Success starts with your habits. What you do each day will determine your future. Thus, if you want to live a good life, develop good habits and kick away the bad ones.
I’m a strong believer that our habits either build our lives and get us where we want to go, or they will slowly destroy our future and lead us somewhere we don’t want to end up.
As what Aristotle said:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” And I totally agree.
Too often, we underestimate the impact of small little actions that we do each day in our lives.
Do you know that it is absolutely fine if you choose to do nothing and be lazy today? It is alright if you choose to be lazy for a day or two.
However, if you do nothing and stay lazy for a week, a month, a year, three years, five years, and decades, your laziness will destroy your life.
On the contrary, if you exercise and eat healthy for a day, you will never see the impact right away. If you continue to stick to your habit for a week, a month, a year, three years, five years, and more, the impact will be huge and obvious.
How do you think a successful writer completes his or her book? Did the author write just for one day or two to finish the book? It is going to take successful author months before getting the book done.
More importantly, the writer has to commit to writing every single day. He or she has to be consistent and make progress each day.
The same goes for you. If you want to improve the quality of your life and strive for success, you have to start by adopting constructive and good habits that will get you where you want to go.
You need to be consistent and practice it every day. Below is a list of 31 good habits that if you develop them and adopt them each day, they will greatly improve the quality of your life.
Good Habits to Improve Your Career, Professional Life, and Business
1. Take at least one action that will move you to your goal
One of the best habits anyone can adopt is the habit of taking action. Each day, commit to taking at least one action that will move you toward your goal. If you are not doing anything, you will never realize your goal.
So do something every day. It doesn’t matter even if it is just a small step, what is more important is that you must make sure you are making progress every day.
The key is to make sure that you are doing something that will progress you forward each day, even if you are only doing it for one minute. The point is to develop the habit.
2. Plan your day
Most people know the importance of planning, but unfortunately, they don’t do it. They understand that planning can make their day smooth and become more productive because they know what they need to get done, but they just don’t do it because it is not their habit.
Each night before you sleep, write down what you need to get done the following day. It is absolutely alright if things did not go according to your plan. You want to create intention and build attention in your mind to live a well-designed life.
3. Visualize your perfect day
Besides planning and writing down what you need to do, envisioning your perfect day is another good habit to adopt. Most people never do this because they either underestimate the power of visualization or they have no idea how to do it.
Almost every professional athlete uses visualization to achieve better performance in their games. The same goes for successful entrepreneurs; they think and imagine their business each day before they practice it in real life.
“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.” – Jack Nicklaus
4. Reflect on your day
If you want to improve and get ahead every day, you must reflect on your day. At the end of the day, ask yourself these questions:
- What went well today?
- What didn’t go well today?
- What or where can I improve to achieve my target tomorrow?
Do you know that Steve Jobs used this technique to improve his day too? Each morning after he woke up, he would ask himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
And if his answer is a “No” for too many days in a row, he knew that something is not right and he needed to change.
5. Save money
Another powerful daily habit that one can develop is the habit of saving money. Set a target for yourself how much you want to save each day. It can be any amount and the amount is not really that important. The key is to develop the habit of saving money.
If you don’t have much to save, you can start with just $1 a day. If you have more, you can save $5 or $10 a day. And if you have a lot, you can save $100 a day.
Make it easier for you to do so by placing a piggy bank near the door of your house. So every time when you want to go out or come back home, you will see the piggy bank and you will put in the money.
6. Make a business connection
Everyone knows that building relationships and networking are important in life, and this is especially true if you want to build a successful business. So commit to making a business connection each day.
Well, there are many things you can do here. For example, if you are busy, you can leverage on social media and use it to connect with other potential business people. Drop others a message, leave a comment, or better yet, give a call to build or maintain your business relationship with others.
7. Optimize your work
I used to say that if you want to be productive, you must learn to prioritize your work. And that means you should do the most important first before you spend your time on other less important tasks.
After putting in some thought, I think that prioritizing your work may not be as effective as optimizing your work. You optimize your work by scheduling the most important task on your most productive hours.
Some people are productive in the morning and some in the afternoon. You have to understand when would be the best time you can perform at your peak, and then schedule your most result-yielding and important task during these hours.
This will ensure that you are producing the best result because you are leveraging on your most productive time for the most important tasks.
8. Arrive early at work
Make it a habit to arrive early at work. You will never dive straight into your work when you get into the office. Most people will spend time walking around, chit-chatting with their colleagues, go to the toilet, make a coffee, or organize their table before they start their work.
Therefore, get into the office 15 or 30 minutes earlier to handle everything and so that you can start your work on time. You gain an edge for starting earlier while other people are still walking or checking their Facebook updates.
9. Organize your workstation
Yes, you have to organize your workstation from time to time. You can do so each morning before you start your work, this is why you need to get into the office earlier.
Studies have shown that an organized workstation promotes efficiency and builds morale. Do you know that organization breeds success? A clean and well-kept workstation makes a strong impression on how employees view their jobs. More importantly, a clean environment can reduce stress and save time.
