Our habits define who we are and they’re responsible for our results. If we want to improve the quality of our results, it starts with developing new, empowering habits.
All of us have an internal drive and desire to be happy. Whether it’s in the work we do, the people we interact with, or how we choose to spend our time, we all want life to be fun, joyful and exciting. We also want to experience a sense of peace, which comes when we have less stress and don’t feel overwhelmed.
The bad news about habits is they can be hard to form because it requires us to do things consistently that we haven’t done previously. Most times, it’s easier to go back to what we were doing previously and not try to consistently do something new. Just think of New Year’s resolutions — most people will abandon them within the first month of setting them.
The good news is that with a little discipline and commitment, developing new habits will reap many benefits in the short and long term. Some of these benefits include:
- Feel a lot better mentally, emotionally and physically.
- Choose to do things that will enhance our daily experiences.
- Improve the quality of our relationships.
- Make better decisions.
- Experience more joy and happiness.
In recent years, an empowering and beneficial habit I have formed is doing a daily review of my day via a journalling process. This habit allows me to acknowledge any victories I’ve had each day and I rate how productive, confident and authentic I was that day.
It also allows me to reflect on what I learnt that day and what I could have done better, then I identify at least one thing I must get done the next day.
Adding journalling as a daily habit has allowed me to continually focus on becoming better at what I do and how I behave, which has helped me become more productive and disciplined.
10 Habits That Will Lead to a Happier Life
Here are ten habits to consider developing because once they become an integral part of how we operate, they’ll cause us to feel happier, experience more joy and have a much better outlook on life.
- Give out more appreciation than you have done before. Everyone wants to be appreciated. Just imagine everyone walking around with a sticker on their forehead that says, “Please appreciate me.” Appreciating others more often will generate a lot more happy thoughts and make us also feel good about ourselves.
- Smile more often. Even though we may go through difficult times, we always have things to be grateful for each day. Being grateful will cause us to pause and smile for the good things we have or the good things that are happening in our lives.
- Don’t get attached to what you want in the future. Attachment to things or outcomes can lead to unnecessary stress or frustration especially when things don’t happen in the time frame we expect them to. While it’s important to have a high intention for what we want in the future, we shouldn’t be attached to how and when it should happen. Just remember, “High intention, low attachment.”
- Stop judging yourself and others. When we judge others, we’re really judging an aspect within ourselves we’re not willing to acknowledge or have not accepted. If other people make choices or decisions we don’t agree with, it’s not for us to judge or treat them any differently. All we can do is support them the best way we can.
- Be more playful with those close to you. Happiness comes from new experiences and also enhancing experiences with those already in our lives. Doing funny or silly things such as pranks (that are not dangerous or demeaning) can be a good way to bring more joy into our lives.
- Listen more than you speak. As we’ve been given two ears and a mouth, we should practice listening more and speaking less. Giving someone our full attention when they’re speaking to us is the best way to develop the habit of becoming a better listener.
- Become comfortable being by yourself. We shouldn’t rely on others to entertain us or make us feel good about ourselves. A good test of how mentally strong we are is whether we are comfortable being on our own. If we’re not, there are things within us we should address. Chances are there are emotions from the past that haven’t been resolved.
- Allow yourself to forgive others and let go of resentments. Any time we hang onto resentments, we’re only making ourselves feel worse off because we’re generating thoughts which are causing us to feel that way. The ability to let go of anger, frustration, disappointment, ridicule, embarrassment, etc., is a highly valuable skill to have.
- Don’t make things worse than they really are. Often, when we’re not in a good frame of mind, we look at things worse than they really are rather than looking at them for exactly what they are. If we approach events or experiences with a view “it is what it is,” it’ll be much easier for us to accept things as they are, then do what’s necessary to get the outcomes we want.
- Surround yourself with people who will inspire and challenge you. One of our motivators in life is our desire to be better, do things better and have better things in life. When we’re around others who are doing well in all areas of life, we’ll naturally be inspired to make improvements in our lives. This is why being in inspiring environments will elevate our performance to a much higher level.
To experience a lot more excitement, joy, vibrancy and happiness in our lives, we must create habits that will allow us to generate those emotions consistently. If we do, we’ll have a much happier life.
If we don’t, we’ll experience what we’re currently experiencing, which may or may not be what we want. It’s our choice to create habits that will lead to more happiness in our lives.
Action Step: Focus on one habit per month. To make it stick, schedule time in your calendar every day or every week to focus on that habit until it becomes something you do automatically.
Question: What is another useful habit that will cause us to have a much happier life?