WEIGHT LOSS/FITNESS success stories
I was retaining water and I’d always struggled to make myself drink it. So I decided that I would start every day with a 600ml bottle of water (or 2 glasses). It didn’t take long and it easily became a habit, and by starting my day hydrated it encouraged me to remain hydrated throughout the day because I knew how good it felt.
I also knew I needed to add extra vegetables into my diet so I decided to start having vegetables at breakfast. It was a little bit strange at first but it wasn’t particularly hard. By doing so it became a habit and it added in at least 2-3 extra serves of veggies to my diet. It also meant that the amount of refined carbs (cereals and breads specifically) I ate decreased.
Over time I made many more small easy changes, swapping seed oils for coconut oils, regular grains for whole grains, juice for water and many more. By adding/swapping things one at a time it was easy. It took hardly any extra time to do each day. And by doing it consistently over the last year I have lost 13 kilograms and have changed my lifestyle.
At the beginning of December 2012, I reached 145 lbs and hit a weight loss plateau.
In January 2013, I introduced one new element into my weight loss program—I started a diet log. It was not rocket science, I simply wrote down everything I ate and drank which contained any calories. I didn’t change my diet; I didn’t change my workout regime. I just kept my mind focused on the task of writing down all I ate.
With that, the plateau was overcome. By the 9th of March, 2013, I was 138 lbs. I lost what I wanted to lose—15% of my body weight.
Pawel works with me on the same open space and he is, just like me, a white collar worker.
He can do something like this:
Well, he can do more than that. I saw him moving his legs in perfect balance while standing on his hands. I just didn’t find an appropriate video to illustrate this.
He is not a trained yoga practitioner. He learned that himself while middle-aged. He trained for several months every single day to achieve this level of mastery over his body.
In his own words: “I have never trained more than 10 minutes a day, because it was just too hard for me. Two or three sessions, two-three minutes long, that’s all my body could take.”
LEARNING NEW SKILLS success stories
I started daily 10-minute speed reading practices in October 2012.
The last time I had checked my reading speed before this, was during my University study. I read about 240 words per minute. Since that time my skills had no chance to improve, as I was reading less rather than more and neglected any training in that area.
Now I read roughly 70% faster. My record is 547 words per minute (127% improvement). (already beaten)
In 2013 I met a cleric, Matthew. He was instructing me in playing the guitar within my church community.
He confessed that he learned to play guitar by practicing just 7 minutes a day (“I just hadn’t more time,” he said). He has been doing it for three years now and he is much better than me although I have been playing a guitar for about 10 years.
The reason why I got so good at the flute is because I used to play every single day. Whether it was deliberate practice or not is another story. But I made sure I played every day without fail.
RELATIONSHIPS success stories
I took for granted the love in my family. I hadn’t noticed that it was anything special until my newfound online friends drew my attention to it through their comments on my personal blog. I gave it some thought and saw the sustained action. I tell my wife and kids I love them every day.
I consider myself a good wife (well, reasonably, because I lack in a few major areas here, too). People have praised me for this from day one. I believe in making my husband the ‘No. One’ in my life, after God and the Prophet. In fact, one of my life philosophies is: ‘Whatever my husband says, goes’. Hence, every decision that he makes, irrespective how illogical it seems to me, I take as the rule…
FINANCE success stories
I consciously focus about 2 minutes of every day on finances. I also do a few monthly activities —budget summary, paying bills, dividing my resources between different assets and so on. It takes me about 2 hours, so overall it’s 6 minutes a day. I save almost five times more than I did prior to introducing those activities.
PRODUCTIVITY success stories
When I started meditating (2-3 years ago) and power napping (1-1.5 year ago) on a daily basis for around 10 minutes, sometimes multiple times a day, I noticed a big difference. This difference manifested itself in two ways:
1. Immediately by making me able to work in spurts of intense focus, followed by rest and recuperation.
2. Making me able to hold my focus more consistently throughout the day. And the meditation helps me to not think about unnecessary and irrelevant stuff — things that have nothing to do with the task at hand.
I started writing down my “daily lessons” every night since maybe 6 months ago. That takes even less than 10 minutes, usually around 5 minutes. But it’s a really good habit because it forces me to think about what I’ve learned every day. I firmly believe that if you’re able to accumulate many of these small positive habits, it’ll add up to big things.
My 10 minute (or rather, 20 minute) success story is having a task list, that I prepare every night (before going to sleep). This way I know exactly the right tasks I should be doing.
It has made a dramatic effect in my productivity when I compare it to my previous life (living without a task list).
If I fail to set a plan for the next day, I feel like being helpless and a bit awkward to go to sleep (which just proves that this habit is deep inside me).
My ten-minute success story helps me focus on tasks that have the highest long-term value.
For a long time, I struggled with certain aspects of productivity. Specifically, I would start each day “putting out fires” and responding to the demands of other people. The problem? By the time I hit the afternoon, my energy and motivation would be diminished. So I wasn’t working at my best while working on important projects.
Now I start each day by spending five minutes identifying the three tasks that have the biggest impact on my life or business. The key here is to then work on these items before doing anything else.
What I love about this strategy is you make clear choices about what tasks are truly important and what can be saved for later. It helps you work on projects when you’re at a peak level of energy.
(a note from Michal: SJ is a successful businessman with a solid 5-figure monthly income. This simple discipline led him to extraordinary results! )
SELF-IMPROVEMENT success stories
Self-improvement can also be a habit. I always have the idea of getting a little better in everything I do and it helps me get back on track when I lack focus.
The secret is to make really small steps. They often take little or no time (1-10 minutes a day) and a little effort.
You can set the goal of getting one percent better in something that’s important to you each day. The key is to stay consistent and ignore distractions.
Here is what I do: One day I’ll make the effort to go to the gym (which is one of the things I try to do daily, but it takes time to make it a lifestyle change), to think positively, to eat clean, to be more productive, to be more social, to listen more or to write for a certain period of time. All of these should become my habits at some point, but for now the main goal is to just do something that will help me move forward in my personal development process every day.
Reading is a powerful habit. You may roll your eyes when someone tells you that, but I still believe it’s one of the best things I’ve acquired as a child.
Reading even for 10 minutes a day can inspire you, help you grow, give you ideas and expand your consciousness depending on the text you choose.
Sometimes I set aside 10 minutes (it doesn’t really matter when exactly but I’ve noticed that making it a part of your morning or evening routine gives the best result) and read something (usually motivational literature, something inspiritng, philosophy or else).
I can assure you that this little habit can work wonders, especially if you’re some kind of a writer.
(a note from Michal: Lidiya is more than “kind of a writer”, check out her successful blog)
SPIRITUALITY success stories
As I was trying to think of a 10 minute success I’ve had, I thought of my scripture study. A few years ago I had a hard time bringing myself to even open the scriptures. I think I actually started with just one or two minutes a day. Over time it got easier and eventually increased to 10 – 15 minutes a day. I’ve now grown to love reading the scriptures. The 10 minute philosophy applied here didn’t just help me create a good habit, it also helped bring me closer to God.
If I ever get busy and forget reading, even just for one day, I feel a difference. I don’t feel as peaceful, calm, or loving. I guess that’s the whole reason for establishing good habits. We gain a lot of benefit if we consistently do them each day.
The cool thing is, we just start with baby steps too, such as the 10 minute philosophy. Then we can continue to build a step at a time. I had never really thought about starting new goals in 10 minute increments, but I love it! I plan to use this philosophy a lot more while establishing some other good, healthy habits in my life.
Thank you Michal Stawicki!