessant time and energy in the ‘wanting to do’ phase which happens to many, the 21-day trial is a great way to solidify these good habits. For example, I have been meaning to try out raw veganism since mid-2008 (only fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and nuts) . This thought lingered in my mind for another 1-year before I finally decided to get this done last month via a 21 day trial, and the results were extremely welcoming. I will probably write about raw veganism in a separate article in the future, since the topic itself requires a separate post altogether. For now, I’ll continue with a diet that is dominantly raw vegan and have cooked food in the times I can’t get raw food readily.
4. Great way to try new things.Lastly, it’s a great experimental ground to try out new things. Things that you thought of doing but never did them because you don’t know what to expect or if you would like the changes. Things that you never thought of doing but thought they might be worth a try. You can easily embark yourself on new, even radical, activities with this day trial. Since you are not committed to sticking to the activity beyond 21 days, you can easily chuck them aside afterward if you don’t like them. It’s as simple as that
Success of the trial is measured by your ability to stick with the activity for 21 consecutive days, which means you would have developed it into a habit by then. Your conclusions on whether you want to continue the habit depends on whether you think whether you are better off with or without this habit.
1. Do proper research.Spend some time learning about the activity you are taking on before hand. Learn about some of the common barriers people face when trying to do it, whether they are successful and key watchouts on your end. Craft your strategy and do up an action plan to counter those issues so you will not be caught like a deer in the headlines when you face them later on. Having a proper plan ups your success rate significantly.
2. Try out the activity for a couple of days before the trial.This lets you get a hang of what it is like and lets you prepare for what’s up ahead for the 21 days.
3. Spend a day or two to mentally prepare yourself before the trial.Mentally prepare yourself for the upcoming 21 days ahead – This sets you in the right mood for success. During this time, you can either (1) start picking up the activity in a smaller magnitude, as a way of creating a momentum or (2) do the complete opposite of what you need to do, ad nauseam, as a way of creating a propelling force. For example when I recently went raw vegan, I spent the evening before that eating all the cooked / processed food which I had some craving for. This was to kill off whatever last remnants of attachments I had with unraw food so I could embark on the trial with a full burst of energy and no distractions. It worked out really great – I got really sick of cooked food after that evening and went into the raw vegan diet easily. It was only towards the end of the 1st week when the cravings for cooked food started coming back in, but by then I was already raw for a week and the momentum to continue the habit was already in place, so I eventually pulled through with the trial with success.
4. Track your progress for the 21 days.Write out all the 21 days on a chart pasted on the wall, a white board, your desktop wallpaper, etc. This needs to be in a place which is constantly in your line of vision so that you are always reminded of your obligation to stick with the trial. When you successfully finish a day, cross out the day. This creates a form of instant gratification for your hard work for the day and pushes you on to do the same for the next.
I have a white board in my room which I use for this purpose, among others. When I embark on a 21-day trial, I write out the 21 days out on the board and cross each day out whenever I am done with it. I also have a header specifying the trial I’m doing and which day I’m at (Day #__). Whenever I see the number of days I have done, it reminds me of how far I’ve come and motivates me to move forward with it.
5. One at a time.When doing the 21-day trial, make sure you are not so heavily tied up that it prevents you from committing to the trial. I often tell my clients it’s best to focus on a goal at a time in order to reap the most benefits. When you have the foundations for the first goal in place, you can then move on to the next one. When you have integrated the 2nd goal, then you work on the 3rd goal. And the 4th goal. Etc. Work only on multiple new goals simultaneously if you have the capacity to handle them. It is pointless to try all your goals at once if you have not developed the capacity to handle them – everything will crumble. Slow progress is better than no progress.
6. Write out affirmations.Write out positive affirmations in the form of your activity and stick them in a prominent place. The affirmations should be written in a manner as if you are already doing them now. For example, if you are planning to wake up at 6am, write the affirmation as ‘I wake up at 6am every day’ and not ‘I am going to wake up at 6am every day’. The former sends the signal to your subconsciousness that you ARE already doing it right now and it reinforces a successful 21-day ahead of you.
