The 10 Best Habits That Will Lead You to Having a Better Life
Good or bad, everyone has a set of habits that determine the state our lives are in. These habits are all of the little things that we do on a daily basis, the things that have become a part of our routines and our neural pathways over the course of our lives.
Obviously, our bad habits are what keep us from reaching our goals. The habit of eating cookies right before bed keeps us from hitting our weight loss goals. The habit of buying new shoes every paycheck keeps us from saving as much as we want. On the other end of the spectrum, our good habits are what move us forward. Brushing our teeth twice per day means no cavities. Not speeding on the way to work means no tickets to pay.
So, what does this mean?
Basically, if we want to have a better life, our dream life, then we need to develop better habits. Good habits will help us reach our goals as surely as bad habits will prevent those goals from being attainable. In this article, we are going to discuss the 10 best habits that you can develop to have the life you’ve always wanted.
It is easy to fall into a trap where you only think about all the bad things in your life and dwell on your problems. It is impossible to make it through life without encountering a problem or two. In fact, having problems means you are out there living your life and doing things. You know who doesn’t have problems? Babies. People in comas. The dead.
Yet, focusing on the negative and always looking at all the problems in your life will only bring you down. An excellent habit to develop is shifting to a perspective of gratitude. Before you go to sleep at night, try to think of one thing to be grateful for from the day. At first, this may be a difficult task, especially if you are mired in the negative, but you can start with something really broad (like being grateful you have a bed to sleep in). Eventually, your perspective will shift, and you will find a million things to be thankful for each day.
Have a Bedtime Routine
A good night’s sleep is crucial to living your best life. Sleep gives you energy, helps you heal, and helps you process information. Sleep will also help you have a stronger immune system keeping you from getting sick as often.
Develop a nighttime routine that will signal to your body and mind that it is time to wind down. The routine is completely up to you, but just make sure that it is something that you can do every day and that relaxes you. Some people do personal hygiene tasks like washing their face and flossing their teeth. Some people read, and others may sip a sleepy-time tea.
Get Your 10,000 Steps In
Walking is amazing for your body. It gets the blood flowing and can work out a lot of the kinks your body develops sitting at a desk all day. Once you start tracking your steps, you will see that hitting 10,000 each day isn’t as difficult as you once thought.
There are simple things that you can do to increase your steps like parking at the far end of the parking lot. Walking a couple of blocks to your lunchtime spot instead of driving over in your car. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Taking a stroll around your neighborhood after dinner. You don’t have to spend hours of your day devoted to walking in circles, just add in more walking whenever possible.
A Fitbit or other pedometer can help you track your 10,000. However, it is likely that your smartphone will as well. Chances are you already have it in your hand or pocket for a lot of the day anyway. To help you develop this habit, think of all the places in your day where you can add a few steps, and then simply start walking.
Your mom probably told you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, right? Well, she wasn’t exactly wrong. It is important to eat a well-balanced breakfast each morning to keep your body and mind in good working order.
Yet, so many people (over 30 million Americans) claim that they don’t eat breakfast in the morning. If you are one of those 30 million, then you are going to need to start. While you don’t need to eat something as soon as your eyes pop open in the morning, you should definitely eat before you start work for the day.
Eating breakfast in the morning is not a hard habit to start. It may take a tiny bit of planning and a little extra time in the morning, but with very little effort, you can set yourself up to have a better day.
One way to help you lead a better life is to visualize yourself living it. What does that look like? What does it feel like? Daily meditation can help you step back, get out of your own head. Stepping back and clear your mind, then visualize yourself living your best life.
Daily meditation can be one of the harder habits to make stick, but if you start small, just a few minutes per day, then you can build yourself up to longer and longer periods. As you get used to meditating, you will find that ten or even fifteen minutes is easy to achieve.
Track Your Spending
Most things in life take money. Eating well, traveling, business ventures...they all require some sort of capital. Yet, many times we get in our own way by wasting money instead of saving it for the things we really want.
To better understand where your money goes, you should get in the habit of keeping an expense journal. It can be done on your computer using spreadsheets or in a notebook that you keep in your desk. Whatever method works best, and is easiest for you to use consistently is the best method.
Track every single cent that you spend. Then you will be able to look at where your money goes on a weekly or monthly basis. It is possible that you are spending a lot in areas that you don’t even realize. Finding all the unnecessary drains on your accounts will help you save those dollars for the big picture items that will shift your life into a better space.
Water is the stuff of life, and you probably aren’t drinking enough of it. While I would never suggest anyone give up their daily cup of coffee, there are probably a lot of beverages that you drink throughout the day that could be switched to water instead.
Want to make your water even more powerful for your body? Add lemon. Lemons give your body much-needed vitamin C which has nearly as many health benefits as the water itself. It can help aid your digestion, boost your immune system, and help purify your body. The combination of the water and lemon will help your body get rid of toxins. There are also studies showing that it can help reduce inflammation and boost energy levels.
Ditch the Clutter
Clutter is terrible for your mind. It causes anxiety and depletes your creativity. Plus, it is likely that you don’t really use, want, or need most of the junk anyway. Just about everyone owns too many clothes or shoes or knick-knacks. All that extra stuff that is just hanging around your home, needs to go.
Clutter doesn’t necessarily have to be material things. It can also be a jumble of unused apps on your smartphones, thousands of emails in your inbox, or a bevy of toxic relationships filling up your newsfeed.
Make a plan to focus on the things that move you forward and put you on the path to your best life. Donate all the junk to thrift shops, clean out your electronic devices, and wipe those unneeded friendships from your social circle.
You can’t get to a better life if you don’t know what a better life looks like for you. No one else can tell you what to do with your life. You have to make those goals for yourself. Take some time to figure out what your best life looks like so you know what you are working towards.
Do you want to travel more? Do you want to work for yourself? Do you want to get married, have 2.5 kids, and a house with a picket fence? Figure out exactly what you want, and then you can go about taking the steps to make it happen.
Be realistic, but don’t sell yourself short. Don’t set a goal that is impossible to achieve like grow two feet and join the NBA. Goals that are physically impossible don’t do you any good. That doesn’t mean that you have to think small though. Want to be a millionaire and live in a modern house on a Hawaiian island? That is an achievable goal. It may be a difficult one, but it definitely isn’t impossible.
Manage Your Time
Reaching those lofty goals and having a better life take time. Unfortunately, time is the one thing you can’t make more of so you have to learn to manage the time that you have.
If you don’t understand where the minutes of your day go, track them. Make a time journal just like the one you are using to track your spending. However, instead of writing down how you spend every penny, write down how you are spending every minute. You may be surprised to find that you are wasting a ton of time on things that aren’t really that enjoyable and aren’t helping you achieve your goals. If you are spending two hours a day playing a silly game on your phone, it probably isn’t the best use of your time.
Once you track your time, you will find all sorts of places where you can fit more fulfilling activities into your day or week. Books can be read on the train instead of mindlessly scrolling through Twitter. A walk can be taken during your lunch break instead of recapping the latest Game of Thrones episode with your coworkers.
Managing your time doesn’t mean cramming activities into every free moment, you do need some time to relax and unwind. It just means that you replace time-wasting activities with ones that either help you meet your goals or are things that you really enjoy.
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