Your daily routine influences your life’s direction and how confident you feel in getting to where you want to go. Most of us get stuck in the grind of the day-to-day slog. The following includes five daily basics to help you get a more fulfilling life. Be sure to add these to your good-habits list.
Improving your self-worth helps. This starts with knowing the Self. Part of this is developing healthy habits for living a freer life as your true self. The following are the basics to be considered in addition to good food habits for wholesomeness that cares for you and the planet.
The following will also suit children and students. Encouraging kids to adopt these, will start them on a journey of healthy habits to support them through life.
Why have a good habits list?
According to Wikipedia, “a habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously.”
Without habitual processes, “we could not accomplish everyday tasks as each little act, like tying our shoes or dressing ourselves, would require so much conscious effort that we will be exhausted…
The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work,” according to psychologist and philosopher William James.
Since, habits allow you to perform a series of actions without much cognitive effort, forming good habits, puts our well-being on automatic.
Good habits make living a quality life easier!
In this good habits essay, you’ll find five good habits to consider as daily routines to win at life in our 21st-century craziness.
Stack these habits to start the day on a high
First up, every morning, get a dose of outside natural light. This helps your circadian rhythm, which helps with mood, learning, and memory as well as a good night’s sleep.
Then stack these next three into a 15-min time slot – a small investment for the overall outcome.
♦ 1. Foster faith
Faith is complete trust that you are supported in reaching your goals and that everything will be okay. It remedies the worry and stresses in our work, our relationships, our homes, our lives, and stops cortisol and other stress-related chemicals affecting our bodies.
We can not always rely on support from our superiors or peers. And, it’s unfair to expect our loved ones to provide such at all times.
Having faith is a way of leaving our worries to someone else (be that God, or a higher source of intelligence or ultra being, in your mind). We gain courage and inner strength.
Some people prefer affirmations. I use both and each has value in my mind.
Spend 5 mins affirming faith to strengthen your confidence.
A favorite ‘faith-mode’ source is Doreen Virtue’s Daily Guidance from Your Angels for daily inspirations that help you open your mind.
“I begin each day by reading an inspirational book and meditation and praying. I adopted this healthy habit many years ago to ensure that my first thoughts of the day were positive.” ~ Doreen Virtue
Another favorite is Florence Scovel Shinn’s Your Word is Your Wand. It contains powerful affirmations. Many times I’ve chanted particular ones over and over in my head and my desires have been manifested as a result.
Pray. There is much evidence supporting the value of prayer, and scientifically-supported benefits of prayer include:
Pray helps us with our moods and emotions (1)
Instills a sense of loving and belonging (2)
Increases trust and an optimism about the future (3)
Helps us cope with stress and trauma (5)
Has health benefits (6)
Cultivates gratitude (7)
If you make a habit of sincere prayer, your life will be very noticeably and profoundly altered ― Alexis Carrel
♦ 2. Reflect and review to gain wisdom
Contemplate and acknowledge your wins and wants, but don’t over-think them.
Reflecting and reviewing opens the door to improvement.
Here, you might look at what needs changing and what has been achieved:
- In work life?
- Personal life?
- In the wider context of society and the world?
This is not a self-criticism session. Don’t beat up on yourself.
Spend 5 mins reflecting.
Journaling is one way that is powerful. It opens you to the voice of intuition.
Things to journal about:
A new step towards achieving goals (even a small one)
Whatever you need to get off your chest
A gratitude diary is a great tool. Try entering at least three things to be grateful for each day. After a month of doing this, I noticed a marked difference in my perspective. I continue to do this each day. It is a powerful tool in helping to change bad thought habits formed by your inner critic that get you nowhere.
Janice Kaplin’s The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life confirms the advantages of doing this.
Practically, all you need for a gratitude diary is a notebook – it can be digital, but I find hard copy works best for me. Make the writing journal a special one, like a dedicated gratitude journal.
