41 good habits to change your life—1 tiny step at a time 🔄👣

By Derek Wydra

If you're tired of endless scrolling, this one's for you. Here are 41 simple habits to help you feel better every day. Whether it's self-care, productivity tips, or healthy daily habits—we've got you covered. Let's make life better, one small step at a time!

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Ever found yourself stuck indoors on a lovely summer day, eyes glued to your phone, endlessly scrolling through 15-second videos for a quick dopamine hit because you’re procrastinating?

You’re not alone! We’ve all been there. According to research by RescueTime, people generally pick up their phone 58 times every day, spending about 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones every day.

And it’s not your fault! A study published in the journal “Behavioral Brain Research” found that the use of social media and receiving likes activates the same reward pathways in the brain as drugs or other addictive behaviors. This could explain why we keep coming back to our phones for those short dopamine hits.

(Some people could learn this fact before judging others to “just be disciplined” or “stop being lazy.”)

But here’s a thought: what if we could better, healthier habits to replace that addiction to scrolling? Not through sheer willpower—which doesn’t work—but using strategies backed by solid research and studies?

Imagine feeling a little more motivated and focused every day. Imagine feeling more positive and hopeful every morning. Imagine feeling like you’re moving towards becoming the person you want to be instead of like you’re wasting your life away.

We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

—Will Durant, philosopher

If you’re with me so far, then great! Below, you’ll find the ultimate list of 75 good habits to have, including many examples of positive habits to start today! First, let’s clear up a few details about habits…

What are good habits?

Simply put, good habits are behavior patterns that we often repeat without even thinking about it. With good habits like sleep, exercise, and reading, our lives can become more positive and productive, healthy and happy. Research from Duke University revealed that about 40% of our daily activities are just… habits!

Why are good habits important?

Good habits are like making daily deposits in the bank of your life. A little exercise here, some mindfulness there, and before you know it, you’ve set the foundation for a longer, healthier life. “The secret of your success is found in your daily routine,” wrote popular author Darren Hardy.

In the bestselling book Atomic Habits, James Clear goes further by saying “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.” Consider this: if you manage to improve by just 1% every day for a year, you wouldn’t just become 365% better by the end. Thanks to the magic of compounding, you’d actually improve by a staggering 3,778% over the year!

So before we dream of huge, life-changing overnight transformations, let’s remember this little secret: it’s the small habits, the baby steps, that can lead to massive shifts in our lives over time. Think of it like nurturing a tiny seed that grows into a massive tree. 🌱➡️🌳

The good life is … a direction, not a destination.

Carl Rogers, a groundbreaking figure in psychotherapy.

How to form good habits? A science-backed guide

Let’s explore some general rules for how to form new habits that stick, backed by recognized experts or solid scientific evidence:

  • 🔄 Hack your “habit loops.” At the heart of every habit, routine, or ritual that we have lies a simple psychological loop. Understanding this will help us strengthen good habits and break bad ones. This concept is the foundation of both “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg.
    1. Trigger. Something that causes us to begin the habit, often a visual cue. Imagine your phone buzzing—that’s a trigger.
    2. Routine. The behaviour that we do. You pick up your phone to check the new notification.
    3. Reward. A pleasant sensation, that serves to reinforce the behaviour in the future. You see someone liked your post—woohoo!
  • 🌱 Progress over perfection. Aim for small, sustainable changes, rather than fast, dramatic transformation. Begin with reading a page a night, and over time, you’ll find yourself reading chapters. A study by University College of London found it takes an average 66 days to form a new habit.
  • 🌟 Consistency is key. Consistency trumps motivation. That means showing up even when we don’t feel like it. Think of it like planting a tree; it won’t grow if you water it inconsistently. Dr. BJ Fogg, director of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford, emphasizes in his book “Tiny Habits” that even 30-second behaviors, repeated with daily consistency, can spark significant transformations over time.
  • 🔍 Try 7 to 30 day challenges. Experiment to find what works for you because everybody is built a little different. Challenge yourself to try a new habit for a limited time. If it doesn’t help, try something else. For example, while waking up at 5 am might work wonders for some, others thrive during evening hours. Science actually says people have different chronotypes, some are morning people while others are night owls.
  • Balance rest and activity. It’s actually counterproductive for us to keep pushing nonstop without giving ourselves time to recharge. Just as a car needs fuel (or electricity) to run, our bodies and minds require relaxation to function optimally. Research from the journal Sleep suggests that even a short 10-minute nap can boost our mental performance for the next 2 1/2 hours!

