While being the greatest bummer in the house for a month, I decided to make it the most productive “staycation” of my life. Have you had that feeling when you wanted to change some of your routines but you couldn’t because you’re busy with work and you couldn’t commit into doing it?

According to a research published by Dr. Maxwell Martz, it takes a person a minimum of 21 days to adjust to changes and new behaviors. It means three weeks or more to develop a certain habit.

To kick off my program, I listed down the things that I really want to change in my daily norms. Some are too personal and privy that I can’t write them here. But the top 5 in my list are the following:

  1. Focus

    It has been very difficult for me to concentrate beyond 2 minutes. My mind has been fooled in the goodness of doing multi-tasking that I trained it into watching movie while reading an article and waiting for an alert from all my chat messengers. I have Whatsapp, Telegram, Facebook messenger, Line, Skype, Kakaotalk, Wechat and other social media accounts. The smartphones and laptops are so “good” in helping me achieve this.

    To initiate the change, I decided to spend a minimum of 5 minutes every morning to perform a simple meditation. The moment I woke up, I would drink a glass of water and immediately set my 5-minute alarm in my iPhone. Basically, it was breathing in and out deeply while listening to the sound of my breaths. It was very easy to be distracted because I would hear the sound of the vehicles, the loud public announcements from a nearby school and the tweets of the birds. My aim there was to bring back my focus whenever I realized that my mind had drifted away.

  2. The Social Media Trap

    I am not saying that social media is bad. But if you’re like me who had this habit of checking the Facebook app throughout the day and before and after sleeping, then step back and think again. How many hours in a day have you spent (or wasted)? I remember during the election fever in the Philippines, all I could see in my feeds were about politics. It seemed that all my Facebook friends had been contacted with the “Political analyst” disease. I quickly deactivated my account.

    Like I said, social media isn’t bad. To get the best out of it, I decided to be more picky on the Facebook pages that I follow. I unfollowed the local news channels and replaced them with motivational and entrepreneurial sites such as Inc.com, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, TEDx, and Bloomberg among others.

  3. Mind and Body Exercise

    Every morning, right after my 5-minute meditation, I do my 20-minute workout. It’s very simple. I do muscle stretches, push-ups and jumping jacks. I have yet to figure out the best time of the day to jog and do the pull-ups at the nearby children’s playground. It feels good when both your body and mind are warmed up.

  4. Write

    I decided to write something everyday whether the article is blog-worthy or just a simple narration of what has happened. It trains my mind to be more articulate and also helps me remember the words that I know but I seldom use.

  5. Read a book

    I haven’t started on this. I will do this today. Instead of using my laptop or my iPhone before sleeping, I will utilize my Kindle Voyage. The nice thing about ebook readers is that they help you focus on your reading alone. It doesn’t have any browsers nor apps that can distract you. It has a built-in dictionary and it keeps a vocabulary list of the words that you looked up.