If you find something you are dissatisfied with, look for a solution, find the positive.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. ― Søren Kierkegaard
Ask: What can I change or not?
If you have bad feelings, acknowledge them, and then visualize putting them in a balloon and it floating out the window – gone.
You now have a clear start for imagining wholeness and abundance entering your life. Imagining is the next part of this habit stack.
If you’re wanting help to start, open a book at a random place to find inspiration, a spark or message for reflection.
Reflecting will prepare you for the next routine on my good habits list – imagining.
♦ 3. Imagine with feeling to manifest desires
Imagination is your best friend and one of the best habits, according to Albert Einstein.
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere! ~ Albert Einstein.
To imagine is to form a mental picture or concept. It is a powerful tool for attracting conditions you desire.
Spend 5 mins visualizing how your day will unfold as you would like it. Imagine achieving the desires you’ve just reflected upon and each step in achieving these. Do these with feeling!
Include the things you smell, hear, tastes, and see, as well as how you feel emotionally. Get comfortable. Find the perfect cushion.
You need to be relaxed – the preceding two habits will help with that.
Resonating at an Alpha level, 8 – 13 Hz, like when you are “in the flow”, is the ultimate. Meditation brings you to this level.
Creative visualization while at this Alpha level (while meditating) is potent for manifesting desired conditions in your life.
Many successful professionals in health, education, business, sports and creative arts use this technique to succeed.
Don’t take my word for it. Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life has sold millions of copies.
Creative visualization might seem out there, but it works. Be patient and continue practicing. Especially use it during meditation for manifesting your goals.
Make imagining a daily habit. Over time you will soon find mastery. Be like a child and let your imagination run wild.
My 4P rule applies: patience + persistence + positivity = payoffs.
These last two are habits of thought or mindsets to practice throughout the day.
Remember, habits are not only formed from repetitive behavior, but also from repeated thought, emotion, and perception. It is important to form healthy habits for life in all these avenues.
♦ 4. Move that body to energize and reek confidence
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~ Albert Einstein
Have a mindset of having to move your body, shift your mind. Humans are built to move and to be in motion and so moving is a habit of life. Try to get outdoors in nature where possible.
Sadly, in the 21st century, we sit more and move less. I always remember the jelly-like humans in WALL-E. It’s enough to get me motivated to get outdoors.
Reasons to have a mindset of needing to move:
- Movement increases oxygen to the brain
- Helps with focus and concentration
- Increases your overall productivity
- Helps with digestion
- Getting out into nature is a wellness hack
Think about introducing more incidental movement into your day, like getting up from your desk for a drink of water or discussions face-to-face rather than email.
Try doing stretches at your workstation. Yoga stretches can be incorporated.
Schedule in motion at lunchtime, before work or as an after-work activity. Walk among the trees in the park at lunchtime, for example.
There are a variety of outdoor activities to do at night that involves moving the body and shifting the mind as well, e.g., stargazing.
To keep the positive energy flowing…
Consider Fung Shui, simply moving furniture or home décor will shift blocked energy and increase energy flow.
You know the saying: “Change is as good as a holiday”.
While too much movement can be stressful, a certain amount is necessary for energy to flow and to remove blockages to shift the ‘tired’ and stale.
♦ 5. Expect what you believe in
Remember…Jedi Master Yoda’s reply in the Empire Strikes Back:
When Luke Skywalker’s exclaimed: “I don’t believe it!”
Yoda replied: “that…is why you fail.”
Believe. Expect that your world will be as it should. This is a mindset.
You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and EXPECT to win ― Zig Ziglar
The power of expectancy is strong. Believe in it!
As Shakti Gawain noted, “…we always attract into our lives whatever we think about the most, believe in most strongly, EXPECT on the deepest levels, and/or imagine most vividly.”
Shakti Gawain’s bestseller, Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life, has sold over 7 million copies worldwide.