So buckle up, because we’re about to dive into 75 of these life-changing habits, each one a step towards a brighter, better you.

41 good habits to change your life—one tiny step at a time

1. Sleep 7-9 hours every night.

Sleep is critical for cognitive function, mood regulation, and overall health. 7-9 hours is the minimum recommend amount of sleep for adults from the National Sleep Foundation.

Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience at UC Berkeley, wrote in his book Why We Sleep, “Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer.”

Matthew Walker’s top 4 sleep tips include:

  1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each night.
  2. Avoid artificial light in the evening, especially blue LED lights.
  3. Decrease your body’s temperature by 1 degree celsius (about 2-3 Fahrenheit).
  4. Don’t lie awake in bed for more than 20 minutes. If you can’t sleep, go do something relaxing for a while, then return and try to sleep again.

2. Wake up at 5 am.

Did you know the majority of successful CEOs wake up early? According to INC magazine, nearly two-thirds of CEOs at fast-growing companies wake up by 6 am, and almost 90% wake up by 7 am!

One of my favourite business leaders of all time was Sam Walton. He grew Walmart from one small-town store into a massive retail empire with thousands of locations. How did he do it? Well, one important factor may be that he began every workday at a bright and early 4:30 am!

Four-thirty wouldn’t be all that unusual a time for me to get started down at the office. That early morning time is tremendously valuable: it’s uninterrupted time when I think and plan and sort things out.

—Sam Walton, Made in America (his autobiography)

However, the early bird schedule isn’t for everyone. Some people have a different “chronotype,” meaning they function best getting up later and working later. But if you’ve never woken up really early, it’s worth trying, isn’t it? Many self-help teachers swear this one habit alone can be life-changing, like Robin Sharma wrote a bestselling book all about this called The 5AM Club.

3. Make your bed first thing in the morning.

Starting your day with making your bed can make a surprisingly big difference, setting a positive and productive tone for the rest of your day. Over time, this simple shift could change the course of your life according to Admiral William H. McRaven, who spent 37 years as a Navy SEAL and eventually became Commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces. He wrote a book on leadership called “Make Your Bed” and he’s famous for saying…

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

—Admiral William H. McRaven, author of “Make Your Bed”

4. Follow a 1-hour morning routine.

Morning routines set the tone for the day. In his bestselling book The 5AM Club, author Robin Sharma puts it like this: “Take excellent care of the front end of your day, and the rest of your day will pretty much take care of itself. Own your morning. Elevate your life.”

Another popular book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod suggests a sequence of morning activities designed to start your day positively and productively:

  • Silence (meditation or prayer)
  • Affirmations (positive self-talk)
  • Visualization (imagining your goals as accomplished)
  • Exercise (physical activity to get energized)
  • Reading (self-improvement materials)
  • Scribing (journaling your thoughts and experiences).

5. Move your body at least 20 minutes each day.

Regular exercise can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and boost mental health. The Harvard Medical School says, “Over the long term, aerobic exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falls. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity.”

6. Read at least 1 page of a book daily.

We all know that we should be reading more, right? I know that my list of books that I want to read is so long… it could be a book itself! But who has time for reading these days? With everything else competing for our energy and attention: social media, streaming show, video games, etc.

The best way I know to begin reading more is to start with a tiny goal. Like reading 1 page per day. If you just read 1 page of a book daily, you’ll still be reading 2 books a year, which is more than most people! But the good news is, once you get this reading habit started, you’ll be reading more and more. Very soon, you’ll be reading whole chapters and growing your knowledge of the world.

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.

—Mark Twain

7. Drink 1 cup of green tea daily.

Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, green tea offers multiple health benefits. According to the National Cancer Institute, green tea’s polyphenols might help decrease tumor growth, protect against cell damage, and boost the immune system.

