But ask those same people, "Are you taking consistent action each day to make that happen?" and you're going to get fewer yeses.
It's not due to laziness or negligence. It's because the idea of committing to something that grand sounds daunting and paints a picture of a massive undertaking.
Viewing change as only happening in large and radical steps is counterproductive. But an approach that yields higher percentages of success along with lowered stress levels is to embrace micro-habits. If you're looking to improve your health and productivity, here are seven tiny habits to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Become more selfish
One of the big things I notice when sitting down with clients for their initial consult with me is their lack of established boundaries.
Without boundaries, you can't show up as your best version because you haven't allowed yourself time to recharge and rest. Without boundaries, the world feels as if it's folding in and there isn't enough time to do anything. And this is where the neglecting of health starts, which lowers your energy levels and drains your productivity.
As you're attempting to establish boundaries and become more selfish, the most important task you can do is to make a list of value-adding activities in life versus life-draining habits. Which ones are inspiring and serve as a catalyst and which others are your anchors?
2. Start a journal
As you're pursuing your goals, it's easy to lose track and forget to acknowledge what you already have.
This is where the power of journaling comes into play, especially for those high-strung and stressed.
Using a journal provides huge dividends for your emotional well-being through increased gratitude. Research has found that gratitude provides many benefits to your well-being. For example:
- Keeping a gratitude journal on a weekly basis helps you exercise more regularly.
- Those who keep such journals also report higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and sleep duration and quality.
Start your mornings off by writing three things you're grateful for and end your night by writing down three things that happened during that day that you're grateful for.
3. Exercise for at least 30 minutes
When your body is set forth in motion, you're going to create emotions--often positive ones, due to the endorphins released. These endorphins increase your happiness, which sets you up for a better and more productive workday.
Besides these happy chemicals being released, exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which is going to sharpen your awareness (and hence boost your cognition).
4. Start a morning and night ritual
How you start and end the day is pivotal to your health and productivity.
Starting the morning with a simple but yet effective morning routine ensures that you approach the day from a more positive standpoint and with more focus. Having an effective night ritual not only helps with preparing for a great night's sleep, it also helps you recharge for the next day.
The actions you take with your night ritual are going to serve as your bridge to success the next day.
5. Identify three must-dos for the next day
Without awareness of the big dominoes that will move your business forward, you run the risk of being busy but not effective.
For clarity about what your big dominoes are, ask yourself "If I don't get anything else done tomorrow, what are the three biggest and most effective tasks that could move me closer to my goals?"
If the day goes awry but you get these three things done, then your day is a success.
6. Have one meaningful conversation per day
Between the daily rigors of building your business and other tasks that come up in your life, your meaningful conversations run the risk of being placed on autopilot.
Part of a fulfilling life is having meaningful connections, and this starts with having meaningful conversations. Have one a day and that is 365 for the year. It's impossible to not be a more rejuvenated and well-rounded individual after experiencing that many conversations.
7. Dedicate at least 30 minutes to a hobby or passion
Building a business while maintaining your health and other life responsibilities can consume you while erasing all your hobbies.
Experiencing this myself, I made sure to find hobbies that are outside my profession. This led me to start learning various Latin dances and a second language. When you have outside hobbies, you have opportunities to go outside your normal bubble of influence and gather new ideas to bring back to your work.