Self improvement habits requires more than little willpower and a few minor changes in your life. You have to be committed and disciplined. You have also to keep the big picture in your head. What is it that you want to achieve, what are your values and what kind of life you want to live.
In the last post, I talked about what is self growth and how to start your self improvement journey. I recommend you to check to grasp better understanding for how to better develop self improvement habits.
Combining your ultimate goal with the desire, and building right skills and knowledge will get you there. Surely it won’t be easy and these Self Improvement habits are not a magic wand. You have to be committed and consistent.
Breaking old habits is not impossible, yet it is not easy. Again, it will require strong determination and willpower from you. Some days it will be easy, some days it will seem as torture. Keep moving forward, even if you stumble a little, give yourself 90 days and you will see the results!
Develop A Morning Routine
A right morning routine is the first on self improvement habits list because it is your first ticket to a fresh and productive day. It will give you an energy boost and make you supercharged. This doesn’t have to be extreme, few simple strategies can do the work.
- First thing first, don’t hit the snooze button, no matter how pleasing it seems to sneak in extra few minutes, it is not beneficial, and it has a lot of mental and health effects like cognitive issues and metabolic problems. You can set an annoying loud alarm tone, or put the alarm away from your bed. These techniques can help you get up right away.
- Secondly, drink a glass of water, even if you are not thirsty and even if you don’t like to have water first thing in the morning. Water helps move the oxygen through the body, the more oxygen reaches to your organs the more energy you will have. It is a good, easy and free way to boost your energy.
- Another thing, while you are still in bed, take a few deep breaths. It doesn’t have to be complicated, simply inhale or exhale for five minutes. This helps you center yourself and cultivate a sense of awareness before you start the day.
- Open the blinds! Let the sun come in. open the window and allow some fresh air to soak in.
- Finally, have a healthy breakfast, try to avoid sugary things like breakfast bars, syrup, sugary smoothies and pastry. You might go for yogurt and fruits, eggs, or toast. There are plenty of options that are high in protein and healthy fat.
The overall idea is to start slowly. Don’t rush to your phone the minute you open your eyes. When you do so you are basically allowing social media and news to hijack your thoughts.
All the strategies I mentioned above are easy and don’t take more than 10 minutes but it will set the tone for your productivity level for the next few hours.
*Same routine can be created before sleep. And remember that having sufficient sleep is as crucial as any other habit mentioned here.
Learn everything about having a better sleep cycle from here.
Change Your Playlist
You might wondering how does this relate to self improvement habits!
Well, Let me explain. Listening to loud songs or music early in the morning might seem as an energy booster because it seems to put you in movement and fast pace. But in reality it is not. Loud music can actually harm your performance and concentration. Exposure to loud noises generally has a huge impact on our mental health. Besides it makes it pretty hard to maintain our focus while studying, learning or making decisions.
Also some studies suggested that background music can fight for your attention while you are trying to focus on an important task. Because your brain has to filter out noise in order for you to concentrate.
We can possibly argue that this can be a bit strict. But it also depends on the task in hand.
- While commuting your brain is already absorbing sufficient amounts of noise. You can avoid here listening to very loud music.
- Also early in the morning try to change your playlist. While I highly recommend that you stick to soft morning music or lofi beats. If you still want to listen to songs make sure you are not listening to sad and dramatic ones. As they will shift your whole mood and energy level.
- While performing hard tasks. Avoid listening to anything. Especially if you are in an open-floor office there will be already enough noise intake.
- Listening to soft music while you are performing passive tasks may help you stay in movement.
These small changes make huge shifts in your mood and wellbeing. Mentioning this, I have to remind you to,
Limit Your News Consumption!
Social media, pandemic updates, relative and irrelative issues are simply overstimulating our minds. It drains you, and you can hardly recognize this because we got so used to it by now.
We get overwhelmed by things that are out of our control. Or taken by influencers who are spending pandemic days in some island enjoying the sun and la vie est belle! Then hate our lives and our reality, stop progressing and fall behind, linguish in depression!
Acknowledging what is in your control and what is not, and being firm and consistent about your desire to live an honest life, helps you to not be drawn by everything you see and simply focus on your own process.
Taking care of what you allow into your brain is essential and contributes highly to your personal growth.
Read Read Read
We cannot expect to improve ourselves if we don’t expose ourselves to new information.
Reading is the best self improvement habit you can develop. It will show you millions of life examples that can teach you how to deal with life challenges. Reading not only gives you new perspectives and introduces things from different angles, but its benefits go all the way from strengthening your brain connectivity and memory to reducing stress and fighting depression.
Building a habit of reading might seem hard. But all it takes is a tiny step to put down your phone and read one word, one word will lead to two and two will become a page…
Trust me, you will explore a whole new world when you start reading books.
Stopping junk food and moving to a healthier diet is not that hard. But the way you approach it makes it hard or easy. For example; if you tell yourself I am committing to a healthy diet, so from now on I will stop eating all the food I love. Then chances are you will break the diet after a short while. We see this everyday!
Better approach: I want to experiment cooking one healthy meal everyday for 30 days. No weight loss goals. No hard diet plan.
Focus on the idea of increasing the quality of what you are allowing in, and let this be your beginning point.
Fueling yourself with the food that helps your brain operate better is the key factor to have major changes and improvements.
