Five Daily Habits to Keep you Motivated and Happy
“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” - Tony Robbins
Habits can work for you, or against you. Good habits are quoted as the key to success, but bad habits can damage your happiness, health, and motivation!
Take stock of your habits right now with these questions:
What is working for you?
Which habits aren’t working for you?
Do your current habits help you or hinder you from reaching your goals?
Here are some new habits that can keep you motivated and happy!
Disclaimer: Habits can be flexible and it’s important to be good to yourself too. I don’t work out every day, I don’t meditate every day. But I aim to work with these habits and my life, so I aim to meditate 3-5 times a week, I aim to workout up to 5 times a week. I often have clients who try and build a new habit, then get frustrated when they haven’t succeeded EVERY DAY!
Also, don’t expect immediate results. One walk won’t suddenly make you feel on top of the world. Take the expectation away and appreciate the simple task being completed.
1) Morning routine!
What is your morning routine like?
Your bed is for sleeping. Not working, chilling out, or eating.
A good bedroom environment and daily routine, known as ‘sleep hygiene’, promotes consistent and uninterrupted sleep. Looking after your sleep hygiene involves ensuring your bed is your sacred sleeping space and nothing more.
When your alarm goes off, get up and out of bed. According to research 85% of people check their phone within the first 15 minutes of waking up (1). Doing this actually disrupts the pattern of brain waves you naturally have when you wake up (2). So, when you wake, get out of bed, make it (a made bed is harder to crawl back into), and don’t check your phone first thing!
To change this habit, replace it with a new one. Start by putting your phone somewhere else, far from your reach, on a different surface or even in a drawer (make sure you can still hear it!).
Then think of what else you can do first thing in the morning; a walk, reading or even yoga? TIP: Decide what you’re going to do the night before, it saves you thinking in the morning when you’re sleepy and tired.
2) Move your body.
Exercise, steps and getting in nature are hugely valuable in making you feel motivated and happy. Science and research have already proven its benefits for your physical and mental health, and that’s probably something you’ve heard many times.
But how many days pass you by without exercise or without going out for that walk? How much is this a priority for you? Do you track how much time of your week is spent moving your body?
To add this habit to your day, rope a friend in. A friend provides accountability and makes it social. Book a class. Make it non-negotiable. Start with small changes!
3) Fuel your body.
Not only will eating nutritious food fuel you properly and stop you having sugar crashes, but some foods also actually make you feel happy. Therefore, eating good food is one of my top habits to make you happy and motivated.
Foods rich in Omega-3- , like salmon, boost levels of the 'happy hormone' in your brain! Other foods previously linked to happiness include mushrooms, quinoa, dark chocolate, foods with probiotics (i.e. kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut), and more (3). For coffee lovers, watch your caffeine intake, four cups and no more.
How to add this habit to your day: Buy the food in advance. You can’t have that sugary snack when you go rooting through the cupboards, exhausted, wanting a bar of chocolate when it’s not there. Also, if I am ever following a recipe or meal, I will usually add about twice the amount of veg and often throw in any remaining veg I have in the fridge.
4) Forgive & Accept.
Forgiving yourself and accepting where you are is vital to feeling good every day and keeping you motivated.
This might look like writing in the morning,
o I forgive and accept where I am, this is my journey and that’s all that is important,
o I have learnt something from everything that has taken place until now. Good or bad, I accept they are all lessons.
o I choose to be me.
You are never too old or too far down the road in your life or career to try something new. Try this eBook on how to start journaling for self-care to build this habit into your daily routine. Try allocating 15 minutes a day, when you wake up or before you go to bed.
5) Breathe and be present.
Meditation benefits your focus, concentration, sleep and attention. It has also been found to reduce anxiety and depression. Oh, and it’s FREE. If you’ve ever struggled with meditation or think it isn’t for you, let go of any preconceptions about what it is. Try different types to work out which one you might like. I listen to a combination depending on how I’m feeling that day.
Click here to read more about the 'Benefits of meditation: Why meditation should be a part of your daily routine’.
So, give some of these a go and don’t forget, small changes are sustainable changes.
“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar
These are just a handful of habits that can support you in feeling happier and motivated, if done consistently. Remember when you are changing a habit, try replacing it with something new. If you want to continue your learning, grab Atomic Habits by James Clear.
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