7 Power Habits That Will Improve Your Life Immediately

In today’s fast-paced culture, we are more time-constrained than ever before. We all know of things we should be doing, things that would give us the edge over not only our competition but also the current quality of our lives in general.

The following habits are designed to be things that can be implemented into even the busiest daily schedules relatively seamlessly. They will serve to optimise your efficiency and satisfaction with daily progress.

Mindful Meditation

When most of us hear the word meditation, we instantly conjure images of a stoic monk perched atop a mountain top, making odd noises in the distance. While this is certainly admirable, meditation today has made its way into the mainstream amongst everyday people like you and me.

The wonderful thing about this practice is that it is adaptable and can be taken advantage of wherever you are. Meditation is often ill-defined, made out to be time-consuming and overly spiritual when this is not the case.

All it takes is setting aside a modest amount of time in your day (this could be five minutes or an hour) to sit quietly, focus on your breathing, and let your thoughts flow through your mind.

You don’t judge them as they appear, good or bad; you just let them come and go. Many meditation guides are available to get you started; YouTube is a great place to check some of these out.

The benefits, you ask?

According to the American Psychological Association, implementing daily meditation into your schedule fosters a variety of benefits, including:
• Significant symptoms of depression
• Stress reduction
• Increased working memory
• Even a higher reported level of relationship satisfaction

Proper Hydration

So here’s the thing: we have all heard the spiel about how our bodies are 60% water and that we need to drink at least 8 cups of it daily. However, as with the other items on the long list of things we need to do but somehow expertly avoid, we are chronically dehydrated as a species.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reports that up to 75% of U.S. citizens are chronically dehydrated. It is common knowledge this is not conducive to living our best lives and achieving personal growth. Instead of the classic “water is good for you” phrase we’re all sick of, here are just a few benefits reported by the Australian Institute of Family Counseling that will jumpstart your journey to self-improvement:

• Improved mood
• Better concentration
• Increased oxygen delivery to the brain

Blue-Light Mitigation

Let’s face it; screens today dominate our world—desktop monitors, cell phones, billboard advertisement, and of course, televisions. I am not here to tell you to hide away in a cave and avoid screens at any costs. However, dialling back your screen time when the sun sets is an absolute game changer.

Without getting too far into the science of the light spectrum, digital screens emit a type of light known as blue light. This type of light decreases the body’s natural production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates circadian rhythm and allows us to sleep properly.

Planting your face into your cellphone or binge-watching Netflix right before bed is killing your sleeping habits, and imagine how negatively the effect can be on our mission of self-growth and improvement.

Besides keeping you up far too light, Harvard Medical School has found a correlation between increased blue light exposure and diabetes and obesity.

Efficient Scheduling

How many of us wake up every morning knowing we have a hectic day ahead and don’t even know where to start? Trying to manoeuvre throughout a busy life is futile without guidance or direction.

This is where the power of scheduling saves the day. Each night, take a second to make a tentative schedule for the following day. This can be done on your cellphone, as long as you don’t end up on Facebook and covering your face with the blue light, of course, or even the old-school way; in your handy-dandy planner.

With each to-do, give a timeframe for when to start the task and what time you plan on completing it. Don’t think you must obsessively list every detail of your day; include the essential items.

I promise you’ll be amazed at how much more efficient you become and will wonder why you now seemingly have increased hours in the day.

The Power Of Audiobooks

In most cases, household pieces of literature serve only to fill up space on the coffee table or make a bookshelf look esteemed and intellectual. We forget that leisurely reading is crucial to our growth as individuals. How could you possibly fit in time to read for the sake of reading when you are being pulled in a hundred different directions, you may ask? This is where audiobooks come into play.

These beautiful creations allow you to pop in some headphones during your daily workout or even stream through your car during your daily commute while still allowing you to reap the benefits and the wealth of knowledge available via literature.

To emphasise the importance of daily reading, the Mayo Clinic states that, among other things, this practice serves to:

• Improve social skills
• Slow cognitive decline with age
• Improve sleep

Monitor Those Around You

The phrase, “you are the total of the five people you surround yourself with”, is more than a nice little term to add to your office desk. In the pursuit of optimising your life and improving yourself as a human being, avoiding toxic people is a must.

You know the people I’m referring to; the complainers, naggers, woe-is-me type of individuals who can singlehandedly dull the sunniest days.

WebMD suggests that avoiding toxic people can result in a vast reduction in stress levels and even fatigue. If you take anything from this habit, please remember that it is perfectly OKAY to cut certain people and situations out of your life.

Wake Up Earlier (Just A Little Bit!)

You might have read the bold print above and been immediately tempted to stop reading. However, hear me out. Think about most of the habits we have already discussed that are incredibly beneficial to your individual growth and improvements.

How many of these would become so much easier to implement if you gave yourself an extra thirty minutes in the morning before the family awakens and your cell phone buzzing uncontrollably?

For a few days, set that alarm back just a few ticks, and use this time to follow through on some of these habits. I doubt the minimal reduction in sleep will be a drop in the bucket compared to the benefits you will experience.