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Achieve your goals for 2024

Happy third week of 2024! Hope your year is kicking off well and you're still rocking those goals. If you've slipped a bit, no biggie – happens to the best of us. Stats say that after a week, 77% are still on the resolution train, but by the end of January, 45% go back to old habits. So, if you're in that 45%, don't stress. Let me share some science-backed habit tips and spill the beans on Hal Elrod's "Morning Miracle" to keep you on track. Get ready for a habit makeover that can turn your days and, ultimately, your life around.


 

1. Rise and Shine with a Miracle Morning

Let's start with a tried-and-true gem from "The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod. This book has been a lifesaver for many, and the secret lies in its surprisingly fitting acronym, SAVERS:

 

S – Silence: As Gandhi said: “In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness”. So how about beginning your day with a few moments of silence or meditation? Clear your mind, breathe deeply, and set a positive tone for the day. This has been shown to have endless benefits, including the improvement of brain function and energy levels2,3.

A – Affirmations: Channel your inner positivity by reciting affirmations and incorporate your goals into them to boost confidence and motivation – even if you don’t believe them yet. Real talk, I used to follow all these Miracle Morning steps already, except affirmations. Saying things I didn't believe in out loud just felt weird. But after reading the book, I thought “eh, what do I have to lose?” and gave it a go. Needless to say, the first few times were extremely uncomfortable. I felt like the biggest fraud and cringed hard at my own words, but I kept at it. Slowly but surely, I started buying into every single thing I affirmed and literally spoke everything I wanted into existence. Even the things I had the most resistance against. Muhammad Ali once said “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to the belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen” and boy, was he onto something.  

 

V – Visualisation: Picture your success and live it mentally in vivid detail, your brain won’t know the difference. Really. I know it sounds like magic, but it’s actually neuroscience. Visualisation is an extremely powerful manifesting tool: it has been shown to boost immunity, improve memory and even increase muscle gain4, 5. When you focus on the feeling of an activity, your brain thinks it is happening and reacts accordingly – meaning you have a lot more control over your life than you may have believed so far.

 

E – Exercise: Get that body moving! Whether it's a quick jog, yoga session, or a dance party in your living room, physical activity sets the perfect tone for the day by getting your blood pumping and energy flowing. I don’t think we need to spend too much time here, so I’ll just leave this quote by Robin Sharma (who, by the way, wrote a slightly wonderfully crazier version of “The Miracle Morning” called “The 5AM Club” that is so worth a read): “If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for illness.

 

R – Reading: Feed your mind with knowledge. It doesn't have to be an entire novel; even a few pages of an inspiring book can set a positive tone for the day. Like Matthew Kelly said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body and prayer is to the soul. We become the books we read.” Audio books and podcasts are also a great option. In fact, join our CONKA Pod Log Chat for weekly recommendations6.


S – Scribing: Write it all down. In the words of Rolf Smith, “Ideas can come from anywhere and at any time. The problem with making mental notes is that the ink fades very rapidly”. Plus, journaling can be therapeutic7. Capture your thoughts, goals, or gratitude, and start your day with a clear mind.

 

2. Digital Detox Hour

In our hyper-connected world, it's easy to get lost in the digital whirlwind. Designate an hour each day for a digital detox by turning off your phone, stepping away from the computer, and engaging in screen-less activities. It's amazing how a break from the digital noise can rejuvenate your mind8.

 

3. Meal Prep

Have nutrition at the forefront of your mind this year. Thank your body for everything it does for you by fuelling it with all the goods, including CONKA. Meal prepping may be a good way to keep yourself on from eating junk, spending unnecessary money and even saving time9.



4. Power Hour Planning

Boost your productivity by dedicating the first hour of your workday to the most important tasks. Identify your top priorities the night before, and dive into them with laser focus. This habit ensures you tackle crucial tasks when your energy is at its peak, setting the tone for a successful day.

 

5. The Pomodoro Technique

Work smarter, not harder! Break your work into 25-minute intervals (Pomodoros) with short breaks in between. This technique enhances focus and prevents burnout. It's a simple yet effective habit to supercharge your productivity.


 

6. Screen-Free Bedtime

Say goodbye to late-night scrolling! Research suggests that the blue light emitted by screens can disrupt sleep patterns10. Establish a screen-free zone at least an hour before bedtime. Wind down with a good book or some light stretching to ensure a restful night's sleep.

 

In a nutshell, 2024 is your year to embrace habits that not only stand the test of time but are also backed by science and the wisdom of "The Miracle Morning." Whether it's kickstarting your day with SAVERS or taking some digital time off, these habits will set you on a path of positive transformation. Here's to a fantastic year ahead filled with joy, growth, the magic of life-changing habits and, of course, some CONKA.


 

Leticia Hosang, BSc


Leticia is a sports science, sports psychology and neuroscience researcher, previously working with Brunel London University and exploring the effects of exercise on brain activity.


 

References


  1. Norcross, J. C., & Vangarelli, D. J. (1988). The resolution solution: Longitudinal examination of New Year's change attempts. Journal of substance abuse1(2), 127–134. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2980864/

  2. University of Waterloo. (2017). Yoga, meditation improve brain function and energy levels, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 13, 2024, from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170906103416.htm

  3. Cady, Caitlin. 10 Incredible Benefits of a Morning Meditation Practice. Retrieved from https://caitlincady.com/benefits-of-morning-meditation/.

  4.  Ranganathan, V. K., Siemionow, V., Liu, J. Z., Sahgal, V., & Yue, G. H. (2004). From mental power to muscle power – gaining strength by using the mind. Neuropsychologia42(7), 944–956. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14998709/

  5.  Join our Pod Log group chat on Whatsapp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Fx4LlpDegzSBkPZUBMxN2I

  6.  Smyth, J. M., Johnson, J. A., Auer, B. J., Lehman, E., Talamo, G., & Sciamanna, C. N. (2018). Online positive affect journaling in the improvement of mental distress and well-being in general medical patients with elevated anxiety symptoms: A preliminary randomized controlled trial. JMIR mental health5(4), e11290. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6305886/

  7.  Coyne, P., & Woodruff, S. J. (2023). Taking a Break: The Effects of Partaking in a Two-Week Social Media Digital Detox on Problematic Smartphone and Social Media Use, and Other Health-Related Outcomes among Young Adults. Behavioral Sciences13(12), 1004. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-328X/13/12/1004

  8.  Meal Prep Guide, The Nutrition Source – Harvard. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/meal-prep/

  9.  Silvani, M. I., Werder, R., & Perret, C. (2022). The influence of blue light on sleep, performance and wellbeing in young adults: A systematic review. Frontiers in Physiology13, 943108. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9424753/

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