This post was originally published at AROSEMANIFESTED.COM
As a writer, daily habits are what keep me accountable. They are what return me to the keyboard day after day to type away, key after key, the words that will eventually become a finished novel.
A daily writing habit may seem obvious for a writer, but it didn’t always seem obvious or even possible to me. Working on my novel has always been possible, yet I’ve spent years assuming I didn’t have the time. Being a published novelist has been my lifelong dream, yet I’ve been repeatedly distracted by less important hobbies when I could have been writing.
It wasn’t until I adopted daily habits that changed me on the inside that I started doing what I needed to do on the outside in order to reach my goals.
Three daily habits changed me from an anxiety-prone, easily-distracted butterfly who had a million great ideas yet never got anything done, to someone who knows what she wants and is willing to do what it takes to make it happen. I now have the tools for clarity, perseverance, and drive. And you can too!
Three Life Changing Daily Habits
Unless you are already a meditation guru, I imagine this tip is met with the same eyerolls that came from me when I heard I should do this daily.
It wasn’t until I accepted that mediation is a personal experience that varies day to day and person to person before I really gave it a chance. I had to realize that some days, my mind would wander aimlessly with zero success at getting quiet. I had to accept that it’s ok if I don’t always feel the magic of chakras opening and otherworldly visions like other meditators I know.
What mattered was that I took the time to pursue meditation and learn what made me feel the best. I learned that I love guided meditations on YouTube. I learned that a simple ten minute (or even five minute!) meditation is enough to center me for my day and get me ready to write.
Also, I learned about other meditation-like techniques that are more active. My favorites are EFT Tapping, Ho’oponopono, and Inner Child Dialogue/Journaling. These techniques have changed my life in major ways. When I’m feeling particularly angry, anxious, or negative, a traditional meditation just doesn’t cut it for me. In order to get back in the creative, positive vibe, I first need to clear my uncomfortable emotions.
The life changing result? Regular mediation makes me less prone to anxiety, the crippling effects of writer’s block, and the beast of self-doubt. And when I do have a rough day, I know I can turn to one of my favorite meditative techniques to snap out of it quickly. Meditation helps clear my mind of the chatter that can get me off track and instead focus on my goals.
2.) Affirmations a day keep the doubt away!
Affirmations are positive statements about the things, feelings, and goals you want in your life. My current affirmations revolve around my goals as a writer, such as:
- I am creating a career as a successful, published fantasy author!
- It’s easy to make money as a fantasy author!
- The universe is guiding me in perfect timing to the perfect opportunities!
I used to write my current affirmations and (try to) read them every day. But it was hard to stay motivated after a few weeks of repeating the same thing. And when I did, I hardly felt the words I was reading, because I’d already memorized them.
So I started writing them out fresh every single day. My core affirmations that I need to continue to focus on remain mostly the same. But new ones are added based on what I’m feeling and needing in my life at that moment. If I’m feeling particularly anxious about something, let’s say I’m worried that I suck and am terrible and no one will ever like my books and OH MY GOD why am I doing this??? I’ll word my affirmations in a way that affirm how I want to feel (such as, “I am an awesome writer and people love reading my work.” See, isn’t that much more warm and fuzzy?)
The life changing result? My daily affirmations keep me constantly pumped and aligned with my goals. They are the toughest shield against the self-doubt writers are famous for. And they make me feel AWESOME. Like two kittens on your lap and a cupcake in your hand awesome. (If you want to see more about how you can use affirmations to super charge your writing and creative life, grab my FREE mini ebook, 102 Affirmations for Writers, Artists, and Other Creatives.)
3.) Goals and To-Do lists
Just like affirmations, clarifying your goals and writing out to-do lists daily helps you focus on what’s important and actually GET STUFF DONE.
I have an editable list of goals, for both big and small things. Goals like finish my novel, get it published, and pay off my credit card. Just like affirmations, these goals change and grow with me. I review them daily, and try to rewrite them weekly, so they never become rote.
In addition to my goals list, I have a to-do list. This list is different, as it is a list of actual steps that can get me from where I am now to where I want to be. My to-do list contains items such as write a chapter of my novel, write a blog post (hey there!), maintain a social media platform, and normal-life things like exercise and registering my daughter for kindergarten (OMG…kindergarten?!) Every day, I can look at that list and decide what can realistically be done today and focus on that.
The life changing result: Reviewing my goals daily keeps me excited about them. Creating an actionable to-do list makes my goals tangible and clearly achievable. No overwhelm. No “how the hell am I going to get from here to there?” Just steps that you can take, one at a time, to get where you want to be.
How to add these to your daily routine
Committing to these three daily habits changed my life in so many ways. Just the simple act of making room for them daily made me realize I could make room for anything. I could create the time to write. I could stay focused on my most important desires.
What does my daily habit look like? I wake up at 3am (1.5 hours before I go to work) so I can meditate, write my affirmations, read my goals, and work on the current chapter of my book. I even do this on one of my days off. I started small and slowly added and refined it over time to create a habit I enjoy.
How can you add these habits to your day? Try to commit a certain amount of time every day when you know you’d likely follow through. Maybe it’s before work. Maybe it’s before bed. Or perhaps it’s on your lunch break. Do whatever is realistic to you. Start small! Even ten minutes a day can make a difference. It did for me!
I’d love to hear from you! Do you do any of these things?
Love, light, and all the magic,
Author. Coach. Unicorn.
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