Every action, every situation in our life is a result of the habits we have developed during our time. If we want to improve something in our life we should think about habits and review our daily routines. We are creatures of habit. Those very same habits either help us to move forward or sabotage our progress in life.
Recently I studied a couple of great books and articles about habits to discovered habits of high performers (for example High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brandon Burchard and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Steve R.Covey ) and started to work and incorporate on some of them in my daily routine.
Habits are so integral that a study determined that approximately 45 percent of everything we do on a daily basis is driven by our habits. The biggest challenge is to replace our bad habits with good ones. It takes commitment, willpower, and an unwavering desire to overcome our seemingly natural tendencies to think, feel, speak and act in a certain way.
Sometimes it is even hard to determine what is a good habit and what is not. So, what are the best habits to have in your life that may help you to succeed or be happy? What are the best habits to have in life?
Quality is not an act, it is a habit. – Aristotle
Best habits for success and health.
Be grateful for what you have.
Gratitude is the surest pathway to health, happiness, and success. It shifts our attention towards what we have rather than what we don’t have. It’s the natural abundance of simple pleasures and opportunities that we’ve been afforded and blessed with that we often take for granted.
Take responsibility for your life
It is you and only you who can make your life better. No one else will give 100% effort to make your life better. So, make a habit daily to reflect, question, and monitor every situation and ask – what I could do better in that situation?
Studies have confirmed that people who smile a genuine smile (also referred to as a Duchenne smile) are happier in life. This is one of the best habits for allowing you to find emotional, mental, and spiritual peace of mind over time – simply by placing a smile on your face.
One habit that has monumental health benefits is to drink a large glass of water with lemon every single day. Lemons are a natural source of Vitamin C, but also possess other health benefits – such as helping with your digestion, boosting your immune system, along cleansing and rehydrating your body.
But to be honest I do not like lemon in the water 🙂 My daily routine starts with a simple glass of water. The water itself is also an important way to flush any toxins from your system early on in the morning when you first arise. Ultimately, over time, this will also aid with things like weight loss, a reduction in any inflammations, and an overall boost in energy.
Have a healthy breakfast.
Breakfast is an important part of life. Yet, 31 million Americans skip breakfast every single day. And that saying you’ve heard your entire life about breakfast being the most important meal of the day? It’s 100 percent true. If you’re serious about success, eat a healthy breakfast every single morning.
This single habit doesn’t take much effort. Some planning is certainly required, and if you’re rushing out the door every morning with barely any time to spare, you might want to consider waking up earlier to ensure that you wield this habit in your own life.
Exercise every day.
One of the absolute best habits to have in life is to exercise every single day without fail. This isn’t about heavy weightlifting or running a marathon. This is about doing a lightly strenuous activity to oxygenate your blood and boost the endorphins in your body.
Not only will you feel physically better when you start this habit, but you’ll also feel more motivated, have more mental clarity, and be more emotionally sound. Exercise releases dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin into the system, giving an almost euphoric effect without the usage of any drugs whatsoever.
It is enough simply to sweat 30 min a day by exercising accordingly to Dr. Paul Clayton.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. – Jim Rohn
Walk those 10,000 steps every day.
Most people have heard about the benefits of walking at least 10,000 steps in a day. Yet, as a society, we tend to fall far short of that goal. When I started to measure my steps turns out it is also a big problem for me (avg 4-5k) and I have to really intentionally work for that to get my 10k by the belt.
Actually, one study, which provided shocking results of just how many steps we do take, compared that number to countries from around the world by studying participants from the U.S., Switzerland, Australia, and Japan.
Americans, on average, take 5,117 steps a day. Compared to Australians, who take 9,695 steps per day, and residents of Switzerland, who take 9,650 steps per day, and those of Japan, who take 7,168 steps per day – we fall way short. Park further from the office or take the stairs when you can to help boost your daily steps.
Supplement with needed vitamins and minerals.
As a culture, we lack the necessary vitamins and minerals through our food intake. Processed and refined sugars, carbohydrates, and other foods that are a staple of the American and European diet help to exacerbate this problem. We simply don’t get the proper nutrients our bodies need on a daily basis.
Find a good set of vitamins and minerals that you can take every day. It’s easy to ignore this healthy habit, but the feeling after weeks and months of doing this on a regular basis is tremendous. That impact can help us to improve other areas of our lives by providing mental, emotional, and physical clarity.
