If I reflect back on my life over the last four years, the one thing that has been the most positive change is the new habits that I have created. I have read hundreds of books on success now, and the one subject that consistently comes up amongst high achievers is habits.
To describe success in one sentence from my own experience would be that it’s a series of small, incremental habits each day that bring you closer to your goal and that you stick to no matter what. These habits are things that you usually learn from other people, and that’s why to discover them you must study success in some form, each day.
The good news for you is that on Addicted2Success we do this for you and put all the information in one place. The habits that each of you need are going to be different depending on your vision, although there are lots that seem to crossover amongst all fields of success.
When you form a new habit and get results from it, you get a real feeling of pleasure. For me, the one thing that has transformed my happiness is the habits that I now undertake each and every day. These habits make me feel good, calm, relaxed and knowledgeable in many different ways.
The seven habits that have transformed my happiness are below so enjoy!
1. Sign up for something crazy
The first habit I want to share with you is one I came up with and didn’t read anywhere. It’s the habit of just signing up for something crazy that is way out of your comfort zone. A recent example for me was joining Toastmasters, which is all about public speaking (something I need practice with).
Public speaking is one of the most feared things in the world, and I can do it sometimes, but other times I am hopeless at it. To be crazy, a leader I work with challenged me to sign up for Toastmasters. Rather than think about it, I emailed three different clubs and signed up.
My intention was that I could always back out, but if I just signed up it would get the process started and then I could think about it later. Once I signed up, I then took it a step further and didn’t think about it at all until I finally arrived on the night and participated.
Not allowing myself to think too much allowed me to go along and speak at the first night. I quickly realised that the whole Toastmaster concept is about small steps, and you can ease yourself into it. I still have a long way to go although I believe this could be the start of something amazing.
Stop thinking about everything and get out of your comfort zone it will really help your happiness!
2. Practice a gratitude exercise
In every interview, I have listened to on Addicted2Success the subject of gratitude comes up every time. I have to admit that I haven’t always participated in any form of gratitude, but now I do an exercise each day as part of my normal habits.
The exercise takes no more than 60 seconds and involves you going to your iPad (or notebook if you’re old school) and writing down three things that you are grateful for. You can select three things you are grateful for today or three things you are grateful for from any time you like.
After the first two weeks of doing this exercise, I thought to myself that I would eventually run out of thing to be grateful for. Guess what? I still haven’t run out of things, and now I actively go out trying to find the good in everything so I can come home and add it to my list.
“It’s amazing how the mind will conspire in your favour when you program it correctly – Tim Denning”
3. Read 15 minutes of a book
This habit is one that I have been doing for some years now although there were some days I would read for 12 hours and others where I wouldn’t read at all. I have now realised that it’s no the amount of time you read that has the greatest effect, it’s the consistency of reading.
I have a very long list of books that I suggest you all read, but I will save that for another blog post. The key is to try and read something that inspires you or promotes happiness. I find personal development books or autobiographies of amazing people to be the best.
Just 15 minutes a day of solid reading will help you to change your beliefs and keep you sharp. I have found great happiness from this habit, and it’s now something I am excited to do each day rather than something that I have to do.
The other benefit you will get from this habit is that you will see your vocabulary and speed of reading increase. I have also found that I have highlighted lots of parts in books (using Kindle), so my bank of references and quotes has exploded. Whenever I need to change into a happiness state, this bank is a great resource for me to do so.
4. Turn technology off once in a while
It may not seem like a habit, but turning technology off is actually a great challenge that I have discovered. At least once a week I turn off iPhones (yes I have two that are always on), iPads (yes I have two of those too) and computers (I have four of those, sad I know).
It’s very easy to become plugged into the internet all the time and to never be able to tune out. This can affect the relationships with the ones you love or give you a feeling that you are always answerable to someone.
“The moment you feel like you always need to check in with someone or something, is the moment that you become a slave to society – Tim Denning “
So from now on, once a week, get all of your technology, lock it in a wardrobe and turn it all off. Then get in your car and go somewhere amazing or explore a part of the world you have never been too. Once you return from your escape, go back to your technology and notice how you’re not so dependent on it and that the world didn’t end while you were away.
It’s amazing how the people around you find other ways to get things done when they can’t contact you!
5. Sleep on big decisions
Bet you haven’t read this habit a lot before. It’s one I use all the time, and it’s quite simple. Whenever you have to make a major decision in your life about anything, thrash it out with your network of contacts and friends, and then sleep on it and don’t take action for 24 hours.
The decisions I recommend doing this on are ones where there is no turning back. It’s not necessary for decisions like my Toastmasters example where you can always cancel. The reason this habit is so powerful is that sometimes we can make a decision based on a certain emotion or state.
When you sleep on something, you come back to it the next day with a fresh mind and a chance to see the situation differently. If the next day, I still feel the same way, it generally means that the decision I wanted to make the day before is the right one.
The happiness I have experienced from this habit has mainly been because it has stopped me making rash decisions that I might regret. Try this one for yourself!
6. Use social media to inspire
Rather than going on social media every day to showcase your life and make others feel jealous, try going on there with a fresh mindset. This habit has been a real eye-opener for me, and I have had so many benefits from it.
Instead of posting all the bad news or posting useless humour videos, try and put something up that can add value or inspire another person. You don’t have to sound all hippy or anything, maybe just try a quote that you love or post a photo of something in nature.
You could also have a look on Youtube and see if there is a video that could inspire others and then post it with a little comment about what you got from it. As time goes on you might want to create your own videos or posts that can help other people. For this habit to work you have to forget about what anyone might think
Yes, there will be people who you’re connected with on social media who may not have seen this side of you before but it exists in everyone, and we will all reveal it at some stage. Sometimes it just takes an event in our life to showcase our need to inspire or add value to others.
This small habit has completely transformed my life, and so many people contact me and share their stories or say thank you. I thought there would be some people that wouldn’t like what I was doing, but even the most negative people in my network appreciated it.
So, go on social media tonight, post something amazing, and then do this on a daily or weekly basis. Then, watch how much your happiness increases from this one small habit!
7. Say thank you to someone
Each day, try and remember to say thank you to at least one person. The key here is to make sure it’s warranted, and you mean it. There will always be someone that you speak with each day who has helped you with something or done something for you.
The best way is to tell the person face to face or ring them and tell them how grateful you are that they helped you. If those two options are not your style, then send them an email and just say thank you. Keep it short, keep it genuine and practice this habit daily.
Watch how many people rush to help you next time you’re in need and how happy this habit makes you feel!
If you think any of these habits are worthwhile, then share your opinions with me on my Facebook Page, Twitter or in the comments section below.