10. Take a power nap
Do you know that extraordinary people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy, John D. Rockefeller, and much more take power naps during the day to improve their productivity?
I learned from Michael Hyatt that being productive is not about managing time, but rather, it is about managing your energy.
When you are fresh, alert and energetic, you are able to better focus on your task at hand and deliver a better job. When you are feeling sleepy and exhausted, there is no way you can perform at your best. Even if you have more time, you will only produce mediocre work.
So learn to take a power nap when necessary. You can even make it a habit if you want to.
11. Take regular breaks
This is definitely a must-adopt daily habit if you want to improve your professional life and perform better at work. We cannot focus on our work 24 hours a day. We will lose our focus and need to take rests on a regular period.
Apply the Pomodoro technique or use the 50-10-50 technique to perform better and maintain your level of focus.
All you need to do is to work for 50 minutes, take a 10-minute break and then continue your work for another 50 minutes. Of course, you can change the time according to your own preference.
This will prevent burnout and make sure you have better energy and focus to perform better the entire day.
12. Talk about your dreams and goals
Do you know that it is important to talk about your dreams and your goals? There is a saying, “You become what you think about most of the time.” And the best way to initiate your thought is to talk about your dreams and goals.
Of course, choose to discuss and talk about your dreams with the right people who will support, encourage and tell you that it is possible.
Make it your daily habit to talk about your dreams and goals each day. You want to consistently and consciously program what you want into your subconscious, so do this daily.
13. Reward yourself for your accomplishment
When is the last time you reward and praise yourself? Most people don’t do that because they don’t value their work. Never let this happen to you. Every time when you accomplished something, be it big or small, reward yourself.
You want to train your brain to feel good every time when you accomplished something so that you will look forward to accomplishing more. Incorporate this into your daily life and make it your habit.
Success breeds more success. It gives you a sense of victory and boosts your confidence too.
Good Habits for Better Health, Energy
14. Drink at least eight 8-ounce of water
As much as 70% of our bodies are made of fluid. This is why drinking plenty of water is important to make sure that our body functions properly. Experts suggest we drink at least eight 8-ounce of water every day.
Get yourself a good water bottle and fill it full every night before you go to bed. When you wake up in the morning, drink plenty of water to hydrate your body. Make it a habit to drink more water each day.
15. Exercise and workout
Exercise and workout are important because our bodies are designed to move around and sweat. If you don’t exercise and sit in front of your computer the whole day, you will suffer many illnesses and health problems when you get old.
I like the book from Laura Vanderkam, What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. She found that most successful people spend their morning time exercise, and she said, “These are incredibly busy people. If they make time to exercise, it must be important.”
Studies have also found that exercise can make people happier and also tend to make people more productive. In other words, you will be able to achieve more when you exercise. So what are you waiting for? Schedule time to exercise for at least 15 minutes each day.
16. Practice deep breathing or be in solitude
When you take in a deep breath, you increase the supply of oxygen to your brain and this will relax your muscles, reduce your tension, and also enhance your detoxification process.
There are many benefits of deep breathing and to practice it, just follow the 4:7:8 pattern. You take a deep breath for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds.
Besides deep breathing, you should also practice being in solitude each day. Solitude frees your mind from all distractions and allows you to focus more fully on one thing. It enhances your creativity and improves your brain power.
17. Eat healthily
Do I even need to explain this further? Everyone knows that eating healthily is important if they want to maintain a good and vibrant health level.
So make it a habit to eat healthy food each day. Eat more vegetables and fruits.
18. Get enough sleep
How many hours do you sleep each day? Science shows that on average, people require about 7 hours of sleep. However, it is very subjective as everyone’s requirement and body are different, hence, require different hours of sleep.
Never underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep. If you want to wake up early, sleep early. Without having enough sleep, it will affect your focus and this will lower your productivity. To put it simply, if you want to be productive and perform better, get enough sleep each day.
19. Practice wind down ritual
Try to create an evening ritual before you sleep. For example, an hour before you go to sleep, disconnect yourself from the internet, turn off the TV and your computer, and dim the lights.
You want to stimulate a wind-down process so that you can sleep better at night. Never ever drink coffee at night. The caffeine will affect your sleep and make you tired the next day. Choose to do something that will slow down your gear such as reading a book, taking a hot bath, visualize or meditate.
Good Habits to Improve the Quality of Your Personal life
20. Make your bed
Making your bed can be one of the most important activities of your day. According to a speech at the University of Texas delivered by the Navy Admiral, William McRaven, if you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. This will give you a small sense of pride and victory and it will encourage you to do more during the day.
Besides that, Admiral McRaven also said that making your bed will reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. It is just like the butterfly effect, making your bed can be a small victory that catapults you into achieving more and bigger success.
21. Do something fun each day
We all know that having fun is important. You need to have fun in life if you want to accomplish more. This is especially true if you treat your work as a mundane job, you will have no fun at work.
Richard Branson doesn’t look at work as work and play as play. He says that everything is life, be it work or play. So do something fun for yourself each day. Never settle to live a mundane and boring life.
