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Let this be your year- Habit changes to improve your life

If you wish to introduce some healthy habits to your life and make it more comfortable, this is something you can do right now.

Lena Hemsworth

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People often wait for the start of the new year to get their lives in order. Forming healthier habits and finding new ways to make life worth living become priorities somewhere around January, and New Year’s resolutions are formed. You don’t need to wait for the year to turn in in order to make some significant changes in your life. If you wish to introduce some healthy habits to your life and make it more comfortable, this is something you can do right now. You don’t even have to do anything major to make it happen. Here’s how some small habit changes can improve every aspect of your life.

Spare a kind word or two

You should never underestimate the power of a kind word or gesture. In today’s hectic world, people are constantly on edge. Whether it’s the result of personal problems or work, it’s no surprise that there’s very little positivity in them at the end of the day. If you’ve ever had a day that made you particularly uncomfortable, you’ll know that it can affect your behaviour for quite a while. When you’re surrounded by negativity, you’ll often express it on your own, whether you’re aware of it or not.

The thing is, there’s nothing stopping you from adding a little joy and positivity to your surroundings. When you get down to it, it’s not at all a difficult thing to achieve. The best way to start would be to show a bit of appreciation to the people around you. A kind word would go a long way in making people’s lives feel more joyful and fulfilled. 

When’s the last time that you told your partner that you appreciate them? It’s probably something that’s implied every time you’re with them, but there’s no reason you can’t express yourself every once in a while. Just saying these words costs you absolutely nothing, but it could make their day. Call up your parents to remind them that they were your inspiration in one way or another. If that doesn’t make them feel like great role models, there’s nothing that could. If you surround yourself with people that spread positivity, it’s likely that it’ll rub off on you. Similarly, showing your love and appreciation will affect everyone that interacts with you, making them enjoy your presence even more. Who knows, they could also see themselves growing more positive as the days pass as well.

Slow down and smell the roses

When your primary goal is to work hard and achieve greater success, it often becomes easy to neglect every other part of your day to day life. Being a little too busy with work separates people from their hobbies and keeps them locked in a loop of going to work while neglecting other things that they’d rather be doing. It’s hard to judge them, as work is a very important part of daily life. You have to earn money to cover bills and feed your family, so it’s pretty understandable when you want to make sure that all your essential needs will be met. 

It becomes an issue once work starts to consume most of your life. More and more people today are becoming workaholics who are dedicating most of their lives to their profession, while also putting everything else in their life on the backburner. This can often lead to them missing out on some very important moments with their families and social life. 

It’s important that you slow down and enjoy the moment every once in a while. Being in a rush to succeed shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the little things. People often say that life passes you by as you get older, but this is only true as long as you allow it to. You can live out a pretty exciting and fulfilling life as long as you make the time for your close ones. Work can wait, especially if there’s something more important waiting for you during your day. 

Get your beauty sleep

Sleep is an often-underestimated element of our daily lives. People don’t put a lot of emphasis on having a healthy sleeping schedule. Instead, they’ll likely skip a day or two of their normal sleep routine to get their responsibilities done. This is a very common occurrence in high-stress work and university. You sacrifice a couple of days of your sleeping routine to crunch during the last week of final exams, and then you’ll compensate for it afterwards. The same line of thinking is applied to certain professions that require long workdays to finish projects. This is an all too easy trap to fall into, especially if you aren’t particularly knowledgeable about how sleep works.

Sleep isn’t something you should be skimping out on every other day. The common myth of sleep debt has people believing that they can compensate for weeks upon weeks of irregular sleeping habits, but this isn’t really how it works. Your body requires a regular amount of sleep every night in order to function properly. This goes for your physical as well as your mental capacity. Everything from your memory to proper muscle development relies on getting regular shut-eye every single night. Because of this, it’s crucial that you find ways to avoid staying up too late or keeping an unhealthy schedule.

If you aren’t sure how to prioritize with finishing up work, you can always try to split it fifty-fifty. Instead of getting work done all at once and then going to sleep, you could always do part of the work before going to bed early, and then finishing things up in the early morning. If your job doesn’t allow you to finish projects from home, this might not work in your favour, but you can still work something out. Instead of crunching right before a deadline, try to put in an equal amount of effort throughout the month and give yourself ample opportunity to get the job done way before the project needs to be turned in. 

When it comes to school and studying, the same philosophy should be applied. You need around seven to nine hours of sleep at night to properly retain information. If you plan on studying for a final exam, remember that sleep could come in handy a lot more than simply crunching and trying to study while exhausted.

Get some fresh air

It’s hard to imagine that our ancestors would have spent most of their time cooped up in an indoor space for most of their days. Between hunting and foraging for supplies, they probably spent a lot more time outside than we ever will. For all the negatives that came with living in the past, this part of their day to day lives was pretty healthy. So, why aren’t we spending a little more time outside?

There’s definitely an epidemic of people staying indoors a little bit too much for their own good. Between going to work, taking care of the household chores, and spending time with your family, it might seem a bit difficult to find extra time to enjoy the great outdoors. Plus, living in a big city often puts you pretty far away from any green and natural surfaces. If small parks are what you need to settle for, why bother heading out at all? 

You should strive to spend a little more time outside in the fresh air. It’s a great way to clear your head and feel at peace. Take a leisurely walk around a park or forest from time to time, you’ll be surprised to find how much it impacts your overall mood. Taking a hike with your friends is another worthwhile option. Busy schedules often don’t allow for a lot of time in nature, but that shouldn’t stop you from working on your mental and physical health. 

Think about the things that take a little too much time out of your day. For most people, it’s their daily commute to and from work. How could you adapt this time to better suit your health? Instead of taking your car, you could always ride a bicycle all the way to work. While this may seem counterintuitive, it could actually shave some time off of your commute. You get to skip traffic and head to work at your own pace. Whether you work day or night, a bike ride would give you quite a much nicer and more comfortable commute, while also giving you a good workout to boot. If you work late and don’t want to find yourself riding your bike through dark streets or highways, don’t fret. You can easily find a set of rechargeable bike lights that will keep you safe on your nightly commute. Coupled with some safety gear, you’ll be able to hit the road to work with a gentle breeze in your hair without worrying about getting injured along the way.

Start listening

When you talk to your friends and family members, do you wonder whether or not you’re being a good ear for their problems? Listening to someone else talk about something that’s important to them is a lot harder than you might think. If you aren’t sure how to listen to your loved ones, you’re not alone. 

In communication, it’s important that you are able to hear what the other person is saying, instead of just listening for key parts of the conversation. We often try to find ways to reply to what the other party says or come up with a solution to their problems when that’s not the point of the conversation. You need to start hearing their words for what they are, as this can help you better understand their current situation. Instead of reacting or trying to find the right words to say, try your best to put yourself in their shoes and see what’s bothering them most. To become a good listener, it’s important that you read between the lines.

Conclusion

There are many ways to improve on your day to day life. It’s all about forming positive habits that will follow you throughout your life. As long as you put in the effort to introduce something healthy for your body and spirit, you’ll know you’re on the right track. With a little dedication and persistence, you’ll be able to make better decisions and improve your life in no time.

Lena Hemsworth is a lifestyle blogger, foodie, and lover of a good book. She's an everlasting enthusiast who believes that there is nothing better than starting your day with a hot cup of coffee.

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