I know it has been a while since my last blog post and it is probably too late and a bit inappropriate to say Happy new year given the current circumstances, we have been facing regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. I stopped posting blog posts because I needed a break and other things in my personal life became more of a focus and priority. During that time, I thought about the style of content I would like to put out into the world going forward. I have decided I’ll give you me, Darren Owen. I will be posting content based on my own experiences and showing a bit more transparency with the hope that whoever who reads will be encouraged to do, feel, live and be better in their growth and personal development.
Since the start of 2020 I have been encouraged to try different things. It started as challenges and some of them are still habits I’m trying to perfect because, after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. There are various reasons I decided to try these new habits which I will outline below so keep reading, you might learn something.
Waking up Early, Even on Weekends
I’ve always seen and heard from a lot of successful people that waking up early gives one the advantage of having more time in the day to get things done. Waking up early also means you’re somewhat ahead of the game because while others sleep which in some case may be your “competitors”, you’re up and chasing the day. I could somewhat understand the wisdom behind that and with my desire to be successful I thought I’d try it in the new year. My main reason for wanting to wake up early is because I felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day to do stuff or work on my dreams and pursuits when I’m not working my 9-5. The truth is, there is more than enough time it just needs to be managed in a way that works for you and your priorities so that you can be productive. Another reason for wanting to wake up early is because I wanted more time to incorporate and do other things without being disturbed. Think about it, during the times of 9 am-9 pm imagine how much interruptions you’ll get when trying to complete an important task or work on pursuits? From phone calls to relatives and friends needing your time and such, the list is endless. Imagine how much you could do and how productive you could be if you woke up at 5, 6 or 7 am? Those are times most of the world sleeps. Perfect quiet time to get things done. I am still in my trying phase with this and continue to have good and bad days especially on weekends. I’d be lying if I said I don’t use the snooze button when the alarm goes off. I mostly do well on weekdays due to the urgency of my job, weekends are where I struggle. I’ll probably do a challenge or experiment with this one and share my experience in a future post.
I started journaling in the last quarter of 2019. Journaling gives me the chance to reflect deeply and put out thoughts that I can’t make sense of mentally on paper. It allows me to also spend time with myself. Journaling also serves as an effective way to review my personal growth and development. I don’t know about you, but I feel myself growing and changing slowly in various ways and at times it is hard to keep track of it all. Journaling helps me to tame that and enables me to structure and somewhat plan or have an idea of how far I have come in my life and give me ideas on what to do next. I would recommend it. I have journals for different aspects. I have a general everday journal, one for faith and spirituality, another for finances which I use for financial planning, budgeting, and recording other ideas I have money or finance related. I also have another for ideas I think of.
Making Lists of Things to Get Done
You have probably heard of to-do lists and although they are useful, have you ever wondered why you never complete some of those tasks? Exactly! A great friend of mine suggested creating a ‘get done’ list as opposed to a to-do list with the wisdom that a get done list is more effective because to-do lists never get done. It’s a mental and somewhat a willpower exercise I encourage you to try. I’ll tell you why; I started making get done lists for tasks, projects and responsibilities that must be completed. It creates a sense of urgency psychologically. Also, writing a list of things I needed to get done, made me more productive and I found I wasn’t forgetting certain things. It also sets aside a plan/idea of action for how I want my day to go. Once I write those things entitling it a ‘Get Done’ list I can visualise myself completing those tasks and how I would even go about it. You can apply ‘get done’ lists anywhere such as at school/university, work and in your personal life. I use it mainly on weekends because my weekdays are occupied and almost unpredictable or I may map it as a weekly agenda.
Listening to Podcasts
I regularly listen to podcasts in my free time, this year it’s not just about listening but the subject and content I am listening to and why. This year I have mostly been listening to podcasts based on self-development and personal growth, lifestyle and others based on faith and spirituality. I mainly listen to sermons and messages from the likes of Joel Osteen to start my day, specifically on my commute to work as it puts me in the right frame of mind and edifies me mentally and spiritually. Of course, I am human and like laughs and enjoy entertainment too. I tend to listen to such types of podcasts later in the day or if I need an easy listen where I don’t have to concentrate as much.
Praying Before I start my day
I’ll be honest and say that before this new year I probably didn’t pray as regularly as I should, but it is one habit I’ve been trying to incorporate in my life since the year started. Growing up in a Christian family, prayer is something that has always been taught to me throughout my upbringing. As I got older, I have found myself being encouraged to do that more for myself and not because of a tradition or ‘rule’. I’m not the type to preach or push faith or spirituality down anyone’s throat, but I believe it works as I have seen it work for myself and those around me. I understand some may not believe in prayers, but I can only encourage it as it’s all I know and it works, like it or not prayer changes things. Another thing you can do is maybe meditate or speak words of affirmation into your day and your life. I believe all those things based on who you are and how you see the world, allows you to come to a state of peace and tranquility and empowers you to navigate your day or other areas of your life more positively.
Thanks for reading, I hope you find some value in all these habits and ideas I have shared with you. Please share this with your friends and family as it also allows them to benefit and learn something. In these current times, it will also give them something to do and think about.
Feel free to comment and if you have also tried new habits this year, I’m open to learning about them. I hope you are all keeping well, please do all you can to keep yourself and others around and close to you safe.
I hope to feed you with more posts and content at least once a month or at most fortnightly. Until then……