Manage your time and your priorities daily
An essential habit for succeeding at anything in life is effective time management. How well you manage the precious little time you have says a lot about what you can achieve. And considering that we all have the same amount of time in this world, how you leverage this resource will dictate your potential for success.
In fact, we have no impact on time and only what we can influence is activities or priorities we do. So it is important to find a good system for managing your activities and implement it. This isn’t complex to do but does require conscious and consistent effort. However, once this habit has been solidified into your daily routine, virtually anything is possible, and no goal will be too big to attain.
I have a weekly planner where I set weekly goals and daily priorities to reach those goals. Also, the planner has the habit monitor what I check also daily and a weekly review template to go through every Sunday.
Wake up early
The early morning hours are a time for peaceful reflection and productivity, where the world is still and asleep, allowing you to focus wholeheartedly on your long-term goals. Anyone who is serious about success in any measure knows that it’s important to wake up early.
Even if you’re not a morning person, use incremental changes in your daily routine to start waking up earlier and earlier. Begin by setting your alarm clock back by 15 minutes the first week, 15 minutes the next week, and so on. Do this until you can wake up at least two hours earlier than you’re waking up now.
For long years I was acting as a night owl and even now I do experience some of my best performing hours late at night but at the same time, I have to admit that nothing can beat that early morning. I feel that early morning is best for planning, visualization, and retrospections.
It’s often difficult to stay motivated for any considerable amount of time. We get discouraged and dissuaded from our goals when things arise in life that sends us on tangents and veers us off track. But one of the absolute best ways you can stay motivated in life is to inspire yourself daily.
Read, watch inspirational videos, and get inspired by stories of others who have achieved their dreams. Anthony Robbins calls this your “hour of power,” but you can spend as much or as little time on this as you need. Inspiration is the pathway to achievement because what the mind can conceive, it can achieve.
I find myself to be inspired by different quotes (Some collections you can find also in my blog Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Napoleon Hill, Robert Kiyosaki, Brian Tracy, Eric Worry, and more) and by listening to different podcasts when I’m driving.
Never stop learning.
Educate yourself, and learn something new every single day. Commit to learning and improving your life, whether it’s by acquiring new skills or enhancing the existing skills you already have. From foreign languages to software programs and apps, you should carve out a small amount of time every single day to dedicate to this habit.
Whether you decide to learn something new through an online course, an audiobook, a blog post, a video tutorial on YouTube, or even through TED Talks or other means, the importance of implementing this habit is paramount. Find something that’s worthwhile learning and do just a little bit of it every single day.
If I can offer you some help please subscribe to my weekly dose of lessons I learned during the week. I compile a weekly newsletter called “5 tips to grow”.
Whether you read the newspaper, financial news, a novel, a non-fiction book, or anything else, find time to read something. Reading is an important habit to develop in life, and you shouldn’t rely on audiobooks or movies all the time. Good old-fashioned reading, the traditional non-screen way, does the trick.
Reading can help you uncover new worlds, ideas, or ways of doing things that you might not have known about before. It’s also a great way to educate yourself or entertain yourself at any given moment.
On the right, you can find a book I’m ready for right now. Also here is a library of books I recommend.
Keep a journal.
Journaling your thoughts is a great way to reflect on who you are and what you’ve been doing in life. Time can go by so quickly that we often forget the details of what we did even a few short months ago. Those details are often novel to recall as it adds clarity and purpose to our lives, reminding us of life’s lessons and joys.
Get in the habit of writing out your thoughts and journaling your experiences on a daily basis. Intertwine it with your goals, hopes, and dreams for the future, writing out what you envision your life will look like down the road, then come back to read it, later on, to get a window into your mind at any point in your life. This is a powerful method for self-reflection, and also a great way to motivate and inspire yourself going forward into the future.
Every day I write down my ideas and thought and at the end of the week I do my weekly review to think through and prioritize what happened and what I can change to be better. You can download and try out my process and template at the bottom of this article.
Budget and track expenses
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beware of little expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship.” It’s easy to lose sight of little expenses, but they add up, especially when we fail to budget. Be sure to manage all of your expenses, and sweat the small stuff, so to speak.
When it comes to sound financial habits, this is an important one to have and one that will lend itself to your future financial success. The money saved on frivolous or extraneous expenses can be saved and invested for your future. Don’t ignore the future for the sake of reveling in the present moment.
