“A woman with long hair swings high on a swing near the ocean at sunset.” by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

7 simple habits that will have a huge impact on your life

“If you believe you can change — if you make it a habit — the change becomes real.” Charles Duhigg

I have always been interested in learning new things. I think that learning is the key to my development.

One of my favorite quotes is,

“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” –Hal Elrod

“ Your income, relationships, and success are determined by your learning.”

Most of the successful people in the world are lifelong learners, and one of the easiest ways to improve your life is by learning new skills.

Most successful people are voracious readers. They believe that reading is the key to their self-improvement, education, and success.

In fact, when Warren Buffett was asked about the key to his success he said,

“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

Bill Gates reads about 1 book a week.

Mark Cuban reads 3 hours a day.

Elon Musk learned to build rockets by reading books.

Reading is one habit that very successful people have in common. It is an easy habit to develop and will help you to improve your life almost immediately.

For most of my life, I didn’t see any value in keeping a journal. It seemed like a waste of time to write things in a book that I would never look at again.

As part of my homework for a course on happiness, I was required to keep a daily journal of three things that I was grateful for. I still didn’t see any value, but since it was required for the course I did it.

Then an interesting thing happened. I became more grateful, and I was happier.

“Gratitude journaling is a scientifically proven way to overcome several psychological challenges.”

He goes on to say,

“Journaling daily is the most potent and powerful keystone habit you can acquire. If done correctly, you will show up better in every area of your life — every area! Without question, journaling has by far been the number one factor to everything I’ve done well in my life.”

Journaling daily is one of the most important habits that you can develop if you want to improve your life.

We all know that we should be getting 8 hours of sleep every night. I personally try to get 8 hours of sleep, but it doesn’t always work that way.

I stay up late to hang out with family and friends, and then the dog wants to go out at 5 am. Or, I attend a late night event when I need to be somewhere at 6 am. Even when I try, I can’t always get 8 hours of sleep.

Sometimes I wonder if I really do need 8 hours of sleep.

According to Nayana Ambardekar, MD, adults require 7–8 hours of sleep nightly, and not getting enough sleep takes a toll on every aspect of your life.

“Research links sleep deprivation to car accidents, relationship troubles, poor job performance, job-related injuries, memory problems, and mood disorders. Recent studies also suggest sleep disorders may contribute to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.” — Nayana Ambardekar, MD

Experts tell us that getting as little as one extra hour of sleep a night will improve your memory, boost your productivity, and reduce your chance of illness.

One extra hour of sleep CAN make a huge difference in your life. So, if you want to improve your life, make sure that you are getting enough sleep.

I have a confession to make. I am a morning person. While I don’t get up at 4:30, make my bed (because my wife is usually still in it), and take a cold shower, I am usually up before sunrise.

I find that having the first couple hours of the day to myself helps me get my day started right.

For me, mornings are the most productive time of day. I am more mentally alert after a cup of coffee, and there are fewer distractions than there are later in the day. Getting up early also allows me to see the sunrise.

“People who wake late miss one of the greatest feats of nature, repeated in full stereovision each and every day — the rise of the sun.”

Waking up early allows you to take advantage of the most productive time of the day. Using it to your advantage can help you to improve your life.

I am not the world’s healthiest eater. Unfortunately, after a serious health scare, I decided that I needed to eat more healthy foods.

It is not easy to change your diet. I have been eating poorly for years and I love pizza, burgers, and fries. Unfortunately, these foods are not healthy. I have tried many diets over the years, and some of them resulted in short-term weight loss, and most of them were not healthy for the long-term.

Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that strict, rule-based diets don’t work.

What I ended up with is a blend of the diets I tried. I am now trying to eat a more balanced diet with more unprocessed foods, lean meats, fish, whole grains, and olive oil. I also drink at least 100 ounces of water a day. Without a balanced diet, you will not be able to transform your mind or your body.

Without a healthy body, you are nothing. No matter what is going on in your life, you need to put your health first. Without the proper fuel, your body can’t operate at peak performance. If you want to improve your life, start eating healthy foods.

I try to walk every day. Initially, my goal was 10,000 steps a day. There’s nothing magical about 10,000 steps, it’s just a nice round number to shoot for.

An interesting fact is that that the 10,000 number originally appeared in the 1960s when a Japanese company started selling pedometers called manpo-key, which literally translates to “10,000-step meter.”

Since then, studies have shown people who take 10,000 steps have lower blood pressure, more stable glucose levels, and better moods.

Walking 10,000 steps a day was a great goal for me. It might not be the right goal for you. What is important is that you get moving.

Any movement beyond what you are doing today can and will improve your life.

If you want to live a more fulfilling life and dramatically increase your happiness, check out my checklist.

(P.S. I have included some Amazon affiliate links to help defray the ridiculous high cost of my daughters education)

Originally published at theascent.pub