Change your habits, change your life will dramatically alter your path forward. Often people think that to make a significant positive change in their lives they need to undertake a long, hard ‘overhaul’ process. Often that sounds far too hard, so they don’t bother.
The truth is simpler though. Positive life change is a gradual process, and one best started by changing some of your habits for the better. Changing your life is a cumulative effort of all the positive habits you adopt and maintain throughout the process. And so it’s not so hard, starting small is the best way to begin.
With all of this in mind here’s a look at some small habits that really will change your life:
Start Your Day With a Glass of Water
Do you usually get out of bed and head right for the coffee pot? If so, it’s time for a change. No one is suggesting you give your coffee habit up – coffee even has some health and mental benefits you might not want to lose – but just that you drink a glass of water first.
Why? The fact is you have not hydrated your body in 6-8 hours. And yet your body kept making use of the hydration it had because it still needed to function. So it needs to be rehydrated. Coffee won’t help much there as it is actually somewhat dehydrating. But after a night’s sleep organs throughout your body – including your brain – are crying out for hydration.
By hydrating yourself as soon as you wake up your brain will ‘kick into gear’ faster and then you can add the caffeine later.
Go For a Walk, Every Day
The health benefits of walking are well known, and the physical side of them should be enough to get most people moving. Walking improves heart health, lean muscle growth, metabolism, and more. A walk will also help you feel more alert, so it’s a great idea to try to fit one after lunch, to help prevent that afternoon slump.
A daily walk does not have to be 10kms or over strenuous. If all you have time for some days is a stroll around the office grounds – or even the office itself – that’s OK. You’ll still be doing it, and on days when you can indulge in a long walk around a park or some similar venue it will make a welcome – and mind-clearing – change.
Take More Breaks
As counterintuitive as it might seem at first, taking regular breaks during your workday will improve your workflow and potentially increase your productivity. Taking a break allows your mind to recoup lost energy and helps to break the monotony of working constantly. If you’ve ever been sucked into inaction by the desperate boredom that accompanies hours of mind-numbing work, then you will appreciate the reprieve five minutes of rest affords your brain.
To help you remember to take those breaks add a Pomodoro type app to your phone or computer and, more importantly, actually use it. There are many to choose from and some feature extras like basic guided meditations, but it does not really matter which you chose as long as it works for you.
Do a Daily Disconnect
Tech is everywhere, both at home and at work. At home not only are there televisions and radios and video games but now we also have voice assistants added into the mix. Not to mention the computer in your hand – your phone – that goes with you everywhere. At work, there are emails, video conferences, more emails, Slack, WhatsApp and more. Technology is making the world seem like a busier, more connected place but the fact is we are all communicating directly with each other – and the world at large – less because of it.
Once a day, at whatever time suits you best, turn everything off. Get off Facebook, get away from your email inbox, pause Netflix, whatever it takes. And yes, even step away from your phone and connect with the world.