10 Habits You Can Try to Become Healthier, Happier, and More Successful
These are simple things you can do every day. Eventually, you’ll barely notice that you’re doing them. Can you imagine how your mouth would feel if you never brushed your teeth? That’s something you probably do every day that has a huge benefit for how little time it takes. Imagine implementing habits like this in other areas of life. Good habits can provide huge benefits for little effort.
Not everyone is open to meditation. Some may find it too good to be true, or too spiritual in nature. However, meditation can improve mental and emotional health, help your attention span, and improve your ability to solve problems and make decisions. That’s worth seeing for yourself what it’s about.
From my brief experiences with meditation, I can’t say I noticed much of the long term effects. I never managed to make it a habit. However, what I can tell you is that every time I tried meditating, I felt a lot better and more relaxed.
If you want to try meditation, here’s what you can do:
- Find a comfortable and quiet space to sit down.
- Relax and start focusing all of your attention on your natural breathing. Notice how the breath flows in and out. Notice the sensations that arise.
- Whenever your thoughts start to drift, simply bring your focus back to your breath.
- Try doing this for 5 minutes. You may find it helpful to put on relaxing music in the background.
2: Go for walks every day
How does weight loss, better sleep, improved mood, and a better immune system sound to you? These are some of the benefits you can gain from going for a short walk every day. Just 30 minutes of daily walking is enough to make you healthier.
This is a habit I’ve taken up every time I feel like I’m letting myself go. And every time I start it again, I ask myself why I ever stopped. Walking makes me feel a lot better, helps with my weight, and personally, I like to spend my walks listening to podcasts or audiobooks. This way I can enjoy the benefits of entertainment or education at the same time!
3: Save extra money rather than spending it
This is something I only recently started doing. Not only do I feel safer and less stressed, knowing I have a safety net, but I now have money that can be used for investing.
When it comes to building wealth, investing money in some form seems to be the way to go. I’m no expert, and will not give you advice on how to invest your money, but two popular approaches are the stock market and real estate. Investing your money allows it to generate even more money for you. And this effect can be exponential. More time means way more return on your investment. This potential benefit doesn’t come without risk, however, so do your research in advance.
Also, if you have money saved up, you don’t have to worry as much about sudden expenses or loss of income. If your car breaks down, or you suddenly need a new phone, you can just borrow from your savings.
4: Express gratitude to people
Think back to the last time someone sincerely said ‘thank you’ to you. How did it make you feel? Pretty okay, right? You can inspire that feeling in people almost every time you meet them. A simple ‘thank you’ can go such a long way. Expressing gratitude to yourself can also help.
Studies have found that expressing gratitude can make you feel better in general, improve your relationships, and motivate the people around you.
In addition to a simple ‘thank you’, gratitude can also be expressed through thank-you notes, writing in a journal, or meditation, which was the first habit I suggested.
5: Get a solid 7–8 hours of sleep every night
Similar to walking every day, getting a full 7–8 hours of sleep every night can improve your mood and energy, boost your immune system, make your brain work better, and control your weight.
In my experience, sleeping enough also makes it so much easier to get up in the morning, which otherwise can be a struggle for me. If you’re like me, however, and get more and more energy and motivation as the evening goes on, it can be hard to get to bed early enough. There are ways to fix this problem:
- Schedule a bedtime around 8 hours before you need to get up.
- Turn off all your digital devices 30–60 minutes before your scheduled bedtime.
- Avoid all caffeinated drinks in the evening.
- Try to be ready for bed at least 15 minutes before you actually need to sleep.
- Set an alarm for the start of your bedtime routine.
6: Eat a healthy diet
There is conflicting advice on what it means to have a healthy diet. Keto, Paleo, Vegan, IIFYM, low-carb, low-fat, etc all have their devout followings. I don’t want to tell you what is right for you, for one reason. I don’t know! The person best equipped to find that out is yourself. Sure, you might need a good bit of input, trial and error, and even advice, but only you know how you feel on any particular diet.
