Habits needn’t drain our lives or our spirits; they should do just the opposite! Many people associate habits with a boring routine or mundane ritual, but healthy habits have the power to totally change your life. Just as bad habits can harm you and set you back on your path, good habits can change your life and spring you forward toward your goals.
Today, we will go over some habits that will make your life more positive and provide some direction in your day.
Here are 10 habits that will change your life (in under 2 minutes):
“Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” – Aristotle
Define your goals for the day.
It really only takes a couple minutes to figure out what you need to get done each day. However, many people skip this important step, and therefore, try to get too much done in 24 hours. In turn, they feel frazzled, unfocused, and anxious. To alleviate those feelings, simply set realistic goals for the day so that you know where to focus your energy. This is perhaps one of the best pieces of lifestyle advice we could give you, because focused energy has the power to totally change your life.
Start your day earlier.
Each morning, try to wake up five minutes earlier. Not only will you have more time in your day, but you’ll have less stress since you won’t have to rush around as much to make it out the door in the morning. Habits take willpower to implement, but if you stick with them, you’ll see your life dramatically change.
Drink more water.
Did you know that most Americans live in a chronic state of dehydration? This sets us up for a myriad of health problems, plus it zaps our energy and leaves us in a cranky mood. Bad habits such as being dehydrated will only lead to more problems down the road. Water eliminates toxins, eases digestion, boosts metabolism, increases energy, promotes skin health, and so forth. Try to drink at least eight glasses a day for optimal health and energy levels.
Multitasking doesn’t really exist; what you’re really doing is just rapidly switching between tasks and confusing your brain. Good habits include taking your time with each task so that you can perform it to the best of your ability. MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller says this about multitasking:
“The brain is very good at deluding itself. Switching from task to task, you think you’re actually paying attention to everything around you at the same time. But you’re really not,” Miller said, “You’re not paying attention to one or two things simultaneously, but switching between them very rapidly.”
If you take anything from this piece of lifestyle advice, just remember that we are wired to do one thing at a time, not multiple things.
Practice deep breathing.
Another one of the habits that will change your life is to just breathe slowly. So many of us breathe shallowly and quickly, which leads to feelings of anxiety and restlessness. Our breathing often matches our lives: hurried and disorganized. To combat anxiety, pay attention to your breathing. Practice abdominal breathing, which involves breathing in until your lungs and belly are full, and releasing the air slowly. Studies have shown that this method of breathing can lower stress and blood pressure effectively.
Put down technology for a bit.
Don’t start your day by checking emails and text messages; this will just raise your blood pressure and heartrate and start your day on an anxious note. Instead, try meditating or reading a book quietly before you get ready for work or school. You’ll feel much more relaxed, and this will help you formulate good habits upon waking up each morning.
Stick to a routine each day.
Before you step out the door each morning, figure out what your day will look like. This doesn’t mean you can’t make spontaneous plans with a friend or change up your routine every so often; it just allows you to make a blueprint of your day. Having a consistent routine will allow you to practice positive habits that have the potential to change your life.
Get up and stretch.
Throughout your day, take some time to stop what you’re doing and stretch. This will help keep your muscles and joints limber, boost energy levels, and promote good circulation. No one wants to sit at an office desk for 8+ hours without getting up at all, so try to take breaks at least once per hour.
Block off some time to simply rest.
Our society is so focused on productivity and movement that we rarely prioritize just lying down and daydreaming for a bit. For at least five minutes a day, turn off your phone, forget about chores, and lie down in your room for a quick relaxation session. You can use this time to rest your mind and body and recharge for the rest of your day.
Many studies have shown the amazing benefits of walking on the earth barefoot, so take some time each day to strip off your shoes and connect with nature. Some benefits of “earthing” include increased antioxidants, improved sleep quality, and a decrease in pain and inflammation.
Good habits have the power to change your life for the better. Although it won’t happen overnight, being consistent in the above habits will greatly reward you.