Little drops of ocean make a mighty ocean. – Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney
Isn’t it right? Little things, small efforts over time result in something big, magnificent.
What do you believe can bring positive changes in your life? Making one big gesture?
No, but something that we work on everyday can become substantial over time; small things that are done regularly.
We all wish to adopt good habits but not many manage to follow through, commit themselves.
Until we find a good reason to make a change, our efforts remain just efforts without a real drive.
Mostly it is something that hits us really hard that makes us change. That pushes us to introspect and understand that we better start now or it will be too late.
People tend to ignore their health when young and regret later. Smoking, alcoholism, unhealthy eating habits…
Whatever it is that you want to change, begin small. Even if it doesn’t feel like much, your fitness, your work, relationships will improve.
1. Sleep 7 to 8 Hours Each Night
A car engine heats up after several hours of driving. That is why it requires coolant and some downtime to work at its best capacity.
Our bodies are not much different either. Sleep is like downtime for our bodies. The heart rate slows down and cells repair themselves. Like an inbuilt self-repair mechanism.
Though we all are different and maybe a few of us are able to get by on 5 hours of sleep, most of us need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
2. Stretch Every Hour
Sitting for extended periods has become an unwanted necessity. At workplaces, at homes watching TV, we fail to give bodies the required activity, mental and physical. And the results show. We are becoming lazy, prone to getting distracted easily.
A small habit can help. Set a 1-hour reminder on your internet browser or phone. Stop when a notification pops up or a sound beeps.
You can do it sitting or standing up. Reach over your head, inhale deeply, touch your toes, and roll your shoulders. Easy..
3. Take a Little Pause Before You Respond
Don’t react, respond. We all have heard it so many times that we dismiss it as another impractical self-help tip. ‘I know, I know.. It is easier to say than practice’ is how we react (not respond!) when somebody says it to us.
But it is a habit that you should adopt, sooner than later.
Take a pause before you reply. It will help you weigh your words and response. In a charged up or stressful conversation, the tendency to snap at others is high. A 5-second pause can turn the situation around and keep you from ruining a relationship.
4. Turn Off Notifications for One Long Block of Time
Multi-tasking, the panacea for feeling ‘pressed for time’ everyday. One task here, another there, all being juggled simultaneously. And the feeling of gratification when tasks are complete. Or do we really give our best when switching from one task to another?
Our brains are not wired to switch from one task to another. Given the electronic devices’ dings, and dongs, beeps, and sounds, focusing is all the more difficult.
So rather than checking a message reminding you of insurance renewal that is still a month away while preparing an office presentation, do yourself a favor. Keep your phone away for some time, and mute all notifications on your PC or laptop. Focus on what is at hand.
5. Jot down Your Thoughts
Why do we feel lighter after talking with a person we are close to? Because we share what is on our mind and exchange meaningful ideas.
Similarly getting down our thoughts in a notebook is another way to talk but with ourselves. Don’t try to follow any kind of rules. It is supposed to flow freely. Dump everything that is on your mind. Let it all out.
You can also use a voice recorder and just talk. Unedited, uncensored. These activities have been shown to reduce anxiety and help clear your head.
6. Practice Solitude for a Few Minutes Each Day
Our minds are busy with thoughts and worries, living in the past, worrying about the future. And we often feel tired to the point of exhaustion due to stress.
Practicing solitude can be particularly helpful in building your life intentionally. Sit in a quiet place for an extended period of time. Start with 20 minutes. Now, you don’t have to close your eyes or sit cross-legged. But you are not supposed to do or say anything.
Solitude can help you reflect, relax, and become more creative.
7. Get Outside
Yeah, don’t have to go to the gym or do yoga or run till you have sweated half your body’s water.
A feeling of overwhelm grips us when we hear the word ‘exercise.’ ‘I am too tired by the time I reach home.’ ‘There are many responsibilities I need to take care of. Don’t get time to exercise.’
OK. I get that. That’s why I said – just go outside. Walk around, ride bike.. Just be outdoors.
You will feel better, happier, and you just might get inspired by people who are exercising their way to fitness.
8. Listen to Informative Podcasts
Are smartphones making us dumb? Or is it we who don’t know how to manage this overload of information?
No wonder that we are consuming so much information, useless as well as useful that we don’t know what to make of it. The real culprit is Social media and we are complicit too.
Podcasts are a great way to unwind without completely wasting your time watching TV or scrolling social media feeds.
You can listen during your commute or while cleaning your house or any other activity where you don’t have to focus completely. There is a whole world out there on podcasts. You just need to find what you like.
Building tiny habits is very much doable and the key is to keep taking small steps in the same direction. Try out these simple-to-follow tips and you will soon be a happier, healthier version of yourself.
Share with us changes and habits that have helped you improve your life.