Are you stuck in a rut of mediocre habits that aren’t helping you build a happy life?
It is said that 95% of a persons behaviour is determined by habits. Some of these orient you to who you want to be and the life you want to live, others stop you from achieving and are a nuisance to your health. Regardless of where you think your habits stand, here are 5 habits to live a happier life.
First you must understand habit patterns
Cue, craving, response, and reward. This four-step pattern is the backbone of every habit, and your brain runs through these steps in the same order each time. When changing a habit, you must adapt your response to the cue and craving in order to achieve a similar reward.
For example, every time you start feeling unproductive while working (cue), you get up and eat cookies(response) in order to disconnect with work (reward). Replace your response to taking a walk outside with the dog every time you start feeling unproductive as; a)your cue doesn’t change, b)your craving is still disconnecting from work and c) you still achieve your craving, but now your habit is now a healthy one instead of an unhealthy one. The first step to changing a habit is always understanding it.
Exercising is one of the most positive things you can do for yourself, it improves your mental health and mood, helps control your weight, strengthens bones and muscles, improves sleep, and much much more.
In order to set a habit to exercise, A) set a time when you want to exercise and a frequency that is hard but not out of reach for YOU.
B) Start small, the important thing is that you start as that is what’s hardest so start small and progress as you feel comfortable.
C) Make it fun – positive, If you associate a habit with pain you will shy away from it whereas if you associate it with fun or pleasure you’ll always look forward to it.
2. Make sleep a priority
Sleep is a vital part of everyone’s overall health but it is hugely overlooked. In order to feel good, stay sharp and achieve your goals, it’s important you follow a good sleeping habit.
Set a time, preferably before 10 and aim to wake up after the number of hours you NEED (not want) and follow this schedule. For example, I tend to go to bed at 10 and wake up at 8 but I need a lot of sleep.
3. Make healthier decisions
You must understand the repercussions of your actions; if you keep making unhealthy decisions you probably won’t become who you want to be.
A) Start by writing down everything you do on a daily bases, what time you wake up, when you eat, if you exercise, all of the little things that occupy your days. do this for 5-7 days
B) Look at your notes, spot the unhealthy patterns and try to shift them, maybe every night at 7 you have cupcakes. In this scenario, try to replace your unhealthy habit of eating cupcakes every night to having a bowl of fruit.
C) Likewise now spot the healthy habits and try to amp them up. For example maybe you go to the gym twice a week, instead of 2 times go 3 or four times from now on.
The purpose of this is to make small changes with huge positive impacts.
4. Practice self awareness
In order to achieve great success you must know yourself and your goals. No matter what your goals are you must avoid low priority activities that take up your time, do things that fuel/you motivate you, focus on your strengths and double down on those hours of the day where you are must productive.
We all function differently and are driven by different things, make sure you know what you need in order to stay productive, patient, driven and positive.
5) Do things that make you happy
This does not mean eat cake because you like it. This means anything that puts a smile on your face without it being a nuisance to your goals and health but maybe isn’t “necessary”, you should reserve some time for. Whether that’s dancing, painting, taking walks or even observing the sky, it’s important to be happy in life in to orient yourself towards things that do so. Someone happy will also execute tasks better and be more lenient towards a positive mindset.
Setting goals is overlooked when it comes to achieving. Setting good goals will maximize your chances of reaching the success you want to reach. Here’s the most important things to keep in mind while setting goals for yourself.
1. Set goals based on you
Self awareness is critical when setting goals. Goals alligned with who you are and what you believe in are much more likely to be achieved and will feel better to work on. Also realize what you are good at and what you are not. If you set a goal to run 100km next month but can’t even do 10 at the moment, you’re setting yourself up for failure. However, if you know you’re close to that and it will be challenging to achieve yet possible, go for it!
“When you know who you are, everything changes”Gary Vaynerchuk
2. Make sure to establish a roadmap with your goal
Many people make the mistake of simply writing down something they want on a piece of paper and praying they achieve it. In order to maximize the odds of you achieving your objectives, make sure to have a plan on how it will be done. They say “a goal without a plan is just a wish” which proves the plan is just as important as the goal itself, without it, you have nothing.
3. Measure your progress
When you measure your progress, you stay on track, stay driven and feel accomplished as your working towards your goal and that is key to achieving anything. The process tends to be more important the goal itself so make sure you track it and feel accomplished while you work, not just at the end.(for more on this click here)
4. expect to fail
Doesn’t expecting to fail defy the purpose of trying to succeed? no, here’s why; many people will set a goal, for example; going on a diet and then eat one cookie and give up. However, if you expect to fail, after you eat that cookie you can get yourself back on track instead of giving up because you know mistakes happen and you’re only human.
5. Enjoy it
Finally, make sure to enjoy it. I don’t mean if it’s not always fun don’t do it but take the time to appreciate what you do and celebrate the milestones. If you do this, your objective will come to you faster than you imagine.
“There’s a huge difference between achieving to be happy and happily achieving”Tony Robbins
We make thousands of decisions a day but how often do we decide our attitude? Our mood? People can change themselves but they don’t choose to, all you need to do is decide to change, believe you can and then execute.
For example, I, just like a lot of people, started to wake up cranky in the morning, I would get out of bed hoping no one talks to me or observe people with an attitude as they want on with their “happy mornings” until one day, I decided to change my mornings. With belief and will power by my side, I started planning my morning the night before and beginning my days with really positive things like the thought of really good cereal awaiting for me or the exciting things I had planned that day. Mornings are now my favourite part of the day.
“It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to it that matters”Epictetus
Once upon a time, a shoe company sent two salesmen to Africa to determine the market potential for their products. Both the salesmen completed a basic survey of the target market and called back to the office.
The salesman sent to the east coast of Africa reported “No one here wears any shoes, there is no market for us here!” whereas The other salesman sent a message “No one here wears any shoes, there is a huge market for us, send inventory fast!”.
This is a great example of how important good decisions are. In this story, the situation is the exact same yet the outcome will be significantly better for one, only because of the decision he made.
If something goes wrong, you can always react to it however you like, see it as a lesson, not a punishment, this will help learn yet move you forward.
Self esteem is your overall sense of self worth, how much you like yourself and it’s important because it influences every decision you make and your happiness. Luckely, you can make changes to your self worth doing these easy steps.
1. Realize this is in your head and possible to elevate
You first must believe you can change it just like when it come to any changes you create, you always must believe in order to create actual change. Despite what may be causing your self worth issues, you must change that voice inside your head telling you you are not capable or strong or beautiful. Many people believe it to be their internal voice but that is where they’re wrong. That voice has been conditioned over time by your parents, your friends, your siblings, etc. If that voice inside your head tells you you’re not good enough, that’s not you.
2. Clearly define your values
Think about what truly matters to you and what you believe in then align that with how you live your life. Many people are living a life that is not them leading to low self worth and even if you live by what you believe, do it more. For example, I’m all about positivity and I thought I was living based on what I believed because I was living what I thought was the most positive life possible. Turns out there is a lot more I can do such as read about it, study it, help others achieve it etc.
3. Block others opinions
I understand this is hard to do but too many of us worry about what other people think and do things to impress people we don’t even like. This has to stop. Your life is about you and you can’t let anyone else dictate the way you live it otherwise you won’t feel fulfilled. Make a decision right now to stop worrying about what others think. Then, take small action oriented steps to work your way there.
4. Let negative things go
We all have negatives in our lives whether it’s people or things. In order to increase your self esteem and be happier you must let these things go, even if this is an okay friend or an activity you do, if they make you feel negative they do not belong in your life, it’s that simple.
5. Give more
Never give because you must but give because you can. This will make you feel good and give you a good conscious. This will make you more present to the needs of others and help you help more people. You’ll sleep better, learn faster and be more discerning about decisions and/or relationships.
6. Adopt healthy habits
At night, mentally prepare yourself for the next day and decide to have a healthy productive morning. If your mornings are productive, all your days will be more productive and if you are productive you will feel much better about yourself.
You can also eat healthy, exercise and/or dress well to feel better about yourself because when you look your best you feel your best and self insurance will come through.