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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

25 Tiny Habits That Could Totally Change Your Life

There is no doubt that we all have good days and bad days. It doesn't matter if you are a wealthy person or one of more humble beginnings; but, it does matter how resilient you are in general. 

Perhaps there is another way of looking at life -- like the glass is half empty or half full -- but, making tiny changes to the way we approach life is key. Do we get impatient when the red light is taking too long to change to green? Do we get upset because of the traffic and we are late to work...again? Do we get upset with our kids because they refuse to cooperate and get ready for school on time? What if we started by making what can seem to be a tiny habit change every day? 

Over time, I've made it a habit to really hear the sage words of people like Stephen Covey, B. J. Fogg and Charles Duhigg, who have made a mark on the way we can approach life in a healthier way. As I continue to grow in my own health coaching experience, there is so much common sense and daily life application that comes with approaching life in a different way. It is a matter of taking the small changes and making them permanent by repeating them over and over again until they come naturally. 

The following are 25 habits that can become an essential way of how we approach our lives. 

(1) Tiny Habits for Better Physical Health
  • Start your day with a tall glass of water. If it helps you to remember to drink water -- which we generally forget -- leave the glass by your nightstand so you can visibly see it in the morning -- just do it! That can be your reminder!
  • When going to Target or the grocery store -- try parking at the furthest end of the parking lot, even if there are plenty of spots in front. This way you can get a few extra steps in to add to your "no longer being sedentary" lifestyle.
  • If you are a writer, have a sedentary job, or simply are on the phone all day, make every effort to get up and stretch every hour on the hour -- do jumping jacks or push ups or something to get your body moving! You may even bypass the coffee that you thought you needed and become refreshed again naturally.
  • If you know you will be out and about going to appointments, going to the gym and the market or whatever it is -- bring a few healthy snacks with you like an apple, a small pouch of nuts or even a small yogurt. 
(2) Tiny Habits for Better Mental Health
  • Ask open-ended questions. Even if you are in a job interview, talking with the boss or speaking with the neighbor who moved in recently -- ask "deeper" questions instead of ones that just require a "yes" or "no". Get to know your audience, be interested and engaged. Don't we like the same courtesy when we meet someone new simply so they can get to know us better? 
  • Be creative and draw or write, especially when we start to feel like we are getting tired or bored of something we are doing. It does get our creative "juices" going to maybe see a problem in a new light that we hadn't seen before. How about a new perspective?
  • Be still and quiet before your day gets started -- even for a few minutes. This will help you to not only think about the day ahead, but simply will also help you to think about being present at that very moment, being grateful and just being you. 
  • Write down your thoughts -- even if they appear to be crazy or nonsensical. Sometimes we may be stressed out about something that we really didn't think was a "big deal", but apparently, it is! There is something soothing about getting your frustrations, aggravations, blissful moments and more down on paper.
  • Repeat a personal mantra or affirmation to yourself everyday. This may sound crazy, but as we have so many "head conversations" within our head everyday, it is so smart to repeat some good stuff to ourselves! How about something along the lines of..."I can do this", or "This to shall pass".
(3) Tiny Habits for Better Productivity and Work
  • Be your own hero. Okay, this may sound a bit "cheesy", but it can add some depth and insight to how you really would like to be perceived. If we can think of someone we admire and how they might handle a difficult situation, we can then try to "mirror" that mindset on handling a difficult situation. It just might add a new perspective. 
  • At the end of the day we may feel like we didn't accomplish much, right? But, if we can take a few minutes -- at the end of the day -- to review what we've done, we can pleasantly surprise ourselves. If we didn't complete what we would have liked to complete, there is always tomorrow. Oh yeah, and don't forget to be accountable for the added tomorrow task too.
  • Silence all of the email notifications. This one is pretty big, especially when we really want to accomplish some good work and priority stuff, those little "dings" are distracting! 
  • Has it ever happened that you were on your way somewhere and you got an invitation to a networking event or other career-oriented meeting and you weren't in front of your calendar? Many times we may say "yes" or "no" automatically without saying something like, "let me check my calendar first". It is just smart to not commit to something we aren't really sure we can commit to doing. 
  • Visualizing is so important, isn't it? By visualizing our success at completing a task or getting closer to a goal, we can actually believe it and do everything in our power to follow through with it -- whatever it is.
(4) Tiny Habits for Better Relationships
  • Stay in touch! In this day and age, it really is easy to shoot off a quick email to a friend or loved one simply to say -- "Hope you have a great day" or "Just checking in to say hello" or something of that nature. 
  • Cultivating gratitude is so very important. So, send out a thank you note (or email) to a friend for being a friend or send a "thinking of you" card to someone you haven't been in touch with lately -- guaranteed that it will really makes their day as well as yours, don't you think?
  • Acknowledgement of your partner by saying thanks for being there or thanks for supporting me at this really important time means so much to them...and it will ultimately help with building your own self esteem and self awareness.
  • Really listen to what the other person is saying. This one is so important, especially if it is coming from your partner or good friend because so many times we already "know" what they are going to say, right? Instead, take pause and let them finish what they are saying and really listen.
  • I've said this before, but it really is important -- don't beat yourself up if you are having a bad day. Know that tomorrow will be a new and better day with a good night of sleep. That can change your perspective.
(5) Tiny Habits for a Better Community and Environment
  • The simple act of taking a walk around your neighborhood for exercise or go to the local CVS for something you need and noticing your surrounding environment is healthy. If you see a piece of trash that is next to a trashcan, just reach over, pick it up and put it in the trash where it belongs. It just beautifies the area where you live more and improves the environment, even if it is a teeny, tiny thing.
  • Don't be so isolated. Say good morning to a neighbor or nod to someone on the street that you know, if not for a simple hello and acknowledgement. Wouldn't you like the same courtesy?
  • Have you ever admired someone who saves money by buying at a local grocery store instead of the "expensive one" in the neighborhood? What about someone who can "afford" to buy the new bestseller; but, instead go to their local library to check out a book? It's just smart to save where and when you can. 
  • In your budgeting, set some money aside for giving. It just feels good to know you have a little extra to give the "homeless" guy on a really cold night or the charity that you so admire and want to give to more frequently.
  • Lastly, borrow when you can. If you can manage by walking somewhere close instead of driving or even sharing one car -- for awhile -- it can work out great for your budget and your environment.
The above-mentioned tiny habits really do and will make a difference in your life if you start doing them more frequently. It may just improve your attitude and make you more grateful for the things that you already have now, right?

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