10 best habits to have to take your life to the next level
Have you ever stopped to wonder why years pass so quickly?
Though I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I think the start of a new year is the time for reflection for many. About the goals set last year and evaluating their success rate, and making new commitments.
What makes a new year special?
I think it’s the fresh start that motivates us to set goals. A fresh start gives us a new energy. Be it a relationship, a school, a business or even a habit.
In fact, a study shows that people are more likely to tackle their goals immediately after temporal landmarks (start of new year, birthdays, holidays, new week/month, semester etc). It’s called ‘fresh start effect’.
And most of us like to imagine how we will make each area of our life better, beginning from the new year. Like changing our diets, exercising more frequently or even taking up a new form of exercise, changing our thinking patterns, control anger etc.
Here I have compiled a list of best habits to have in life. If practiced, they will cause positive and remarkable changes in your life.
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There is a reason gratitude tops my list. I have been practicing gratitude for over 2 years now. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t grateful before. But I didn’t do it as a practice.
But when I started practicing it, I can say my life changed.
I used to worry about small things in life to a large extent. And fair enough, the things I worried started showing up too.
But after starting gratitude practice in my journal, I began to approach life more positively.
There is an old adage which says,”Happiness is not a destination, but a journey”. We postpone happiness thinking achieving a certain thing can make us happy. Or something is going on in my life right now due to which I can’t be happy.
No, it doesn’t work that way.
Even when something is not right in your life now, there are numerous other things that are perfect. Count them, express gratitude for them, to the God you believe in or to the Universe.
You can buy a gratitude journal or a simple notebook will do. Express gratitude for the things you are grateful for, each day. Don’t hesitate to write about even the smallest things that made you happy each day.
Like how your daughter told you that she loves you or even for the flower that bloomed in your garden today. You will be amazed by the changes it will bring to your life.
- I am grateful to have a healthy body.
- I am thankful I have a beautiful home to live. It keeps me warm and I have a place for all my belongings.
- I am grateful for my kids’ health.
- I am thankful my boss was happy with my work today.
2. Inspire yourself
Zig Ziglar once said:
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
No matter how fired up you are to work towards your goals, there are always days you don’t feel like moving a finger. You might even feel like maybe this is not something you’re meant to do. It can happen especially on the days you don’t see the results you expect.
It happens to everyone.
Therefore, it is essential to inspire yourself with motivational content every other day.
Have some books of your favorite authors handy. Or, you can listen to motivating podcasts or watch YouTube videos or Ted talks.
You can read about the lives of successful people, how they sailed through failures and learn from them.
Make a habit of reading at least two pages of a self-help book or watching a short YouTube video as part of your morning routine.
3. Get out of your comfort zone more often
This year, one of my goals is to make a habit of doing uncomfortable things more often.
Comfort zone is the best place to be, right?
Who wants to have butterflies in the stomach and feel fear?
It is when you stretch your comfort zone you get to discover your true potential. It helps you to grow in life, thus achieving more.
Along with butterflies, it will give you new experiences that you would have missed out on, meet new people and explore new places. Never leaving your comfort area means staying stagnant.
So next time, when you want to say “no” to something that you wish you could do, think twice.
Journaling helps you record your life. It helps you to plan your days, ensuring you are not wasting the precious 24 hours given to you.
Sometimes our thoughts can overwhelm us. A journaling habit helps in dumping our thoughts into paper, thus clearing our mind. Journaling habit has helped me a lot in bringing an order in my life. I had trouble organizing my thoughts and ideas and that’s how I started journaling. Sometimes, when I need to vent I do that also in my journal.
It’s also a great tool to plan your days and write your goals. Successful people recommend the habit of reviewing your goals on a daily basis to track your progress.
You can start with any notebook or diary. And set a time daily for performing this. Most people prefer to journal first thing in the morning, or just before bedtime.
What I prefer for journaling is a bullet journal. A bullet journal is a planner that is very flexible and customizable. Unlike traditional planners, you create monthly/weekly/daily spreads as you go along. And you have the freedom to create any spread of your preferred topic with each page of a bullet journal notebook.
If you have been discouraged by the beautiful artsy bullet journals out there, learn how to start a simple bullet journal here. You do not need artistic skills for bullet journaling.
- 10 reasons journal writing will change your life (it changed mine!)
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If your body is a vehicle, fuel is the food you give it to run. But you also need to do regular preventive maintenance to keep it in good shape and to prevent a sudden breakdown.
Exercise is the preventive maintenance you give your body to run smoothly and help you live life in the best possible way. Exercise of any form should be made part of your daily life if you want to start a healthy lifestyle.
Regular exercise helps in improving energy, improves blood circulation, controls weight, combats diseases etc. It even boosts your mood by producing endorphins which makes you happy. And the best part is, it also reflects in all other areas of your life too.
Such habits are called keystone habits.
Charles Duhigg in his book The Power of Habit, calls exercise a keystone habit. According to Charles, it helps in creating chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.
I have found this to be true. If we exercise regularly, we would want to eat healthily and avoid junk food as much as possible. And also we get increased energy and good mood to continue with our daily chores.
Related: How to start an exercise habit that sticks
The ultra-successful people are also the ones who read a lot. If you look at Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, they all swear by reading habit. It has influenced their success to a large extent.
