What Are the Best Habits that Can Change My Life QUICKLY?
Oh, the lustful temptation of instant gratification.
This desire to have it all and have it right now… Well, the real world doesn’t work that way.
Define “quickly” first. If you meant anything below two months, that’s probably not going to happen, because it takes over two months, on average, to even develop a new habit.
And even if you have the habit established, changing one’s life in the effect takes loads of time. For example, let’s say you want to become a pro tennis player and you start training at tennis for 6 hours a day. How long will it take you to become a pro who can support himself from playing tennis? Half a year? Five years? I have no idea, but “years” seem more likely.
However, you are on the right path with this question. The most reliable way to change your life (anyone’s life in fact) is via developing relevant good habits.
I experienced quite a life transformation myself, and it took me only several short years. I turned from a common employee living a life of quiet desperation into a passionate author and serial online entrepreneur. I can think of five habits that can change your life and can do it relatively quick. I used them all myself and can attest to their effectiveness.
There are probably other habits. One that comes to my mind are regular hypnosis sessions, but I didn’t use them, so I won’t talk about them.
1. Change Your Social Environment.
In 2013 I took part in a 3-month online Transformational Contest organized by Early to Rise. In theory, we were there to compete for a few main prizes.
The expectation of the contest was that each member had to login once a day and provide an update about his progress. The social element was added practically as an afterthought. There were very strict rules about this obligatory logging in and updating, but practically no rules about social interactions.
In practice, we logged our individual progress and did plenty more: we cheered each other up, we supported each other, we exchanged advice and encouraged each other.
And we succeeded like no other bunch of people I’ve ever seen in my life.
Make no mistake, we weren’t superstars. Most of us were broken and had a difficult history. One of my friends struggled with brain damage after a car accident, another was practically bankrupt, yet another was coming out of an abusive relationship. I was at the beginning of my personal transformation and had virtually zero tangible accomplishments under my belt.
Yet, we succeeded. The contest lasted 90 days, but the fruits are still visible even today. At least four of my TC friends wrote and published their books, including the one with brain damage. A few pivoted into a different career; my friend who had just come out of an abusive relationship became a freelance writer. Some started new businesses. Many transformed their finances or health.
I’ve never seen a group of people make such rapid progress in my life. I worked for several organizations, I have been with my church community for 14 years. I saw individuals make rapid progress. I saw the constant progress of my church community brothers and sisters, but it was at a glacier-like pace. The Transformational Contest was the only time I saw the massive, rapid and lasting progress of many.
BTW, during that Contest I decided to write my first book and started writing less than a week after the Contest.
One more thing - I was interacting with other contestants for about an hour a day for three months; every single day. It was a habit. They became a significant part of my social environment. We all changed to a degree, because we tapped into Big Potential - cooperating with others instead of competing.
2. Keep a Time Journal.
A time journal is just a journal in which you write all your activities and how much time they take. The more specific you are about the kind of activity you’ve done and about the amount of time it took, the better it will work.
The minimum recommended by Jim Rohn is at least one entry in the time journal every 30 minutes. You can note time spans or mark the beginning and end of activities. Some schools of thought also suggest that you write down your moods and distractions.
Choose the method most suitable for you. If you always have your smartphone with you, there are plenty of time tracking apps to help you. Or you can simply use a pen and paper. Just pick your golden rule, whatever is most convenient for you and stick with it.
There are people, like successful serial entrepreneur Rich Schefren of Strategic Profits, who ingrain their version of the time journal into their everyday activities and it becomes second nature for them.
I recommend strict use of a detailed version (as presented in the fragment of my journal) for just two weeks. Repeat this exercise every few months to keep your level of awareness high.
3. Use Your Personal Mission Statement.
You need to first create one, and this process itself is enriching and worth habitualizing. It took me almost two months to hammer out my mission statement and I worked on it practically every day, bit by bit.
Here are the instructions on how to write your personal mission statement:
How to Write a Personal Mission Statement? — ExpandBeyondYourself
Once you have it, you need to use it. Refer to it every single day and let it act as your internal compass.
A huge part of personal mission statement creation is answering some deeply insightful questions about yourself and your life. I did that on paper and can hardly imagine doing it any other way.
Self-reflective journaling can change your life. You stop putting with bullshit in your mind and put your thoughts on paper. You cannot escape into excuses, writing clarifies your thought processes and you immediately recognize excuses for what they are.
“You will come to know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” — John 8:32
You become honest with yourself. And you have no other choice than take action. Once you call out your internal bullshit, you cannot live as nothing has happened.
However, to get quick results, you would have needed to journal in a compulsive way, like dozen times a day for 10 minutes, reflecting about this or that goal, fear, excuse, ambition or anxiety.
Journaling is very powerful, but it is hardly speedy.
5. Gratitude Journaling.
Every morning write down three new things you are grateful for.
Gratitude rewires human brain into positivity. In the term of human lifespan it works really quickly. Using the above method researchers found that 30-day practice is enough to create a lasting habit.
Of course, there are slim chances your life will change in those first 30 days, but you WILL change and that’s all you need to change your life.
Practicing gratitude is a powerful life-changer:
“Gratitude rewires human brain into positivity.
When the brain is positive, every possible outcome we know how to test for raises dramatically.” — Shawn Achor
Rewiring your brain into positivity will improve everything in your life at once. Keep in mind that this is a tiny activity comparing to results. You can make 10–30% better everything in your life: relationships, bank account balance, fitness performance, grades at school, health, savings, cognitive abilities, performance at work - everything!
What is more, those improvements will happen “in background,” without your conscious attention. Because your brain will be positive you will make better everyday decisions and waste less time and energy on emotional drama.
All the methods I used either increase your self-awareness (time journal) or work on subconscious level (gratitude journal), so you don’t need your mental bandwidth to utilize them.
Some of them work on both levels. When you mingle with new people you both consciously interact with them and absorb their vocabulary, mindset and body language on the subconscious level.
This is how you (relatively) quickly change your life — you improve your self-awareness and you install subconscious routines that work to your advantage.
Originally published at www.quora.com.