We’re always looking for ways to optimize and grow, aren’t we? We want to be healthier, happier, smarter, more efficient, kinder, more giving. It’s in our nature to strive for progress and to want to become a better human every day. And the good news is, we actually can do this. We can do everything we want, we can be anything we want, if we just put a little effort into the things we’re wishing for every single day. The easiest way? Adopting good daily habits. To help you out, here are 7 life-improving habits to start today, so that you can become everything you want to be.
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7 Life-Improving Habits To Start Today
1. Say Yes To You
Treat yourself as the most important person in your life. I know it sounds very narcissistic and kinda wrong, we’re not used to saying good things about ourselves. We’re not used to putting ourselves first and whenever we see someone else do it, we’re thinking “What a selfish jerk”.
But the truth is, you’re the one person in the entire world who has the most control over your physical and mental well-being and health. It’s not just in your own best interest, it’s in the best interest of the people who are important to you that you stay healthy and happy as long as you can.
You’re not serving anyone when you’re depriving yourself of sleep, good food, water or a 30-minute walk outside without an audiobook in your ear to teach you something “life-changing”.
And I know, I know, self-care is such a buzzword in today’s world. I roll my eyes whenever I hear it, but it is vital if you are wanting to do anything worthwhile in this world.
Taking care of yourself first doesn’t make you an egocentric asshole. If anything it makes you a better person. Someone who has the mental and physical energy and capacity to support others while enjoying life and spreading that joy.
2. Asking For And Accepting Help
When I had my child I went through a truly eye-opening season. I realized that this baby was coming into this world completely reliant on me, my husband and our family. That child didn’t have anything. No clothes on his back, no food, water, house or money.
But he got everything he needed, because he was willing to ask for and accept our help and the help of others who are more experienced than him. He did this mostly by being adorable and by screaming and crying.
When we grow up we forget we’re actually allowed to ask for help. We think we need to do everything on our own. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at asking for help.
Then there are those magical times when life’s really generous and we’re actually offered help. Without asking. For free. But we decide not to accept it.
Why? Because we don’t want to feel incapable. We don’t want to depend on someone’s “mercy”. We want to feel in control and we want to do everything ourselves. Because, also, we do it best.
But you know what? You’d be surprised how many things others can do. You’d be surprised how much communicating with others, asking and accepting the help of each other can help us grow. And grow faster. And it can bring us together. It can build true friendships.
Nobody can be an expert in everything and we don’t need to be. Life is so much easier, fun and rewarding when you share it with others.
In my early 20-ies I used to exercise because I wanted to look a certain way. Now I exercise because it makes me feel like a brand new person. Well, it makes me feel like a younger and better version of my non-exercising self.
Exercise increases my productivity, it relieves the little (or huge) aches and pains in my body and it makes me a happier, more fun to be around, person. It’s like magic, but it’s just movement.
I like to do different types of workouts. I like running, Pilates, barre and I love yoga. I try to do yoga almost every day, for at least 10 minutes. And it’s great, because it calms my mind when it’s racing and it keeps me present.
Doing yoga at home, even if it’s just for 10 minutes has been huge for me after having my child. If it wasn’t for online yoga classes I would’ve never been able to practice daily and to feel even a tiny bit better every day.
If exercise or yoga isn’t one of the things you do daily and you feel something isn’t quite right, I cannot express how much I recommend you start doing it, as in, today. It will really change everything.
You can go to a local class, run or take an online class. If you’d like to practice yoga at home, start with MyYogaWorks -it is an online platform with over 1,300 free classes.
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The word forgiveness used to make me roll my eyes and forgiving was never something I was good at or something I wanted to do. I’d always think long and hard about the ways people did me wrong. Be it strangers or the people closest to me. And those thoughts didn’t lead to anything.
Then I found out that forgiving really is for me. It’s not for the other person to make them feel good. It’s to set me free.
Everything changed when I realized with time and by, basically, getting older that, no, I won’t be the naive one if I forgive. It doesn’t mean I let people walk all over me. It just means I’m choosing to move forward in my life and not soak in toxic thoughts and feelings.
And, yes, I do think forgiving should be a habit and we need to do it on a daily basis. Because things happen, every day someone might say something that’s not quite alright with me, but when I forgive – I choose to make those words and actions insignificant in my own life and to focus on the good things in my life.
5. Letting Go Of Guilt
If you felt a little uneasy when you read the section about putting yourself first, you friend, might be guilty of feeling guilty. And that’s pretty normal, especially if you’re a woman.
We feel guilty about everything. Not taking care of ourselves, not spending enough time with our husbands, with our kids, not calling our parents. About cutting the line in the supermarket.
About not being able to stick to a diet or a healthy habit.
For eating a cookie and not calling our friend for her kids birthday.
For not doing exceptionally well at work today, even though nobody will notice.
Whatever we’re doing, there’s always something we can’t seem to get right.
And that…well it’s perfectly fine. We need to let go of guilt and of the desire to be everything and everywhere and to be perfect.
This is the one habit I’ve struggled with a lot in my life, but over the last couple of years I really learned to control it. I accept that I won’t be perfect in everything and someone will disagree with my decisions and choices, no matter how hard I overanalyze them. I try to do my best and I trust that it’s good enough now.
6. Living With Intention
Set intentions for your life, it will change everything – the way you work, the way you dress, the way you talk to people. Intentions might seem quite woo woo, but they do work. Find your own and set one every single day.
It could be anything like setting an intention to feel more joy today or to be more courageous. Having an intention is like setting a little challenge, a challenge to create more moments that make you feel this way or to embrace whatever comes up with that intention in mind.
For example when you set the intention to feel more joy today, you take action on more things that bring you joy. Maybe you want to go to a concert, to a gym class or to meet up with friends to drink wine.
At work, you do your job with joy, focusing on the good of every conversation and every outcome.
If your car breaks down, well, it sucks, but when you remind yourself of that intention – you accept the situation and move on without complaining, being angry or sad.
Try setting intentions for a week and see what happens.
7. Forgetting The Excuses
I could’ve listed many other habits here, but this one really sums it up. With that much information for free, we know what we “have” to be doing on a daily basis to live a better, happier life. Eat healthy, meditate, sleep, exercise, work on something we love, be social, move and think happy thoughts. And about 100 other things.
Yet, with this much information, it is kinda overwhelming. Just when you think you’re doing great and are actually working out enough, someone will come out of nowhere to tell you you’re doing it all wrong. And that will be your excuse to not do it anymore.
Sometimes we stop before we’ve even tried things, because we again find good reasons why this positive habit can wait and is not worth our commitment right now.
Pick one habit that you feel will greatly improve your life and do your best to practice it every day, forgetting the excuses and the doubts. Just do, you won’t believe how far a year from now you will go.
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