With big dreams and so little time, developing effective habits can put you ahead of the game with little effort. Here are seven helpful new habits that will give you a killer return on investment on the business of YOU.
7 New Habits To Take You Further
1. Keep your home clutter-free.
This is listed first because you can begin the process and see/feel the results instantly. Every time you see clutter, you are spending energy thinking about cleaning it up. You’re moving through your space inefficiently, and not enjoying your home like a true sanctuary.
Instead, take a few extra moments to put things away where they belong once you come home. Do this daily rather than letting things build up, calling for a big clean up session each week or month.
Once it becomes one of your new habits, you won’t even notice it anymore. All that energy can go towards making time to exercise, spending quality time with family, or working towards your career goals.
2. Arrive early.
Being late and sitting in traffic creates instant stress. Looking for parking or realizing that you still need to sprint three blocks to arrive on time makes you frazzled and distracted for your important meeting, audition, or date.
I promise: starting off any interaction sweaty and panicked is NOT a good look for you.
Give yourself 15 more minutes than usual and stick to it. Change every event on your calendar to reflect it. If you arrive early, you’ll be granted time to take a breather, prep for your meeting, or stay active on social media.
You’d be surprised by how prepared and confident it can make you feel in any situation.
3. Have a nightly gratitude practice.
If you had a great day, then counting your blessings allows for appreciation, acceptance, and a good night’s sleep.
If you had a terrible day, focusing on everything that went right helps reset the mind and prepare for a better day tomorrow. This scientifically-proven practice leads to results of lasting marriages, more energy, and even higher income.
Here’s how to do this: List three things that you are grateful for, either in a journal or said out loud. Big gratitudes are always great; but don’t forget the power of small gratitudes – like the stranger who smiled at you, or the flower growing out of the sidewalk crack.
4. When in doubt, overdress.
Feeling like a million bucks does in fact make you act like a million bucks. Confidence in your stride, your speaking voice, and in talking about your field or talent is the first thing anyone notices when they want to potentially work with you or be your friend.
Clothing confidence is an effortless way to get you started on the right foot without too much preparation. Find yourself at least three outfit options that you feel proud in. Make sure you can walk and sit in them with ease and comfort.
Anything that requires you to tuck in straps or deal with annoying sleeves to roll up does NOT go on your list. Think style, comfort, and confidence. This is one of those new habits that will give your self-esteem a boost.
5. Snap out of it.
Having a bad day? Not seeing the results you hoped for? Got in a fight with your significant other?
It’s natural for us to want to dwell on what’s not going right. But we forget that it uses up the same energy that we could use to focus on how we can make it right.
When you catch yourself going down the negative Nancy rabbit hole, lift up your hand, snap your fingers and say, “I can change my state in a heartbeat.” And in that moment, you have ONE second to let it go and intentionally decide that the rest of your day will go splendidly.
Remember: emotions are 100 percent controllable by you. While everyone is wasting time with their bad days, you already have a head start by turning yours around in a jiffy!
6. Take intentional breaks.
Have you started your day feeling energized and productive, only to sit down at your computer becoming sluggish and tired by the afternoon?
Being sedentary drains your battery more than being active. Your body needs a break from a stale posture and your eyes need a break from being fried by a computer screen.
Take intentional breaks where you do something active and take your eyes off any screen, phones included. Going to the restroom or binging on the cafeteria cookies does NOT count.
Put your phone on silent for 5-10 minutes so that you can take a stroll outside, do some stretching, and let your mind wander. A well-executed short break can recharge you for a longer and more productive afternoon ahead. Once executed, this will probably be one of your favorite new habits.
7. Say ‘Thank You’.
Not only to someone who opened the door for you or to the server who refilled your water. Say ‘thank you’ after every meeting or interaction, whether that’s a client or friend. This sounds obvious, but not many people truly understand the value of doing so.
For something personal like meeting up with an old friend, send an SMS after dinner to say “It was great to see you, I’m so glad we caught up.” It takes two seconds to leave a lasting impression and show that you care.
For business interactions, send a ‘thank you’ email to say thanks and also to keep you on their list of people to contact. Include your name and profession in the email subject line so that they can easily find you and contact you in the future. For example: “Thank You – Gina Su, Life Coach.”
Have fun with these new habits and give yourself time to master them. Once they become second nature, you’ll be on to bigger and better things!