Reading opens to you new perspectives you didn’t know existed. If schooling gives you basic education, reading good books gives you the means to progress, improve your life, change your outlook, gives you new information that you wouldn’t get from schools or other sources.
It is a powerful habit that will give you immense benefits.
If you don’t want to read, you can listen to audiobooks. You can read this article to learn about some of the best audiobook services.
7. Set goals
For many, life is living on autopilot without new aspirations or growth, just going with the flow. Needless to say, it leads to a mediocre life.
If you want to achieve greatness in life or be remembered for something, you should have a vision and work for it. And setting goals will help you in it. It gives you a direction to follow.
Only if you have the destination mapped out, you will know when you get there. You get to measure your work against a set standard. And measuring is important since you get to know if you have attained it or not and find out what to improve.
You can set goals in all areas of life like health, work, relationships, spiritual, hobbies etc.
Related: 3 mistakes to avoid if you want to achieve your goals
Meditation has numerous benefits on your mind and body. It reduces the stress of daily life. Stress can give you many diseases, thus it’s important to keep it under control. When we meditate we observe our thoughts passively, without letting ourselves involve in it or have feelings.
This helps in real life, where we observe stressful events keeping a distance and thus we are calmer and we can make better decisions. Starting a meditation habit is one of the best investments you could give yourself.
- Benefits of meditation and how to start a meditation habit
- What is mindfulness and how to practice it
9. Be proactive
Stephen R Covey in his famous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says being proactive means, taking responsibility. If you are proactive you never look at the problem and worry, but you try to look for a solution. You do not blame people or circumstances for causing it.
I certainly believe this as one of the best habits to develop. Because when you take responsibility for the negative events happening in your life, you will look for solutions. If you blame others, you give away your power and play the victim. It sabotages you and your path to success.
Proactive people create their own opportunities while reactive people wait for opportunities to come their way.
What do you want in life?
To be carried away by events, or control your responses to them and take charge of your life?
10. Get off the online world more for real life experiences
Our smartphones, rather than being a tool of convenience, has turned into something that rules our time and our days. We waste so much of our time by looking at what’s happening in other’s lives.
Do you always feel something is missing if your phone is not near you?
If so, it’s high time you get hold back of your priorities.
What you can do is, create time blocks to use the internet. Check e-mails, social media updates and do web browsing only in the allotted time. You can save so much time and have more hours in a day to do something that leads you to your goals.
You can check your emails or social media if it’s urgent, but don’t get hooked up. Log out as soon as your work is done.
So this is my list of 10 best habits to have in life. Habits which, if implemented, can lead you to a more productive and fruitful life.
What do you think? What other habits would you add to the list? Please comment below.
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such an amazing post , your all habits are awesome who you written in this article
and i agreed with you but your be positive in every time , this point was really work on life
BTW Thank you for sharing awesome knowledge with us
Thank you Nichy. Yes, gratitude is a habit that really works in bringing positivity and success in whatever we do.
Thank you Pinaki Sen 🙂
I think what you posted made a bunch of sense. However,
think about this, suppose you added a little content? I am not saying
your content isn’t solid, however suppose you added a headline that grabbed a person’s attention?
I mean 10 best habits to have in life for a better you is a little boring.
You might glance at Yahoo’s home page and note how they create
post headlines to grab viewers to click. You
might add a related video or a pic or two to get readers interested about what you’ve got
to say. In my opinion, it might bring your website a little livelier.
Thanks for such awesome article, Short but powerful…
I Really love your articles.
Thanks for reading!
Totally agree with all of these points. Incorporating these habits have not only made me more productive and enabled me to operate at a higher level, but I’m much happier too. So worth the effort to establish them and repeat them until they become ingrained habit. Thank you for sharing.
You are welcome!
Good. Thnks for inspiring me
You are welcome!
I do all of these things and I’ve never actually realized how much of an impact it has made on me so far. I do feel more confident and I want to take on more challenges just to see how far I can go. It’s one thing to want something but it’s another to have a drive for it. To have that thought constantly in your head day and night, wanting to shoot for the stars but hoping you can exceed that. If you want to grow you have to be willing to get out of that comfort zone and like you said. We all fear things but the more attempts we make at what we fear the more we come to realize is that fear is nothing but a doubt placed at the back of the mind. The more we think and learn about what scares us the less chances of us becoming scared. Attempt things and attempt them again until you get your full understanding and I bet you that fear disappears. Also when you get tired of being in the same place eventually you’re fear is going to subside and you’ll be open to doing. You’ll take on more task and learn more. Research, what you don’t understand isn’t because of ignorance, it’s just a question waiting to be asked. Ask questions to learn. We all have so much opportunity so why not make it happen for us? Good post!
Thank you Taylor for expressing your thoughts! Yes, what you said is true. The fear of staying in one place forever can spring you to take action, even if it is scary. And also these habits can feel like simple ones, but they are powerful once you decide to act on them consistently.
Really inspired by your article..
Getting vibes of”Fresh start effect’…
That’s great to hear:)
This is a great list.
I just have some thoughts about n. 9 because, imho, we can’t and we shouldn’t take responsibility over everything happens in our lives. Sometimes we don’t have control and we have to face and accept that. The consequences could be to feel incapable and guilty, when instead there are things we cannot forecast, prevent or avoid.