15 Proactive Habits That Will Lead to Huge Results in 2021
2020 has been a tough year. Everyone is starting to wind down.
If you want 2021 to be better, you will have to make it better yourself. You can prepare yourself for a calmer year ahead by taking control of everything within your power. You can build better life-changing habits.
William James once said, “All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits — practical, emotional, and intellectual — systematically organized for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the latter may be.” Make 2021 the year of better habits.
Here are a few simple but effective ways you can start the year better. They are opportunity areas you can explore to improve every area of your life. Or better still, simple but proactive habits you can build that will allow your end goals to manifest themselves.
In 2021, don’t bite off more than you can chew — Setting ambitious and unrealistic goals you can’t achieve is a great way to overwhelm yourself.
When we make tiny changes we can wire in positive behaviours over time. Within two months or so, a new behaviour can become automatic; a new habit that can be the start of a big change.
Make fewer assumptions — Forget 2020. In 2021, don’t assume things will get worse(that mindset puts you in an anxious mode all the time). Carry a different tone into the new year. Be open to new possibilities about life. Remain flexible and willing to adapt to thrive.
In a rapidly changing world, the ability to change your mind or adapt is an indispensable skill. If you don’t give yourself permission to change your mind, you cannot change anything in your life.
Hold yourself accountable — Take 100% responsibility for your actions and happiness. Life instantly improves when you focus on what you can control.
End your week holding a five-minute meeting with yourself and review what’s working and everything making you miserable. And do more of what works.
Structure each day and follow a meaningful routine — High achievers swear by routines. It’s the only way to get things done. Structure your day right, do more high-value tasks that deliver 80% of the results you want.
Don’t allow your expectations to run your life — Don’t take responsibility for things that have nothing to do with you. Plan and manage what is in your control, like what makes you happy and how you react to events and situations. Let go of how things “should be”, and focus on how things are.
Notice your small wins — Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Whatever you are pursuing may take a considerable amount of time. So enjoy your progress, notice but don’t dwell on your failures and take time to recognize what you are doing right.
Learn to completely switch off from work — Disengaging from work, email and your phone for at least an hour prior to bed can do wonders for your mind. It’s one of the best ways to take good breaks from work and recharge for the next day.
Build an evening routine that can help you wind down — Put some thought into activities in the evening that can help you rest better. You could read a great book, review your day in a journal, spend quality time with your family.
Take your sleep disorder seriously — If you’ve not been sleeping well, change your habits. Cut caffeine at midday. Dine a little earlier. Reduce the brightness on your tv, phone or iPad an hour or two before bed.
Plan breaks in between deep work sessions — So many of us are chained to our desks every day. Aim to get up every 45 minutes or so a habit. It will keep you you moving and refresh your brain.
Make any change one step at a time — Want to start writing? write 500 words instead of 1000. Want to build an active reading habit? Start with 2 pages every day. Want to lose weight? Eat from a smaller plate. Addicted to your phone? Leave it in another room. Want to get fit? Take the stairs.
“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped, says Charles Duhigg.
If you want to start a fitness habit, start small — 30 minutes intense exercise may not be sustainable. Start with 5 minutes stretches in the morning. Do 15 push-ups or 15 squats instead of 50. Climb some stairs, or do some lunges for 5 minutes. Every little bit really does help. It’s hard to make a big change at once. Small increments are helpful.
Sneak calming activities into your busy day — If you are busy and live by your calendar, put times in the schedule when you can focus on things that can help you take a break to calm your active mind. You could plan 10 minutes walks, 30 minutes reading or nap time to decompress.
Make time to read — Seriously. It’s one of the best things you can do for your brain. A stimulated mind = a stimulated life. Read great books that can help you to think in new ways.
Diversify your skill portfolio (before you need it). It’s important to ensure that you aren’t putting all of your eggs in one basket. Learning new and indispensable skills can improve your chances of work. Don’t allow everything to hinge on one skill. By all means, become a polymath.
Changing direction in 2021 will require developing better daily habits. Fulfilment and contentment are completely within your control. So, cultivate those habits that help you enjoy life to the fullest.