Save and invest
No good habit list is complete without one that calls for saving and investing. We often overlook the necessity to save for the future because we’re so busy living in the present moment. The truth is that most Americans have less than $1,000 saved up at any given moment.
But it’s not just about saving. You have to invest the money that you save and do so wisely. The more attention you pay to this now, the more your life will be replete with financial success in the future. You should also be sure to have at least six months’ worth of savings in your account to stave off any potential financial calamity in the future.
In our quest to achieve and succeed, we often forget about others. We fail to contribute something of value to our fellow man, woman or child. This isn’t about donating money; this is about contributing your time, which is far more valuable than money. It also helps to shift your focus from a state of lack to a state of abundance.
We tend to spend too much of our time steeped in worry and anxiety. But, when you enlist the habit of contributing to others, you can easily alleviate your personal concerns, and even your problems, by realizing the necessity of helping others. In fact, it’s the people in this world that contribute the most value to others that end up achieving the greatest success.
Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm. – Hippocrates
Network by looking for who you can help.
Clearly, it’s not just about what you know in this world. In order to succeed, we need to reach out to others — who you know is extremely important. But networking isn’t just about dropping names; it’s about finding ways that you can help and add value to the lives of others.
The best networkers in the world are also some of the most successful individuals. But they didn’t focus entirely on themselves at the outset. They always looked for ways that they could help others without thinking about receiving something in return. That’s how the world’s best networkers are born.
Confront your fears.
We spend a lot of time immersed in fear. Those doomsday what-if scenarios play out in our minds throughout the course of any given day. We’re so worried and nervous about the future that we forget to enjoy the present moment. It’s so ingrained in our minds to fear things that it stifles our progress.
Breaking through your fears is quite possibly one of the most important habits that you could develop. Get used to doing one thing that makes you feel uncomfortable each and every single day. Talk to a stranger, give someone a compliment, or tell someone the truth about something that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Like attracts like. When we think negatively, harboring negative thoughts, we attract negative things into our lives. When we think positively, we attract positive things. It’s hard to stay positive all the time, and it’s often our natural tendency to think negatively about things.
However, positive thinking is one of the surest pathways to the achievement of your goals. Ignore the naysayers and the people who doubt your abilities, and pursue the things that you love, staying positive all the while. It’s purely a matter of momentum. Think positively for long enough, and good things begin happening.
Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event. – Brian Tracy
Make time for yourself.
One of the habits that most of us fail to implement in our lives is to enjoy some downtime – or “me” time. Do one small thing that you love doing every single day. It’s not always about achievement and success. By doing one small thing that you love, you’re actually instilling peace of mind and re-focusing your center.
Whether you listen to your favorite music pumping through headphones, take a walk through the park, go for a drive along your favorite road, watch a movie, or anything else for that matter, be sure that you always carve out some time for yourself in the day.
Although it’s important to wake up early every day, it’s also imperative to get ample rest. Finding that delicate balance might be difficult, especially if you have kids, two jobs, and other obligations. However, if you care enough about your physical well-being, along with your future success, you’ll focus on a minimum of six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
If you have trouble falling asleep, be wary not to drink coffee or alcohol too close to your bedtime. Also, if you smoke, eat too much sugar, or ingest any other type of toxins throughout the day, you’ll find it difficult to get to bed at a decent hour. Cut those out of your routine so you can get some ample rest at night.
In my blog post, you can read 15 ways lack of sleep at night can affect you.
Take action sooner rather than later.
Take action. It’s a cliche that we’ve all heard repeatedly, yet it’s something that many of us fail to do. In fact, we do just the opposite — we procrastinate. We fail to take action for whatever number of reasons, hindering our progress and ability to achieve any of the monumental goals we set for ourselves.
The best way to overcome procrastination is to use the 15-minute rule. Take whatever it is that you’ve been putting off for the longest, set a timer on your phone for 15 minutes, and only commit to doing it for that long. Why only 15 minutes? First, it breaks the cycle of inaction. Second, after 15 minutes, you’ve built some momentum, so you might just keep on going.
Let’s improve our habits.
How many of the habits above have you already worked into your life? The habits above are some of the best habits I found important to have in life. Comment below a habit you have that is helping your life.
One of the best habits I adopted is a weekly review I do every Sunday. It allows me to look back to the week and define ideas, events or action that serves me best and think through activities I need to improve. Here you can download my template for free I use to review and plan my weeks.