You’ve decided to improve your habits! Great! While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or not sure where to start, here at Pavlok, we are big believers in focusing on the habits that will bring you the most ‘return’ for your investment.
Here are 10 habits that will have a huge impact on your health, happiness, and success.
Turn Off Your Phone
Here at Pavlok, we’re obviously a big fan of technology and the many ways it can improve our lives. And while there are certainly benefits of living in our modern age, cell phone addiction is very real and often problematic.
According to one *scary* study, “1 in 5 millennials admit to using their smartphones during sex, and almost 60% of people check their phones before falling asleep.”
Again, we’re not here to hate on cell phones, but making the conscious effort to cut back on your usage can go a long way.
Instead of scrolling through Instagram or Facebook until you pass out for the night, commit to turning off your cell phone and all other electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Not only will this help you sleep better (see our next suggested habit) but it will free up some time for you to improve your relationships, read a physical book distraction-free, or even give you time to meditate or pray.
While it might not seem like a big deal, going electronic free an hour or two each evening can help you relax, decompress, and prepare you for the next day.
Improve Your Sleep
Another habit that can have real life-changing effects on your overall quality of life is making an effort to improve your sleep. While there are dozens of “hacks” to getting quality shut-eye, you don’t need to overcomplicate things to see results.
Here are a few tips to improve your sleep which will help improve your mood, energy, and focus.
- Turn off electronics before bed.
- Have a night time ritual you do consistently.
- Remove your TV and Laptop from your bedroom.
- Use a sleep mask.
- Do some light stretching, meditation, or prayer.
- Listen to some calming music during your evening routine.
- Read a physical book or listen to an audiobook (preferably fiction.)
Start Your Day Right
It’s no secret that here at Pavlok we are big fans of having a morning routine. But the truth is, many of the blog posts and articles out there tend to overcomplicate things. A morning routine won’t change your life overnight, but making a conscious effort to start your day strong can have some amazing effects.
You don’t have to spend 2 hours on a super elaborate morning ritual to reap the benefits. In fact, just setting aside a few minutes each morning can help put you in the right state of mind to greet the day.
Not everyone has the luxury of spending an hour of uninterrupted time each morning. But everyone can set aside a few moments to start the day with intent.
Here are a few tips to get your day started on the right foot, you don’t have to do all of the tips below to see the benefits.
Make your bed — This sounds simple and perhaps silly to some, but the act of making your bed signals that you’re starting the day in control. Not only does it make you feel good to have a clean room and bed before you head out the door when you return home from a long day of work you’ll be happy to see that your bed is in order.
Spend Some Time In Silence – One of the worst things you can do is start your day in a rush and make yourself stressed at the idea of being late. Just waking up a few minutes earlier can allow you to take your time in the morning and have some much-needed peace and quiet.
Read A Few Pages of Your Favorite Book – The morning before you head out the door is the perfect time to read a few pages of your favorite book and help set the tone for your day. Just a few pages each morning adds up to several full-length books over a period of months.
Use A Habit System And Leverage Technology
We all want to have better habits. Maybe that’s drinking more water throughout the day, or taking a few moments to step away from your desk and stretch.
The problem is, without a proper habit system, we often default to not doing the habits we set out to do. Things come up. We get busy. At the end of the day we’re too tired and just want to relax.
By leveraging a habit system, or using your Pavlok for example, you can build your habits into your daily routine on autopilot.
You can have your Pavlok buzz to remind you to drink some water. You can have your Pavlok buzz you every 2 hours to remind you to get up and stretch.
While it’s easy to convince yourself you can do things with only willpower, the easier you can make completing your habits, the more likely you are to see success.
Whether it’s setting a timer, having an email reminder, or using your Pavlok, invest in building a habit system that improves your chances of seeing results.
With the proper system in place, you’ll never “forget” to perform a habit or task again.
We’ve talked about the many benefits of gratitude here before, but the science is clear. Being more grateful can rewrite your brain to seek out more positivity in your everyday life.
The simplest way to be more grateful is to spend 5 minutes each day writing out three things you’re grateful for. Some days this will be easier than others, but by doing this daily, you’ll slowly begin to notice the virtually endless amount of good that happens to you on a regular basis.
You’ll still have “bad” days of course, but by adopting a habit of gratitude, you’ll start to notice even those bad days aren’t so bad after all.
Quit A Bad Habit
While it’s true implementing new and positive behaviors can have a drastic effect on your happiness and overall well being, don’t forget that quitting a bad habit can set off some incredibly positive ripples as well.
Take smoking for example. If you can quit smoking for good, you’ll not only rid yourself of your addiction, but you will find yourself with more energy, money and more.
If possible, try to get rid of the one or two ‘bad habits’ that are holding you back. As you slowly get rid of these habits, you’ll have more motivation and confidence in adopting the healthy behaviors that will move you closer to your goals.
You don’t have to go to the gym every day for two hours to see the benefits of exercise. The science says it all, those who exercise are happier and healthier than those who don’t.
Even just going for a 15-minute walk each day can help you be more creative, sleep better, and improve your focus.
If you’re struggling to make exercise a habit, try setting your exercise clothes out the night before and put them by your bed so that when you wake up, it’s impossible to miss.
Not a big fan of the gym? Sign up for a recreational sports league, or local yoga class. All that matters is that you make your body sweat. If you’re in a real crunch for time, the 7-minute workout app gets the job done.
Meditate or Pray 10mins/day
Whether you consider yourself religious or not, spending 10 minutes a day in silent reflection or prayer can help you handle the many stresses of everyday life.
The truth is, from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep, we rarely have a moment to sit still and contemplate our thoughts and emotions. There’s no “secret” to meditation. Simply set aside a few minutes to focus on your breath distraction free.
While you might not notice any “benefits” at first, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll feel better and more grounded after just a few weeks of consistent meditation or prayer.
Drink Water 2L/day
Another ‘simple’ habit that can have a profound effect on your overall mood and happiness is drinking enough water.
Make sure to consume at least 2 liters of water each day. As discussed previously, build your water consumption into your habit system. Set a phone reminder, use your Pavlok to signal it’s time to drink.
With our busy lives, it’s easy to forget to drink the recommended amount of water, but it’s one of the easiest ways to improve your overall health.
As the adage goes, if you’re thirsty, it means you’re dehydrated.
Do Something Social Each Day
Last on the list, and perhaps the most important, doing something social on a regular basis can help you feel more connected and less alone. It’s in our nature to want to feel connected and loved.
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, spending quality time with people who support you will help you reach your goals. Find the people who will be there to provide support when you need it most.
Given the average person spends 10+ hours on their computer and cell phone each day, taking a break from technology and spending time with your friends and family is a great way to decompress and build meaningful and valuable relationships.
Take an old friend out for coffee. Jump on a Skype call with mom or dad. Spend 30 minutes on a Friday volunteering at a local food shelter. It really can make all the difference.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you’re trying to take your habits to the next level or just beginning your habit change journey, do your best to default to action. Pick a habit or two from the list above and get to work.
Things won’t happen overnight, but we promise that if you put in the effort and continue to work on your habits consistently, you will see your life transform before your very eyes.