A few years ago, I wasn’t the person I wanted to be…
I was prioritizing the wrong things, focused on accomplishments and not growing as a person. I began my own path of personal development that would help me become the person I was capable of being.
And what have I received in the last couple of years?
More fulfilling work and closer relationships, but more than anything else, a better relationship with myself. I’m becoming internally the person I want to be so that I can create positive change in my life and achieve my dreams.
This has taken quite a bit of work.
I’ve taken on daily personal development habits that have helped me become an entirely new person. These daily habits have been game-changers for me.
Not only have I experienced profound inner growth and peace, I’ve started seeing dramatic improvements in all areas of my life.
These habits will do the same for you.
Here are 12 daily habits that will help you become the person you want to be.
1. The Art of Silence
For much of our days, we focus on the external. When we’re not speaking to someone or working on something, we are stuck perpetually on our smart (dumb) phones, checking in with other people, browsing Facebook and loving our neighbor’s Instagram updates.
To focus on yourself, you have to put all this aside for at least a few minutes a day.
To create daily quiet time, commit to practicing silence for a few minutes. If you can’t keep quiet and refrain from doing anything for a few minutes, try other practices, like meditation or prayer.
You can also take a walk – even better, a walk in nature to help you disengage from the outside world. Whatever you do, don’t take your cell phone with you. You’ll live without your iPhone!
2. The Art of Exercise
Exercise can be a life-changing personal development habit.
I remember Scott Dinsmore writing about the powerful habit of being fit a couple of years back. He mentioned that staying fit was the habit of Richard Branson and so many other top performers in the world, from the President of the United States (Barack Obama) to the world’s top bloggers (Chris Guillebau and Leo Babauta).
If exercise was having such an impact on all of them, there must be something to it. As Scott pointed out, “The people who do well have pointed out that the more they respect their body, the more it will do for them.”
The secret to daily exercise is to pick something you enjoy doing, something that you will create time for and that you can start in small increments.
It doesn’t have to be something like training for a marathon or becoming a yoga instructor. Do whatever you can, even if only for a few minutes a day. Walk, swim, jump rope, go for a jog – anything that brings physical movement to your life.
3. The Art Of Seeing The Future
Alright, you don’t have to become a psychic.
You can practice living in the future by assuming that what you want is already here.
When you set goals or have dreams, you must intend to achieve them and actively work on them. However, it’s also helpful if you can see your future in your mind.
Not just see it, but feel as though it has already happened. If your goal is to be a world-famous chef, start picturing yourself as a world-famous chef. Visit fancy kitchens, hob-knob with local chefs and spend hours in the kitchen honing your skills. Imagine yourself on television, stir-frying in world-famous hotels and giving autographs during your cook-book signings.
It’s not at all extreme to sit down in a bookstore and sign some books to give to your fans. (Of course, first purchase the books and try to be discreet so security doesn’t kick you out.)
See it in your mind. Feel it. Act it out. Make your dream a present reality.
4. The Art Of Affirmations
Underneath your mind is your subconscious mind, which you can’t see, touch or talk to.
It stays there, silently making its own decisions, developing its own beliefs and living its own life in a tropical paradise known as the inner self.
Your subconscious friend has a mind of her own. While you may think you’re in charge, you’re really not. She’s in charge.
And how do you influence this inner subconscious person who resides within?
No matter what anyone says and how silly it may seem, affirmations work.
When you repeat these inner self-help mantras, you are conditioning your subconscious mind. While your subconscious wants you to believe you’re a hopeless person without confidence and that you deserve a life of poverty, you can counter those inner thoughts with affirmations.
Here is an example of 35 affirmations you can use on the daily. One habit I’ve found effective is to write a couple of affirmations in places where you spend a good portion of your day. Doing this, you’ll receive continual reminders to repeat these affirmations.
5. The Art Of Blessings (Counting Them)
When you think about how good things are in your life, you can’t help but feel more positive, more inspired and more motivated.
But what if you think nothing is going well and you’re in complete despair?
