Have you been wanting to improve your life, but aren’t sure which steps to take to get there? Improving your life doesn’t have to look like making one radical change that will make everything better but rather it's the continued effort of the little things that make a difference overtime. It’s the habits we form and stick to that will improve our lives and increase our overall happiness.
You may be thinking, why should I only work to improve 1% everyday? Work to improve at least 1% everyday, because this way you will develop a habit and continue to improve little by little over time. If you make a huge improvement right away, you may become content with this since you achieved something so remarkable, and forget to find ways of improving day by day following this.
Avoid the temptation to rush into things and achieve success quickly. To achieve anything great will take you some time. Appreciate the process, and stay consistent.
Do you have some days where you feel like you can't see the improvement at all? You will experience these feelings, but just remember that when you look back over a longer period, the improvement will be evident. Once you hit your goal, continue the habit beyond this. Don't just simply stop.
For example, You've lost a certain amount of weight, or you've hit your target weight to lift. Why stop now? Challenge yourself even further and continue pushing yourself beyond your limits. This is how you will grow, and keep up your healthy lifestyle.
You will experience setbacks, but luckily if you follow the rule to improve 1% each day, you will only become 1% worse. You will easily be able to adjust and reevaluate where things went wrong and work from there.
How to Become More Self-Disciplined
So how are some people so disciplined? Does this stem from motivation and the continuous drive to improve oneself?
Many people assume that discipline and willpower go hand in hand, but this is actually further from the truth. Willpower is the ability to delay instant gratification, and control your emotions, actions, and short term impulses. We assume that those who are self-disciplined have an insane amount of willpower
Willpower works like a muscle in that once it is worked enough, it will become fatigued and need rest. This is why some people have amazing ideas to start diets, or get a gym membership, for example, and are super committed for the first week, only to realize they resort to their old patterns by the second or third week.
So how do people become more disciplined? Discipline comes down to our habits. Extremely self-disciplined people are so disciplined over time because they want to be, it's natural for them. It's natural for someone with the habit of waking up early to continue to wake up early. It's no longer difficult for them like it once was when they first started. The trick is to work hard for a few weeks/months on a habit you want to master, and before you know it that habit will come so easily to you, and you will be disciplined with it.
" You exercise because it feels good to exercise and you genuinely enjoy it. You love the benefits."
" You get down to work because your brain is ready for it. You enjoy being productive and getting things done."
You've trained yourself to do what it is that so many other people without that same habit may see as difficult and unattainable. So from the outside, it will appear that you are putting forth an insane amount of willpower each and everyday, but in reality you don't feel much at all, aside from the ability to stick to a habit consistently, each and everyday.
Small Ways to Improve Your Life
Develop A Consistent Morning and Night Routine
Over the past month or so, you may have come across many " 6am productive morning routines" or " morning routines to become that girl" on TikTok. While these morning routines are great to have if they align with what you want, many of us may not simply have the time or energy to create such detailed routines for ourselves. Developing a consistent, simple morning and nightly routine has the ability to increase our confidence, and boost our productivity for the day.
A morning routine can look as simple as waking up at the same time everyday, making yourself a healthy breakfast, and achieving one small task before you begin the rest of your day. For example, that one small task can be making your bed and tidying your workspace before you begin work.
Our brains are wired for routine, and they crave it. If you are able to achieve one small task every morning, you will set yourself up for success for the rest of the day since your brain will get into the zone of getting things done. I often like to combine this with any form of movement in the morning, whether it be getting a small workout in, stretching, or going for a short walk.
A nightly routine can often look very similar. Your nightly routine could include winding down, and achieving one small task before you head to sleep. A great example of this would be to write down 3 things you hope to accomplish for the following day the night before. By doing this, you are organizing your priorities and determining what is essential. I highly recommend combining this with an activity to wind down, such as reading a book for at least 10-15 mins. By reducing screen time, you are allowing yourself to wind down from the day, setting yourself up to have a better night's rest.
Make Time for a Social Life
This sounds like a given, right? As we get older, many of us find it harder to make the time for ourselves, let alone time to spend with our friends. Working takes up a majority of our time, and we also have so many other responsibilities that never seem to diminish. Like everything in life, we make time for what is most important to us. Aim to make at least 1-2 hours a week to get together with an old friend, or with a family member.
Or if you haven’t introduced yourself to the new hire at work, consider meeting up for lunch or coffee. You'll make a new friend at work, and even form another connection or two!
Maybe you're thinking, " Well the gym really isn't for me." And that's completely okay! Engage in any form of exercise, whether that be hitting the gym, a yoga class, or going for a small walk around the block. Just get outside and notice how much better you will feel. Walking as little as 10 minutes a day can significantly improve your mood, will increase your heart rate, boost metabolism, and decrease body fat over time. I challenge you to get moving for as little as 10-20 minutes a day to begin and experience the benefits for yourself.
Read Daily and Make Time to Learn Something New
All successful people we look up to have one thing in common, and that's that they make time each day for reading and learning. Reading for just 15-30 minutes a day can teach you something new, and lower anxiety. Learning keeps your mind and body in an active state, challenges you to think differently, and significantly contributes to your overall health and wellness.
Not only this, but learning will help you understand what makes you passionate and can help lead you towards your purpose. How will you ever get to know yourself if you don't try learning new things?
Pursue a Hobby or Project that Inspires You
I can't stress the importance of finding a hobby/project to work on that you are passionate about. By finding something to do that you love, this sparks more joy in your life, because you are spending your time the way you want to spend it. You'll feel better about your decisions and be more satisfied overall.
Many people may find it hard to pursue something they are passionate about outside of work, however, it's essential that you do. Finding a hobby that you enjoy regularly can help you get to know yourself in ways you wouldn’t otherwise know. It's a great way to give your mind a break, and get more creative outside of work. After all, we're not meant to be productive all of the time.
Prioritize Eating Healthy
You've probably heard multiple times that eating healthy keeps your mind and body active. Not only does it do that, but it affects your mind more than you may be aware. The foods that we eat determine how awake and focused we are on any given day. By focusing more on what it is you'd like to get done, your brain is able to learn and store new information.
Eating healthier guides our emotions in a more positive way. High quality foods such as blueberries, kale, salmon, or garlic are excellent choices to support the brain and body, and protect it from oxidative stress.
Be Kind to Others
"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind, the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind”- Henry James. This may sound like common sense, but oftentimes we forget to be kind to others when we are experiencing stress ourselves. We have a difficult time seeing past our own thoughts and struggles, expecting others to understand us.
But what if we went that extra step everyday to show kindness to another person? In this case, we would feel so much more connected, positive, and willing to get to know them and work with them. With so much pain and heartbreak going on in the world, it can be difficult to see past that, and we then feel the need to close ourselves off to others. However, it becomes a problem when everyone starts to do this. All it takes is one person being kind to another person, and the love and kindness will continue to spread! When we are kind to others…
We are kinder to ourselves
We make someone’s day often in ways we don’t understand
It makes the world a better place
Kindness is a strength
Kindness will come back our way
I hope these tips were valuable to you, and that you can start implementing them into your life today! Start with working on just one or two, and slowly incorporate more as it becomes easier. Which habits have you already implemented into your daily routine? Which habits would you like to start?
Another amazing way to improve your life is by getting into the habit of journaling. Journaling is an excellent way of releasing your thoughts, and getting to know yourself better. If you haven’t received yours yet, sign up for emails and your FREE Self Reflection Workbook will be yours! There are journal prompts for the day, month, and year, as well as a FREE Habit Tracker Included!