Tag Archives: Habits

Everyday In Every Way I’m Getting Better And Better

Everyday in every way I'm getting better and better - by Emile Coue
Emile Coue, inventer of the ‘Everyday in every way…’ affirmation

Around a century ago a Frenchman named Emile Coue coined a phrase that could change your life.

It’s an often quoted phrase that you’ve no doubt heard before, and one that initially doesn’t seem terribly remarkable.

Coue was a psychologist and pharmacist who believed that most mental and physical illness was a result of the person’s thinking.

He discovered that he could help the recovery of a patient simply by praising the effectiveness of the medicine to the patient.

We are often our own worst enemy. We think negative thoughts all the time to a certain degree and over time these negative thoughts take their toll. They taint how we see the world. Autosuggestion, or affirmations can counteract this.

Coue experimented with different phrases for different conditions but his most well known affirmation is:

Everyday in every way I’m getting better and better.

The beauty of this phrase is that it implies that:

  • there are improvements taking place in your life right now,
  • that these will continue to take place into the future,
  • and that these improvements will happen in every area of your life.

Now if you mumble this phrase to yourself half-heartedly a few times it’s pretty obvious it will do nothing for you.

But if you concentrate on really meaning it. If you focus completely on the affirmation and say it with real feeling and conviction for 10 minutes then you will start to notice an effect.

In fact the best approach is to do this for 10 minutes every evening before you go to bed. If you do this for two weeks then you’ll be raving about how awesome it is.

I try to be an ‘open-minded skeptic’ when it comes to these things, and rather than take someone else’s word for it I tested this out for myself.

I was stunned at how this effected me when I did it. I was feeling a bit tired and run down physically at the time and, perhaps ignorantly, I thought that if it was going to work then that would be an obvious area where there was room for some improvements.

But what I found was that it effected the way I was thinking. And it did this in a way I could never have anticipated. It is something that has to be experienced to be believed.

My experiences with this have utterly convinced me of the tremendous power of the mind. Sometimes the way we use our minds ends up having a negative impact on how we feel. But this affirmation is a really potent way of using your mind to help yourself in a very positive and uplifting way.

But I will reiterate: it won’t work unless you give it a really good go. You have to really do it as well as you possibly can. You don’t have to shout it out at that top of your voice, but you should say it with conviction and sincerity.

It will probably feel a bit weird at first – but it’s definitely worth it!

Everyday in every way I’m getting better and better.

– Emile Coue

Image: Wikipedia

6 Steps To Creating A Powerful Morning Routine

Wake up it's a beautiful morning!

Image: Wolfgang Staudt

I have developed a solid morning routine that I follow regardless of what else is going on in my life. It has become so entrenched that it often feels like it happens automatically. It is almost as though the routine takes on a life of it’s own. Even on bad days or on little sleep I can follow this routine to get the day started. My morning routine has helped me through difficult periods of life and I have no doubt it will help me through more in the future.

For me it is a seven-days-a-week routine. I would actually find it more difficult to follow my morning routine for 3 days a week than I would for 7. You would think that doing something less often would be easier. But it seems that, in my case anyway, making it an everyday routine allows me to accept it more freely. I don’t have to battle with myself every morning to follow it. I am so used to it that I just accept it, even if a part of me can’t be bothered with it.

I’ve now had a morning routine for probably 6 or 7 years. It changes from time to time but the core aspects remain. It would just be so weird for me to stop it now that I’m confident I can maintain it for life.

Everyone is different so what works for me might not work for you but for the record here are the sorts of things I have included in my morning routine over the years: Pranayama (yoga breathing) – this has formed the core of my routine and is the one thing I always do, meditation, prayer, playing the guitar, Yoga (postures), Tai Chi, Chi Gung, jogging, press ups, sit ups, chin ups etc.

So how can you come up with a routine that works for you?

1. Figure out what you want to achieve

What are you aiming for? Improved health? Want to cope better with stress? Want to learn a new skill? Decide on the goals you want to achieve.

2. Pick the activity

Pick something that is enjoyable, that doesn’t take too long, that you can do whilst half asleep or whilst tired and/or grumpy :) Choose something that you can do away from home if you do much travelling. Figure out what you what you can do on a daily basis that can move you towards achieving your goals.

3. Make it manageable

This is the key to creating a lasting routine. I encourage you to greatly underestimate your ability to stick to this routine. Don’t try to get quick results. The important part in the beginning is establishing the routine. Make it really easy so that you can do it comfortably. You can always add to it further down the track.

4. Work out your timing

I do things in the morning because if I’m away on holiday or travelling for work I can get up earlier than everyone else and do my routine without it impacting on how I spend the rest of the day. An after-work routine can be difficult to maintain when you’re out of your element. But choose what will work best for you.

5. Record it

This sounds a little over the top but it’s the best thing I did to improve my routine. I have a little calendar in a prominent place in my bedroom and I tick off each day that I do my routine. That way I can look back on the year and see when there was a little drop in activity. When I started doing this it made me realise that sometimes I go for longer without doing it than I had previously realised. It also makes you more able to admire your success in sticking with your routine when you look back over the month as see all the ticks. It builds your confidence in yourself.

6. Review it

After you’ve been doing it for a while review it. If you’re doing exercises for example, then make sure you’re doing them correctly. It can be easy for bad habits to creep in slowly over time. Are the exercises still working for you? Is it time to step it up a notch? Do you need to change to something new?

If you’re looking for a quick fix then this isn’t the approach for you. But if you’re prepared to put in a little bit of effort on a regular basis then over time you will definitely see results.

If you liked this you might also like to check out 10 Ways to Give Your Morning a Makeover on The Change Blog.

Excellence is a habit

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Put 100% into EVERYTHING you do – this is what the ancient yogis believed was the key to success. If you want to be good at football then you should not only apply yourself to your football training but also to ordinary day-to-day activities. By doing so you make excellence a habit.

Life these days in the western world can be really easy for a lot of people. Sure, we complain about the weather, traffic and our colleagues but compared to many people in the world we have it easy. We don’t have to work hard. I personally have never had to worry about starving to death, I’ve never been in a war and my house has never been blown away by a hurricane.

You can get by in life these days without putting 100% into it. You can probably cruise through at around 80% and be fine. But the quality of your life will reflect what you put into it. You put in less, you get less back.

Popular culture in the world today does not encourage us to strive for excellence. It doesn’t reward us if we make excellence a habit. In fact it probably encourages the opposite.

When I was in school the kids who worked hard at their homework got teased, and sometimes this attitude still prevails in the adult world. Think about your work colleagues, your friends and family: how many of them are putting 100% into everything they do? Sadly excellence is not a common thing. If you are someone who strives for excellence in all things then you are a rare breed.

Be the exception. Wash the dishes to the very best of your ability, clean the toilet to the very best of your ability. It might not seem like much but by doing this you begin to establish the habit of excellence in everything that you do. As it becomes more entrenched, this habit will spill over into your relationships, work, finances, health…

It’s rather like physical fitness. It takes effort, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. At first you have to train yourself and push yourself towards excellence even when you don’t feel like it. But start with the little things and you’ll soon see it spread across all aspects of your life. If you practice this approach even for a week you’ll see what I’m getting at. And if you persist then eventually you get to the stage where excellence is a habit.

Changing your habits is generally easier said than done but not in this case. If you simply do the next task you do to the very best of your ability then you’re already on your way.

Image: Jef Poskanzer