(intro music: Love by NONONO)
When I work with my clients on achieving goals, they are often astonished by how much we will break a single goal down into several micro steps that individually do not seem to add up to much, but collectively ensure progress and ultimately success. The same is true for daily habits. When performed once or occasionally they don't lead to very many big outcomes. But done consistently, however- well, prepare to rock this life, my friends.
The following list of habits likely won't be brand new to you, but I am here to remind you of their power. Research has been conducted and has demonstrated the major impact that each of them will have on your levels of fulfillment and success in life. Practicing just one of them consistently over time will repeat mega rewards, but collectively, oh man... you. cannot. fail. Mark my words. Get ALL of the 4 habits into your routine, and change the direction of your life forever.
Gratitude- remaining focused on and appreciative of all that is going well in your life is a powerful way to stay energized, confident, empathic, mentally strong and physically healthy, all things required for optimizing your performance in every area of life. Gratitude goes well beyond "feeling good", it has very real and deep psychological and physiological effects through which pathways to success and fulfillment are enabled. There are many ways to practice gratitude, and it's important to find the way that feel best to you. The most important thing is to make sure you feel the gratitude in your heart. Sometimes making lists works perfectly, or it can be done in a hurry and the emotional aspect is bypassed, which means the full effect does not take place. Perhaps calling a friend to tell them how much they mean to you, or writing a card or letter of thanks would be more impactful for you. Or maybe meditating on a kind act done on your behalf does the trick. Just remember to choose a gratitude practice that triggers a deep feeling of appreciation in your heart.
Exercise- The benefits of exercise are extensive. I'll never forget the time I heard a happiness researcher say that not exercising is the equivalent of taking a depressant every day. Yes, you read that right- not exercising can bring on depression! The domino effect of exercising is substantial- it creates positive feelings which then trigger a broadening of various mindsets that promote exploration, savoring, creativity and more. These experiences enhance the quality of life. Additionally, exercise promotes good health outcomes through stress relief, detoxification, weight control, cognitive function, slower aging and more. And finally, a fit body and glowing complexion boost your confidence and self-esteem. Energy, health, confidence, and positive emotions are all essential ingredients for success and happiness in life, and exercise will give you all of that!
Quality time with people you love- Wired for connection, we humans require close connected relationships with others for flourishing and optimum health. Strong bonds nurtured through quality time are the key to health and happiness all on their own. We often hear the saying, ' no man is an island' and it's true. We are interdependent creatures who thrive only when we feel a sense of belonging with others, believe we are loved and that we matter, and are confident that if our cookie crumbles, someone will be there to help us pick up the crumbs. Never should we take for granted our closest relationships, for without them we could not be at our best. Therefore, taking time to nurture and deepen these bonds is critical.
Music- Did you know that listening to music can make you happier and more productive? Musicians have been shown to have different brain structures than the rest of us! That's how powerful music can be. Music has a powerful effect on brain chemical activity and is therefore a strong tool for mood control and managing emotions. We've all heard of dopamine, the feel good chemical- music gives you a yummy dopamine hit! It also makes you feel more powerful, in control, and empowered, giving you a stronger sense of control and power over your life circumstances. If you want to feel more powerful throughout your day and be highly productive, don't forget to turn on and turn up the music!
How many of these habits have you developed? Which of them can you develop more and add to your routine? Would you add anything to this list? I'd love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments. And thanks for reading!