Aug 27, 2021

Daily habits for everyone

In pursuit of self-development, I have tried many hacks to improve myself. Most were fads that I was into for a short time. I obnoxiously recommended them to other people as if they were an important part of my identity when, in fact, I was just trying them out. There was an immediate benefit that eventually faded before I dropped them completely.

But some habits have stood the test of time. Here are some things I have developed a habit of doing regularly (some of them daily) that I think I will continue to do and can benefit anyone. Perhaps some of these will be future fads but I don’t think so at the moment.

Read. I read a lot as a kid and stopped because it wasn’t cool to do so in middle school and high school. I also didn’t value it much in college or my early 20s. I listened to audiobooks and podcasts and thought reading was overrated. But for the past year, I have picked up reading again and it truly has been a joy. I think there is absolutely a place for audio learning but consuming information through text and being able to highlight important points feels like an important part of my day now.

Write. I wrote and published a daily journal for over 100 days. While I often dreaded doing it and have since reduced the frequency of it, I have to admit in retrospect that I reaped a lot of unexpected benefit. First of all, the habit of writing everyday has drastically improved my writing compared to what it used to be. Additionally, an unexpected side effect of writing more consistently is that my communication when speaking has also improved. The ability to communicate my ideas more clearly has made me much better off in every other aspect of my life.

Reflect. Admittedly, I have been skipping this one a bit recently but it is noticeably a necessary habit in my life for stable mental health. I meet weekly with a therapist but I’ve been thinking about cancelling it and instead opting for more self-reflection. Therapy just facilitates a conversation with yourself with the guidance of a professional. If you can have the discipline to set aside a decent chunk of time to sit with your thoughts without distractions (no music, podcasts, videos, reading, internet, etc.) then it will have the same benefit as seeing a therapist.

Exercise. Working out sucks when you’re not in shape. A few years ago, I was well over 200 pounds at only 5’8 and getting back into working out was dreadful. However now, I am happy to say that exercise feels great and I don’t ever want to go back to my out-of-shape self. Don’t take your body for granted. Move it while you still can.

None of these habits directly cover how one makes a living day-to-day but I think they all indirectly improve our health, wealth, and happiness and can be applied to anyone.