Self-realization is the key to self-transformation. So, as a part of my year-long self-improvement strategy in 2018, I have tried to identify and get the most out of my inherent abilities in the past few months. I am grateful that I realized this and was able to understand a different dimension of life, which is scientifically validated, but still beyond logic.
I found the following 10 small lifestyle changes quite effective in turning my life around:
1. Practice Gratitude When You Wake Up
Gratitude is a great means to keep going even if life gets tough. You may not have it all, but you do have something to be grateful for. Most people don’t even have the basics like a roof over their heads or food on their table. So, when you wake up, try to be grateful for the things you have. Make a list of the things you feel thankful about or start writing in a gratitude journal. While expressing gratitude at any point of the day is a good thing, there is no better time for it than early in the morning when your mind is fresh and calm.
2. Do Not Check Your Phone First Thing in the Morning
The first thing I did every morning was check my phone, just like 80% of smartphone users. Not anymore though, as I realized doing so did the worst kind of damage. The moment you check your phone, your mind starts thinking about the content you have just read. Thus, staying focused on the things that really matter becomes tough and your productivity decreases even before your day has begun. So, stay away from your phone in the morning.
3. Do Not Talk to Anyone for at least an Hour
Avoid talking to anyone for at least an hour every day. It’s a great way to reconnect with your inner self and heighten concentration. However, you need to start with small periods first. Try not talking for ten minutes initially and gradually work your way up. This period shouldn’t involve any dialogue, conversations (written or verbal), or gestures. So, pick a time when no one will disturb you.
“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn
4. Be with Yourself and Live in the Moment
The first hour after you wake up is the most energetic time of the day. So, it is the best time to be with yourself. Just sit quietly with your eyes closed and focus your complete attention on your breathing. Call it meditation if you like; I call it “Me-Time.” Try to live in the moment and keep your mind from wandering. It will improve your critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and concentration. With regular practice, you can also achieve peace of mind.
5. Do Everything with 10X the Involvement
When your body and mind are in sync, your productivity can reach its peak. One way to achieve this is to be mindful of your actions irrespective of how trivial they may seem. It’s called practicing mindfulness. Whatever it is you are doing, be there with 10X the involvement. Pay attention to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches around you and your inner senses.
6. Learn to Be Happy for No Reason
Contrary to popular belief, being happy for no reason is quite natural because happiness is a state of mind. If you are waiting for someone or something to make you happy, you are missing the point of life. Inherent happiness can last longer and lift your spirit instantly. This is why when you feel happy, you can enjoy even a cold and tasteless meal. Just be happy for 30 minutes every day for no reason.
7. Don’t Accumulate Random Content
We are what we read and experience. So, be very careful about the information you collect and the way it affects your routine. I found these useful:
- Choose Google over social media so that you search what you really need instead of coming across random content.
- Similarly, choose Netflix or YouTube instead of TV to watch what you like.
- Rather than listening to the radio, listen to podcasts to hear what you like.
- Stop reading newspapers and start following trending news on Twitter instead.
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
8. Uninstall Social Media Apps and Turn Off Phone Notifications
Deleting all social media apps from my phone and turning off notifications has been the smartest decision I have made so far this year. An average person spends nearly two hours on social media daily amounting to five years and four months of their lifetime. However, it also leads to overthinking. Plus, a constantly buzzing phone is a distraction. Your phone shouldn’t govern your life.
9. Learn Not to Complain
Life is a series of obstacles, however, complaining about your problems is rarely helpful. If anything, it is counterproductive. Unless you want to feel depressed, stressed, and alone, you should learn not to complain. It isn’t easy, but, if you spend just a day without complaining, you will realize how enriching your life can be. You will have more time to think about the things that genuinely matter.
10. Moving from “I Know” to “I Don’t Know”
Having an “I-know-everything” attitude means you don’t have the eagerness to learn and explore new possibilities. However, shifting your mindset to “I don’t know” opens up new opportunities to shape your life. I have learned that the later attitude is also a conversation starter. Every conversation can result in knowing something new or getting to know an interesting person. Sometimes, I pretend to know nothing just to strike a conversation. Usually, I end up learning something interesting anyway.
What are some new habits that you’ve picked up along the way? Comment below!
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