Do you think about happiness as an outcome or are you aware that happiness is actually a state of being? This happy state can be achieved through wise, healthy, positive habits that have an influence on our lives, our well-being and our minds. How to reach the happy state? You need to understand couple of facts:
You can learn and unlearn your habits
We are all born with a white canvas and we gather experiences and habits that are built through our family, friends, professional environment and our after work activities. As much as these habits can be taught we can also unlearn them. We repeat about 40% of our behavior almost daily, so if we change our habits, we change our lives.
Your habits can have a positive and negative influence on your life
You have a collection of repetitive actions that are making out who you are today. For example, a good habit could be brushing your teeth every day before going to bed. You developed this habit over the years and it has a positive influence on your health. There are other habits that are not that positive and destruct you from reaching your goal, for example eating fast food can lead you out of track of having a healthy figure. Think about one positive and one negative habit that you have in your life? How do they influence your happiness?
Happiness is the state of mind and not your goal
Being happy is not the outcome. Happiness is what we decide to be along the way. Outcomes may change and sometimes we might not have an influence on them. So creating happiness means building a series of habits that will make you feel good and powerful about yourself.
Setting a vision for your life will determine your happy habits everyday
People who have a vision and plan and execute on it are happier. Do you know where you are heading? Be clear on the things that are important to you. Think about a crisp vision of yourself in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years. Where would you like to be? Who Would you like to become?
Knowing what you want, what your priories are, will allow you to be clear about your goals. Having your goals defined will enable you setting the milestones you need to reach, and then defining your everyday habits that will bring you closer to your vision and dreams.
Create your vision: I want to run a marathon in 1 year Set up your milestone: I want to be able to run a half marathon in 6 months, for that I need to be able to run 10 km in 3 months. Form everyday habit: Eat healthy and run 5 times a week to achieve your goal.
Building a habit requires consequent work
Building a new habit today will bring you closer to your vision of your life in a certain period of time. Habits can help you work on what’s important to you in a long term. Don’t get demotivated. Stay persistent. You won’t see results immediately. But through a consequent work you will profit from your habits in the future. They say it takes 21 days for an activity to become a habit, probably true, if you think of very simple habit like drinking a glass of water after breakfast. Anything more complex doesn’t come that easy. The new studies show that it takes on average 66 days to develop a habit. A habit is something we do ‘automatically,’ which means it takes time to create it.
Regardless of what your vision is, here are some general great habits to introduce to your life today:
You don’t have time? Make a break every hour for 5 minutes and move a bit in your office. Here you can get some ideas how to stay fit in the office. Take a walk to a place where you have lunch instead of sitting and eating in front of your desk. After work get off one station earlier and walk that remaining distance home. Small exercises through out the day can make a difference.
Make sure you get enough of it. You will not only look but also feel better. How to improve the quality of your sleep? Avoid watching TV or any blue screens one hour before going to bed. Take a relaxing bath, read a book, chat with your partner or kids.
Make wise food choices
You don’t have to revolutionize your meals and turn your diet upside down at ones. Small improvements can help. Make sure you eat a big portion of vegetables everyday. Reduce alcohol and fast food intakes. Stop sweetening your coffee and tea. Choose dark bread instead of white. Eliminate processed food as much as possible. Stop eating when you feel first signs of satiated.
Control your expenses and savings
Write down what you spend your money on everyday. Eliminate items that you buy even, if you don’t need them or they don’t bring you any added value or happiness. Do you really need to buy a coffee in Starbucks every morning? You can have a coffee with your colleagues in the office as well. You will see how much money you can save and spend on something that will make you happy.
Some small steps to consider: avoid buying fruit and vegetables packed in plastic bags. Buy nuts and seeds per kilo. Be aware of type of packaging you are using. Bring your own bag to the shop. Don’t ask for a straw to your cocktail.
Go ahead and introduce one new positive habit to your life today to feel a difference tomorrow. Let us know which habits would you like to start with? We’d love to hear from you!