10 Powerful Habits For a Life of Well-Being And Joy
Developing positive beliefs and behaviors will transform your life.
Posted June 9, 2017
Because our culture places such a high priority on productivity and external success, it’s easy to get caught up in that world—believing that if you continue a fast-paced routine and work relentlessly at achieving your goals, you’ll experience a life of joy and well-being at some point in the future
Meanwhile, your daily life is filled with endless stress and ‘things to do’. Perhaps you feel anxiety, a sense of isolation and a deep frustration with yourself and what your life has become.
If you’re one of the lucky ones, you come to grips with the emptiness you feel inside and ask yourself: "Is this all there is to life?"
The answer to that question is a big ‘NO’.
Throughout my decades of experimenting and making my share of mistakes, I’ve discovered and put into place what I call ‘non-negotiable’ habits that have enabled me to experience a life filled with joy, well-being and productivity.
The key is shifting your mindset, prioritizing what really matters to you and taking action.
Here are 10 powerful habits that will transform your life.
1. Commit to a healthy lifestyle.
Although our culture talks a lot about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, the majority of us are still leading stressful lives. Along with that, our rates of obesity are higher than ever: we are overeating and are undernourished.
Did you know that 95% of all diseases are related to our lifestyle choices? This statistic may shock you into realizing that good nutrition, exercise, de-stressing, relationships and learning are the pillars of healthy living.The best news of all is that once you integrate these elements into your daily life, you’ll be in awe of how much more productive, positive and healthy you feel—and experience a profound sense of well-being.
2. Make yourself your top priority.
You’ve spent a lifetime taking care of other people and things in your life, rather than tending to yourself. No more! Each week, schedule in time for exercising, grocery shopping, meal preparation, personal time to explore and time to be with friends and family. Remember that practicing self-care is not selfish. It’s a necessity if you want to lead a rich and joyful life.
3. Replace automatic negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
Most of us spend a lot of time questioning if we’re good enough, smart enough and capable enough. As soon as you hear your inner critical voice being judgmental, replace it with the phrase: “I am enough” or “I am the artist of my life.” Dozens of my clients have tried this technique with astounding results. They report back to me that they feel like a weight has been lifted off of their shoulders and that their self-image has dramatically improved. And from using this strategy myself for close to a decade, I can vouch for its effectiveness.
4. Develop a circle of friends, family and colleagues that are positive, supportive and loving.
How often have you spent time with a friend or colleague who is negative, judgmental or an energy vampire? Stop making excuses for keeping toxic people around you. Anyone who consistently is not loving and supportive needs to be deleted from your life or minimally kept at a distance. Remember, your 5 closest friends are a mirror of what you truly think of yourself. Make sure that they embody attributes and values you cherish.
5. Commit to a daily gratitude practice.
It takes less than five minutes to integrate a gratitude practice into your daily life. I love sitting in the morning with a notebook and taking stock of what I’m grateful for. Whatever comes to my mind, I write down in a quick list format. The key to getting the most bang for your buck from this exercise is to allow yourself to experience the feeling of gratitude. For example, if you’re truly grateful for the delicious cup of fresh morning coffee you’re drinking, take a deep breath and ‘feel gratitude’ for that cup of coffee.
Believe it or not, just taking note of what a lot of folks might consider to be ‘small moments’ and feeling grateful for them can have a huge impact on your well-being.
6. Work on self-awareness.
Becoming familiar with your moods, motivations and deepest desires are critical if you want to live a meaningful, abundant and productive life. Rather than walking through your day mindlessly, check in with yourself every few hours and see what emotions you’re experiencing. If you have a strong negative reaction to something, take note and figure out why. Also, earmark when you’re feeling pleasure, fun, joy, spirituality and creative interludes: You’ll want to add more of these positive experiences into your life.
7. Take responsibility for your life.
Blaming external circumstances on not being happy with your life will keep you stuck, frustrated and angry. Catch your inner critical voice reflexively saying: “If only I…..” or blaming others when something isn’t going smoothly. Replace those voices with “I am responsible for my own life and I choose to create an extraordinary one.”
8. Maintain a beginner’s mind.
We live in a culture that places a high priority on expertise and productivity. If you want to live a rich and creative life, expose yourself to new endeavors—where you’ll obviously be a beginner. Even in an arena where you do have expertise, there’s always more to learn and do. So, let go of perfectionism and the need to be an expert and learn how to take on a beginner’s mindset. It will open up a plethora of possibilities for you.
9. Practice forgiveness.
Most folks are holding onto deep grudges and hurt inside—even when apologies have taken place. The inability to forgive others is usually a sign of not being able to forgive yourself. Catch your inner voice making critical or angry comments about others— knowing that what you’re feeling towards them is actually a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Just by noting your feelings and telling yourself to “Let it go”, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your feelings of anger and judgment towards yourself and others will dissipate. You’ll go from feeling hurt, isolated and stuck to experiencing a rush of positive energy, relief, love and compassion.
10. Stop caring what other people think of you.
We’re taught from the time we’re young to seek approval from others. If you’re someone who needs acceptance from others, it’s time to change that. Spending time on such a trivial activity will not only drain your energy but will keep you from getting to the best parts of yourself. When you catch yourself in a ‘self-doubt’ mode, call on your wise inner-self to remind you that you need only to please and receive approval from yourself and no one else.