Whether you realize it or not, life consists of many habits. This applies no matter how flexible or complex your life may be.
Some habits are positive and lead to good health, a productive life, and thriving relationships. Other habits, though, do just the opposite. They lead to poor health, an unproductive life, and strained relationships.
We all get into routines made up of habits that are sometimes chosen consciously. However, many times our actions become habits when we don’t even realize it.
A few months ago I got into the habit of eating a protein bar with my mid-morning coffee. I’m not sure how this started, but before I even realized it, as soon as I smelled my coffee brewing, I instantly reached for the protein bar. It’s not that I was hungry at that time. It just became a habit.
I soon figured out, though, that this habit was not a healthy one for me. I didn’t need the protein bar, and there were several other healthier options available to me that I could choose from.
Once I realized this, I quit eating the protein bar with my coffee. Now I have extra calories that I can use on healthier choices such as fruit or raw veggies.
I have come across several powerful habits over the years of writing on this blog. That’s not to say I’ve put them all into practice, but I have tried to implement the ones I can.
Here are 6 of those habits that have the power to change your life:
1. Avoid the Trap of Procrastination
When our schedules become overwhelming, it is tempting to put off doing certain tasks. The problem with this is it eventually becomes a habit that leads us down the road to an unproductive life.
Avoiding the trap of procrastination is also a habit. We have to choose to do what is on our to-do list instead of ignoring it.
Think of it this way. If a task is so important that it rates a spot on your to-do list, then it is imperative we complete that task. Ask yourself why you are putting off certain tasks. You just may discover that those tasks are not really relevant or that they may be delegated to someone else who could do them better.
For more ideas on how to avoid the trap of procrastination, click here.
2. Make the Most Out of Small Pockets of Time
We all have random time throughout the day that tends to be wasted. You know, 15 minutes waiting to pick up kids. Or, 20 minutes waiting at the doctor’s office.
And, if you’re like me, possibly one or two hours of unscheduled time that ends up being unproductive because you don’t know what to do during that time.
Develop the habit of making the most out of these small pockets of time. Keep a running list of things you can do when you have a spare minute here and there.
For more ideas, click here.
3. Keep a Gratitude Journal
One of the most powerful habits I’ve developed this year was to start a gratitude journal. At the end of last year, I realized that my grumpy attitude was holding me back from achieving some of the goals I set for myself.
So, this year I started a simple gratitude journal. Each night before I go to bed, I write down at least three things for which I am grateful. As of mid-July I am now up to 783 entries. Obviously that means I’ve listed more than three things on some days.
That’s where the power of this habit kicks in. Once you start listing things, you begin to recall other things that make you grateful. And when you begin to realize all you have to be grateful for, that affects how you see your life and gives you inspiration to attain your goals.
4. Create an Evening Routine
Routines are just a series of habits that are put together to achieve a common goal. While my morning routine still needs work, I’ve been able to develop and stick to a consistent evening routine.
My evening routine consists of doing tasks that not only help me get to bed earlier but also help me be prepared for the next day.
To get a detailed look at my evening routine, click here.
5. Make the Most of Every Minute
While this is similar to #2 above, making the most of small pockets of time, this habit is more about being intentional with our time. Yes we all have 5 minutes here and there that could be used more productively. However, we need to be intentional about how we spend our time.
Making the most of every minute includes having a plan for downtime and making sure it fits in with our overall goals in life.
Learn more about making the most of every minute here.
6. Stick with Your Habits
Ok, I know it sounds strange to have a habit to stick with your habits. However, that’s just what needs to happen if you want to see positive results with your habits. You have to make it a habit to stick with your habits.
One great way to stick with your habits is to create routines. As I mentioned above in #4, routines are just a series of habits that are put together to achieve a common goal. You could have routines for the morning, evening, when kids get home from school, cleaning, exercising…the list could go on.
Read more about how to develop effective routines here.