A good diet should leave you energetic and feeling full and satisfied, while not leading to you becoming overweight or underweight. If you notice that you’re sleeping poorly, low on energy, experiencing irregular bowel movements, or that you get sick often, you might need a healthier, more nutritious, or just a different diet.
7: Learn something new every day
Your skills and your knowledge can add value to your life in so many ways. Want more money? Learn a skill that people need. Want more time? Learn how to be more efficient. Want to be happier? Learn about strategies you can use to feel better.
You don’t need to invest a lot of time into learning for it to matter. It can be as easy as reading a single article and writing down a lesson you want to take with you. If you learn a little here and there and apply what you learn, you’ll be amazed at what you can do in time.
You can also be like me and get obsessed with something for a while, and spend every waking moment thinking about it. I’ve learned a lot that way and what I’ve learned does stick with me, at least partially.
However you choose to do it, knowledge is important for both success and fulfillment. The more you know, the more choices you’ll have in life.
8: Practice something at least 15 minutes a day
I’m sure you have some skill you would love to master. Whether it’s music, writing, art, mathematics, programming, sports, or any other interest you could have, practice is what makes a master. Some say you need 10,000 hours of practice to master something. While I don’t believe that is always the case, I do believe that regular practice is necessary.
Additionally, the quality of practice matters. The results of focused, goal-oriented practice will be different from the results of randomly doing something you want to get good at.
I’ve noticed this in my guitar playing. If I practice with an exact plan of what I want to get better at, I improve way faster than if I just pick up the guitar and play whatever I want. I’ve tried both approaches, and while I tend towards the latter, I do it knowing that it means I’m not getting as good as I could be on the guitar. For me, it’s about enjoying the process as much as possible rather than reaching some goal as fast as possible.
From my perspective, it’s important to figure out if your goal is actually to master something, or if you just want to enjoy whatever it is you’re doing without any pressure. However, I also believe that regular, focused practice is essential when starting to learn something. It’s harder to enjoy something if you feel like you are a complete beginner at it. The more you learn, the more freedom you have to explore.
9: Visualize your goals
Visualization can help you reach your goals, no matter what they may be. However, it’s important to do it right. If you doubt its power, just look to the many successful people who’ve used it to great benefit.
Do you know what your goals are? If not, I’d suggest thinking about it until you have some concrete goals. That’s crucial to visualization.
Once you know what you want, imagine having achieved it. Make it specific and concrete. Imagine where you are, what’s around you, how it smells, feels, and sounds like. Build a vision that is as real as it can get. Then go there regularly. This is a great motivator for long-term goals.
“I think my imagination has always kept me going. I just imagined myself collecting awards. I just imagined myself getting big parts. That’s part of my inner magic. If I can see myself doing it, I can do it.” — Idris Elba
Motivation is not enough, however. To reach your goals, you need to know what steps will lead you there. This might require guidance or research, as we often don’t know what steps are required to get where we have never been. Learn what you can about the path to your vision. What obstacles are there? What skills do you need to acquire?
Once you have the motivation to reach a goal and specific knowledge of what you need to do to get there, there’s little you can’t achieve.
10: Take a moment every day to list all the things that are good in your life
“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone.” — Joni Mitchell
What do you appreciate and love about your life? What brightens up your day? Whatever it is, make sure you remember it every day. It’s easy to get lost in the negatives, or the things you don’t have. It’s also easy to forget about the things that make your life better. Whether it’s a person, a pet, an achievement, a daily ritual, or a hobby, there should be something in your life that makes you happy. Acknowledge it.
By making a conscious effort to write down all the things that make your life better, you’ll be more aware of them. Once you’re more aware of them, you can prioritize them. That’s a pretty quick fix to make life just a little better.
You might already be doing some of these things or you might not be doing any of them. Regardless, there’s probably something in this list for you to try.
These ten habits can change your life for the better if you let them. I’m not saying you should do everything. In fact, doing too much too soon might be counterproductive. Start in small steps, with what seems most achievable and desirable. Build from that, and you’ll soon find yourself on the road to a better life.