You are limited by what you believe and your habits…
It is seen in personal bests of weightlifters, in people mimicking their avatars, and even with wine tasting.
It’s a mindset.
Expect a little miracle.
Expect a little help.
Expect it to be easy.
~ The Universe
According to Mark Manson, the reason we fail is that “The mind’s unconscious beliefs about possibilities inform the level of effort and expectation of success from the body’s behavior.”
Manson’s latest book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” is entertaining and has valuable insight. He gives some of his own experiences.
Chris Berdik writes in Mind Over Mind: The Surprising Power of Expectations about how our brains work in the future tense based on our expectations. The book offers a captivating look at the frontiers of expectations research.
A person can try to convince himself that he is happy, but if his mind is filled with counter intentions and self-limiting beliefs that tell him otherwise, he will never make any progress. ~ Dr. Joe Vitale
Finally, expectations can be powerful.
How to form daily habits
Habits take a minimum of 21 days to form according to Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life.
However, research shows it’s more likely to be two months before a new behavior becomes automated — 66 days on average to be sure.
Persistence is the key. Remember my 4P rule I mentioned above.
A habit tracker is helpful for keeping you on track and also looking back and seeing what you’ve achieved. It’s a good motivating tool. You can download mine here. Use it as is, or modify it to suit your personal habits.
Steps to develop good habits
The 5 listed above serve as good habits for students as well. I wish I had adopted them during my years of studying.
How to make a habit? In simple terms, it is to repeat something enough times that it becomes second nature. How to develop good habits is not easy but…
Here’s a simple step-by-step:
Step 1: Choose an anchor that will trigger you to the start the activity, feeling, perception, or thought that you want to make a habit. For example, cleaning teeth can be an anchor to meditate next.
Step 2: Try stacking your habits. Decide on the flow of your habit stack, e.g., reflect, then pray, then meditate or pray, reflect, then meditate.
For the stack suggested in this article:
- Find a quiet place, position, and space where you feel safe and comfortable. This can be kneeling, sitting, standing or walking.
- Have a journal or other writing material handy for reflections and gratitude journaling.
- Practice stilling your mind. Meditation will create the right environment for visualizations.
Step 3: Keep a track of your efforts each day (a habit tracker is used for this) as this will help keep you motivated and committed to forming the habits.
- The hardest part is to practice the habits every day. It’s tempting to say: “I don’t have time” or “I’m too busy”. That’s the ego. The inner knowing voice says “make time!”
- Try swapping the daily news (which is often negative and misleading), 15 min on FB or on Netflix with your habit stack or any from your good habits list.
- A good habits app will help. A Way of Life is one app that helps with habits.
Quitting bad habits
A behavior or routine that is repeated regularly and which causes harm to you or others in the short or long term is my ‘bad habit’ definition.
There are plenty of examples of bad habits. On my personal list of bad habits …was smoking. I started this when I was 14.
It’s one of those common bad habits that you find hard to break because you associate it with socializing, finishing off a meal, and partaking of a coffee or work break.
I remember when my dad quit smoking (as strong-willed as he was) he replaced it with snacking, aka ‘bad’ eating habits. He gained weight and it wasn’t long before he suffered a heart attack. He then had to switch to a strict low-cholesterol diet for life.
So to quit smoking, I learned I needed to form healthy lifestyle habits at the same time.
Instead of reaching for that smoke, I would go for a walk, drink a glass of water, eat a piece of fruit, or take a shower.
I made new associations, ditching the cigarette that had long been my prop, my sidekick.
It took conscious effort in breaking my habit of reaching for that cigarette when the urge arose. But, I did it.
No joking, it takes commitment and persistence in breaking bad habits. But, change your habits, change your life.
How to break bad habits? How to form good ones?
It is not easy to quit or stop bad habits and the same applies to forming good ones.
What’s your best or worst habit?
Have you some bad habits you’ve broken? How hard was that? Why not share your story below. It could help others.