Looking at successful people, we tend to assume that they are cut from a different cloth. But once you factor in incremental progress, the image becomes less fuzzy around the edges. Whoever you think they are, and however you think they got there, what truly defines them is a set of important habits.
If you are in your mid-twenties, let me cut you a lot of suspense – the quality of your life, and perhaps even the length of it, will greatly depend on the routines you’re about to adopt.
Results and consequences, no matter how small, tend to accumulate year after year, so you better set your trajectory straight. I use 30 in my title in order to illustrate the importance of getting a head start. The sooner you begin to pay attention, the better. But let me give you a reassuring tap on the shoulder as well – even if you are pass the age of 30, there is still a chance to turn everything around if you just commit to a set of healthy habits.
I’ll walk you through a list of behaviors, trying to sell you the idea of small but incremental progress. The goal is to put everything on autopilot, making sure that you won’t fall off the wagon.
Develop a morning routine
Routines, according to Professor Jordan Peterson from the University of Toronto, will keep you grounded and therefore sane. There are a lot of people who would vouch for the morning routine, and although most of them share a different idea when it comes to structure, they certainly agree on the importance of it as a habit.
The morning routine is the first labor contraction towards developing a successful life. It is one of the most important habits. But there are several boxes to check – first of all, you have to make your bed. This, according to Admiral William H. McRaven, will give you a sense of accomplishment, pride, and élan to move forward throughout the day and tackle different challenges.
Then have some time for yourself, whether it is with a cup of coffee or a freshly brewed tea, and write in your journal.
Eat a healthy breakfast
Often times, people start to invest in personal development without first tackling the chemistry. But you must know this – failure to eat a proper breakfast will inevitably lead to a slower metabolism, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, and lack of energy. The problems will accumulate over the long run.
I first stumbled across meditation after struggling with chronic OCD that I’ve been dragging along since my early childhood. Not knowing how to start was a big obstacle, and I had all of the usual stereotypes about the practice. But I’ve downloaded a couple of apps, and decided to persist with one of them. This changed my life forever.
Meditation will teach you how to disentangle from your negative thoughts and emotions, and this is one of the most important skills in life.
Exercise within your zone of comfort
I’m the co-founder of a holistic fitness platform, but I’m not here to repeat popular mantras. Forget about pushing hard, and going beyond your limits – steady progress will outrank ambitious routines nine ways to Sunday. The key is to make it enjoyable, bearable, and part of your daily routine.
And you don’t have to work your butt off, trust me – even the benefits of Zumba will make a lot of difference on the long run.
Forget about processed sugar
The occasional cake won’t be a problem. However, habitual consumption of sugar and overly refined carbs, will definitely come at a price. Problems will manifest even before you reach your senior years. Unfortunately, in real life, ominous music rarely plays before things suddenly fall apart. Sugar consumption will bring about a garden variety of problems. Make sure to eliminate it from your diet as soon as you can.
Read at least one book per month
We always schedule reading for sometimes next week. But time goes by, and all of the sudden we cannot remember the last title that we’ve red. If you are generally unsure where to start, here is a long list of books recommended by author Tim Ferriss, as he tries to catalogue the pieces of writing that influenced billionaires and some of the most interesting people in the world.
If however, you are not quite comfortable with reading, you can start with audio books or even podcasts. You need something in the long form that makes you think.
Slavko Desik is the editor in chief at Lifestyle Updated, and the co-creator of a very popular fitness platform. He loves to write about personal development, exercise, and a more holistic approach to physical and mental health.