Committing to Conscious Decisions.
If you want to achieve a sense of peace in the midst of your life- whatever that might look like, taking a moment to be a conscious observer (e.g. rather that asking ourselves "What can I do about this?"- if indeed we give ourselves that time before reacting) can give us the breather we need. How would it feel to stop and take some deep breaths in a moment of stress, and ask "which part of me is disturbed?" before asking ourselves: "Who is it that sees this?" Distancing ourselves as the observer in this way, gives us time to make a more conscious choice. We might still decide that anger for example, is the appropriate path; but the difference will be a conscious choice, rather than a knee-jerk reaction. Yoga, sound meditation and other types of meditation are great tools for this also.
How can we commit to this? With a new habit of this nature, it can be helpful to spend 5 minutes at bedtime reflecting on paper, or even just in our mind, on how many times we were called to/ able to make more conscious decisions in that day. It is helpful to do this without judgement, if we can.
Committing to Exercise
Once we are on the road to committing to more conscious decision-making, we are likely to find committing to exercise easier to do. When faced with the morning's to-do list, if we have not made conscious choices thus far in the day, we can easily feel overwhelmed. Perhaps we hit the snooze button this morning, or the dog ate the newspaper; maybe the cat has puked on the doormat or Johnny can't find his homework. All these things require some attention, but we can prioritise if we are practising conscious decision making. Exercise and committing to exercise, really no matter what, can afford that sense of "I can achieve anything". It energises us, gives us the happy hormone rush, and helps us to think clearly. Choosing this time for ourselves, day after day (perhaps even getting up earlier to fit it in!) will give us the motivation we need to face our daily challenges with optimism. All this tends to make us more productive and therefore more valuable and happy! Win win.
How can we commit to this? Any journey begins with the first step and repetition is the key to habit forming. Being prepared the night before, and other tips to help you have a great morning, you can read about here, and will help you get started, but the repetition bit is a conscious choice you make day after day.