Sometimes, improving your life in a major way and setting yourself on a new path to success and happiness can be achieved much easier by making many small changes to your daily routine rather than making some major overhaul of your life.
In many ways, our habits indeed define us, and the things that you choose to do each day can have a massive impact over the long run. With that in mind, here are seven simple yet effective daily habits that you can use to improve your life in a significant way.
Create A Routine
Human beings are creatures of routine. Whether we realize it or not, we all have them, and we tend to stick to them fairly closely. However, some routines are more beneficial than others.
If you would like to change your life for the better, start by changing your routine. Take a look at the things you do each day and the routine you’ve fallen into and analyze where it can be improved. Are there things that you are wasting your time on each day?
Are there things such as exercise or reading that you could add to your routine to make you more productive and accelerate your personal growth? Asking these types of questions will help you create a routine for yourself that can fuel your forward progress.
Whatever routine you decide to develop, be sure to stick to it. It takes a while for a new routine to become a habit and start feeling like the new normal, so don’t lose motivation if the new routine you adopt doesn’t feel natural at first. In time, your new, more productive routine will become a normal part of your daily life, and you are sure to reap the benefits once it does.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
By Stephen R. Covey
⏱ 12 minute reading time
🎧 Audio version available
Setting goals may seem more like a big-picture adjustment to your life than it is a daily habit that you can adopt, and in some cases, this is true. Many goals take a long time to accomplish, and some goals that you set for yourself may be years in the making rather than something you do daily.
With that said, though, adopting a goalsetting mindset goes beyond setting major goals for yourself that will take years to accomplish – it also means setting weekly and even daily goals that can be reached in a much shorter timeframe.
For example, you may decide one day to set a goal of finishing at least one-third of the project you’ve been assigned at work, or you may set a goal of walking for at least three miles one day.
Whatever your goals might look like, though, making these types of short-term goals a part of your daily habit is a great way to keep yourself motivated and ensure that you are always chipping away the larger goals you have set for yourself.
Tackle Your Most Difficult Task First
One common piece of advice when it comes to creating a healthy daily routine is to start each day by tackling the most challenging thing on your to-do list or the thing that you are dreading the most.
Motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy calls this “eating the frog” – a line that comes from a Mark Twain quote, which says, “eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
Doing the most challenging thing on your to-do list first thing in the morning offers many benefits. For one, when you start the day by getting your most dreaded task out of the way, to can eliminate a major source of anxiety for the day right out of the gate and approach everything else on your to-do list knowing that the worst is already behind you.
Starting with your most challenging task also allows you to take it on when you are most rested and refreshed rather than putting it off until the end of the day when you are drained and tired.
Lastly, completing your most dreaded task first thing each day enables you to start every day with a significant sense of accomplishment, which can lift your spirits for the rest of the day.
Having the motivation to start each day by “eating a frog,” so to speak, is certainly easier said than done, especially if you are prone to procrastination. Ultimately, though, the benefits of getting this most challenging task out of the way each day as soon as possible are too significant to overlook.
Don’t Overlook Personal Care
Many people see working as hard as possible for as long as possible as the key to a successful life. While there’s no denying that hard work is incredibly important, if you want to reach your goals, there is also no denying the fact that no one can perform their best without paying attention to their own personal care.
Being successful means keeping your mind and body as sharp and well taken care of as possible. Being successful requires a particular focus on staying active, eating healthy, keeping up with your hygiene, and indulging in a little relaxation from time to time.
Keep in mind that relaxation is not the enemy of success. No one can work nonstop and neglect their personal needs without crashing eventually. Instead, a schedule that best lends itself to success, in the long run, is one in which hard work and personal care are carefully balanced so that they can complement each other in the best way possible.
The benefits of taking the time to read each day are multi-faceted and could fill an entire article just by themselves. Reading improves your vocabulary, sharpens your mind, and is by far the best way to learn information aside from hands-on experience.
Reading also expands your imagination, allows you to step outside your perspective, and broadens your understanding of the world.
Best of all, it doesn’t matter what you read; while reading nonfiction materials about an area you would like to be better versed in is a great way to continue your education and pick up new skills, even reading novels and other fiction materials can be incredibly rewarding.
These works often have as much to teach as any nonfiction book and can certainly expand your imagination while also sharpening your wit. Of course, newspapers, magazines, and even online articles all make for incredibly beneficial reading material.
In the end, it doesn’t especially matter what you read – so long as you make reading a part of your daily routine, you are sure to enjoy a wide range of life-improving benefits.
Of all the mindsets that a person can adopt, a grateful mindset is among the most beneficial. Taking the time to be grateful for all of the many blessings that each day brings is the key to really appreciating all that life has to offer.
It is also the key to understanding the reasons behind your hard work and is something that can provide you with an extraordinary sense of motivation.
If you start each day by counting your blessings and trying to show gratitude for all that you have, you will adopt a mindset that makes you all the more receptive to any future blessings that follow.
Seek to Understand Why
Having a purpose in life is the only way to live a life that is meaningful and prosperous. At times, you may find yourself drowning in numerous tasks every day without understanding your “why” or the reason you are performing them. Once you have found your “why,” though, all the hard work will seem much less taxing.
Of course, finding your purpose in life is often a lifelong pursuit in and of itself. Having a “why” for the things you do each day, though, doesn’t mean that you have it all figured out, and you know exactly what you were put on this earth to accomplish. Instead, it simply means that you have a reason for the hard work you are doing that goes beyond meeting demands and collecting a paycheck.
Each day, before you begin the work you have to do that day, start by spending a little time thinking about your reasons for doing it. What goals – both short-term and long-term – are you hoping to make progress toward by the work you put in? What areas of your life are you improving, and how are the efforts you are taking to help you reach your ideal life?
Focusing on questions such as these each day can paint the work you have ahead of you in a new light and provide you with renewed motivation. Or, on the other hand, focusing on your “why” may cause you to realize that you don’t yet have one and lead you to restructure your goals and priorities so that you do. In either case, anyone who seeks to understand their “why” is sure to be better off in the end.
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