It’s common knowledge that habits can be incredibly powerful to changing your life. Entire books have been written about it, such as Atomic Habits by James Clear.
The fact is, the discipline, focus, and consistency that comes with habits can drastically change your life for the better if implemented right. There are tons of healthy habits to adopt, but it’s best to focus on building one habit at a time, and slowly building up your inventory of habits. Before you know it, you’ll be crushing it every single day!
Lets take a look at some of the most essential habits to create:
Research shows that your morning attitude affects your entire day! If you can establish a good morning routine that puts you in an energized, happy, and focused mood, that feeling will rub off on your entire day.
Believe it or not, your feelings rub off on your entire life. You can’t ignore or fight your feelings, so make those feelings good ones!
…when experimental subjects are told of an unhappy event, but then instructed to try not to feel sad about it, they end up feeling worse than people who are informed of the event, but given no instructions about how to feel. In another study, when patients who were suffering from panic disorders listened to relaxation tapes, their hearts beat faster than patients who listened to audiobooks with no explicitly ‘relaxing’ content. Bereaved people who make the most effort to avoid feeling grief, research suggests, take the longest to recover from their loss.
A good morning ritual can make your feelings right and leave you feeling happy, and a happy life means a more productive workday.
There is of course lots of research on what good morning rituals are, and that is out of the scope of this article, but activities like running, a hearty breakfast, meditation, or morning reading can do wonders for your mood.
Having a structured start to your day can also help you eliminate stress, anxiety, and mental fatigue.
Reading books is a great way to gain more knowledge, increase creativity, and relax. Immersion reading can also increase your productivity and have a calming affect similar to meditation.
Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, taking the time to read a little everyday (I generally read before I got to bed) has a powerful and cumulative affect.
I generally enjoy nonfiction books, because they are pertinent to what I’m working on, struggling with, and give actionable advice to overcome challenges I face either personally or professionally.
Looking for a good list of books to start off with? I recommend Abe’s list of Nonfiction.
The human brain isn’t built to multi task, you end up simply switching between tasks very quickly, which can break the focused and concentrated work that is super effective.
While there’s no harm in occasionally multi tasking, constantly switching between tasks can harm your productivity.
Instead of trying to do multiple things at once, create al list of everything you have to do today and start tackling each one individually. You’ll probably find that you can complete the items faster and with higher quality than if you tried to do multiple things at once.
Whether it’s a walk, jog, or full gym workout, taking the time for physical exercise has been scientifically proven to pump up creativity and enhance your cognitive skills. If you’re still not convinced, exercise can also boost your mood by increasing the production of Endorphins, the chemicals that control your mood.
It’ll also increase your energy to make you feel more awake at work. Being on top of your workout game has a multitude of effects from the physical affects of decreasing risk for a variety of diseases to improving your mental health.
Getting in the habit of working out on a regular schedule can have dramatic affects!
While I’m not recommending a complete break from social media (as there is a lot of value that can be gained from it), I do recommend actively thinking about what you’re spending the time looking at and how much time you’re on social media daily.
Studies have shown that social media use is directly related to depression, and can also increase the clutter and stress in your mind. The average person spends at least 2 hours a day on social media. If you cut out one of those hours, you’ll have an extra 7 hours per week!
Making the commitment to limit your social media use every day will free up time for more gratifying and productive actives, like meditation, reflection, and reconnecting with the people and world around you.
While this may be controversial, I believe that humans are inherently spiritual beings. Whether you believe in a religion or not, taking time to reflect on the bigger questions in life that extend beyond our physical reality can actually increase your mental health. Religious or spiritual beliefs are proven to help people cope with stressful life circumstances.
Focusing on establishing these baseline habits will help your life become happier and more productive. I recommend focusing on one at a time, and committing yourself fully to that habit.
I usually write down a habit that I’m trying to implement every two weeks, and try to commit to it every single day. A habit tracker, whether physically or digitally, can help you remain focused and committed.
If you can nail down each of these habits, I guarantee you you’ll find yourself more satisfied with the life you’re living.
There’s a lot of content out there, I appreciate you reading mine. I’m a young entrepreneur and I write about software development and my experience running companies. You can signup for my newsletter here