You can do what you love such as playing games, go jogging, read your favorite book, watch a movie, play the piano, and more. As long as you inject fun into your life, you will tend to be more creative and live better.
22. Clear your clutter
One simple way to live a quality life is through decluttering. When you declutter and organize your things, be it at home or at work, you will feel lighter, with less stress, and you are able to think better.
Feng Shui is a famous study on the organization at your home and workplace. When you have less clutter and organize things correctly, you will have more ‘chi’ or energy. You simply allow the energy flow in your house, your workplace, and even in your head when you declutter. In the western term, you clear out the old to make way for the new.
23. Read for 30 minutes a day
Do you know that Warren Buffett reads for 5 hours a day? Bill Gates reads a book almost every week, Mark Cuban reads for 3 hours a day, and Oprah Winfrey is an avid reader that she created her own book club?
Almost every highly successful people commit themselves into reading and learning new things every day. If these leaders of the world treat reading seriously, don’t you think you should do so as well?
24. Write a gratitude list
Well, you want to live a peaceful and fulfilling life, and the only way to achieve it is through gratitude. If you are not grateful for what you have, you will never feel enough even when you have a million dollars in the bank.
On the other hand, if you are grateful for what you have, you will feel enough and thankful when you have just $100 in the bank. Your wealth is determined by how grateful you are, not how much you have.
So practice the habit of gratitude my friend. Write down at least 10 things that you are grateful for each day so that you will be aware of them and be thankful for them.
25. Practice affirmation
Your thinking will shape your life. And what you say to yourself will determine your thinking. What do you think will happen to your life if you always think, “I know I’m stupid and I can’t amount to much”?
Do you think you can achieve great success in life if you always think negatively? Of course, you will not. Success comes from your thinking. So choose to think positively and constructively. Always use affirmations to program good thoughts into your mind.
Instead of telling yourself something negative, tell yourself that you are a genius and you apply your wisdom, and you are destined for big success in life.
26. Spend time with your lover and family
Success starts from home. If you cannot manage your family, do you think you can manage your company? If you cannot handle $100, do you think you can handle $100,000? Your family and your love relationship are important.
Whether it is giving you food to survive or providing your first step in education, your family plays an important role and will impact you a lot in life. Your home is the beginning of everything. Therefore, spend time with your lover and family. They are the support and backbone in your life.
27. Perform an act of kindness
If you want to be happy, make someone else happy. If you want to get rich, solve someone else’s problems. If you want to feel good in life, help and perform an act of kindness.
You don’t have to donate a million dollars or visit the orphanage every day, a small act such as holding the door for someone, picking up the rubbish, smile and greet a stranger will make you feel good too. Thus, make it a habit to smile and greet everyone you meet in the lift. Be kind and help others when needed.
28. Live in the moment
Living in the moment can be a great habit to adopt especially in this busy world. Most people tend to spend too much time thinking about their past and worrying about their future. Rather, you should focus on this moment because this present moment is what makes your future.
Do remember that this does not mean that you should not reflect on your past or plan for your future, it means that you need to spend time in the moment to truly live. This present moment is the only moment that you can control and every minute is a gift. Thus, be conscious and live in the moment.
29. Disconnect yourself from work
Some people may think that this is a bad advice. It is not, many studies and research have shown that detaching yourself from work is actually healthy. These days, it is difficult to separate your personal life from your work life. Everything gets intertwined and most people spend more time in work than on other areas of their lives, such as their relationships and family.
If you spend too much time on your work for the long-term, you will see the effect such as burnout, mentally tired and also feel no energy physically. This is why you need to disconnect yourself from your work.
You charge your mobile phone every day, why don’t you do that to yourself? Schedule time to recharge yourself and remove yourself from work.
30. Listen to audio during your commute
According to the US Census Bureau, people spend about 26 minutes on average to commute to work each way. And this is about 50 minutes a day to go and back from work. How can you waste 50 minutes or almost an hour a day commuting without learning?
If you spend an hour a day commuting, you will be spending 365 hours a year commuting. This is equivalent to 15 days a year, and you can finish one or two degree courses by using your commuting time.
There are courses, talks, and audio programs available on the web. You can even get it free of charge from the podcast. So why waste your commute time when you can use it to learn and improve yourself?
31. Devote time to your pet project
3M Corporation is one of the most innovative companies in the world. And the company requires all their employees to spend 15% of their work time on their pet project, doing projects that they love doing.
This is how the company continues to come up with innovative ideas and creative products that capture the market. You have to develop the same habit in your daily life. Spend some time on your pet project and doing things that you love.
One day, your pet project will grow and it can impact and change your life in a way that you never thought possible.
How to Use This List of Daily Good Habits
You have discovered all the 31 good habits in the list above, so what now?
First, I created this list based on my own opinion that I believe these are some of the daily habits that worth to develop.
Second, if you have other suggestions or any other good habit that you think will be good to include into the list, leave a comment and tell me what you think.
Finally, this list will only be a list in this article if you are not going to do anything with them. Identify the most interesting habit that you would like to adopt and then plan and take action on it.
So which habit seems the most interesting to you? And how are you going to make it your daily habit? Share with me in the comment section below.