Why do people in Japan live longer and healthier than anywhere else? To answer this question, two writers visited the Island of Okinawa in Japan and interviewed over 100 elderly people. Then they wrote the book Ikigai to share what they learned.

One important key: Many Japanese people drink 3 cups of ‘sanpin-cha’ daily, which is a mix of green tea and jasmine flowers. Green tea contains many antioxidants which may fight aging.

Learn more in our summary of the book Ikigai

8. Draw clear boundaries between work and personal life.

Blurring the lines between work and personal life can lead to burnout and decreased quality of both. By setting strict boundaries, like deciding to stop work at a certain hour or not bringing work into family time or vacations, you ensure both areas of your life get the attention they deserve.

Productivity experts often refer to this as “avoiding the gray zone.” Essentially, when you’re working, give it your full 100%. When you’re resting or with loved ones, be present 100%. By doing this, you not only improve your efficiency but also the quality of your relaxation and relationships.

9. Nurture a growth mindset with positive self-talk.

The way we talk to ourselves matters. Instead of being our harshest critic, we can be our best supporter.

Carol Dweck, a well-known psychologist, found through her research that people with a “growth mindset” believe their abilities can develop over time. These individuals are more resilient, embrace challenges, and see failures as opportunities to grow.

  • So, the next time you catch yourself thinking, “I messed up,” try saying, “I learned something valuable today. There is no failure, only feedback I can use to learn from.”
  • Instead of thinking “I’m just not good at this,” why not ask, “What can I learn to get 5% better this week?”

10. Meditate 10 minutes daily.

Meditation can reduce anxiety and improve mental clarity. The Harvard Gazette cites research highlighting meditation’s ability to decrease anxiety and improve attention span, going as far as saying it “seems to change the brain in depressed patients.”

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

—Lao Tzu

11. Breathe deeply for 1-minute.

Breathing deeply into your lower belly (also called abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing) has many health benefits including:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Slowing heartbeat
  • Relaxing muscles

Most importantly, breathing deeply can evaporate stress and anxiety. Dr. Herbert Benson says deep breathing activates our body’s natural “relaxation response” which counters the “fight or flight” response that makes people feel stressed or anxious.

12. Eliminate added sugars from your diet.

By now, we all know sugar is bad for us, right? We don’t need to hear the same message again, that reducing our sugar intake will help us maintain a healthier weight and reduce our risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

The real problem is that sugar is now being added to almost everything! Even foods you would never expect, like yogurt, pasta sauce, and plain old bread. So make sure you check the nutrition chart whenever you’re buying something in a box, bottle, or package. Or best of all—eat more unprocessed whole foods.

13. Write down your top 3 priorities for tomorrow, today.

Research shows our ability to make good decisions becomes weaker throughout the day. It’s called decision fatigue. So if it is late in the day and you aren’t sure what you should be working on next, then you might automatically begin doing something unproductive or impulsive.

One way to stay focused on the work that matters for your future is to make your decisions the night before. Set tomorrow’s top 3 priorities, today. Keep this list somewhere always visible.

14. Drink 4-6 cups of water each day.

Many of us have heard of the idea that we should be drinking 8 cups of water per day. According to Harvard Health, most people need to drink 4-6 cups of plain water daily. However, this number can vary greatly depending on factors like: your level of physical activity, the outside temperature, your body size, age and sex. So it’s a good idea to listen to your body and drink more water when you feel thirsty.

Fill up a large bottle of water at the beginning of the day that contains 6 cups of water and finish it by the end of the day.

15. Improve your social skills with these two techniques

When we think about being good in social situations, it’s not just about talking, but often more about listening to others.

Two great techniques for this include:

  1. Active listening. As the FBI negotiation expert Chris Voss wrote, “People want to be understood and accepted.” That doesn’t mean agreeing with everything they say, but simply showing that you’re paying attention. He continues, “Keep your sole focus on the other person and what they have to say.”
  2. Open-ended questions. These question cannot be answered by a simple “yes” or “no,” but require a longer reply, encouraging the other person to share more. For example, instead of asking “Do you work in the city?” we can ask “Where do you work?” and follow up with “What do you like about it?”

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.

—Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

16. Enjoy one weekly “Digital Reset Day”

Unplugging can help your mental well-being. Is that really a surprise to any of us? I know that whenever I’ve spent hours in a day looking at high-stimulation content, like endless 10-second TikTok videos, by the end I just felt empty and depleted.

So, here’s a suggestion: one day per week without screens. Will it be boring? Sure. The idea is to be intentionally bored sometimes, which may feel awkward, but will help us focus on lower stimulation tasks like reading, creativity, or whatever you want.

A 2018 University of Pennsylvania study found that reducing social media use to 30 minutes a day resulted in a significant reduction in levels of anxiety, depression, loneliness, sleep problems, and FOMO. (…) Just being more mindful of your social media use can have beneficial effects on your mood and focus.

HelpGuide.org, “Social Media and Mental Health”

17. Eat a solid, protein-rich breakfast for sustained energy.

Protein helps you feel full, stabilizes blood sugar, and fuels energy. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a high-protein breakfast reduces hunger and calorie intake throughout the day, probably through controlling hormone levels such as ghrelin. (The study compared a normal-protein breakfast of cereal, compared to a high-protein breakfast that included eggs and beef.)

18. Use “chunking” to break down your large project into small baby steps.

It’s easier to tackle large projects when they’re split into bite-sized steps. A study from Psychological Science showed that people were more motivated to get started when they “planned in reverse,” first visualizing their end goal and then working backwards to determine the steps they would need to take to achieve it.

Begin with the end in mind.

—Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

19. Use sunscreen to protect your skin.

Regular sunscreen application reduces skin aging and skin cancer risk. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50%.

20. Stand up straight with good posture.

Good posture appears to boost confidence. A study from Health Psychology revealed that people with straight postures felt more enthusiastic, excited, and strong.

In the book 12 Rules for life by Jordan Peterson, Rule #1 is “Stand up straight with your shoulders back.” The famous Canadian psychologist says a good posture is really great for our mental well-being because it signals to ourselves and others our worth and self-respect. Our brain, in response, releases more serotonin, boosting our confidence. To support this point, he points to research involving lobsters, because humans share similar fundamental brain systems with other species, including lobsters.

“To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. (…) Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow…”

—Jordan Peterson, 12 Rules For Life

21. Journal before bed for self-reflection.

Journaling can provide clarity and reduce stress. Dr. James Pennebaker, a psychologist and researcher, has studied why expressive writing often leads to significant mental and physical healing.

22. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day.

As many of us are now aware, practicing daily gratitude can increase our well-being and happiness.

It’s a perfect add-on to your daily journalling habit. Or if you’re in the habit of prayer, that is also a good time to put emphasis on gratitude and praise.

An article from Mayo Clinic Health System writes, “Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood and immunity. Gratitude can decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease.”

23. Say daily positive affirmations to strengthen your resilience.

Positive affirmations, simple phrases we say to ourselves to spark self-change, can help redirect our mindset. By regularly reciting affirmations like “I am loved by family and friends,” “I am capable and independent,” or “I am deserving of happiness,” we rewire our brains to adopt these beliefs. Many self-help experts say the important thing is to say the affirmations with emotion, truly believing in the words you’re saying.

A study published in the journal “Psychological Science” revealed that self-affirmation activities could improve problem-solving under stress. How do they work? A different study published in the journal “Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience” found that self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-processing and valuation.

10 of the most powerful positive affirmations:

  1. “I am worthy of love, respect, and kindness.”
  2. “Every challenge I face is an opportunity for growth.”
  3. “I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.”
  4. “I believe in myself and trust my own wisdom.”
  5. “Today, I choose to be happy and embrace every moment.”
  6. “I am in charge of how I feel, and today I am choosing positivity.”
  7. “I am deserving of my dreams and work towards them every day.”
  8. “I am constantly growing and evolving into a better person.”
  9. “My potential to succeed is limitless.”
  10. “I am deserving of abundance in my life.”

24. Consume a 1/2 cup of cruciferous veggies daily.

This category of vegetables is packed with nutrients and includes broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy, etc. The National Cancer Institute notes that cruciferous veggies may be protective against cancers due to their sulforaphane content.

