Change your habits, change your life!
“The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell
What is the first thing you do after you wake up in the morning? Maybe you check your phone, or you get out of bed to brush your teeth. Whatever it is, you might not think twice about it.
Habits are learned behaviors that become a part of your routine over time. They can be subconscious. And habits are not always good. Yet some of the most successful people attribute their success to their routine. Those people took time to integrate good habits into their life. To change your life, you can change your habits. Habits do not have to be large changes in order to have an impact. You can also integrate small, good habits into your routine. These habits might seem small or insignificant, but they can carry into your life in unexpected ways.
Implement these habits into your routine to change your life:
- Make your bed. Starting your day by making your bed is one of the simplest habits to integrate into your daily routine. You reward yourself by starting the day off with an easy win. That simple accomplishment can subconsciously act as a domino effect as you generate other wins throughout your day.
- Set an intention. At the beginning of your day, set an intention. You can also set intentions for the week, month or year. Setting intentions regularly guides you with a reminder of how you want to live each day.
- Practice gratitude. Studies have shown that when we practice gratitude, our brains release dopamine. Gratitude helps shift your mind to positive thoughts, which can help you feel more positive. At the end of the day, write down three things you are grateful for to build your gratitude habit.
- Exercise. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that relieve stress and spark euphoria. In addition to being a natural antidepressant, exercise also builds your confidence. To build your confidence and happiness, make it a habit to exercise each day.
- Express gratitude to others. When you express gratitude towards others, you strengthen the connection you have with them. Write a thank you letter to a mentor who has guided you in the past or to someone who made an impact on your life. After you spend time with someone, send them a message thanking them for their time and include one specific thing you loved about that time.
- Read. Just like exercise builds your physical muscles, reading builds your brain’s muscles. Reading consistently builds your ability to focus, concentrate, and remember things.
- Switch to positive language. Practice using positive language, from your self-talk to the things you say to others. Say, “Thank you for your patience,” instead of, “Sorry for the wait.” Pay attention to the negative things you say to yourself. Would you speak that way to a friend? Speak to yourself more positively too!
Take the stairs. In a digital age where most of us are tied to our computers, choose the option that gets you moving! Take the stairs instead of the elevator. When you need to run an errand, walk or bicycle to the shop.
Follow these tips to successfully implement new habits:
- Make each habit timely. For example, “make my bed daily” or “express gratitude to someone else once per week.”
- Avoid long breaks when building a new habit. If you have a habit you want to do daily and you miss one day, do your best not to let yourself miss two days.
- Be compassionate with yourself. If you forget to exercise one day, avoid beating yourself up! Learn to be compassionate and understanding of yourself.
- Find an accountability buddy. You are more likely to stick to your habits if you have someone holding you accountable. Find someone to hold you accountable or support you throughout your journey!
- Reward yourself. Rewarding yourself as you hit milestones will help you enjoy the process.
You don’t have to make drastic changes – like starting a new career – to change your life. Small changes in your daily routine can have a huge impact!