Humans are creatures of habits. Habits transform our lives because we become what we repeatedly do, day after day. If you want to be achieve something in life, whether to become more mindful, to receive a promotion, to make a million dollars, to get better grades, etc, you can’t simply do something out of the blue and expect to achieve your goal the next day. Likewise, becoming an exceptional person takes a consistent effort, and you can only do that by creating good daily habits.
Without any future ado, let’s look at these forty daily habits to make you an exceptional person.
- Start your day early. If you have an early morning appointment, get up at least an hour before that.
- Bias towards action. When you’re stuck, when you’re given a new piece of information, or when you’re feeling dissatisfied being in your comfort zone, take an action, however small that action may be.
- Practice critical thinking. Don’t just take things on the surface value.
- Spend at least 15 mins reading about something that is related to your industry; a blog post, a few chapters of a book, a documentation, whatever it is.
- Set at least three micro goals a day and smash them. Examples of micro goals are sending an email, taking notes, or paying a bill.
- Review your schedule for the next two days.
- At the end of the day, before you clock off, make a mental note of at least one thing that you accomplished that day.
- Visualise your medium-term (3–5 years) goals.
- When making a decision, ask yourself if you will make the same decision in six months, a year and two years time. Then ask why or why not.
- Don’t be afraid to say no.
- Meditate for at least 15 mins.
- Dress well. Wear clothes that make you feel confident, even if you work from home.
- Think before you speak. Every time.
- When you catch yourself complaining, immediately stop and think about how you can take ownership of the situation and make it better.
- Disconnect from social media for a large part of your day. You’re not missing out on anything.
- Spend at least 10 mins thinking about something you have learnt the end of the day.
- Pay attention to the little voices in your head. What are they actually teaching you?
- Recognize it when something scares you.
- Don’t sweat at small stuff.
- Find simple pleasures in everyday life. For examples; feeling gentle breeze on your face, witnessing a beautiful sunset, catching up with a friend and having a cup of warm drink when it’s freezing outside.
- Smile. Good social habits are important because a lone wolf can’t succeed.
- Laugh. And make other laugh by sharing something witty, or telling a joke, where appropriate. Laughter creates a strong connection.
- Compliment someone on a job well done, however small.
- Express your gratitude, whether to your loved ones, your neighbour, your manager, your colleague or anyone else you encounter.
- Mind your personal hygiene. Fresh breath, clean hands and clean clothes, at the very least.
- Be kind.
- Listen more than talk. Remember that you have two ears and one mouth.
- Observe what’s happening around you. Be present in the moment.
- Keep your workplace tidy.
- Don’t gossip.
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day.
- Get out of building, get away from your desk for at least 30 mins during the day.
- Reduce your sugar intake and eat balanced food that makes your body feel good. Eg: less starch, processed foods, more greens and protein.
- Don’t skip meals because you’re too busy working.
- Have a healthy breakfast.
- Drink enough water.
- Do at least 20 mins of movement a day. Whether it’s taking a walk or going to a gym or playing your favourite sports, as long as you’re moving non-stop for 20 mins, you’re ticking this box.
- Do something for pleasure; be it watching videos online, reading a fiction book or listening to music.
- Schedule some quiet time at the end of the day, doing nothing.
- Manage your energy better than you manage your time. If you have time but no energy, you can’t perform well. On the other hand, if you don’t have time but you have the energy, you may be able to get more things done in less time.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”