If someone asked you today if you are your best self, would your answer be yes?
Here at 10 habits that will bring out the best in you:
- Wake Up Early
Okay, we’ve all heard this tip a lot, but there’s a definite reason for that. For one, our natural circadian rhythms – our internal clocks – are wired for an early rise, as our brains stop producing the sleep hormone melatonin as soon as we’re exposed to light. Essentially, we’re meant to wake when the sun comes up, and doing so sets your body into a more natural, productive rhythm.
Second, waking up early gives you a jump start on the day. It gives you more time to do what you need to before the work day begins, whether that be knocking out personal tasks, catching up on leftover assignments from the day before, or getting a workout in. Plus, once the day gets going, it can be difficult to pause and take moments for yourself.
Become an early riser and allow yourself some alone time or peaceful moments. Time is valuable, and waking up just a few hours earlier helps you make the absolute most of it.
- Start Each Day with a Mantra
An early rise gives us that kickstart to our days, but we also need to ensure we’re starting each day on a high note. To do this, choose a mantra, or a positive intention, for each morning.
Select one that will give you something to aspire to or that will motivate you throughout the day. The goal is to give yourself an instant boost in confidence and inspiration as soon as you wake. This will fuel you with positivity and intention, spiking those feel-good vibes that you can carry with you into the day. And if the hours start to drag or you start to lose motivation or positivity, you can refer back to the day’s mantra to reboot your inspiration.
Here are a few to spark that creativity and inspire your own daily mantras:
- I believe in me.
- I will live in the present moment today.
- I can achieve anything I set my mind to.
- I accept change, knowing that change brings opportunities.
- Today is going to be a great day, because I choose for it to be so.
- It’s okay not to be perfect. I’m doing my best, and that’s what matters.
- Take Movement Breaks
Our bodies need movement, and so do our minds. To be our best, we need to feel our best, both physically and mentally, and the brain fog and muscle aches that come sitting at a desk all day are far from that.
Pencil in 2-4 movement breaks each day to get the blood flowing! These breaks are your chance to refresh and reboot. They offer a change of pace (literally and figuratively), boost energy and offer opportunities to reconnect with yourself. Make these breaks even more beneficial and fun by taking them with a co-worker or a friend if you can.
- Shift Your Attitude During Stressful Situations
The happiest people aren’t necessarily living in the best situations, but they actively choose to find joy and positivity in their lives. Let your best self shine and do the same.
When the days get tough or you find yourself in a stressful situation, practice shifting your attitude to see the bright side of it. Pause in the moment and gather your feelings and thoughts, then adjust negative ones to positives.
Try listing out the good that can result from the situation and note how this moment will teach you a lesson or benefit you in the long run. Adopting the habit of small shifts in attitude creates a more positive mindset overtime.
- Lean on an Accountability Partner
Though independence is admirable and most times very needed, we all need to (and should!) lean on each other from time to time.
Plan ahead for the days when you may need that extra support and find an accountability partner. This person – whether it be a romantic partner, a friend, or a mentor – is your go-to for when you start to fall off track from your healthy habits and/or is the one you take on new habits with.
Let them support you: take your movement breaks with them, call them to vent, or simply spend time with them. Just make sure this person has your best interest in mind and that they brings you joy/relief instead of adding to the stress you may be experiencing.
- Write Down or Say Aloud Your Feelings
Get into the habit of sharing your feelings by either writing them down or saying them aloud.
You don’t necessarily have to speak them to another person; say them into a mirror or write them in a journal. Simply put your feelings out there into the universe so that you are actively acknowledging they exist and are valid.
This allows for a release of emotion and it prevents animosity and stress from building up and exploding down the road. It also helps you avoid emotional burnout, because let’s be honest, holding in feelings is incredibly exhausting. Give yourself the release you need and use it to connect more deeply with your emotions. We can learn a lot about ourselves by tuning into how we feel and what made us feel that specific way.
- Meal Prep
We’ve all fallen victim to the stress-eating, the lazy or pressed-for-time take out meals, and the mindless grabbing of candy bars, chips, etc. for an energy boost (that never lasts as long as we need it to).
A lot of times, our unhealthy choices are a result of healthier options not being readily available. Set yourself up for healthier eating habits and prep your meals ahead of time.
Make it so that healthy options ARE available when you need them and have fun with it! Start spending your Sundays prepping meals and snacks for the week, choosing healthy options and creative recipes that will satisfy your cravings when they ultimately hit.
- Have a Wind Down Routine
Our rest time is just as important as the time we spend being active, but “rest” involves more than just sleep. And for some, sleep isn’t easily achievable as it can be difficult to turn off the stresses from the day.
Give yourself some time to fully relax at the end of each day by adopting a wind down routine. Each night should involve a restful process that flows into your sleep.
Choose a time, preferably an hour or two before your bedtime, to start the wind down process. Shut off the laptop, put down your phone, and step away from the world’s stresses.
Then, embrace the chill. Perform a nighttime flow or pour yourself a hot cup of tea (or wine) and sit down with your loved ones for an episode of your favorite show. Follow up with your PM skincare route and write in your gratitude journal or read that next chapter of the thriller you’re obsessing over.
Whatever your routine looks like, make sure it’s as relaxing as can be.
- Recap the Happy Moments in Your Day
We’re all blessed with so much more than we realize, and we have so much to be grateful for. Toward the end of each day, take 5-10 minutes to recount all of your blessings, focusing on the happy moments of your day.
These moments may have been small and fleeting, or they may have been large, but either way, it’s the happy parts in life that make this world so special. Write down each moment you felt joy or peace, the moments of growth and learning, kind gestures given and received, funny messages and good conversations.
Take those 5-10 minutes to remind yourself just how good you have it. You deserve to end your day on the happiest note possible, so give yourself the chance to and let that happiness lead into tomorrow.
- Plan for Tomorrow
The best way to start a day is to have planned it out the night before. This allows you to enjoy your early morning hours and to set that time aside for your personal joy without stressing about what you may have to do that day.
You’ll already know what’s on your plate, allowing you to begin the day confidently and stress free. Make this habit part of your wind down routine, setting aside 15 minutes to plan out your tasks and schedule for the following day.
It also helps to leave a notepad on your bedside table and jot down any additional tasks that come to mind as you’re heading to bed, ensuring you don’t lose sleep worrying about forgetting these tasks. Then, set that note aside and out of sight for you to refer to in the morning.
The next day may not go exactly as planned, but at least you’ll have a structure in place so that if one thing needs to be pushed or adjusted, you’ll know exactly where this fits into your schedule. Life should be as stress-free as possible, so plan ahead and set yourself up for a good day, everyday.
Your best is right there inside you; give yourself what you need to thrive.