Habits that Can Change Your Life

My book, Secrets of the Black Belt Mindset, was written to help people develop the habits of successful people. Some habits like getting up from your chair and taking a break every 50 minutes can improve your health. There are other habits that can change your life like meditating when you first get out of be in the morning.

So, before we go on, answer this.

What is the first thing you do after you wake up in the morning? Maybe you check your phone, or you get out of bed to brush your teeth.

Whatever it is, if you’re like most people, you might not think twice about it.

Today we’re going to talk about the importance of developing good habits and how you can develop habits that can change your life.

How Are Habits Formed?

Habits are formed when you are exposed to a trigger that. causes you to do a behavior or routine because you expect to receive a reward. 

Here’s how this works. The trigger can be lots of things. For example, when chips and salsa are put on the table at a Mexican restaurant (big trigger for me).

The routine is the behavior that happens as a result of being triggered. In my case, dipping lots of chips into the salsa and eating hands full of them.

The reward is the wonderful feeling I get in my mouth (and as a result, my brain) from the spicy salsa and salty chips.

So, a habit is, you have a trigger, which causes a routine which gives you a reward.

The thing about habits is, some habits like smoking cigarettes, can be formed quickly, while other habits that can change your life, like exercising regularly, can take more time. What’s key to remember is sometimes, as with smoking cigarettes, habits are not good for you.

The Importance of a Daily Routine

John C. Maxwell once wrote, “The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

Some of the most successful people attribute their success to their routine. Why? Because those people took time to integrate good habits into their life.

To change your life, you need to change your habits. You don’t have to make large changes to your habits to receive big results. In fact, integrating small, good habits into your routine can and often will make a big impact.

While the following are habits that can change your life. They might seem small or insignificant but they have the ability to alter your life in highly significant ways.

Daily Habits that can change your life:

1.    Make your bed.

In 2014, Admiral William. H. McRaven told the graduating class at the University of Texas that the first thing you should do every morning is “make your bed”.  He went on to say, “Making your bed means that you’d have accomplished the first task of the day. It might seem small and mundane, but even after a long miserable day, at least you’ll come back to a made bed.”

Starting your day by making your bed is one of the simplest habits to integrate into your daily routine. As Admiral McRaven pointed out, you are rewarding yourself by starting the day off with an easy win.

This simple accomplishment can subconsciously act as a domino effect to help you generate other wins throughout your day.

2.    Set your intention.

In order to accomplish anything, you need to intend to do it. At the beginning of your day, set an intention for what you what to accomplish that day. You can also set intentions for the week, month or year. Setting intentions regularly reminds you of how you want to live each day.

3.    Practice gratitude.

Studies have shown that when we practice gratitude, our brains release dopamine which is the feel-good drug of the mind. Gratitude helps shift your mind toward the positive, which can help you feel more positive.

A good routine is, at the end of the day, write down three things you are grateful for. This will help you build your gratitude habit.

4.    Of all the habits that can change your life – this one is tops – Exercise.

Just by itself, exercise is a great health habit.  It’s also a great way to make you feel better about you.

You see, when you exercise, your body releases chemicals that relieve stress and spark euphoria. In addition to being a natural antidepressant, exercise also builds your self-confidence because you feel better about yourself. To build your confidence and happiness, make it a habit to exercise each day.

5.    Express your gratitude to others.

This is definitely one of the habits that can change your life for the better. This is because expressing your gratitude to others strengthens the connection you have with them. 

A great way to start this habit is to write a thank you letter to a mentor who has guided you in the past or to someone else who made an impact on your life.

Another great habit to develop is after you spend time with someone, send them a message thanking them for their time. Then include one specific thing you loved about your time together.

6.    Read.

Reading is the habit of leaders. In fact, leaders always tell us this is one of the best habits that can change your life for the better.

Additionally, just like exercise builds your physical muscles, reading builds your brain’s muscles. So, on top of all the fascinating things you learn by reading, it also builds your ability to focus, concentrate, and remember things.

7.    Practice using positive language.

Many people have made a habit of using language that tears them, and others, down. Instead, practice using positive language, from your self-talk to the things you say to others.

An example would be saying, “Thank you for your patience,” instead of, “Sorry for the wait.”

Also, make sure that you pay attention to the negative things you say to yourself. If you’re like many people, you might be telling yourself lots of negative things every day. Things like, “You’re so stupid! How could you say that?”

Would you speak that way to a friend? Instead, vow to speak to yourself more positively.

8.    Take the stairs.

The reason so many people are in poor shape today is they simply don’t get enough exercise. In a digital age where most of us are tied to our computers, So every day, choose the option that gets you moving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. When you need to run an errand, walk or bicycle to the shop.

Follow these tips to successfully implement habits that can change your life:

1.    Make your new habits measurable.

For example, “make my bed daily” or “express gratitude to someone else once per week.”

2.    Avoid long breaks when building a new habit.

To develop a habit, you want to do daily. If you miss one day, do your best not to let yourself miss two days.

3.    Be compassionate with yourself.

We all mess up at times. If you forget to exercise one day, don’t beat yourself up! Learn to be compassionate and understanding of yourself when you mess up. Tell yourself, “I’ll do better next time!”

4.    Find an accountability buddy.

You are a lot more likely to stick to your habits if you have someone holding you accountable. Find someone to hold you accountable or support you throughout your habit-forming journey.

5.    Reward yourself.

This is the third step in forming any habit. Rewarding yourself as you hit milestones will help you enjoy the process and cement your new habit in place.

Start Putting these Habits That Can Change Your Life Tips to Work Today!

Changing your life for the better doesn’t mean you have to make drastic changes. You don’t have to start a new career or move to a different city. The small habits you found in this article can make a huge impact in your life!

If you are interested in learning more about developing the habits of success, check out Secrets of the Black Belt Mindset by selecting the button below.

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