A lot of people stress over good and bad habits; specifically how to pick up the good ones and let go of the bad ones. It’s a known fact that picking up a habit, good or bad, takes a short time (some say 3 weeks, others less), but getting rid of it may take a lifetime. It takes discipline to get a habit going, and the same is needed to get rid of it. Often, we beat ourselves up for not being able to let go of the bad ones, and this affects our ability to even pick up the good habits.
Good habits are essential for a happy life, and the more good habits you pick up and stick to the more likely you are to be successful. Conventional wisdom has it that most of the things that you will learn in life will be picked up in class, but you can only learn so much. Most of life’s habits are learned outside the four walls, and it is never too late to start. As such, we have come up with the following list of habits that we feel each and every one of the earth’s inhabitants should make an effort to adopt, if they already haven’t. This isn’t the full comprehensive list, and you should feel free to add more of your own that have worked, or feel should be included.
Good habits are a must if you are to succeed in life, and will serve you regardless of age or gender. Let’s get to it, shall we?
1. Eating right
Yeah, we just had to start with this one. Well, for your body and mind to function at their optimal best, they need to right boosts to do so. And one of those boosts is a healthy diet. From a very young age we are taught the essentials of a healthy diet, and for good reason. See, we tend to carry on the habits we learn as kids on to our older selves, so if you start eating right at an early age, chances are you will adhere to a good diet in your 30s and 40s, for example. This isn’t to say you can’t start now. It is never too late.
2. Exercising more
It’s the truth, regular exercise puts you in a much better shape to take on life’s challenges, be they physical, emotional, or psychological. Exercising more is by far the most desired habit in the world, and regularly tops the list of New Year resolutions. But only a fraction of those who list it actually carry it on past the first few weeks or so. It’s easy to get why exercise is liked so much; because it is the great elixir of life. It is the keeper of youth, and giver of good health. Exercise plays an important role in many of life’s aspects, it is simply a habit worth keeping.
Yup, you read right (get it?). A large portion of mankind considers itself bright and intelligent, and know that reading is good for them … but why does the same proportion find it so difficult to sit down and read more than just the headlines. First of all, the hype behind reading and its benefits is accurate. Not only does consistent reading improve your ability to make decisions, think critically, and be creative, it also improves your memory and gives you more knowledge (knowledge is power, remember?) The key to being able to read consistently is to pick up books on topics you enjoy. Start small, gradually increasing the volume and time you allocate to reading.
4. Sleeping early
Someone once posited that every hour you sleep before midnight is equivalent to two hours after midnight. Right or not, we tend to believe them. Getting quality sleep is important, not only to your body but to your sanity. There has been a lot of debate as to how many hours constitute good sleep -some say between six and eight, others strictly eight; we’ll stay out of this one- but those who wake up to go to work/school/or any other worthy vocation will all agree on one thing; it feel pretty awesome to wake up in the morning and not feel like the effects of a sandbag hitting you have not gone away. Since a lot of the routine day work follows a timely schedule (say, 8 to 5), we can all agree that being in bed by midnight is the best way to go about this issue, regardless of what the ‘sleep experts’ will want to say.
5. Eating breakfast
Notice a trend here? We picked some of the debatable issues in society, for good reason. Now, eating breakfast has been subject to a lot of discussion, but let’s put this debate to rest (at least on our battle field!). You need breakfast, simple! It isn’t necessarily the most important meal of the day, nor should it be flashy, but all the research agrees on one thing; you have to eat something in the morning. Whether it’s a fruit or two (looking at you, bananas and apples), or a full five star sized breakfast, missing breakfast should not be an option. Breakfast will impact your day, so let it have a positive one on yours.
6. Saving money
We’ll spare you what the research and experts have to say on this, because it is pretty clear what the importance of saving money is. A lot of advice on years past centered on how you should save small bits at a time, with piggy banks getting a lot of attention. But we live in a more advanced world now, and saving like that may not be possible. Now, what you can do, instead, is automate your savings. Not only do you put something aside, but by automating your savings you are guaranteed a little something at the end of the saving period.
A few other good habits that deserve honorable mention: managing time well, respecting authority (a rap sheet might seem cool in younger years, but it will come back to bite you when trying to convince an employer you are worth the responsibility of a job), practicing good hygiene (brushing teeth, using a handkerchief, wearing clean clothes; good, clean impressions are everything people!), and an all-time favorite, being patient and persevering in the face of challenges. It takes patience and perseverance to succeed in life, and these two can be developed just like all other good habits.