To be successful, you need to have successful habits. But if you're just starting your journey toward success, pinpointing where to begin may be difficult. Enticed by perfectly Photoshopped ads and the tangible hype of media, you impulsively build your habits around fleeting moments of inspiration. The fit model's physique compels you to work out, and the multi-millionaire's lavish mansion galvanizes you save.
Unfortunately, as the saying goes, what goes up must come down, and your initial excitement is quickly tempered by the sobering reality that damn, the discipline required for such lofty goals is too much; you'd really rather just laze around, eat ice cream, and stare at Facebook all day. You start to realize that it takes a lot more to be like that model or that wealthy man, and so you stop working on your habits.
While your plan to stop binge-watching your favorite series or to cut down your time on social media is great, it may not give you that much payoff in return for the energy required to form the habit. It's best to work on habits that improve our self-control. Let's refer to these as foundation, or anchor habits. They serve as the foundation of other habits and help foster their growth.
Here are the four things that you absolutely need to work on to help catapult your way to success:
Exercising regularly is an extremely important habit to have and should not be taken for granted or treated as optional. Any type of exercise, such as jogging, climbing the stairs or doing a 30-minute cardio workout, can help improve your overall health.
Exercise helps reduce anxiety, boost your immune system, improve your ability to manage stress and decrease your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. People who exercise tend to eat better and sleep better. People who eat better and sleep better have more energy and self-control, and in turn, get more things done. They're generally more successful than those who do not exercise.
Maintaining a healthy diet can help give you a boost of energy that helps you stay more focused and get things done. When you eat healthy food, you feel great (period).
It may be discouraging to pursue healthy dieting because many people associate it with weight loss which doesn't manifest right away, and while weight loss is a great effect of healthy eating, you should think more of how the habit fosters other habits.
If there's anything people need more of today, it's sleep. With this generation's technological advances and the plethora of distractions that comes with it, people lose out on sleep. In fact, getting enough sleep is better than exercise. Remember that time you slept late and woke up early to jog? Terrible, right?!
Sleep helps improve your memory, sharpens your attention, promotes weight loss, and lowers stress, among other things. Getting enough sleep helps kickstart your day and helps you get more things done and succeed in your endeavors!
You may not be aware of it, but your environment affects many things in your life. Having a clean and organized room allows for more self-control, and consequently, fosters the development of other habits. The simple act of fixing your bed can dramatically affect your mood and productivity throughout the day.
Start fixing your bed every morning starting tomorrow! It takes less than a minute to do it so you don't have an excuse for noncompliance. Keep in mind that accomplishing small tasks can boost your "self-efficacy" which allows you to accomplish more (bigger) tasks. You may think organizing your things (your closet, your table, your desktop, etc.) is trivial, but it greatly contributes in your success with habits formation.
If you want to start with just one habit and can't decide on one, try to reflect on which habit can give you the most payoff and work on that habit first. From my experience, I would highly recommend that you start with sleep. I promise that your life will improve instantly if you sleep earlier and rise earlier starting today. Once you've done this, the formation of other good habits will come to you naturally, and the next thing you know, you're living a life of massive productivity and success. Start today and succeed today!