Can you really use habits to improve your life? In short, yes. The things we do often have a huge impact on our lives. Each action adds up, and over time the effect they mount to can be profound.
Think of it like this: When it comes to creating change in your life, you can take one or two massive actions, or you can take hundreds of little ones. Or something in between. My point being that many small actions can make just as much difference as big ones.
Now, these little actions can be both good and bad. The ones you practice can send you either way. So let’s talk about some small habits to improve your life. Not the usual ones like drink plenty of water, eat your veggies, and exercise. Something a little different. Some good personal habits that you probably didn’t expect to find here.
10 UNEXPECTED HABITS TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE:
We’ll start off easy. Take a moment to just loosen up. Reach up. Touch your toes. Twist, turn, and stretch out those areas that tend to stiffen up. Your neck and back are likely to be key areas but don’t neglect your legs and shoulders. Over time, our muscles, and joints can tighten, especially if you live quite a sedentary lifestyle. So take 5-10 minutes each day to activate those areas. Nothing too strenuous. It will make all the difference to how you feel in your own body. A great habit to improve your health.
2. Keep a note page for musings
This can be on your smartphone, a notepad, or just a pack of sticky notes. You just need something within reach that you can quickly jot down on. We have hundreds of thousands of thoughts every day. Not all of them are winners, but every so often a real gem can come along. As much we would like to believe we will just remember it, our memory can let us down. Having something to record them on can really help. You can use it for reminders, ideas, or maybe a mini diary for moments that grab your attention. This habit gives our minds extra space, and gives us the opportunities to find things we might otherwise have missed. One of those habits to improve your memory that actually works.
3. Connect with friends/family
Now you may think you do this already, but connecting and reconnecting with people is happening less and less with the busy lifestyles of today. Take some time out, at least once a week, to contact someone dear to you. It can be a family member or a friend. We’re not talking about a quick text or DM. Actually, contact them. Pick up the phone, video chat, organize a meet-up. The connections we have with people provide us with social stability, support, and balance our serotonin levels. It also helps to maintain your network, both personally and professionally.
4. Take a Me-cation
One of my favorites. At least twice a year, I like to take a long weekend out for myself. No meetings, no work, nothing. Just me, myself, and I. Usually, I’ll book a hotel, maybe get a massage, or chill in a spa. Spending the evening watching movies, eating takeout. A complete reset. No one asking me for anything. Nothing is expected of me. Just me-time. I can’t recommend these types of getaways enough. Don’t feel guilty about wanting to get away from it all every now and then. If you’re looking for good habits to have, then this is one of the best. Definitely one of my top 10 life-changing habits.
5. Give unprompted gifts
Giving gives us a great feeling. We feel warm and fuzzy inside when we see the joy in others having received a gift. So why do we reserve presents for Christmas and birthdays? “Because it’s expensive” I hear you cry. Wrong! Gift-giving doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t even have to be a physical gift. You give your time to help someone out. You can give something you no longer use but know someone else would like. Next time you’re getting a treat, and you see a deal for two, grab another and give it away. It may seem like nothing, but you’ll feel it, I’m sure.
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6. Set an intention for the day
It’s easy to just let the days go by one after the other. They call it ‘going through the motions’. Sure, maybe not every day is exciting and new, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make something of it. Try this out. Every day, set an intention. Something you want to do or how you want to be that day. It doesn’t have to be huge or life-changing in itself. It can be something simple and easy like “Today I will say good morning to people I see on the way to work” or “Today I will get an extra treat and give it to someone” (see what I did there).
Little good deeds, positive actions, they all make you feel good. Most of all, completing something you set out to is like happy juice for the brain. You can get that boost every single day. This is one of those habits to improve your mood, and you can start today. It just starts with an intention.
This may sound obvious, and it is. Yet so many people don’t do it. They believe they can’t. They think they don’t earn enough to save. Quite rarely, this is the case. We all have bills. But we also have choices to make. Have you taken the time to sit down and work out what your essential living costs are? Is it really impossible to put aside 10 or 20 bucks a week? How about a month? Start small. Saving money is step one. Putting it into something that makes you more money, that’s step two.
No financial advice here, but there are plenty of options out there. 20 bucks a month, that’s 240 a year. May not seem like much now, but it’s 240 you wouldn’t otherwise have. Now compound the earnings over 5, 10, 20 years. Suddenly you’re sitting on over 10k. Just for 20 bucks a month. Now imagine you did 40, 50, or even 100. Something to think about.
8. Put the phone down
Our tech has become an extension of ourselves. How often can we really go without checking that email, that notification, that recent update? For some, not so long. So try making a habit of blocking out some ‘no phone’ time. Go for walk, read a book, meditate. Just put the phone down, far away, out of sight, out of mind. You’re not missing anything. Remember, the things you don’t have control over, have control over you. Wow, that’s deep. Sometimes I even surprise myself. With these kinds of habits to improve your mental health, you’ll be feeling the improvements in no time.
9. Look up
When you’re out and about, remember to look up. Look people in the eye. Smile. See the world that surrounds you. Chances are, you look down most of the time. Sure, you have to look where you’re going and make sure to avoid stepping in anything nasty, bu don’t neglect all there is to see. Take a look up at the buildings you pass. See how the wild birds congregate and communicate. Connect with the environment and see the things beyond yourself. You are not alone. You’re actually part of something huge. Take a look. Small daily habits like this are a real eye-opener.
10. Review the day
Some people keep a diary or journal, and that is great. If it’s not for you, no problem. Just take 5 minutes to reflect back on the day. You can do it when you get into bed. Have a think back on how the day went. What went well? Would you change something? What might you do differently tomorrow? As I said before about going through the motions. We don’t have to live unconsciously. We can learn, grow, and improve from every experience. Only when we are aware can we begin to understand how to make a change.
You don’t have to do every single one of these healthy habits to improve your life. Why not try picking just one and see how you get on. Remember, habits are practices that are done over a long period of time. You might need to remind yourself for a while before it becomes automatic. Forgive yourself if you miss a day. Micro improvements make massive results.
This post was all about ten unexpected habits to improve your life.
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