Here’s the trick and it’s one you must try out in your life – counting your blessings.
I try to write 10 things I’m grateful for each day. Sometimes this list goes on toward the upward count of 30 to 40 things that I’m grateful for.
Incorporate a gratitude practice and see how your life changes. It just takes a couple minutes a day to consciously note everything that is going well for you and all the people who are being good to you.
And here’s another secret – the more you appreciate the good things that come your way, the more good things will come your way.
6. The Art Of Giving
Last year, on a daily basis, I tried to do something for someone that would improve his or her life.
It can be the smallest thing in the world that has the biggest impact – a compliment, a smile, leaving the door open or almost any little thing that brightens someone’s day.
If you’re in the service profession, take it one step further by going out of your way to help your customers a bit more. Take a little more interest in them. Show a little more compassion toward their problems or concerns.
By practicing the art of giving every day, you develop the habit of caring about others.
Other ways to give include volunteerism, service days, donations of money or time and more. Become a giving machine.
7. The Art Of Insight
You don’t need a therapist couch to learn more about yourself and gain additional insight into your life.
Sure, you can work with a life coach or talk with a friend to help you get mental and emotional clarity.
Or you can do it on your own. How?
And no, you don’t have to write for the masses in a blog.
Instead of publicly blogging, you can journal your thoughts, problems and life dilemmas. Ask yourself the questions you’re confused about and watch the answers magically appear in your writing.
You have the answers to your life.
8. The Art Of Growing Your Mind
Engage in a practice every day that grows your mind and your knowledge base.
Get inspired by reading, listening to audio-books, watching Ted talks or taking in other inspirational content.
By listening and watching motivational content, you can’t help but improve.
Don’t become a serial inspiration junkie, though. Don’t just soak in content and live your life the way you were living it previously.
What is the one thing you can take away from the book you read or the video you watched? Write it down and apply it to your life.
9. The Art Of Presence
It’s hard in today’s world to focus on the task at hand, but turn every situation into a game in which you’re focused only on the task in front of you.
It’s especially distracting to work online while checking Facebook and Instagram every two minutes.
One way I’ve found to stay focused is to have a piece of paper next to me. Every time I feel like I want to stop focusing on the task at hand, I write down a hash mark. I keep track of the number I’m creating. Being aware of how often I get distracted helps me stay focused on what’s in front of me.
Commit to focusing on one task at a time and especially on the task in front of you. You can’t do more when you multitask. You do more when you’re fully present with what you’re working on right now.
10. The Art Of Priorities
You can do this every day or the night before for less than five minutes a day.
Just five minutes of planning can drastically alter your life and your day.
In the earlier part of the day, determine what your day will look like. Do a little planning.
Note all your “must-do” activities and your “should-do” tasks. Determine which are important and which can wait.
Plan and prioritize your day for a few minutes every day and watch your life and career transform.
11. The Art Of Dining
Whoever said there was an art to dining?
You just stuff down as much junk food as you can or food that makes you feel good without a second thought.
The way to design the most productive and effective you is to be mindful of your food.
You can change your health, emotional well-being and mental well-being by changing your diet.
And the most efficient diet for your well-being is a plant-based diet that includes fruits and vegetables.
Also, reduce sweets, snacks and sugar. Cut down on fat, GMO food and processed food.
Consider eating less fried food and cutting down on high-calorie desserts. Less sugar-filled, high-calorie drinks and more water.
Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
12. The Art Of Down Time
Instead of planning every single minute of the day, schedule time off.
You don’t have to be busy and occupied every hour.
You need time to refocus, get re-energized, rest and relax. You need time for affirmations, visualization, relaxation and exercise.
Use your down time to complete the activities mentioned in this post.
Don’t wait until you have time to relax before you take time off. Downtime won’t just appear; you have to schedule it.
Develop healthy living and eating habits that put you in a state in which you’re ready to create a new life for yourself.
It’s the small consistent steps to improve your health and well-being that will help you achieve success.
Your greatest life begins with the small actions you take today.