Dr. Michael Greger, in his popular nutrition book How Not to Die, wrote, “Beyond being a promising anticancer agent, sulforaphane may also help protect your brain and your eyesight, reduce nasal allergy inflammation, manage type 2 diabetes, and was recently found to successfully help treat autism.”

To maximize consumption of sulforaphane, Dr. Greger says we should either eat our cruciferous veggies raw, or chop them up 40 minutes before cooking. Why? Because sulforaphane is caused by a chemical reaction when the vegetable is chopped or chewed, if we cook before this reaction has taken place then we will get much less of that sulforaphane.

Read more in our summary of How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger

25. Rejuvenate with a weekly 2-hour “forest bath.”

Forest bathing, or “shinrin-yoku” in Japanese, is the practice of immersing oneself in nature and benefiting from the forest atmosphere.

A study published in the Japanese peer-reviewed journal “Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine” indicated that forest environments promote lower cortisol (stress hormone) concentrations, heart rate, and blood pressure compared to urban areas.

26. Quit pornography for a healthier dopamine balance.

Excessive consumption can lead to unrealistic expectations in relationships and potentially addictive behaviors. A study in the journal “Behavioral Science” found that compulsive sexual behavior, such as frequent internet pornography consumption, “shares similar basic mechanisms with substance addiction.”

To combat high-dopamine compulsive habits like pornography, video games, or cannabis use, consider a 30-day dopamine fast. Dr. Anna Lembke of Stanford’s Addiction Clinic often recommends this as a first step to her patients negatively affected by high-dopamine habits. The initial two weeks might be tough, filled with boredom and frustration, but by the end, you’ll gain clarity on the habit’s impact on your life. Later you can adjust your level of usage to achieve greater balance.

Learn more in our summary of Dopamine Nation by Dr. Anna Lembke

27. Challenge yourself with a cold shower.

Cold showers can boost alertness and enhance blood circulation. Wim Hof, known as the “Iceman”, champions the benefits of cold exposures for better immune function and mental well-being. A 2018 study on his methods has affirmed these potential advantages.

28. Schedule your day with time blocking.

Here’s time management 101. Set aside specific periods of the day for individual tasks. Simple, yet incredibly effective. Your productivity and focus will thank you. As an experiment, you can even try scheduling each minute of your day. Some people work best with that careful planning and structure, while others may find a more flexible approach works better.

Cal Newport, a computer science professor and productivity author, highly recommends this approach in his landmark book “Deep Work.” For any important work or learning, he advises us to set aside blocks of time for “deep work,” when we will be free to focus on one project without distractions or interruptions. He wrote, “To learn hard things quickly, you must focus intensely without distraction.”

Learn more in our summary of Deep Work by Cal Newport

29. Save 1% of your paycheck, then build up to 10% saving or higher.

Whether we’re reading a classic finance book like “The Richest Man in Babylon” or listening to a modern guru on debt and investing like Dave Ramsey, the advice is consistent: prioritize savings.

Many of us have heard the phrase “pay yourself first,” but what does that actually mean? It’s surprisingly simple—Instead of waiting until the end of the month to see if there’s anything left to save (there usually isn’t), set aside a portion of your paycheck first. Start with just 1%, and as you adjust, aim to increase that percentage to 10% or more.

A practical tip is to automate this process. Have a portion of your paycheck automatically directed to an investment account. If you’re unsure where to invest, many financial experts suggest index funds as a less risky option compared to individual stock picking. Remember, the key is consistency and making saving a habit, not an afterthought.

30. Limit caffeine after lunch for better sleep quality.

Caffeine can interfere with the sleep cycle. A study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine advises limiting caffeine intake several hours before bedtime to ensure restful sleep. Furthermore, the Mayo Clinic recommends limiting caffeine to no more than 400mg a day (about four cups of brewed coffee) to avoid side effects.

31. Prioritize tasks with the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 Rule says that in almost everything we do, 80% of our results will come from 20% of our actions. Analyze what you spend your day doing, and you will probably find this to be true. Like a salesperson will probably find 80% of their income comes from a few simple actions, like calling a few potential customers every day. So if we want to increase our results, then we should concentrate most of our time on those critical 20% of actions.

Tim Ferris is a big promoter of the 80/20 Rule. In his book “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Tim shares the story of his first major business, a supplement company that was causing him extreme stress because of a huge daily workload. So Tim looked at his numbers and discovered 80% of his profits were coming from around 20% of customers. Those customer were wholesale buyers that ordered large quantities of supplements, and rarely opened customer service complaints.

So Tim did something a little bit crazy and desperate—he “fired” 80% of his customers. Then he focused all his effort on finding more customers that were similar to those high-profit 20%. It worked! He ended up making a lot more money, with a lot less work and stress.

Read more in The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

32. Single-task instead of multitasking.

Do one thing at a time. Stanford University found that multitasking harms performance levels and may even damage the brain—they said “A decade of data reveals that heavy multitaskers have reduced memory.”

33. Declutter your life 30 minutes each week.

We all own many items we no longer need or want. Stuff tends to creep into our lives and fill up our closets. That’s why decluttering is so important—this means discarding items which you no longer value. After people declutter, they usually report not a feeling of loss, but relief. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology backs this up, finding that cluttered homes lead to increased levels of cortisol, a stress chemical.

Marie Kondo wrote “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” which teaches a specific method for decluttering. Here is the cheatsheet:

  1. Tidy all in one go. Reserve 1-3 days as a special event to tidy up everything.
  2. Tidy by item category, not location. The order shr recommends is: clothing, books, papers, other things, then mementos.
  3. Keep only things which “spark joy” in you. Pick up each item one by one, and only keep it if it moves you emotionally.
  4. Hold each item and say “thank you” before getting rid of it.
  5. Finally, organize what’s left.

34. Turn off notifications and app alerts.

Constant notifications can distract and lower work quality. Research from the University of California, Irvine (PDF), found that interruptions significantly increase mental stress and frustration during work.

35. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it

Smiling, even when you might not initially feel like it, can elevate your mood. A study conducted at the University of Kansas found that smiling can help reduce the body’s stress response and lower heart rate, regardless of whether the person truly feels happy. The simple act of moving those facial muscles sends signals to the brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Smiling also has a positive social ripple effects—it’s a universal sign of goodwill and can easily brighten someone else’s day.

36. Take one professional course every 6 months to keep growing in your job

In our fast-paced world, staying still means getting left behind. This is especially true in our careers. Whether it’s a new software tool, a different management technique, or skills like networking or selling, continuous learning can give you an edge. It doesn’t have to be directly related to your job title either—often, complementary skills can be just as valuable.

By committing to taking one course every six months, you’re not just investing in your CV, but in your future. As the saying goes, the best investment you can make is in yourself.

37. Take a 5-minute break every hour to stretch and refocus.

Resting for a few minutes every hour can boost focus. A pomodoro timer can be a useful reminder to take regular breaks during work or study.

38. Celebrate the small victories to fuel motivation.

A big key to motivation is feeling that we’re making forward progress towards our goal. Every time we hit a milestone on our journey, our brain gets a hit of dopamine that tells us to “keep going!” That’s why it’s so important to celebrate those small achievements.

39. Hug more often

We all know that giving someone a hug feels good emotionally. There’s a scientific reason for that! When you hug someone, your body releases a hormone called oxytocin, often known as the “love hormone.” It helps to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve mood, and also makes us feel closer and more connected to the person we’re hugging.

But there’s more! Hugging is actually good for your health, too! A study from Carnegie Mellon University found that frequent huggers had a lower risk of getting sick, thanks to the emotional support provided by hugging.

40. Do a weekly review of your goals and progress.

Reflecting on the week helps you adjust and plan. The popular business book “The E-Myth Revisited” talks about how entrepreneurs must not only work IN their business, but they must learn to work ON their business, always improving their systems and processes, if they hope to achieve growth. We can do the same thing with our lives, take a weekly step back for self-reflection and strategic thinking.

41. Set long-term goals with “The 3-Year Question.”

Do you remember that famous quote from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? The grinning Cheshire Cat tells Alice “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” It’s the same with our goals. If we don’t set clear targets, we can drift aimlessly. Coach and author Dan Sullivan has a great way to help us focus. He asks:

If we were having this discussion three years from today, and you were to look back over those three years to today, what has to have happened, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy about your progress?

—– Dan Sullivan

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