Our daily habits define who we are. They impact our productivity and effectiveness and help us achieve our goals.
We must choose our habits carefully. Good habits provide good outcomes. Bad habits provide bad outcomes. For example, exercising daily will result in good physical health. Conversely, eating junk food will result in bad physical health.
Most people find it difficult to alter their habits because they are very much used to their old ones. Understanding how habits work will help us take control of them. In his book The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg explains that our habits are formed from three aspects: cue, routine, and reward.
We can change any habit if we understand the working of the three aspects of habit.
“Rather, to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine.” – Charles Duhigg, The Power Of Habit
Habits Differ From Person to Person
Choosing our daily habits can seem like a lot of work whether you want to change an old habit or start a new one. Each individual is different. Just because a certain habit is effective for one, doesn’t mean that it will be effective for others as well.
I’m a morning person. So I will say that waking up early in the morning is a good habit. My friend is a night person. For him, working late at night is more effective. So he would say that staying up late is a good habit. Well, which one is actually effective?
If you are uncertain of which habit is most effective for you, you need to experiment with different habits. Try out a habit for a couple of days and see what impact it makes in your daily life. Few habits take time to show the results. So you need to be consistent with your habits. For example, you cannot expect six-pack abs by doing sit-ups for 3 days.
6 Daily Habits That Changed My Life
Here, I will be sharing 6 daily habits that have made a positive impact on my life. Because of these habits, my work productivity has increased, my health has improved, and my overall life has become better.
Again, I am not asking you to follow my daily habits because like I said, we are all different. What works for me might not work for you. But these habits might give you some inspiration to choose the habits of your own. If the same habits work for you as well, I would not mind you stealing them.
So let’s begin…
I read every day. When I say read, it does not necessarily mean reading books. I read articles, journals, blog posts, magazines, so on and so forth. I also listen to audiobooks. Reading books is a part of my daily life. I often read multiple books.
The habit of reading has had a big impact on my life. It has made me wiser. By implementing the habit of reading every day, I have learned a lot of things related to productivity, habits, psychology, communication, history, writing, thoughts, etc. Reading is the best form of learning. You can learn from the achievements of the greats by reading their books.
“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” – Carl Sagan
2. Waking Up Early
As I said, I am a morning person. Morning time is the best time for me. It is peaceful, quiet, and distraction-free. It allows me to be in my own personal space. The most beneficial aspect of waking up early in the morning is that it gives you the freedom of time. As Jocko Willink says, “discipline equals freedom.”
I have been able to do and achieve a lot of things by waking up early. I have the time to exercise, meditate, read, think, journal, and write. Since the morning time is distraction-free, it is more effective to do all these things.
Running is a part of my daily life. I run in the morning for 40 – 60 minutes, 5 days a week. Running is not only a good form of physical exercise, but it also has a lot of mental benefits. When I run, I feel free. I can be in my own mental space. Running allows me to think, learn, and reset my mind. On the days that I do not run in the morning, I at least go for a short walk in the evening. After working all day, I need to go outdoors to reset my mind. In terms of health benefits, running helps lose extra weight, strengthens muscles, improves blood pressure, boosts immunity, and is good for the heart.
Meditation is also a part of my daily habit. I experiment with different forms of meditation. I do breath-works, visualization, vipassana, mindfulness, so on and so forth. The benefits of meditation include low stress, mindfulness, increased focus, peacefulness, reduce negative emotions, and increased creativity. I usually meditate twice a day for at least 15 minutes each.
For me, the daily practice of meditation has allowed me to think better. I feel more creative and mindful. I can have a clear vision of my goals. Meditation has given me a better reflection of my self-image.
5. Eating Plant-Based Food
I quit eating meat and dairy products about 5 years ago and it was one of the best decisions of my life. There are many benefits of eating a plant-based diet – prevents heart diseases, reduces the risk of cancer, prevents type 2 diabetes, easy to lose weight, boosts the immune system, etc.
Besides all of the above benefits, I also feel good on the inside about not eating meat and dairy products. The reason for that is because I’m not participating in animal cruelty and I’m doing good for the environment. I feel healthier than ever – physically and mentally.
I have started the habit of writing every day. It does not necessarily have to be a blog post. Ever since I found out that writing is like a muscle or skill, I write every day. Just like exercising helps you strengthen your physical muscles, writing every day is an exercise that helps me strengthen my writing muscle.
I write in my journal, I write short posts on my social media profiles (usually on LinkedIn and Twitter), and I write my thoughts, ideas, and goals in a different journal. I have learned that the more I write, the better I become at writing. So the daily habit of writing has made me a better writer.
Sometimes, even though we incorporate good habits in our lives, we do not seem to find the results as we had expected. The solution to this is consistency. As James Clear said in his book Atomic Habits, “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.” Even though you do not see the results today, the results of your habit will compound in the long run. So make sure you remain consistent and keep doing what you are doing. Do it every day because our habits ultimately become our character. Find the habits that are effective for you, that make a positive impact on your life. Choose your own daily habits. You have the power to control your actions. Make sure you choose wisely.