There is one habit that will help you with all of your other habits that you want to establish.

If you do this habit well, everything else becomes easier.

Prefer to listen to the audio version of this article? Click the "play" button on the podcast player below.

What habit am I talking about?

Sleep.

Specifically, getting enough sleep and getting good-quality sleep.

I've noticed that the sleep habit is often ignored.

Many people stay up too late and wake up too early. They push through the lack of sleep.

Sometimes the continual responsibilities of work, kids and just taking care of daily errands and chores make it seem like we have no choice but to stay up late and sacrifice sleep.

How much sleep should you get?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for people aged 18-64 and 7-8 hours for ages 65 and up.

The clients I've helped to establish a better sleep routine have told me that this is their keystone habit and that everything else in their life becomes easier and/or better when they're consistently getting lots of good-quality sleep.

Why is sleep the keystone habit?

When you've got your sleep habit dialed in, you'll have more energy and clarity for any other habit or goal you might want to work on such as:

When you're sleep-deprived, you can pretty much guarantee that will negatively affect the results of anything you're working on.

Three essential sleep tips

  1. Track your sleep. Use an app, health tracker, spreadsheet or a notebook. Record the time you fall asleep, when you wake up, any sleep-disturbed periods and the total hours of sleep.
  2. Set a consistent bedtime and wake time. Stick to this schedule 90% of the time or higher.
  3. Create a simple "evening sleep routine", designed to help you get better-quality sleep and faster.

There are many other tips that can help you sleep better but those three will get you started.

My current evening sleep routine

It's a simple evening routine. The habit that really puts me to sleep is reading a book.

I used to be online right up until I felt sleepy and this bad habit would push my bed time way too late.

Plus, being online was keeping my mind too active which made it harder to fall asleep.

The one habit to rule them all

Getting enough good-quality sleep can radically improve both how you feel throughout the day and your ability to do well with any other habits or goals you're working on.

I hope these quick ideas help you to cultivate a healthy sleep habit so you can wake up feeling well-rested and ready to take on the day.

Got a question or comment? Just reply in the comments section below.

Keep going for your goals,

Nigel

PS: Want to reach your goals faster? Check out one of the online accountability coaching programs and book a free Coaching Call.

I think you'll enjoy this entertaining and insightful interview with Bruno West, who is a professional writer that works exclusively online. He is a digital nomad who drove from his home on Vancouver Island, Canada down to Nicaragua where he currently lives. He's also a good friend of mine who I've known for over 25 years.

Here are some of the themes we discuss:

Click below to listen to the podcast. I know that you’ll get a lot of useful ideas from it that will help you become more productive and have better success with your habits.

Got a comment or question? Leave a comment on the blog or contact me directly. I appreciate your thoughts and feedback on the podcast!

Resources mentioned in the podcast

In the podcast below, I have a conversation with Niklas Goeke, a writer and habit coach from Germany who is also pursuing a Master's degree in Management and Technology at the Technical School of Munich.

Nik is a prolific writer and you can find his work in many places over the web, including on Medium and Quora. His writing caught my attention because it's informal, fun-to-read and he offers practical advice in his articles.

When I read his material or watch his videos, I can tell that he's sincere in wanting to help people become the best version of themselves. It's obvious that he's done a ton of personal development work over the years. This is the kind of person that is ideal to learn from!

Click below to listen to the podcast. I know that you'll get a lot of useful ideas from it that will help you become more productive and have better success with your habits.

Got a comment or question? Leave a comment on the blog or contact me directly. I appreciate your thoughts and feedback on the podcast!

Resources mentioned in the podcast

When it comes to actually achieving the goals that you set for yourself, you aren't likely to progress too far without a good supply of your own personal motivation.

And we're not just talking about a one-time moment of excitement and energy.

Prefer to listen to the audio version of this article? Click the 'play' button on the podcast player below.

Unless, of course, it’s for a simple goal that you can accomplish in a very short amount of time.

No, I'm talking about the kind of motivation that you need on a daily basis.

The kind that will see you through, week after week, as you strive to accomplish larger long-term goals that involve building lifestyles, careers, financial wealth and personal health.

This kind of motivation is like a self-sustaining fire.

How are your motivation levels? Do you struggle with lack of motivation?

Well, the simple fact is that we all do at some point.

But, working with the right solutions to this issue is what separates those who achieve their goals, from those who give up and only entertain lingering dreams of what could be.

Use a Few Motivational Carrots

Think of the classic farmer and his donkey.

If the farmer gives up the whole carrot at the beginning of their journey, the donkey is probably going to sit on his ass pretty quickly.

That's why the farmer hangs the carrot from a stick just out of reach, so the donkey will keep plodding towards that carrot for the entire trip.

You can use a motivational carrot too by keeping your goals visible to you. By seeing your goals regularly, this will motivate you to take action.

Write them out and leave them on your desk where you will easily see them. Use sticky notes and place them next to mirrors, on the fridge, or other areas that you look at every day.

You could even create a vision board, your dream for the future. Your vision should inspire you; you should feel excited when you look at your goals or think about them.

The point is to have those dreams and goals on the forefront of your mind by triggering them visually.

Reward Yourself After You Take Action

Your carrot can also be a pure reward.

If you are experiencing a lull in your motivation, you can encourage yourself to take action by rewarding yourself upon completion of a specific task. Plan out your reward before completing a task that you've been procrastinating on or avoiding.

For example: "I'll watch a movie after I complete a few hours on my project, not before." Or "I'll go out socializing with a few good friends after I organize my office."

Keep in mind all of the benefits that you will receive if you continue to take action towards your goals. Those future benefits are also your reward. Better health, more energy, stronger finances, an enjoyable lifestyle or whatever else will compel you to move forward on your goals.

Look at the short-term and long-term benefits as your personal rewards and this will help you to keep taking action.

Reach Out to Your Support Network

Another tool for sustained motivation is to surround yourself with supportive friends, mentors and coaches who are aware of your goals and the efforts you are making to achieve them.

They will be in your corner, with your interests at heart, and can help to motivate you when you are needing that extra nudge.

If inertia strikes, your support network will help to reinvigorate your motivation, refocus your thoughts and energy, and remind you of the goals you have declared to be important.

Final Thoughts for Keeping Yourself Motivated

There's no big secret to staying motivated, it's more about discipline.

But, the more you make use of these kinds of strategies, the quicker the progress you are going to make, and the better chance you have for long-term success.

Motivation is an important subject if you’re working on your goals, so if you want to receive more information like this that will give you strategies for taking action, go ahead and subscribe below and I'll send it to you by email when it gets published.

When you subscribe, you’ll get a copy of my free e-book, “The Quick Guide to Reaching Your Goals Faster”, that will give you a game plan for taking action in less than 15 minutes.

For those of you who are already blazing your action-taking trail, I hope this helps you double your efforts!

A few questions for you...What strategies do you use to motivate yourself? What difficulties have you had in staying motivated? Let me know in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this article, share it on social media. Until next time!

Nigel Cook

Currently coaching online from Vancouver Island, Canada. 

Originally from Vancouver Island, Canada.

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