Eight transformative habits

Today we want to talk about good habits that are transformative and powerful for our lives. The University of London recently researched habit formation and found that good habits can be developed through positive feedback to yourself, developing structure and keeping track of and monitoring your progress.

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is being aware of your own emotions, thoughts, your presence and seeing them with perspective to bring a sense of peace, calm and understanding. Try to make a habit of being more mindful and aware about the things going on around you and how you are feeling. Take a minute out to sit ~ if thoughts come into your mind, just let them float away.

2. Priorities

Thinking long term about your goals can help us focus on what is important. Use a planner or diary to schedule more meaningful tasks that contribute to your overall goals. Start the process of reducing the things that do not contribute to your overall goals and focus on using your time for what counts.

3. Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from a tough situation and to avoid becoming a victim of helplessness. It’s hard not to give up when the going gets tough. Tough times can test us and when they do, it’s important you make a habit of picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and going again. Build resilience by learning new skills or going again at something you previously couldn’t do.

4. Exercise

The NHS recommends 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week for our overall health. Find an activity where getting fit and being healthy is the by-product and not the purpose, by making it enjoyable. Plan something into your routine that you love. If you are currently inactive, there must be something to love – from dancing in your front room to playing badminton or simply walking around your local park. Plan it into your routine and make habits of including exercise in other areas of your life such as parking further away from your workplace, taking the stairs instead of escalators or getting off the bus a stop before and walking the extra steps.

5. Try new habits

When you next feel yourself saying no to something outside of your comfort zone, stop yourself and say yes! Say yes to new experiences to expand your comfort zone, follow your curiosity and sense of adventure. Once you start saying yes to new opportunities, you’ll be amazed at how many new and exciting things come your way.

6. Correct your negative thoughts and replace them with positive habits

Every time you think something negatively, immediately correct yourself and eventually it will become a habit. If you look in your mirror and think you look fat, immediately change the thought and tell yourself something nice, even if you don’t believe it! Say it out loud if you need to or write it down. The more you repeat this action the more automatic it will become the norm. You will feel more positive about yourself.

7. Pay attention and listen

Listen to people with your whole attention. It’s amazing how little we do this because our heads are too preoccupied. We’re doing two things at once or thinking something else at the same time. By making a conscious effort to listen and pay full attention you make more of a connection with other people and stop missing out on so much. Active listening is a conscious decision to listen to and understand the messages the speaker has for you. You’ll remember more and be able to have more fruitful discussion in the future.

8. Have a routine for habits

Creating a good routine is the best way to stick to new habits. If you find yourself fall off the bandwagon, then dust yourself down and continue on.  Make time for the things you enjoy and keep a record in your diary or planner on progress. Waking up earlier in the morning can be one way to kick off a new route of exercise, reading or enjoying an unrushed breakfast. Planning an evening routine such as having a bath before bed or reading a book can help you sleep much better.

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