What to Expect in the 21 Days
Week 1 Induction.Week 1 is when you are moving fast speed ahead. The best way to have a fast and easy start in week one is via generating momentum in the first few days before the trial (see above, Tip #3 for success).
Week 2 Resistance.In week 2, you generally face the biggest challenge of the trial (this is also dependent on the magnitude of your activity). You will start experiencing resistances of different sorts that attempt to pull you back to your previous lifestyle. If you have prepared your action plan well, you would be able to overcome these resistances with minimal effort.
Week 3 Integration.This is the stage of the flow, when the activity starts becoming commonplace in your life. Even though it’s just been 2 weeks since embarking on this habit, the time from before the trial probably seems pretty distant to you by now. If you had previously procrastinated on this for a while, you will probably be wondering why it even took you so long to get this going, because everything seems so easy and natural. By now, you should be clearly noticing benefits from sticking to this habit, if there are benefits and if you haven’t already noticed them. If you have gotten this far, congratulations! You are already on your way to full integration with this habit.
My 21-Day TrialsI have done a series of trials before, including the ones below. Most of them started out as a genuine curiosity to experience how life would be like doing them and ended up as permanent habits because of the tremendous benefits I got out of them. This goes back to the 4th benefit of the trial program – it’s a great opportunity to just experiment and try different things. You never know what comes out of it!
- Quitting soda drinks
- Waking up early (5am)
- Eating a vegan diet
- Eating a raw vegan diet
- Cutting mass media out of my life
- Checking emails only once a day
- Sleeping at X timing every day
- Waking at X timing every day
- Waking up early (5am)
- Reaching work early
- Sleeping X hours a day
- Spending a cap of X hours at work (for the workaholics)
- Exercising: Going to the gym, Swimming, Jogging, Tennis, etc
- Going to work on time
- Not being exposed to mass media (TV, newspapers, radio)
- Cutting out junk food (fast food, fried food, etc)
- Cutting out chocolate and candy
- Drinking 8 glasses of water
- Being a vegetarian
- Being a vegan
- Being a raw vegan (only fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and raw nuts)
- Quitting soda drinks
- Quitting caffeine (e.g., soda, coffee and tea)
- Polyphasic sleep
- Having a good posture
- Loving yourself
- Showing love and kindness to at least 1 person
- Sticking to your skincare regimen
- Making a new friend every day
- Connecting with your parents
- Better oral care: Brushing and Flossing your teeth
- Reading a book
- Listening to podcasts
- Doing work on time
- Not cracking your knuckles
- Not grinding your teeth (including eating ice)
- Not cursing
- Not complaining
- Not gossiping about others
- Not criticizing or judging others
- Checking email only once a day (for those who have a habit of checking emails incessantly)
- Cutting out fried, fatty food in your diet (for those who have unhealthy diets)
- Not biting your nails (for those who bite their nails)
- Quitting smoking (for smokers)
- Not playing games at all (for gaming addicts)
Before you know it, 21-days will be over and you would have a new experience to take away from it! By then, you can always be free to continue the activity then or discontinue it and move on to developing other habits.
This is part of the Cultivate Good Habits Series. Be sure to check out the full series:
- 21 Days To Cultivate Life Transforming Habits
- 21-Day Lifestyle Revamp Program
- 14 Tips To Successfully Cultivate New Habits (exclusive article in Personal Excellence Book, Volume 2)
- Waking Early: 21 Tips To Wake Up Early
- Quitting Soda: 5 Reasons To Quit Drinking Soda (& How To Do It)
- Improve Your Posture: Benefits Of A Good Posture (& 13 Tips To Do It)
- Be TV-Free: 10 Reasons You Should Stop Watching TV
- Being On Time: 17 Tips To Be On Time
- Meditation: 10 Reasons You Should Meditate | How To Meditate in 5 Simple Steps
- Manage Emails Effectively: 11 Simple Tips To Effective Email Management
- Run Barefoot: 10 Reasons You Should Start Running Barefoot
- Weight Loss: 25 Of My Best Weight Loss Tips
- Emotional Eating: How To Stop Emotional Eating (6-part series)
- Better Oral Care: How To Attain Healthier Gums and Teeth – A Simple but Important Guide
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