Note: This is a post I wrote a few months back but had taken it down. Here it is remastered:
We are constantly bombarded with advice on how to live a more productive and healthier lifestyle. We hear all about how we need to eat well, exercise and get a good night’s sleep.
But beyond these fundamental practices, there are other less popularized things you can do that will increase your quality of life, accelerate your personal growth and potentially unlock your life’s purpose.
Below is a list of daily habits that I’ve learned from the likes of Tim Ferriss, James Altucher, and Oprah. I’ve started implementing these habits over the last year and have experienced a better emotional state, a boost in productivity, and more resilience to overcome obstacles.
I hope that these ideas can have a similar impact for you and improve your life in some way. Whether you want to take your career to the next level or simply live a happier life, there’s something in this list for you.
5 Daily Habits to Unlock your Life’s Purpose
The practice of meditation can be a source of relaxation, clarity and even revelations. I started meditating about a year ago and have already experienced many positive changes in my life because of it. It’s allowed my brain to slow down from the everyday business of corporate life and helped me get in touch with my greater self.
If you’re willing to put aside the skepticism of a beginner and embrace meditation your days will be brighter and your life’s purpose may become clearer.
And luckily, in our digital world, getting started with meditation is easier than ever. You can simply find 20 minute guided meditations on YouTube or use the free Insight Timer app. I will warn you that it may take you several attempts to experience the benefits of meditation, but I urge you to stick with it because you will see your own results in time.
Keeping a daily journal can be a huge improvement in your life. It can help you reflect, problem solve and even come up with new ideas. It may seem funny at first to write down your thoughts, but after a while your journal will become your accountability partner and even part-time therapist.
Here’s my strategy: When I wake up I write in my journal for five minutes and create the following three lists:
- What’s bothering me
- What I’m grateful for
- Recent victories in my life
I’ve found that this strategy allows me to flush out all my negative thoughts at the beginning and then end on two positive notes that set the tone for my day. Feel free to try your own strategy and find what works best for you!
Affirmations are a powerful method of self-improvement where you trick your brain into believing that something in the future has already taken place. In essence, you can attract something into your life by convincing your subconscious that it’s already there.
Here’s what you do: come up with a goal, or better yet a dream, that you want to fulfill in the future. Write down one sentence that describes that specific goal. For example, you could write down: “I will make $100,000 from my business in 2017” or “I will pay off $50,000 worth of student loans by 2018.” Write this down 20 times a day for at least one month.
If your goal seems impossible, that’s a good thing! The idea is to make what we perceive to be unattainable, attainable. As you set out to reach your goal your mindset shift will help you persevere and overcome obstacles that otherwise you would be afraid to face.
4. Ten Ideas a Day
This is a new technique I picked up from personal development guru James Altucher. James argues that you need to treat your brain like a muscle. Too often in our day-to-day lives we allow our brains to enter autopilot mode. How often are you thinking critically in your daily life?
By coming up with 10 ideas a day you keep your brain “in shape” and can turn into an idea machine. I write down anything from business ideas to investing ideas, but feel free to get creative. As the days go by, your list will grow and after a year you’ll have 3,650 ideas! Out of these, a many will be garbage but there will be some that could change your life.
5. One REAL Connection
Your day-to-day life is probably filled with all types of conversation. You have small talk with co-workers, couch talk with roommates and several text groups going on all at once. But despite all of this conversation, how often are you truly connecting with people? How many connections are you having where both people are engaged at a deeper level?
I have made it a point to seek out one REAL connection a day. Whether it’s a stranger on the subway, a co-worker you usually just walk by in the hallways, or that long lost friend you can hit up over text, real connections surround us if we seek them out.
As one of my favorite bloggers, Jon Westenberg says, “you can measure the quality of your life by the quality of your interactions.” These types of deeper level talks will create a genuine connection and perhaps a new lifelong friend. I challenge you to aim for one real connection a day. You’ll see your social circle expand and your life light up.
These habits should give you a good stepping-stone to the life you’re seeking. And while each may seem challenging to incorporate into your daily life at first, just remember that eventually they will become almost second nature. For me, days now can’t go by without completing these routines.
I challenge you to take one of these proposed habits and try it every day over the next month (including weekends!). You will feel your life slowly start to shift in the direction you’ve wanted it to go in. You’ll start to find that happy moment, that new friend or that big idea. It’s all out there, you just have to put in the daily work to go and get it.