“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” —Aristotle
The things that you repeatedly do everyday form your habits. They grow stronger over time as they become ingrained in our brains. Thus, forming good habits can drastically improve your life.
Fortunately, there are simple habits that you can train yourself to do daily. You can start working on these habits at any time—you don’t have to wait for New Year’s. If you ever stumble and fail to do them today, you can always try again tomorrow.
What Are Habits?
According to Brian Martin, a habit is something that you do without consciously thinking about it. It’s an automatic behavioral activity and makes you do things without spending a lot of mental effort.
An example of a habit would be making your bed as soon as you wake up, or brushing your teeth after getting out of the shower.
Our habits free up our brains to carry out more complex mental activities, such as deciding and problem-solving. We have hundreds of habits that we knowingly and unknowingly do every day. Thus, the quality of our day—and ultimately, our lives—depend on the simple, daily habits that we practice.
6 Simple Habits to Try
If you want to replace your negative habits with positive ones, then now is the perfect time to do so. Try out these simple ones that you can slowly incorporate to your daily routine:
Meditation is a quick and easy way to reduce stress and anxiety. In this fast-paced world, people tend to get stressed out very often. It might be because of your job, family, relationships, school, or debt. A few minutes of mindful meditation can ease and calm your mind.
You can meditate anywhere you want, even for two minutes. Here is a simple guide on how to meditate for beginners:
Sit or lie down anywhere as long as you’re comfortable.
Close your eyes.
Breathe deeply and slowly, and focus your attention on your breathing. Concentrate on your feeling as you inhale and exhale.
Return your focus back to your breathing if your mind wanders.
Meditating for at least two minutes every day can help you relax and clear your thoughts. Instead of resorting to bad habits whenever you feel stressed, try these simple breathing exercises instead.
Create visual cues
Creating visual cues will help you achieve your goals better if you do it consistently. For example, if you want to work out more, try placing your workout clothes or yoga mat somewhere you can easily spot them. This will prompt you to exercise more often because you will be constantly reminded by clothes or equipment lying in plain sight.
Visual cues also help you accomplish tasks that you’re always putting off. For example, you’ve always wanted to expand your business by joining trade shows. However, you never seem to find the time to do it.
You can start small by placing a pen and notebook on your desk all the time. Then, jot down ideas as you go about your day, such as where to get trade show booths in Las Vegas. As you pass by your desk and see your notebook all the time, you’re more likely to accomplish that task albeit slowly.
Drink more water
It’s a habit that is often overlooked by many people. However, drinking a lot of water has so many benefits for your body. It maintains the balance of your bodily fluids, energizes your muscles, and hydrates your skin. It also flushes out your kidneys and helps you maintain a normal bowel function.
To help you drink more water, keep your water bottle near you all the time. Place it on your desk while you’re working. Place it beside your bed when you’re off to sleep. Or put it on the coffee table whenever you’re watching movies.
One easy way of tracking how much water you’re drinking is by getting a 1-liter water bottle. This way, you’ll quickly know how much liters you’ve consumed for the day depending on the frequency of your refills.
It’s easy to take everything that we have for granted. We could easily slip into envy, resentment, and discontent if we’re not thankful for the things that we currently have. Thus, it’s good to practice gratitude by creating a simple gratitude journal.
You can use any notebook or a note-taking app and write the things that you’re grateful for at the end of each day. It doesn’t have to be a long list. It can be as simple as finding a seat on the bus or receiving a call from a family member.
When was the last time you cracked open a book outside of school? Reading should be easier for us since we have more access to materials and sources now. It’s a habit that you should develop if you want more knowledge and better vocabulary.
Reading also stimulates your brain and improves your memory. You don’t have to read an entire book if you don’t want to. You can start small by reading articles and news from reliable sources. Or you can also listen to podcasts and audiobooks if that’s more of your thing.
Celebrate your achievements
Do you remember when you celebrated your small and big wins in life? Celebrating your achievements and unlocked goals is an important habit to develop. You’re training your brain to give 100% of your focus and determination in everything you do. A huge part of success is developing a winner’s mindset, and it can be done by celebrating.
The quality of your life depends on the habits that you have developed over time. Even the smallest habits, like meditation and drinking water, can make a huge impact on your mental and physical health. Therefore, fostering positive habits is important if you want to achieve a happy life and a peaceful mind.