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.

1. Exercise

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.