How many times in your life have you felt as if you were in a rut? I know I’ve experienced this many times throughout my life whether it’s in a relationship, a dead-end job or just periods where I feel fed up. I think that’s why I’m so interested in self-improvement habits. When I started this blog, I used it as a way to talk about my own mental health struggles but I quickly realised that the way I was starting to feel better about myself was by consistently doing the same things over and over again, essentially developing better habits.

Creating better habits gives you a sense of control when you’re stuck in a rut. You suddenly have things to aim for, even if they are small lifestyle shifts. For me, it became like a game – how often could I stick to my new habits to prove to myself I was capable of making a positive change in myself long-term? Even if you manage to make a routine of stretching for 10 minutes every morning, it’s a small win that compounds over time. Before you know it, you barely need to think about doing it anymore, you just do it through habit and because you enjoy it.

There will be a whole range of self-improvement habits out there that work for different people but in this post, I’ll go over some of the core self-improvement habits that have helped me to shape a better daily routine and hopefully, a better version of myself that I am proud of over time. If this sounds good to you, read on and maybe you’ll find a sprinkle of inspiration in your own life.

The aim of these habits is to be consistent, keeping them small yet powerful and above all else, sustainable for the long run.

Table of Contents

1. Get your food in check

2. Don’t waste your time with opinions

3. Be more strict with yourself

4. Be as patient as you can with others

5. Try and be active if you’re not

6. Allow the obstacles to be challenges

7. Keep on learning

1. Get your food in check

image: pixabay

Growing up I would shove anything and everything into my mouth because food simply tastes good, right? It took me a long time to realise that food isn’t just food. Foods are instructions for your body. When you eat certain things your body will use that food for a bunch of different processes or if you eat something else, your body will do something different with it. I could go on but I’m sure you get my point!

This is a difficult one to get in check because there’s so much food out there and some of the junk is cheaper to buy than the good stuff. There’s probably no one right diet out there as far as I can tell but there are certainly healthier foods than others. And when I look at food these days, I’m looking at it as potential nourishment, not just something to fill my stomach and give me that satisfied feeling.

Nutrition is a complex subject that isn’t fully understood. What I mean by that is, that every nutritionist I listen to seems to say something different to the next. All I do know is, that seeing food as nourishment seems to be working for me. Once I did this, I managed to lose a lot of weight and feel lighter and more awake. It seems food plays a vital role in not just your waistline but simply the way you feel most of the time. It makes sense that if you put good stuff in, you’ll probably feel better and less sluggish.

Getting your food right takes time but there’s plenty of resources out there to research.

Putting it into practice: Spend 10 minutes a day researching and then cooking healthy meals. Start with one of your daily meals like breakfast, for example, test each recipe to see which one you like and then begin adopting healthier meals throughout the entire day as you get used to this.

2. Don’t waste your time with opinions

image: pixabay

“Everything we hear is opinion not fact, everything we see is a perception, not the truth,”

Marcus Aurelius

It’s difficult to not get upset by the opinions of others, especially when you’re young and your reputation amongst your peers is one of the most important things to you. However, the opinions of others hold no real truth. Sure, you can be respectful and understand everyone will have an opinion but the truth is that opinions mean very little. You get to decide what you want to be, not others.

You could worry about what others think for 10 years or 100 years. What would have changed or been achieved by doing so?

This for me is one of the core self-improvement habits. Be empathetic with others but remember that what they say is an opinion, filtered through their own mind and likely formed by their own experiences.

If you don’t agree with someone’s opinion of you, respect it and choose to react kindly or not at all.

Putting it into practice: When someone gives you their opinion, respect them but ask yourself why they may hold such an opinion. Remind yourself that their advice is valuable but you can always choose to make your own mind up about something.

3. Be more strict with yourself

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

It seems, there’s really not too much in life that you can fully control, only your own actions and even that is hard sometimes. Perhaps the only thing you have absolute control over (if you choose to) is how you react to the world. However, you can still become more disciplined with yourself. When you binge on the rest of the birthday cake in the refrigerator at 11 pm at night it’s not willpower you need but discipline.

When you realise that you cannot control others’ actions or opinions, you also realise that you always have the opportunity to be more strict with yourself. You almost have to become a guiding parent figure looking over yourself, reminding yourself of the right things to do. You know you’re not going to have anyone make you do those 50 pushups in the morning, only you can make you do this.

Once you have done your 50 push-ups you realise it wasn’t that bad after all and you begin to think that it might just be possible and realistic to do this a few times during the week.

The world is constantly pulling at you but you have the opportunity every day to enforce your own rules on yourself.

For example, you can say; “I am going to do my 50 push-ups this morning because it’s just what I do,”

Leave no room for excuses and just get to work.

Putting it into practice: Choose just one thing to do every day that is going to have a positive impact on your mood and health. If you use the pushup example above, do 25 in the morning. If you can only do 5 at a time, try doing 5 x 5 sets. Assess how you feel and then try again tomorrow.

4. Be as patient as you can with others

Image by Deflyne Coppens from Pixabay

Whilst you have the choice of how you react to the world, I think it’s fair to say you cannot control how others react or act. In daily life, there are going to be people that test your patience and I’m sure you can probably think of one or two whilst you’re reading this!

