In this article we will talk about some habits successful people usually have in common – and that transformed my life.
A few years ago, I had my first heartbreak. I had parted ways with my partner, which made me feel like I couldn’t move on.
I was becoming a lazy, angry, self-centered person.
It took a toll on my mental and physical health. Procrastination had become my second nature.
Even leaving my bed in the morning felt like a big challenge. I used to lie there until late afternoon, wondering what I’d done for life to go so massively wrong.
One day, my best friend came to my place to discuss my situation. She was angry at me for letting life slip by so passively.
She shared a Buddhist quote that stuck with me:
“When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire…towards your success.”
She told me I had to stop blaming anyone for my situation and instead take action to overcome it.
I’m not sure what motivated me to finally take a step up.
Maybe it was her power of persuasion, or deep down, I knew I had to gain back control of my life up before some permanent damage is done. Or maybe both.
At that moment, I felt something changed within me. I promised her I wouldn’t let myself suffer anymore.
I gave myself 30 days to recover by developing successful habits to turn my life around 180 degrees.
So I started making a list of things I wanted to change in my daily routine, and that would have a positive impact on my productivity and mental health.
In the end, I came up with nine habits I had to develop to live a productive and positive life.
And those are the same habits most successful people tend to follow every day – or almost.
This post is all about those habits and how they helped me transform my life.
If you’re in a situation where you know you need to take active steps to make your life better, these habit might work for you as well.
I’m also going to share the exact process I followed during this self-improvement journey and the incredible results I achieved.
I’d be more than happy if they could help anyone looking for an opportunity to make their life better.
Change your mindset before following the habits of successful people
Before diving deep into the habits of successful people – that also transformed my life – I want you to keep a few things in mind.
- Develop life-transforming habits because you want to improve your life, not because you need validation from others.
- Don’t push yourself too hard if some habits won’t suit you. You can always try, experiment, and be creative with new habit formation in your journey.
- Some of the habits take time to show visible results. Be patient and trust the process. Feel free to go slow down and grow at your own pace.
- Lastly, I’m not professionally trained to give you any psychological advice. I’m just trying to share what worked for me. Your situation might differ from mine, so it’s okay to consult a therapist or counselor to seek help.
A detailed outline of my life-transforming, successful habits
I formulated nine habits according to my situation and things that I wanted to change in my life. It was challenging initially to practice each one of them.
With perseverance, I managed to make time for everything.
It became possible only because I was focused to become a better version of myself in all aspects of my life.
I was clear about my purpose, which kept me motivated to stick to the habits for at least 30 days.
After the first month, these habits became a part of my daily routine and helped me restart my life.
1. Choose Single-Tasking Over Multi-Tasking
After my breakup, I was constantly using my phone or laptop, either to watch a movie or scroll through random social media apps.
I used to juggle among multiple tabs in the background, even during phone calls.
I began my self-improvement quest by acknowledging that I must start focussing on one task at a time.
Researchers at the University of Sussex concluded that media-multitaskers have a poor attention span and are more prone to develop emotional problems like depression or anxiety.
Keeping this in mind, I consciously left my multi-tasking habit. Now, I don’t watch a movie while eating or scroll my phone mindlessly while working on something else.
It was a simple step, but it helped me become productive, efficient, and mindful about my actions.
2. Declutter Your Space
Decluttering and organizing a living space plays a vital role in maintaining peace and calm. Messy places impart a helpless feeling of being stressed and overwhelmed, confirms Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D.
I wasn’t aware of how messy my room had become during that stressful episode of my life. Most of the things like my laptop, clothes, water bottle, etc. remained scattered on my bed.
I had a chair full of the laundry pile, and sometimes dishes remain unwashed in the sink for more than a day.
I started tidying up, following the decluttering guru Marie Kondo and her KonMarie method.
It emphasizes that tidying up isn’t just about cleaning a house but also about becoming a better decision-maker and achieving your dreams.
Once I completed working on my space, the results were rewarding. I was able to feel a sense of satisfaction by opting for this smart decluttering method.
3. Make your Bed Every Morning
It sounds like a small act, but its effects are profound on your lifestyle. I was used to feeling defeated and underconfident, but this small step did wonders to improve my mood.
I discovered how making your bed first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Dr. Sarah Jarvis MBE also reviewed various mental benefits of making your bed.
She concluded that making your bed the first thing every morning helps uplift productivity and mood and ensures sleep quality.
It aids in leading a disciplined life that could do wonders for anyone.
Practicing this life-transforming habit was the easiest, but it gave me a motivational mindset amidst the chaos.
4. Start Reading Books
More than anything else, I wanted to destress and motivate myself at that point in my life. For that, I started reading non-fiction books. Biographies and self-help books became my equipment for mental workouts.
Books are the treasures of wisdom that helps expand your horizons. A team of researchers from the USA proved that reading books provides similar stress-relieving effects as humor and yoga.
I noticed I could sleep much better sleep after starting I consciously cultivated a daily reading habit.
I started reading a few pages during my morning hours while sipping coffee and during my bedtime.
Reading books, especially non-diction, has given me a better perspective to lead life in a more meaningful way.
My friends started telling me that I’ve developed better communication skills and a calm attitude.
Reading has made me a better listener too. It helps me respond to situations well with confidence.
5. Practice and Express Gratitude
Being grateful is one of the fundamental habits of transforming one’s life. Due to my reading habits, I came across Rhonda Byrne’s book- “The Magic”.
It introduced me to the concept of the Law of Attraction and the importance of expressing gratitude.
Earlier, due to my lower life state, I wasn’t appreciating anything in my life and was only focussed on what was missing.
It had made me a thoroughly dissatisfied person who complained a lot. With this book, I re-learned to express deep gratitude towards life to attract more abundance and positivity.
I didn’t just read the book but followed it practically. It asks you to write at least ten things in your life that you’re grateful for every day.
This simple act forces you to find positive things in your life instead of focusing on your miseries.
Michael Craig Muller, MD, Harvard Health Publishing- Senior editor, mentions that expressing gratitude makes one happier.
People feel positive emotions, build strong relationships, and maintain a healthy life state- physically, mentally, and spiritually.
6. Practice Journaling
I started journaling to introspect and track my daily growth. I started my day with an instructional to-do list to lead my day effortlessly and productively.
Later, in the evening, I translated my thoughts into words and recapitulated what I learned during the day.
This helped me get rid of overthinking and gain clarity of my emotions.
Sometimes, I used to scribble more than 5 pages in a day. And on some days, I simply wrote a line or two in the evening. But I didn’t feel guilty because I was doing this to relax my mind not to get sad.
A 2006 study revealed that journaling has a positive effect on psychological distress. Medical reviewers at the University of Rochester Medical Center also suggest journaling to improve mental and emotional well-being.
7. Develop a Morning Workout Routine
Working out in the morning has much more benefits than anyone could ever imagine. I never took a gym membership or joined a yoga class before this.
For me, exercising was only a means to stay in shape, and I never felt like working out in the first place.
I was unaware of the multiple benefits that a physical workout can leave on your body and mind.
And there is so much to explore, like yoga, Pilates, strength training, and cardio. You can choose according to your comfort and need.
I started with yogic exercises like Surya Namaskar and other basic poses.
Soon I subscribed to a YouTube channel- Yoga with Adriene, to take it to a different level. It enhanced my self-awareness and made me feel grounded.
The results were therapeutic for my life condition. Now, I feel happier, relaxed, and more comfortable with my body than ever before.
The benefits of yoga for improving health and quality of life are research-backed.
8. Keep Your Phone Away from the Bed
Using my phone had become an addiction for me. I used to wake up checking my phone, bombarded with hundreds of notifications and information I didn’t need.
Little did I know that my brain wasn’t getting proper time to digest all of it at once.
It made my situation even worse by leaving me frustrated by the day’s end. Before bedtime, I again used to dive into the vast world of social media.
Sub-consciously, I started comparing my life with others which made me feel lonely and miserable.
Various researches prove that social media comparison is directly proportional to developing social anxiety.
It also negatively affects the self-esteem of people. To protect myself from this toxic habit, I started limiting my time on social media.
I don’t take my phone to my bed anymore and kept it on silent mode at night. I don’t check my phone for at least the first 3 hours of my day.
This is one of the habits that enabled me to take control of my life. It was the most challenging one but has proved to be most rewarding too.
9. Make Time to Explore Nature
Spending time with nature is something that everyone should try, irrespective of their busy schedule or other commitments.
Going out to get in touch with nature helps you rejuvenate instantly.
During the most challenging time of my life, I spent most of my time in my bedroom without proper exposure to sunlight. It was one of my worst mistakes.
When I decided to take full responsibility for my actions in life, I added going out to spend time in nature among my productive habits.
I managed to wake up early in the morning to fit a 40 minute-walk into my schedule. It helped me warm up my body before working out and gave me a chance to appreciate the beauty of nature.
Aside from this, I started a small kitchen garden on my terrace. I spend time gardening and nurturing my plants and green leafy vegetables.
A study also concluded that exposure to nature leaves positive effects on the human brain. It reduces anxiety and makes one feel happier and optimistic.
Recommended read: How to Sleep Fast at Night: 10 Good Sleep Habits That Will Help You
Simple Habits of Successful People: Conclusion
At the end of 30 days, I observed tremendous changes in my overall perspective. These life-transforming habits have made me a self-reliant person.
I’ve also noticed a shift in my attitude towards challenges, and hence decided to keep practicing these habits for as long as I can.
I’m thrilled to see my journey from a victim mindset to becoming a problem-solver.
I’m deeply grateful that I stepped into these habits that transformed my life and personality in various aspects.
The best part is that I started excelling in my job and started working part-time as a freelancer on some exciting projects.
Some years later, my writing side hustle has become my full-time job, and I couldn’t have been more grateful.
While practicing these life-transforming habits, I’ve learned that humans are the most resilient beings.
We can achieve wonders with our determination, efforts, and little motivation. All we need to do is take that first step.
So, what step will you take today?