My life certainly is not perfect, but I love the life that my practices and practicing give me. From swimming three days a week to sending hand-written thank you cards to what I do (and don’t do) on social media, I rely on my practices and how I practice to give me a high quality of life. What is it about practices that work? Why are they so hard sometimes? Let’s look!

Practice as a noun is defined as a repetitive action, custom, procedure, or way. Practice as a verb is carrying out or performing a particular activity to improve or maintain proficiency. Practices are executed regularly, such as a weekly meeting, nightly dinner, or daily workout. Sometimes you do them when something particular happens, like when you get home from a trip or when you’re hungry.

Why do we create practices? They can be annoying routines that dominate us, but they can also help us achieve our goals and intentions. And that can feel amazing.

An important note about having a practice you genuinely complete is creating the commitment behind it. Simply writing a checklist or scheduling it in your calendar won’t make you do it. However, if you commit yourself to the outcome that the practice will help you achieve, it can help stimulate you to do the task. Your current actions give you your current results. If you want different results, you have to commit to acting differently.

Some Practices Take Work

There may be practices that are easy for you. You don’t even think about them, like drinking when thirsty or shaving each morning before work. But some practices take more work and are less rote. Many people talk about having a gratitude practice by sharing something out loud or in a journal for which they are grateful. They talk about the good feelings that come from having this practice. Remembering the positive outcomes is part of what will prompt one to do it. The thing with practices is considering “What Is It That I Am Creating or Keeping Alive With This Practice?”

Practice Never Ends

The good news about practices is that they never end. They are actions you take to keep your commitments alive. They are not a bucket list but rather a way you want to live. My ten-year-old son and I recently came up with some practices to support him in his daily bathroom routine. It can be anywhere! I challenge you to create some ideas for practices you could put into action to enable you, your team, or your family to achieve some commitment.

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