I was sincerely mesmerized by this Ted Talk by DR, Amen and I suggest you watch it to fully change how you look at food or your eating style. He is explaining how specific foods optimize day-to-day brain function, enhance mood and sharpen mental focus.
… And Workout! Even 10 Minutes Is Good Enough
Exercise is a way of self improvement. It goes beyond physical form.
The amount of benefits it yields to your life is countless. From easing depression symptoms, reducing anxiety and stress to boosting your mood, it grants you a full package to clear any dark clouds that can cause you to procrastinate or quit or let fear control you.
The simple act of movement itself is a form of self improvement. If the above mentioned benefits are still not enough to convince you then how about that exercise, even for 10 minutes, can increase your willpower to finish other tasks and be more productive. Since you already made the hardest decision of all, which is to take out your mat and exercise, other tasks become easier. And finally, exercise can benefit your cognitive function and improve your memory.
It is important that we stop linking exercise with a fit figure. Its benefits aren’t just physical. And the only way to start feeling the rewards is to move immediately! Take out your mat, ride a bike, do some stretches. And,
… Spend Time In Nature
We are always looking for ways to optimize. Optimize work, relationships, physical health. But mental health or spiritual satisfaction is simply becoming forgotten.
Many studies have shown the effect of spending time in nature on people, adults and kids. Time spent in green areas can result in increasing happiness, reduce stress, and decrease brain activity in regions associated with key factors in depression.
The mere act of sitting in the park can give you these results. But if you decide to bike, hike, or feed the birds, you will see a significant increase in your health and feelings of happiness.
Learn How To Prioritize
If you want to achieve success and improvement over the long haul you must learn how to prioritise the responsibilities and goals that lead the most meaningful impact in your life.
In the article by huffpost, they are explaining the essential principles of prioritization and time management. The most important one, is to learn to recognize the difference between important tasks that can lead you to your goals, and urgent tasks. Urgency doesn’t mean importance. And even though you might feel busy working on a lot of things, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are accomplishing meaningful things in terms of your goals and responsibilities.
Effective time management and prioritisation can lead to a huge impact on your success. If you learn how to prioritise properly, in your job, in your relationship and in every aspect of your life, you will see untold benefits.
Learn more about top time management techniques.
Collaboration: Sharing is not only caring, it is the only way to get by.
When we collaborate a whole new set of opportunities for growth opens up.
Whether at work or in personal life, with all the chaos, uncertainty and constantly changing situations, collaboration became a necessity to move forward.
The more you contemplate on the world around you the more you realize that everything in nature is interdependent. Human life is no exception.
When you take this road, you become more keen to listen, understand, and bridge any gap instead of acting according to your biases. And this creates an environment of interdependence which is essential for improvement. Of course you can reach your goals by trying to figure out everything on your own, but the piece of information you spend hours to get, someone else can give it to you in minutes, or together you can get it quicker than you alone. Even in personal relationships, acknowledging each one needs and concerns contribute to better actions and development in the relationship.
So instead of trying to be the genius who can do it all alone, seek help and learn from others. Embracing the idea that every person can teach you one thing or two and that their experience is valuable will change your life.
Having healthy relationships in your life is the base for your happiness. This is why it is crucial to know how to deal with close people in your life.
Sometimes we are only capable of seeing the sins of our friend, partner, colleague. But it is pivotal that you pause and ask yourself if your attitude or the way you are handling things can be adding to the problem instead of solving it.
Additionally, some relationships just don’t work in our favor. For example, there might be that colleague that you constantly have conflicts with. In such cases it is time to be deliginet about boundaries.
The benefits of developing healthy relationships is so important for our well being. It is where we learn how to communicate, listen, and synergize. Building and creating together instead of working individually helps our growth and maturity and thus improve our wellbeing. If you are serious about self improvement, don’t underestimate the importance of your people in your life, and find ways to build healthier relationships.
Finally, A Bonus Tip:
Don’t Forget To Energize Yourself In The Middle Of The Day
In the middle of the day our energy level starts to deteriorate. Thus you will see yourself less capable of concentrating, less productive and your willpower to do the things you firmly decided to do in the morning, simply flames out.
Knowing how to deal with your body needs is crucial to keep moving.
You can do this by paying close attention to what works best for you. For example in the middle of the day, a nap will be good for you, or maybe It can be a walk.
In order to maintain a good level of focus, and not lose your motivation for working on your goals, you have to give yourself a boost, there is no best practice here, you can follow what fits you!
If you made it so far, congratulations! You are quite serious about your desire to build self improvement habits and this is sufficient to start!
I expect that many are looking for quick fixes and techniques, but everything you read here seems a bit overwhelming or maybe too much to be done all together simultaneously.
But it is not, the first part included small habits that focus on improving your mental and physical health, they are not that hard, especially considering to start with small steps.
To sum them up:
- The morning routine only requires 10 minutes.
- Changing the playlist is something I personally experienced. Try it, it can be the reason behind your depression.
- And don’t be taken by news or social media. Try to use apps that can help you stop using apps. This sounds funny, but we are in an era where we use our phones for everything. Give it a try.
- Start gradually with integrating better eating habits in your day, one meal a day!
- 10 minutes of workout or a walk outside is essential to help you unwind.
Second part, highly focus on the external factors. From your work tasks, to your relationships. Everything that is essential to you to be more productive and improve.
For some it might come easy, for others not. It depends on the amount of skills you need to work on. In all ways, remember that it is not impossible, and you will start to live a whole different life once you commit to this journey.