Peter Economy is quoted as saying that “habit building (and breaking) is one of the hardest things we can do, but it’s also (very) important for our long term success and happiness”. He’s not wrong. When you’re trying to escape from old habits the road can be a long one. With the right mindset, however, your life will undoubtedly be filled with successes. You’ll be able to attribute those successes to new habits in your life.
But where do you even start with habit building? There are lots of places to start that can get you set off in the wrong direction and with the wrong frame of mind. That’s why we’ve come up with 5 habits for you to perform each day that are easy to start and easier to keep up with.
Make a Morning Routine
One of the simplest things you can do to pre-emptively improve your life is to make a morning routine. The 2018 diary from Saint Belford is a big advocate for this. This could involve waking up earlier and writing 500 words (on no set topic), taking a stroll, making a to-do list for the day, taking an icy shower to wake up, or quietly meditating. We often get sucked into the snooze alarm vortex, which can throw off entire days of positive energy if we aren’t careful. Making a new morning routine is as easy as setting your alarm to go off 30 minutes earlier tomorrow morning.
Set Daily Goals & Review Them
This is a nice addition to the first habit. As mentioned, it’s good to try and set a to-do list up right when you rise in the morning. This doesn’t take a long time at all. Maybe 5 to 10 minutes at the most. Be sure to take the time each morning to set up what you need to accomplish each day. With a concrete list, you’ll stay on task and get the satisfaction of stroking off a goal once it’s completed.
At the end of each day – before bed – go over your list of goals again. Whether they’re your goals for today, for the week, the month, or the year, you should take some time to look over them. If you want to achieve them, you need to focus on them as much as you can. Set your mind to “achieve mode” so that these goals are always on your mind – whether consciously or unconsciously.
Focus on One Goal At a Time
It can be tempting to try and do many things at once – especially if you’re on a deadline or you’re stressed out. Working on more than one goal at a time can spread thin your focus and energy, which you need to achieve a goal in the first place.
Instead of multitasking, try single-tasking and work on one goal at a time. You can break that goal into smaller parts in order to achieve it, but be laser focused on that specific goal. By doing this, you’re more likely to accomplish it and stroke it from your list of goals.
When making a monthly, yearly, or 5-year plan, many people will include something about “getting in shape” or “losing X amount of kilograms”. Exercise is one of the best daily habits you can form. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson.
The only thing stopping you from making exercise a daily habit is you. Daily exercise comes in many forms and can start very small. Take a walk as part of your morning routine, or join a weekly or bi-weekly class at the gym. Stretching and yoga are excellent options too. Surfing tends to cleanse the soul as well (if that’s what you’re into of course). Regular exercise clears your mind and reduces stress, making it an excellent daily habit to form.
Lastly, having a clean workplace makes thinking and working a lot less stressful. Get in the habit of thinking minimally when it comes to your workspace. A notepad, a pen, your laptop, your phone…you don’t need much more to get work done. Invest in a program like Evernote to store your important files, keeping them handy without them taking up any desk space.
Old Habits Die Hard, New Habits Live Long
These are just 5 daily habits that have worked for us. By making them part of your daily routine you’ll be surprised just how full of positivity your life will be. With a new set of habits under your belt, your goals will be accomplished faster than you’d imagined, and your headspace will be clearer than ever.
Alexandria Phillips is the Founder and Editor of The Banter Press and Co-Founder of Saint Belford. She feels passionately about mental health issues and is committed to creating tools that empower others to edit their lifestyle and prioritise their wellbeing.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.