Habits that transform your Life

Simple habits that can transform your life completely

Implementing these small habits will not save your time and energy but also add to the quality of your life.
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“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” – Brian Tracy

Our lives are essentially a sum of our habits. Most of our daily tasks are routine actions, such as making that perfect morning coffee, relishing our favourite combination of toasts and omelettes, and working on a similar set of tasks that we usually do. These sequences of habits define us and determine who we are going to be in the future. But there is a beauty to this recurring pattern of small, daily habits that gradually help us move forward in life.

It is important to know that not all small habits are good for our wellbeing. For example, sitting for long periods each day while working can cause physical strain and overuse injuries. Given that we have a limited amount of time each day, we must find a way to maximise good habits.

Small activities such as keeping things organised, exercising, or drinking enough water can help put us on the path of self-improvement. In his book, The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success, author Darren Hardy wrote, “Psychological studies show that 95 percent of everything that we think, feel and do, and achieve is the result of a learned habit!” There is no denying the fact that our habits exert an enormous amount of influence on our lives. Hence, we must find a way to understand which habits we need to adopt and which ones we should abandon. To make things easier, listed below are a few small habits that will not only save your time and energy but can also transform your life.

Make your bed every morning

It might seem like a petty task, but making your bed can set the tone for your entire day. You get an instant feeling of success. In a 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin, retired United States Admiral William H. McRaven, who co-authored the book, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World, shared his thoughts on the matter and said, “If you make your bed in the morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.” So, set a goal this week of making your bed every morning for the next five days. Remember, small steps lead to success.

Declutter your space

Decluttering goes far beyond organising and improving the space at home. It is essential to both your mental and physical wellbeing. Whether it is the stacks of paper covering your desk, or a large pile of unfolded clothes in your bedroom closet, seeing them disorganised every day can add to your anxiety and stress. When you clear the excess clutter out of your life, you will notice the positive effect it has on your mental wellbeing. You will also be able to increase your productivity because now your space is clean and organised. Start by getting rid of things you don’t need. This includes old magazines, clothes you no longer wear, or items you don’t use. This small habit can help you become organised and you’ll be able to handle the challenges that come your way effectively.

Add stretching to your exercise routine

Another daily habit you can adopt is stretching. It keeps the muscles strong, flexible, and healthy. You need that flexibility to maintain a range of motions in the joints. If you are not stretching after a workout, you are missing a key benefit of exercise. According to Glenn Shi, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, “Post-workout stretches are very important because your muscles, at that time, are warm and very responsive to stretching.” If your body is stiff and you are avoiding the discomfort that comes from stretching, set a small goal—even 30 seconds—to start with. It is like any other exercise; you would feel great after finishing it.

Start writing a ‘thank you’ note

Thank you notes are not only meaningful expressions of gratitude for moments, words, gestures, favours, and gifts, but also an opportunity to reach out, connect, and recognise someone’s kindness. For instance, if someone drove you to the airport, helped you out with a task, or gave you a gift, feel free to send them a handwritten ‘thank you’ note. “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Turn this into a daily habit and see it transform your life for good.

Take a break

When you are working on a complex problem, it is easy to convince yourself that you don’t have the time for breaks. However, plenty of research shows that taking breaks can be beneficial for you and your work. A study titled, Physical Activity and Relaxation During and After Work are Independently Associated With the Need for Recovery, published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, found that breaks can help reduce stress and maintain your performance throughout the day. Even something as small as standing up and taking a walk, listening to your favourite song, or sitting silently can help you rebuild energy and regain focus.

Drink more water

Drink a glass of water every morning. Most of us get so busy throughout the day with our work that we don’t think about the importance of staying hydrated. We might take a hefty dose of caffeine to stay alert, but we, unfortunately, forget to drink enough water. Also, if you make drinking more water a daily habit, it can boost your energy levels and help improve your performance.

Create a to-do list

If you have a plan, you get things done faster. A good way to go about it is to create a to-do list. This will help you stay organised, increase your focus, and boost your productivity. With this list, you give yourself a structured plan that you can stick to, and have proof of what you have achieved in a given time frame. Whether you are looking to achieve more of your goals or manage your time better, a to-do list can help you climb up that ladder of success and transform your life.

Spend a day away from social media

For most of us, our smartphones have become extensions of ourselves. We pick them up for no reason and then scroll on social media apps for long periods without even realising. Many people don’t even post anything on their social media handles, yet spend their time browsing the feeds of others. This doesn’t mean that you should quit social media platforms; instead, you should use them in moderation. You can start by choosing one day when you decide to stay away from social media. Eventually, you will be able to reduce your screen time, and set time limits for using social media apps. Once you realise that you are not missing out on anything by being offline for one day, you will consciously choose to spend relatively less time on social media.

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