Habits are funny things. Not everything sticks, and the things that do are often not the best for us (being lazy, messy, forgetful, insert bad habit here).
I used to identify myself as someone who wasn’t very productive, wasn’t very motivated, or didn’t have the ability to easily change my ways. And hey, none of us are perfect, but a little bit of self-awareness goes a long way and when I began to pinpoint where I wanted to make improvements in my life and in the way I lived, I began to feel happier, more confident, and more fulfilled.
Developing new, healthy habits takes time. In fact, not only have some of these been in the works for a few years, I also still sometimes have to remind myself of them because I’m human, you’re human, we’re all human. As much as I wish there was some final healthy habit mastery destination I could reach, the reality is that throughout life, there will always be opportunity to improve ourselves. I don’t believe it ever just finishes. But in my opinion, that’s the beauty of it all.
6 Habits That Changed My Life
1. Waking Up Earlier
I love the mornings. To me, mornings represent new beginnings and new opportunities to reach our goals and make good choices for ourselves. I also simply really like that time of day and the little healthy rituals I have. Although I don’t wake up at 5am (I commend you if you do), waking up earlier makes the day feel so much longer, I get a lot more done and I’m a lot more productive.
2. Practicing Gratitude
Gratitude is something I used to overlook a whole lot. But earlier this year I had to deal with a very frustrating ordeal that took several weeks to sort out, and it was through that time that I gravitated towards practicing gratitude, and also, learning about why it’s so beneficial in the first place.
The feeling of gratitude can actually make us happier by focusing on what we do have as opposed to what we don’t, what we’re lacking, or who we’re comparing ourselves to. If I’m ever feeling frustrated, impatient, or discouraged, a few moments of consciously being grateful for the things in my life always positively shifts my perspective.
3. Not Giving Up
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life through my own personal experiences, it’s that not giving up is the key to so much greatness and beauty in this life. I used to be quite the quitter when I was younger – and I probably still am with certain things – but in many more ways I’ve let go of that attitude and replaced it with perseverance.
Perseverance means pushing forward even when you’re frustrated, discouraged, or let down. It’s about knowing – not just hoping – that it will all pay off in time, with steady effort, and by simply showing up. That is where success is born.
4. Using a Daily Planner
I’ve talked so much about daily planners in my videos and in blog posts, and using one has become very engrained in my daily life. Planners, agendas, to-do lists, calendars – you name it – these things help keep me organized, less overwhelmed, and boost my motivation and productivity levels.
5. Listening to my Gut
I could talk endlessly about how strong of an advocate I am for listening to your gut. It has been, without a doubt, the most valuable aspect of my life. Some of my biggest, most important (and most stressful) decisions were based on taking a chance and listening to my gut. I shared a particular personal experience I had in a video a few months ago, and I would absolutely not be where I am today if it weren’t for trusting myself and what I believed was right for me. If nobody has told you, I’m here to tell you this:
You know what’s best for you; don’t let fear hold you back. You have the courage and the knowing to move forward in the direction that you know is right.
6. Being Honest
Of course, not telling lies is relevant to this point. But what I really mean by being honest is by communicating clearly, honestly, and earnestly with others. I know exactly what it’s like to be shy and to find it difficult to speak up or articulate what I’m trying to say. I know what it’s like to lack confidence, to feel nervous, or to struggle with wanting to please others all the time.
Improving our communication skills takes practice and doesn’t happen overnight, but over the years I’ve improved significantly and learned that there is nothing more liberating than saying exactly what you mean clearly, firmly, honestly, and respectfully. Being consciously aware of the way I’m delivering my words and my voice, the way I’m saying something to someone or the way I’m asking a question has helped me to improve this very skill.
I hope this blog post found you well and you resonated with a point or two. I’d love to know: what’s one habit you have that has changed your life?
You can also check out my video here: