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Penny Power Ponders Hard choices, Easy life

This week, as I fast approach a big birthday, I have been having thoughts about what positive habits I should form for the next decade and which negative ones, which tend to be the easy habits, I should work hard to remove. I thought I would share in this week’s ‘Ponderings’. We all know that self-development is the foundation for professional development.

I want to thank our daughter Hannah, who ran an amazing session on the importance of routines this week for our BIP100 Community, it gave me so much inspiration

Here is a list of some good habits and routines I want to form. I hope they make you think about your habits too

1. Build a daily routine for my exercise, this has been very disrupted since I fractured my knee, there are always excuses.

2. Get up at 6am, I have started to enjoy lying in till 7am, but that is not my natural constitution, I wake at 6am and then snooze- that’s a lazy start to my day.

3. Read more or listen to great Audio Books, like many I have become a bit too addicted to boxsets on Netflix.

4. Work out of my office more, visit cafes, and enjoy the social surroundings to give me variety and energy.

Here is a list of some of the bad habits I will remove

1. Watching Netflix on my iPad when getting ready for the day – makes me resent starting work as I am loving this easy task over the harder ones

2. Reaching for something sugary after lunch, habits formed from childhood that I should really dismiss now!

3. Reducing the rush and panic formed from my ‘do it now’ mindset. Overwhelm is an exhausting mindset I have and I must calmly approach my day and know that people are patient, they don’t need an immediate reply or instant reaction.

My son, Ross, talked to me about the concept of ‘Hard choices, Easy life’ and ‘Easy choices, Hard life’, a quote from Jerzy Gregorek, Olympic weightlifter. I really like that phrase, it is so clear and motivating. Getting up in the morning after a snooze, and watching some Netflix, are ‘easy choices’, but they make my day much harder. When I choose ‘Hard choices, Easy life’, I get up as soon as I wake, go to the gym, have a cold shower, and then start my working day, my day goes so well, I am energised, focused, and feel so good about myself. Life feels easier.

There are too many ways to make our lives easier, it is so easy to find the excuses, ‘my sore knee’, a belief that ‘I deserve that chocolate biscuit’, however, these easy choices add up and make me tired and feel less confident and less happy with myself.

I have just started listening to ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear, I cannot recommend it enough if some of what I have pondered about today makes you want to find a system for a better life. He talks about how we identify ourselves, what behaviours we have created as a result of the identity we hold about ourselves. It is a powerful read/listen with very actionable tips.

This morning, I listened to Atomic Habits when I got up at 6am, it stayed with me in the gym, and it encouraged me to focus on my harder choices. When I sat to write my Ponderings, I was calm, focused, I had space to do it and my day had flowed so much better.

Wishing you a great week ahead, perhaps you can think about your easy choices, that might be making your life harder and find the courage to do the hard choices that you know are best for your future too.

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