“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” -Stephen Covey
Someone once told me that we are what we persistently do. Small things like snoozing the alarm, checking our devices much more often than we need to, procrastinating, and impulsive shopping can define who we are, however what if we had the opportunity to make better choices to improve and to better ourselves each and every day?
Instead, we can build good habits to replace the bad ones and start and end our days off on the right foot.
Below are some habits that I’ve built that have completely changed my life.
Ever since I’ve began to write things down, I feel like I know myself better and I can connect with myself on a whole new level. In the mornings, I like to start off with a little bit of gratitude and set my focuses for the day.
Before I go to sleep, I take some time to reflect on my day and write down things that went well and things that didn’t, emotions I felt throughout the day, a few things I appreciate, and I end off with gratitude as well. Some benefits of journaling include:
- More clarity with my thoughts and who I am.
- The great feeling of getting things off my chest.
- Helps me remember and comprehend better.
- Creates more meaning in my life on a daily basis.
- Gives me the ability to express my thoughts and emotions better.
- Increases my self-discipline and self-confidence.
- Heals my stress and anxiety and calms my mind.
I couldn’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learned from all the things I’ve read. I make an effort to read minimally 20-30 minutes a day whether it’s an article online, an eBook, or a hard-copy. Dr. Seuss said “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Reading is one of the simplest things to do and one of the easiest things to improve at. Reading does the following:
- Increases both knowledge and wisdom.
- Expands your vocabulary.
- Helps to relax and wind you down in the evenings and before bed.
- Strengthens analytical skills
- Improves focus, concentration, and memory.
- Allows you to see things from other perspectives and hear many different opinions.
Spending more time outdoors
I’m not sure what’s better than stepping outside and taking a deep breath in the fresh, crisp air on a perfectly clear day. It’s very hard to find time to put everything down and go outdoors, but making an effort to walk, run, hike, bike, swim (the possibilities are almost endless!), for at least 20 minutes a day will:
- Boost your energy.
- Increase your love of nature.
- Amp up your vitamin D intake!
- Reduce your stress and anxiety.
- Improve happiness and mood.
- Help you live a more active lifestyle.
Most people do not consume enough water on a daily basis, although water is essential for our health and well-being, and it is very important that we work on drinking more. Something so simple such as drinking water may sound so easy, but it is just as easy to forget as well. Increasing your water consumption has several benefits:
- Increases your organ function.
- Prevents dehydration.
- Contributes to weight loss.
- Regulates your body.
- Boosts your performance and energy while exercising.
- Rids your body of toxins.
- Improves your mood.
Try to carry a water bottle around with you during the day and fill it up every so often to ensure you’re drinking enough. Place a glass of water on your nightstand before you go to sleep so that you can hydrate immediately when you wake up and jumpstart your day!
I used to hate yoga. I was very impatient and couldn’t hold a pose for more than 15-20 seconds. Recently I started up again and began to stretch for about 10 minutes in the morning and 10 in the evening. Eventually I added in meditation and deep breathing, and I’ve noticed some significant transformations which consist of:
- Increased flexibility.
- Improved coordination.
- Controlled breathing and muscle movement.
- Improved athletic performance.
- Reduced stress and clearer mental space.
- Injury prevention.
Clean, intuitive, and mindful eating
After feeling tired of diets, regrets, and strict food rules, I took up on a whole-foods, plant-based diet and began to listen to my internal hunger cues and eat intuitively. I began to fuel my body with what it needs and limit my use of food for entertainment. Intuitive eating has allowed me to:
- Eat without worry or guilt.
- Focus towards my body and what it needs, and away from deprivation and overindulgence.
- Respect and honor my body.
- Create a better relationship with food.
- Improve my self-esteem.
- Feel and look my best.