Small Habits for a Brighter Tomorrow
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going” ― Jim Ryun
Have you heard of the saying ‘Habits maketh man’? It suggests that we are a product of the habits we have created, and research suggests that this saying is 100% true. Habits are the one thing that differentiates virtually all great performers from the rest of the pack. Most people have spent years cultivating positive daily routines and actively maintaining and refining them to keep them fresh and fascinating. For the rest of us, habits develop as a natural byproduct of how we feel daily.
‘Small drops make a big ocean’. Just like that, small habits and tiny enhancements to your day-to-day life change the entire course and direction of it and ultimately decide whether you become successful or not. Habits are complex and defining exactly what a habit is may be difficult at times. They appear differently in each person, and there is no simple formula for altering all of our everyday behaviors and routines. However, here are a few tried and true habits that will help kickstart a better, more successful future, so incorporate them in your daily life if you haven’t already.
Schedule your day ahead of time
For most people, a lack of schedule and discipline is what pulls them back in life. If you’re not able to schedule the entire day, at least schedule some parts of the day like what time you wake up, what time you’ll leave for work, when or if you’ll work out and around what time you’ll go to bed. These small but impactful details will help you keep track of your day and what you did in a day. When you can properly arrange and keep to your schedule, you can better decide your priorities and make the most of your day.
Workout The benefits of exercise are plenty and for both mental and physical reasons, working out daily is extremely important. Keep an allotted time for working out every day, be it just 10 jumping jacks or 15 squats. Doing this keeps your body and mind active and alert while also giving you a feeling of accomplishment which will help you move forward in the day. If you are in a 9-5 desk job, learn some desk-ercises that you can practice at your desk. Instead of wasting muscle mass, learning, and doing basic exercises while at work assists in strengthening your body.
Practice mindfulness Be present. All the best coaches, trainers, gurus, and everybody else swears by the practice of mindfulness. Be it via meditation or simply a quick body scan, spend some time being present and staying in the present. Allot some time for this daily and watch your life transform, one step at a time.
Put yourself first Warren Buffet once said, “Invest in as much of yourself as you can, you are your own biggest asset by far.” While living in a society and interacting with others, we often tend to forget the one person who will stay with us for the rest of our lives - ourselves. However, we are the most important person in our lives and when we forget to give time to ourselves, we fail to fulfil our most basic needs. Nobody knows you as well as yourself and nobody can help you better than yourself. So, spend some time with yourself and invest more in your interests and passion. This will be highly beneficial in both the short and long terms.
Save a portion of your income: Most of us tend to live paycheck to paycheck and so, forget to save some portion of our paycheck. Be it 10% or even just, 2% - make sure you put a certain specific portion of your paycheck into your savings accounts. Make sure to not use this amount (unless of course, there is a dire emergency) and you’ll soon see that you have saved up quite a lot. This habit helps eliminate poverty consciousness and will also help reduce the need to spend everything you get.
Pack your lunch: Save money/ Lose weight/ Put in effort for yourself Packing your lunch is a fast track to killing two birds with one stone - you get to save money and lose weight. It is a well-known fact that homemade food is much healthier than store-bought food. Along with both these benefits, you also get to spend some time in the day creating a well-balanced, home-cooked meal for yourself which can be quite calming and relieving. You can ask your family to join in too, making this a fun, family activity. If you don’t have time for making food during the week, start a meal-prep routine during the weekends!
Create a Morning and Evening Routine A routine is so important since it helps provide discipline and also reduces anxiety. Creating a well-set morning and evening routine can help start and end the day in a calm, stress-free manner. Be it just waking up, brushing and drinking water or just washing your face before retiring to bed at 10 pm, make sure that the routine you set is sustainable and most importantly, fun. If you think of the routine as a chore, you will give up halfway. Instead, make it short but effective and you have yourself a perfect start and end to the day!
Say Daily Affirmations Affirmations are positive phrases that can assist you in overcoming self-defeating ideologies and negative thinking. You will start to see significant improvements if you repeat them frequently and trust in them. Self-affirmation may also assist to reduce stress's effects. Research showed that an affirmation exercise improved the problem-solving abilities of "chronically stressed" individuals to the same level as those with minimal stress.
Put a smile on someone else’s face Acts of kindness have been related to improved emotions of happiness in studies. Helping others can strengthen our support systems and motivate us to become more active. As a result, our self-esteem may improve. There is evidence that helping others might cause changes in the brain that are associated with happiness.
Reward Yourself for the small wins We always think about long-term and big goals when we think about successes. The problem with this is that your future is created now, by the things you do now and not by the things you will do 15 years in the future. Praise yourself for each work finished will help you notice the small things. Make time to do more of the things you enjoy. The idea is to congratulate yourself on your accomplishments. And this is why, on your path to success, it's critical to recognize and celebrate your tiny victories.