10 small habits that will change your life

As we saw previously in Intelligent and cheerful

Editor’s note: While broad, lofty goals have their place, it’s no surprise that some of the most important transformations we make in our lives are born out of small changes, repeated over and over over time. In today’s post, contributor Megan McCarty shares ten examples of small habits that have the power to transform your life.

With every new job, relationship, or habit—you name it—I take learning in small steps. You didn’t come out of your mother’s womb knowing how to walk, let alone run, did you? First, you lay there, for months, before rolling over, then crawling, then pulling yourself up, before rocking a few steps and cheering everyone around you on. You’ve had goose eggs on your head and bruises on your knees, you’ve fallen and stumbled for years to come, but eventually, you’ve stumbled to walk and now maybe you’re taking how much ease it makes your life easier.

The same slow and steady learning process can be applied to these life-changing little habits, too. trick Get a habit to stick to It starts now, starts small, and mostly just starts in general.

Here are ten of my tried-and-true micro-habits that will keep you feeling more organized and in control in a wildly wild world.

1. Ask yourself, “What is the best thing to do?”

When I have the option to wait a few seconds to hold the door open for someone, I do. If I could spend an extra five minutes in savasana, I’d take it. If my friend is having a hard time getting pregnant, I check it out. Why? Because it’s nice to do.

Doing the nice thing is not about recognition; It’s a reminder several times a day to Do the nice thing For both others and yourself, especially when no one is looking. It will condition your brain to think over, no matter how small the act. Remember though: If the “nice thing” takes advantage of you, your time, or your generosity, it’s not a good idea to start with. know your border.

2. Enforce the one-minute rule.

credit to Happiness Project Author and very smart woman, Gretchen Rubin, for This Rule of Life. It’s easy: If a task takes less than a minute to complete, encourage yourself to do it right away. Recycle your junk mail, hang up your coat, respond to this text, close the silverware drawer, and close the peanut butter lid.

It’s easy: If a task takes less than a minute to complete, encourage yourself to do it right away. Recycle your junk mail, hang up your coat, respond to this text, close the silverware drawer, and close the peanut butter lid.

Most of these routines only take seconds, but when you add them together, they can get tiring quickly. “I’ll do it tomorrow” turns into “I’ll do it tomorrow” and then “What other day?” Don’t even think about it. Do it now.

3. Add another one.

Add another vegetable to your dinner plate. Drink an extra glass of water each day. Learn another sentence in the Arabic language. Once those one mores They become part of your routine, so consider adding—you know where this is going—one more addition.

4. Know how much money you have.

Knowledge is power, even if that knowledge reminds you how terrible your credit card debt is. To become financially secure Confidence starts with getting a consistently accurate idea of ​​how much money is in your accounts. Make it a habit to check your accounts often, whatever that means to you. Once you have a better idea of ​​how much money you have, as well as how much you’re spending, you’ll make more informed decisions every time you’re tempted to spend frivolously.

Mind you – this is coming from someone who is very concerned about money! – There is a fine line between taking control of your accounts and becoming obsessed with every penny. I’m the biggest fan of financial literacy, but when the markets crashed this spring, I deleted the shortcut to my financial advisor’s site from my browser and chose blissful ignorance over stress from something I couldn’t do anything about. Understand what you can and can’t control and focus your attention on what you can, like staying out of the emergency fund or not buying that unwieldy suit.

5. Write it down.

Do you really think you’d remember that funny thing your toddler said this morning before dinner, let alone two decades from now? And why do we trust our brains that have passed enough Lately, to remember exactly what we need at the grocery store to make Alison’s Romanian recipe?

When that little flag in your head — “I should remember that” — starts waving, write it down right away. That could mean quotes, offering ideas for the hard-to-buy-ones in your life, restaurants you’d like to go to on your next date night, or anything else you’re likely to forget. Create lists, lists, and more, either with an old-fashioned pen and paper or in the Notes app on your phone.

6. Organize your calendar—weeks, months, and if possible, years in advance.

Routinely taking time to organize your online calendar helps you see important events, such as upcoming bills, birthdays, events, weeks and months in advance, signaling you to be prepared.

In my Google Calendar—bless the internet’s golden hunk—green events indicate when scheduled payments will be out of my bank accounts. Four times a year, Green Plus events remind me to pay my quarterly taxes—two weeks before they’re due, so I have some wiggle room to get my money in order. My yoga instructor’s birthday is celebrated every December 10 through 2023. There’s a work project I’m supposed to check out in early summer, but I won’t remember that on my own; Anything work-related is color-coded coral. I plug oil changes into my calendar weeks before I need them, to get them on my radar in case my schedule fills up and I need to push it again.

7. Bring one thing with you.

My bedside table would be littered with an array of water glasses, teacups, and bottles of kombucha if I didn’t take one with me every time I made a trip to the kitchen. When you find yourself free to ask yourself, “What can I bring with me?” Apply this to a specific room, your office, your car—any area of ​​your life that can quickly become engulfed in chaos.

8. Learn to prioritize yourself in the future.

Sounds boring, right? It won’t be boring when you can retire early and lie on Spanish beaches all day because you’ve made decisions over the decades to get there. On the other hand, living in the moment can be self-destructive and set you back in the long run with all kinds of health: physical, mental, relationship, and financial.

Take a minute to think about it. What could be the consequences of having unprotected sex with him? I have to go home – should I have another drink? Am I buying these shoes or contributing to my IRA?

The good news is that the sometimes wild decision he What is best for yourself in the future. Sometimes a 2:00 am frozen pizza is a forward-thinking option, if it will help you avoid being hungry tomorrow. Know your ideal balance, which is likely to be constantly changing, between what you need now and what you will need in the future.

9. Get rejected more often.

I’ve been rejected no less than four times today. It didn’t feel good, per se, but I recovered faster than my last four rejections. What do you lose? Remember, the worst they could say, whatever that they he doesn’t.

If there’s one lesson I frequently learn, it’s that we have to ask what we want in life. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. But you have to ask.

If there is one lesson I frequently learn, this is it We have to ask for what we want in life. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. But you have to ask. Whatever it is you desire, career or relationship wise, submit yourself to it Exposure treatmentSmall doses of telling you “no” over and over again. It will make the occasional “yes” more satisfying.

10. Use frustrating moments to exercise your patience.

We’ve all been there, in the coffee shop or the bank, behind what appears to be the slowest person in the world. In those moments, when there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do, and nothing to worry about, I say to myself, “What a perfect time to exercise your patience.”

Apply the phrase to frustrating moments as well, for example when your child has an accident or when you tend to write an annoying work email. Take a few breaths. Notice your surroundings. Have some perspective. And yes, practice your patience.

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