Ten Keys to a Healthy Habitat

Alice was frustrated and it showed. After almost a year of coaching and working together, she was stalled in her efforts to achieve balance in her life. In one of those moments of despair, she threw her hands up in the air and rhetorically asked: “What do I do? I’ve done everything possible and I’ve done everything you’ve taught me.”

“Hmmm,” I said. “Let’s review what we’ve learned and see if we can identify anything that would shed light on this challenge.”

Dr H: “Are you getting good sleep?”

Alice: “Not really.”

Dr H: “Are you keeping your Awareness Journal.”

Alice: “I try.”

Dr H: “Are you exercising?”

Alice: “I want to.”

Dr H: “What about eating healthy and in proper portion sizes?”

Alice: laughing now, “No.”

Alice picked up on the cognitive distortions of claiming she was doing her homework and all she could do. In fact, she wasn’t doing anything she had learned. In the final few minutes of our session, we picked three things for her to work on. Just focusing on 2 or 3 things, deliberately, can enhance the endorphin release, balance your mood, and bring new energy to worn feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

In the following days, I put together a top ten list of activities one could engage in as a barometer of deliberate practice. You can complain all day long, but if you’re not deliberately practicing being healthy and healing, you are more responsible for your challenges that you are willing to admit.

Principle: Think highly OF yourself at home so you don’t have to think ABOUT yourself when you leave the house.

Here is my list of 10 Keys to a Healthy Habitat.

  1. Sleep
    • Go to bed and get up about the same time
    • Getting up at the same time is more important
    • Alway go to bed and get up on different days
  2. Sacred hour
    • Deliberately practice going to bed
    • Preplan when to start your sacred hour and what activities you will do
  3. Awareness Journal
    • Have a purpose everyday
    • Pay attention to life
  4. Establish and follow Rules of Engagement
    • Know your abiding principles (safe space)
    • Understand how to apply those principles (no criticism)
  5. Conditions of Satisfaction
    • Know your goals
    • Measure your progress
  6. Exercise daily
    • Put your body in motion a minimum of 3x per week
    • Cardio and resistance training, walking, cycling, hiking, etc.
    • Find a routine and start small and short. Build up with time and compound the habit
  7. Eat healthy (Hunger scale)
    • Stay within the 2 – 5 range
    • Replace dieting with a lifestyle of healthy eating
  8. Mindfulness
    • Average cumulative 27 minutes a day
    • Use guided mindfulness to establish the system and deepen your focus
    • Small increments of 2 or 3 minutes add up
  9. Identity
    • Know your identity
    • Write it out
    • Use mindfulness to create an internal belief that you have worth.
  10. Study/read daily
    • Become a Life-Long Learner
    • Develop the identity of one who is constantly learning
    • Use your learning to work on you, not others