It seems to me that being patient with others is a very important self-improvement habit. This is because there are simply so many people going through so many things at once and you’ll come into contact with people who are stressed a lot of the time. This for me is also especially important when people are angry or argumentative with you.

Because everyone has their own things going on, I think it’s important to practise patience, after all, they say patience is a virtue for a reason and it’s only recently that I’ve been able to fully digest this saying. Truth be told, it can be incredibly difficult to be patient with other people but at the same time, this means there are always opportunities to practise this virtue.

I now find myself trying to be more patient with people. I take a pause when someone is upset or angry and remind myself they are acting that way because of what they have been through in their life and the way the experiences they have had have shaped them.

It’s difficult. But it seems to be an important thing to do. It makes me feel less stressed when I unchain myself from their reactions and opinions.

Putting it into practice: When someone is upset or angry with you or someone else, take a pause and ask yourself if it is worth interjecting or if would it be best to allow them to calm down. Try to do this on a regular basis and you may find that you feel calmer and less affected by those around you.

5. Try and be active if you’re not

Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

It’s one of those things every health expert or health website advises. Sometimes this advice is so frequent that it can end up going over your head. Perhaps you’re not very active and think you’re not capable of doing something active because you’re so used to shying away from exercise. You might think that exercising is for vain people which is understandable when you look at Instagram for less than five seconds.

However, exercise seems to be very important for a number of reasons. In my own experience, exercise has a positive overall effect on my body and mind. Many people think that exercising is a way to lose weight or improve their fitness levels but I have found that it also has an important effect on my mental wellness too.

Now, I’m no scientist so I won’t go into the many reasons this is, but in my experience, exercise (and usually intense exercise) boosts my mood. There of course will be scientific reasons behind this but anecdotally, I feel much better when I have done some kind of exercise on a consistent basis and this is why I think exercise can be a (free) way to try and improve your mood. I would go as far as to say that exercise is a foundational self-improvement habit.

Another benefit I see with exercise is the of course physical self-improvement of the effects of exercise. When you start to fit your clothes better you realise that your hard work is paying off. You also might eventually find you can run for another 10 minutes without feeling puffed out. These little wins allow you to realise you are capable of more than you previously thought. In my view, exercise (whatever that looks like for you) gives you something to work on and goals to chase, all for free.

You can apply this discipline and goal-setting to other areas of your life.

Putting it into practice: Start doing some kind of movement once a week for 30 minutes. If you manage to do your session quite easily, add another session and then another. Keep it manageable and realistic and before you know it you’ll do this through habit.

6. Allow the obstacles to be challenges

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

It can be easy to see your challenges as brick walls collapsing on top of you, almost becoming suffocating. However, I believe a positive self-improvement habit would be to begin to understand that the obstacles in your way are things you can overcome, not things that hold you back, and the result on the other side is a stronger version of you.

Whenever I’ve overcome a challenge the feeling is always the same – I get a boost of self-confidence and reminder that if I try and do something with the right amount of effort I can normally achieve it. For many years I was very anxious and afraid to try new things or put my name in the hat. Sometimes I still feel that way. But more often than not, I push myself towards the obstacle in my way and try to think of a way to overcome it because I know the feeling on the other side is priceless.

This of course is not always easy to do. I think starting with small obstacles is a good place to start. Maybe that means going for a run for ten minutes once a week to begin with. Maybe it’s simply saying hello to someone you like each day before building the courage to start a conversation with them eventually.

I think that every time you overcome something you grow an inch taller so that’s why I think it has to be one of the core self-improvement habits to mention.

Putting it into practice: When something arises that bothers you, look how you can overcome it. Take one small step to start tackling it and then another and then another until you can begin to see over the mountain.

7. Keep on learning

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

When school was done I thought that was it. Sure, I’d learn new things as I navigated life but after sitting in classrooms for hours on end I had no intention of consciously learning. I wanted to only focus on what I wanted to do. Maybe that was because I didn’t enjoy being told what to learn as a child in a school setting. However, as the years have rolled on, I’ve realised that a core self-improvement habit is constant learning.

When you feel like you need a change in your life, learning something new can make the world open up again and making a habit of learning can be very stimulating. For example, I was never interested in science as a child. It was only in recent years that I found a new respect for subjects like physics. It wasn’t until I finally read about nutrition on a regular basis that I became obsessed with it.

The great thing is, that you can learn something new so easily these days with all the information you need at your fingertips. Perhaps you could learn about cooking, a martial art or even self-improvement. I think the whole practice of self-improvement is really about gaining new knowledge and then applying it to your own life. Learn from those who have come before you as most of what you’re trying to find out has already been done by someone else.

If you struggle with learning new things, you don’t have to go down the road of picking up a course. Instead, there are plenty of resources these days like YouTube that have thousands of detailed videos about all kinds of subjects.

This has been a core self-improvement for me personally. Every time I learn something new it’s like a lightbulb going off in my head and it’s also quite exciting.

Putting it into practice: Think about something that interests you, something you’ve always put off learning about. Go and have a look at books surrounding that subject or find a YouTube video about it and set aside 20 minutes to read or watch. Keep doing this a few times a week and you might find something that really captures your imagination.

The post 7 Core Self-improvement Habits To Get Out of A Rut appeared first on .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *