Do you know? 40-95% of our daily behavior is the direct cause of our habits.
This quote by Brian Tracy has given me a lot of perspectives. Read it twice.
“Good habits are hard to develop but easy to live with; Bad habits are easy to develop but hard to live with. The habits you have and the habits that have you will determine almost everything you achieve or fail to achieve.”
I was a mediocre student in my college days who used to live his life reactively. I was tired of my daily schedule and I wanted to make some changes in my life. After making that decision, I started studying successful people and I found out that all of them had one thing in common and that was maintaining highly effective habits.
Do you want to get in shape? Make a habit of exercising. Do you want to stay calm and focused? Start meditating. Every goal you want to achieve in your life is on the other side of a good habit.
Since making the decision of changing myself. I have experimented on many new habits, some worked for me but some didn’t and here I am one year after making that decision.I can proudly say that I am not the same person who I used to be one year back.
I have overcome my problems of overthinking, anxiety, focus and many more with this article I want you to share my journey of becoming my better version and I hope you experience the same benefits so that you can achieve your goals.
8 habits that will improve your life drastically
1) Reading self-help books
Do you know? An average person reads 1 book a year while an average CEO reads 60 books a year
You become what you consume, so consume long-term content, which is relevant for the next 10 years.
The issue with reading a self-help book is that not everyone is willing to apply the knowledge written in the same book.
However, if those tips have helped the author and other people to bring the desired change in their life. Similarly, it could help you to bring a major change in your life.
When you read a self-help book, you are internalizing the idea presented by the author which he/she took half of their life to figure out.
You are getting that piece of information at your disposal for a small sum of money. Think about it, how much time you could save just by following the author’s advice. All the claims inside the book are backed by scientific experiments, so you won’t have a hard time trusting the writer.
This is the most life-changing habit one can adopt as by reading some books you realize that you have a lot to learn and the practical approach discussed in the book will inspire you to take action.
This is the best habit to cure one’s overthinking and help them become more self-aware.
It gives us a place to reflect & record our thoughts and help us prepare for the day.
When you write, your thinking process becomes slow which makes you gain clarity in your thoughts. When you get some clarity and write it on a piece of paper, you realize that most of your worries were a figment of your imagination this helps one cure overthinking.
Some of the benefits of journaling are:
- Better Memory
- Better communication & writing skills
- Physical record of your life events
- More self-confidence
- Higher IQ
- Improves Mental Health
There are many more benefits to journaling but to use this skill effectively you can use my journaling structure for best results:
- Write what’s on your mind (5-10 mins)
- Write what is something new you learnt yesterday (5 mins)
- Write 3-5 things you are grateful for today
I have been following this structure for a year and have seen a visible benefit in my thinking and has helped me overcome major obstacles in my life.
It was the most important factor that helped me in making the decision of leaving my unfulfilling job.
Try it and I am sure you’ll be amazed by the results!
Studies claim that working out increases your concentration and improves the blood flow in your body. The smallest workout, such as a walk or doing some light stretching can be beneficial for your body. It boosts your mood and contributes to positive mental health.
While doing strength training can improve your mental toughness and help you set bigger goals for your future. Exercising 5 days a week is a good start for a beginner. If you stay consistent you can see a visible difference in your body with an improved posture which helps you improve your confidence.
Exercise can help you reduce the risk of developing certain diseases and can improve the quality of your life in the long term. They say the way you move is the way you groove.
4) Drinking 2lt+ water every day
Our body is made 70% of water, it’s obvious that you must drink a lot of water. If you are feeling some sign of fatigue there is a high chance your body is short of fluids
Drinking 8 glasses of water(2 liters) is the best practice. It has helped me in the unnecessary munching of junk foods in a day. Most of the time when I used to think that I was hungry, drinking a glass of water made me realize that I was never really hungry but thirsty.
The problem people face is that they are not able to maintain the optimum level of fluid in their bodies. Try to keep a bottle with you wherever you go. It is a visual cue that will help you drink water every day and eventually it will become a habit.
Some benefits of drinking water are:
- It carries oxygen to your cells
- Helps your skin glow naturally
- Helps you maintain your energy level
- Aids weight loss
- Flushes out toxins
Water if taken at the right time helps in digestion too. It is the best habit one can maintain for better cognitive function and improved mood for the rest of the day.
5) Cold Showers every day
Scientific studies have found that taking cold showers increases the number of white blood cells in your body which helps your body against diseases.
When I started taking cold showers I noticed that I took deeper breaths, decreasing the level of CO2 throughout the body which helped me stay focused throughout the day.
Taking cold showers has many benefits:
- Increases circulation
- Glowing hair and skin
- Better Immune System
- Reduces muscle soreness
Let me tell you that these are not the major benefits you’ll get from cold showers.
The major advantage of cold showers is that they will help you to conquer your inner critic which tells you to stay in your comfort zone.
Whenever I used to go under the shower, I could hear a voice inside my head saying, “Just use the hot water today.”, “Don’t do it!”
These are the voices that hold you back and when you conquer them every morning eventually they will stop and you would gain more control in your life.
It is crucial for someone who thinks that their inner critic holds them back and they don’t have a particular habit to stop it.
Congratulations, you just got your answer!
6) Weekly Goal Setting
A journey without a destination is useless. Similarly, a plan without a goal is useless.
Goal setting helps your mind think differently and you are naturally inclined towards achieving it.
While it is important to have big goals, an effective strategy to achieve them is breaking them into small chunks.
eg: If you have yearly goals break them into monthly goals and break them further into weekly goals.
Breaking your goals into smaller versions makes them look more achievable and you don’t lack the motivation to go after them.
Every Sunday take a pen and paper and do a self-assessment.
I use the framework of START-STOP-CONTINUE.
START: Things you need to start doing.
STOP: Things you need to stop doing.
CONTINUE: Things you need to continue doing.
This will give you full awareness of your life events and you can make a plan regarding your goals.
This is the most simplest and effective way to achieve your goals.
Serving others is the primary purpose of a human being. Studies show that when you work towards the welfare of others you are less likely to have symptoms of anxiety and depression.
When you serve others you realize how much you could offer to this world and you are big enough to make a difference. Service changes your scarcity mindset into an abundance mindset.
Some of the advantages of service are:
- It connects us
- Amplifies gratitude
- Increases compassion
- Improves self-esteem
The problem that some of us face is mental – anxiety, depression, loneliness – whereas for other people who are in need of service the challenges are more basic – food, clothing, shelter. You Help your mental challenges by helping them with their physical needs.
Try to join an NGO whose service is aligned with your ideas and purpose and in no time you would find yourself happy and energetic throughout the day as you have spent your time in making a difference in this world.
You’ll realize that the more you give, the more you’ll receive back in some form or the other but this should not be your primary intention towards service.
I use this quote as an anchor.
“Plant trees under whose shade you don’t plan to sit”
Selflessness is the surest route towards inner peace and meaningful life and I truly believe that you never have fully lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.
8) Taking Action
It is easy to get motivated and plan to make improvements in your life but in reality, you are not able to continue for more than 3 days.
Develop the habit of immediately acting on any advice/idea you have received. Most of us are good at researching but we suck at implementation which is the most crucial step to bring any change in your life.
Action is important because when you do something for the first time there is a high chance that you will make some mistake and it is important to make some as it will help us understand ourselves better and we can determine our strengths and weaknesses.
It helps you to learn new things as you proceed and it will build up your confidence in the long term. All this advice would go to waste if you don’t take any action.
Remember, ACTION >>>> LEARNING
I hope that these 8 habits will help you improve your life in the same way it has helped me improve, I have shared my daily strategies with you and I hope after implementing them you get free of all the worries in your life and use your gifts to make a difference in this world.