We often struggle to get what needs to be done finished. Important projects or hobbies do not get the time of day. Often we may not call our friends or parents frequently, losing touch with them. Exercise, diet, relationships – in all areas we may find that we are slowly but surely not doing what needs to be done fully.

Ask yourself – in the areas of work, purpose, career, relationships, friends, family, health, wealth how do you rate your satisfaction from 0-10. Wherever you are a low score notice how you have not been taking the small daily actions to progress in that space.

What then is the solution ? It’s not will power or hoo-rah motivation. That cannot be sustained daily. It’s not criticizing oneself and feeling ashamed. That will lower our motivation.

The answer is simple. Success and freedom come from simple rules. Rules when implemented make behaviours automatic allowing you the space and the freedom to grow and progress. Here are some examples of rules you can make and the impact they are likely to have when you follow them up.

  1. Wake up early – Before 7, 6 or even before dawn. Make it a rule. Practice it. If you fail a day go at it again. Repeat multiple times “ I am an early riser, I welcome the dawn”. This one action will give you 1-2 hours extra to read, meditate, spend time with your family, exercise. Once you start waking early, you can make it a harder rule in the next phase by saying “ I wake up by 6am ( specific time) everyday”. This will re set your body to sleep earlier, rise earlier and be more productive.
  1. I Run daily – You can replace the word run with the word “jog” or “swim” or “brisk walk” or “jump ropes” or any other physical activity you like. You may do it for 5 minutes or 50 minutes depending on your capacity but as you do it, notice the energy, drive and focus it generates. State clearly “ I am a healthy fit person who loves to work out”.
  1. I Plan my next day – Everyday in the evening spend 10 minutes looking at your next day agenda, on what is important, on what you want to do and what you need to prepare for. Do you need to send a project report or reply to an important email or call someone who matters a lot. Write it down, put it in the diary. Repeat “I am well planned and organized”.
  1. I hug and kiss my spouse and kids – When you wake up, during the day, before you leave home, before you sleep. Do it one day if you don’t already. If you do it, make it a rule to do it regularly. Notice the difference.
  1. I go to the temple every Tuesday / I pray daily for a few minutes in the morning /I stay calm when faced with challenges / I do push ups daily / I call my parents – you can make an endless set of simple rules.

Make one rule. Start practice. Notice the difference. Then make more. As you do you will see a dramatic improvement in the quality of your life and the impact you create on yourself and others.

Rules create freedom.

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