Habits refer to a set of behaviors and patterns that humans tend to display subconsciously. It is often said that human beings are creatures of habit. This means that we are defined by what we do and what we think or say. These habits get engrained in our minds through years and years of repitition. Habits can either be good or bad. The good ones enable us to excel at whatever we do or aim to do in life while the bad ones can hinder our progress.

Our daily habits have a direct impact upon the state and quality of our lives. They can either make or break us. This is what distinguishes successful people from the ordinary ones. They invest in their personal development and constantly strive to become better versions of themselves. Good habits form the key to success and happiness in life and developing such habits requires focused action and loads of personal discipline. They cannot be acquired over night as it takes years of consistent effort and dedication to get to that point. Start by building these simple yet useful habits for a happier and more productive life –

  • Start Your Day on a Positive Note – Well begun is half done. You should always kick start your day with an activity that energizes you to the core. Creating a morning ritual can be extremely helpful in this regard. May be you like to go for a run to clear your mind. May be you enjoy watching the sunrise while sipping a hot cup of coffee. It can be as simple as watering your plants early in the morning or preparing a healthy breakfast for yourself. Starting your day in a proactive manner instead of rushing through things in the morning, helps alleviate stress and mental fatigue. It also enhances your productivity during the day.
  • Always have a Smile on your Face – Smiling is like therapy. It has been scientifically proven that the physiology of our bodies has a direct impact upon our mental and emotional state. Our outer appearance affects our inner emotions. Our mind perceives our physical actions as cues and acts on the basis of that. When you smile, the brain releases a hormone known as Dopamine which makes us happier and boosts our mood. This does not mean that you should always conceal your emotions behind a fake smile. What this means is that you should always try to cheer yourself up by smiling whenever you feel low.
  • Read as much as you can – The smartest and the most intelligent person is always the one who never stops learning. Inculcating the habit of reading books is probably the best thing you can do to widen your horizon and stimulate creativity. It improves your concentration and has a soothing effect on your frazzled nerves. You can start by reading 5 pages every night before going to bed. Studies have indicated that reading before bedtime can help you sleep really well.
  • Learn to Express Gratitude – You should always be grateful for what you have. This does not mean that you should not aim for bigger and better things in life. What this truly means is that you should never forget to count your blessings. Finding and appreciating the tiny moments of joy in life is exactly what will help you get through the bad times. The over competitive world that we live in, can easily make us forget how truly fortunate we really are. Practicing gratitude is one of the first steps towards surrounding yourself with positivity. You should always take a moment to thank and appreciate the people who really matter to you. You must let them know that you value their presence in your life. Doing something as simple as reciting a short prayer in the morning to thank the universe for all that it has blessed you with, can be a great way to begin your day.
  • Focus on your Health – This refers to prioritizing your physical as well as mental and emotional health over every thing else. Eating healthy and working out regularly is no longer a choice. It is something that you must practice by deafult. In addition to improving your physical health, regular exercise also sharpens your cognitive skills. It causes the brain to release endorphins. They are hormones that act as natural anti depressants. There are several other ways for you to improve your health. Drink at least 8 – 10 glasses of water every day. Walk and move around as much as you can. Reduce your screen time. Focus on getting 7 – 8 hours of sound sleep every night. Cut down on alcohol and nicotine and try to keep toxic emotions at bay.
  • Invest in Self Care – Taking some time off from the hustle bustle of regular life can do wonders for you. You must spend at least 30 minutes every day doing something that truly makes you happy. That time of the day should exclusively be meant for you to unwind and rejuvenate yourself. This can include any thing ranging from listening to music or learning a new skill to having a hot shower or preparing yourself a nice meal. You can even go for a social media detox to declutter your mind. Maintaining a journal can also be effective in this regard. However, self care is not merely centered around these material comforts. It is also about having a great deal of self discipline. Ignoring the urge for immediate gratification and working hard to achieve all that you have ever wanted for yourself, is perhaps the greatest form of self love.
  • Learn to Manage your Time – You must acquire the ability to manage your time really well. It is the most essential prerequisite for leading a successful life. Your ability to plan and prioritize speaks volumes about who you really are and what is it that you can achieve. No goal is too big to attain for people who have mastered the art of time management. You can start by setting small targets for yourself every day. These targets must be realistic and achievable. You must resist the urge to attain perfection and refrain from procrastination.
  • Be Smart with your Finances – Financial prudence is just as important as effective time management. Living in the present and taking each day as it comes does not mean that you should not think about your future. Financial management is not merely about having a fixed budget or tracking your expenses. You have to invest the money that you save and you must do it wisely and cautiously. It is never too late to start learning about stocks and assets.
  • Face your Fears – You must learn to confront your fears and transcend the boundaries of your comfort zone in order to succeed in life. As William Douglas rightly said, “All we have to fear is fear itself.” You should never allow your inner demons to deter you from achieving your goals.
  • Learn from your Mistakes – You must learn to embrace failure and accept criticism. You need to make your own choices and take your own decisions in order to succeed at whatever you wish to do. While you are bound to make mistakes in the process, you should never let failures affect your sense of self belief. Always remember that failures are the stepping stones to success because you will never be able to truly value your success in life without knowing what it feels like to fail. At the same time, you must learn to hold yourself accountable for your choices and actions. Good decisions will make you confident while the bad ones will make you wise and you need both confidence as well as wisdom in order to grow and evolve as an individual.

It can be challenging to develop such life changing habits however this should not deter you from harnessing your true potential. You should never stop trying because dedication and determination can move mountains.