What we do every day becomes habitual. Sooner or later, it develops into a set of routine that we continuously and subconsciously do regardless of finding out if it ever serves a bigger purpose in our lives.
There are little things you can do that will improve your life exponentially and some doesn’t require much of an effort or time.
The key to forming new sets of habit is to do it repeatedly; everyday.
I used to think that I have so little time to do just about anything else but as I broke down my daily routine based on things that I would do everyday, I realized that it is not that I lack of the time but the time I spent doing things that aren’t necessary or could be accomplished in a shorter period.
My daily routine break down used to be as below
- 10:30 am Waking up and getting prepared
- 11:30 am Prepping breakfast and getting my daily coffee fix
- 11:45 am Having my breakfast and at the same time planning what needs to be done for the day
- 12:30 pm Head out for work
- 6:00 pm Head back from work
- 6:30 pm Home and in time for dinner
- 7:00 pm Prepping to feed my dog
- 7:30 pm Taking my dog out for his and my daily walk
- 8:00 pm Back and headed for the shower
- 8:45 pm Relaxing time – would spend time either reading a book, watching TV, chilling with the family
- 10:00 pm Would be quite exhausted and sleepy by now. Getting ready for bed.
- 10:30 pm Lights off
I find the above routine not the best and personally, to be honest, doesn’t really add much value to my life.
I think I can do better.
I realized that my greatest challenge and possibly one major cause was that I run a business of my own.
My benefit of having time flexibility became my greatest disadvantage.
Here are 10 little things you can do to start improving your life
I personally don’t find that willpower alone helps.
We are all only human and it is only a matter of time before you exhaust yourself and willpower alone would no longer be able to push you on further to persist.
Instead, start small and give yourself space to adjust. Don’t go all out or have big ambitions (though big ambitions and dreams are important as kick-starters) only to find that your body couldn’t take it.
Remember, the key here again is to perform small steps of change daily.
Actions that are done repetitively eventually become habitual.
1. Breakdown and organize
List down all daily chores as I did and you’ll come to realize where most of your time has been spent on.
I find there were some changes I could make to improve myself. As an example, instead of getting up at 10:30am every morning, I could start to work on getting up earlier which gives me more time to do beneficial activities like exercising.
Be honest and real with your breakdowns and changes you would want to see from it.
Breaking down and being organized benefits you in various other ways.
It gives you a clear and definite scenario of a situation. You would be able to approach the matter bit by bit and handling it would then seem much easier.
2. Making your bed
I used get up so late in the morning and feel like I don’t have much of a morning left.
What more ‘wasting’ precious morning time making my bed.
However, ever since I started to improve the qualities of my life, I made “Making the Bed Every Morning” my top one priority on the list.
For one, it was that sense of maturity and accomplishment I personally acquire inside.
I felt the things that we do and especially how petty it may look shows one level of independence and thus, determines your point of maturity.
3. Get active
You have one body and it is your sole duty to maintain it well.
Spend 15-20 minutes a day for exercise and you’ll reap the benefits of having a fitter and healthier physique.
Here are some activities you can do:
- Go for a walk
- Rock climbing
- Play a sport
4. Drink lots of water
We get so busy with our daily chores; we neglect one of the most important little facts of life – drinking lots of water.
Why should we do so in the first place?
To put it in simpler term, our body is made up of roughly 60% water and an optimal level of daily water intake ensures that our body functions at the best possible level as well.
Some of the significant benefits of drinking lots of water are, preventing headaches, glowing skin, weight loss, reducing joint pains as well as flushing out toxins inside.
Recommended daily water intake is 8 ounce of glasses equivalent to about 2 liters.
5. Gossip less
My personal rule of thumb, when you decide to speak about someone but unsure if it’s considered ‘gossiping’; ask yourself this set of 3 questions.
- Is it true?
- Is it necessary and does it add value?
- Is it kind?
Whenever one of them is a ‘no’, I’ll hold my tongue and refrain myself from pursuing further.
After all, there is nothing that causes more harm than words – inappropriate words.
Wrong words can destroy relationship and kill trust.
If there’s an issue that you may have with someone, talk to them personally instead of behind their backs. No one likes being the talk of the town – not negatively, of course.
6. Smile more – fake it even if you must, privately (just saying)
Science has shown that as you carry a smile, your mood is elevated and your stress reduced even at a short period of time.
No one likes a sour face and smiling more not only makes you feel happier, it affects the way other perceives you – friendlier, kinder and more willing to open themselves up to you.
7. Say sorry, please and thank you
Often the simplest form of manner lies within plain words.
Apologize when you made a mistake, say please when asking for favor and thank you when being offered. Sincerity and kindness goes a long way and in return comes back tenfold.
8. Be kind and have compassion…
I often remind myself that everyone has stories of their own and though it is not necessary for us to know or understand, be compassionate enough to understand that everyone is fighting their own ‘battle’.
Hold the door for someone or simply just greet them. Understand that the waiter you just tell off because of how shabby they look whilst serving may have unfortunate agendas of their own.
No one is perfect, not even ourselves.
When it seem like it’s been a rough day, give yourself permission to relax and know that it’s going to be okay. Know that you cannot please everyone all the time and sometimes, it pays to learn how to say ‘no’.
Be mindful of your thought patterns, habits and behaviors. Realise the causes and affect from it. Practice self-kindness and be gentle on yourself.
Above all, never compare yourself with others.
No two person are alike and that is what makes you special.
9. Lessons to be learnt everyday
When life is good and rosy, we rejoice.
However if challenges occur or if ever things don’t work in your favor, don’t sulk and curse your day. Discover the hidden lessons instead to what it has to offer.
As Napoleon Hill said in his book, “Think and Grow Rich”, every adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.
Some example of lessons could be as follow:
- When someone jumped queue in front of you, instead of picking a fight and causing a scene, treat it as life’s lesson that patience is virtue.
- When you are being told ‘no’ or failed at an attempt, see it as a motivational fuel to push harder.
- When your kids are giving you a hard time after a long and exhausting day, appreciate and be grateful of how fortunate you are to be able to spend time with them – not every parent has that privilege and especially how you’ll long for it as they get older.
10. Challenge yourself
Never cease to improve yourself in all aspect.
Be it a new skill or to overcome any possible fears you might face on a daily basis, learn it and face it.
Not only it heightens your level of proficiency and abilities, these new sets of skills and knowledge increases your personal sense of fulfillment as the need for growth is inevitable in all of us.
For a start, take daily little measure to face your fear.
Take for example, if you fear speaking to your superiors, perhaps opt to start by greeting them every morning with a simple “good morning”. Not only does it helps to garner the necessary strength for future in-depth conversation, it also leaves a good impression for them.
Take it one step at a time.