We’ve already covered the basics in our article on the Top 10 Habits of Successful People earlier in 2017, which you can check out here. But we’re back to give you more inspiration for what you can do to revolutionise yourself in the coming year.
1.The two birds, one stone approach
Streamlining your schedule by combining two beneficial activities can be a great way to get more out of your time. Cycling or walking to work are well known examples of this. Allowing you to reap the benefits of fitness and brain power, in many cases you’ll also save time, and cut down on travel costs. But there are plenty of other opportunities to kill two birds with one stone. Tick classic films you’ve been meaning to watch off your list while bulk cooking meals for the coming week on a Sunday. Or switch out your gym playlist for an ebook.
2.Stretch Your Brain
A hobby which stretches your brain is an excellent way to spend your free time, and not just for the opportunity it poses to pick up new skills. Challenging yourself by learning a new language, playing chess, and even doing a daily crossword have all been linked to a raft of health benefits including reduced brain age and better cognitive function.
3.Develop a Reading Habit
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Aside from successful people consistently listing regular reading among their habits, there are plenty of other reasons you should be reading more. Developing a reading habit comes with the benefits of improved focus, memory, and ability to analyse and understand ideas. In addition, the ‘growth mindset’, thought to be a crucial trait of successful people, hinges on a person’s receptiveness to new ideas. An improved vocabulary is the most obvious benefit of reading regularly, which goes a long way to helping you impress in professional settings.
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…Or at least some of the time (give it until the end of the article, at least). The majority of modern life is conducted via the internet, so we wouldn’t recommend going completely tech-free. It’s become a popular habit amongst tech-gurus of Silicone Valley to restrict their own social media access, however. It’s also been widely speculated by those in the know that social media operates by stimulating the same pleasure pathways in the brain as drugs or gambling. Clearly, relative to either of these pastimes, the immediate risks are far lower with Instagram and Facebook. But it has been shown that similarly to these vices, smart phones and social media apps have adverse effects on concentration, mood and cognition. Devoting a couple of hours per day to an analogue pursuit (see 1-3 for ideas) can be a great way to get around this.
5.Actively look for opportunities to develop, and take them
If you’re already the kind of person that loves a challenge, then you’ll already know the benefits of this habit. Finding opportunities to use your natural talents is all well and good, but you shouldn’t neglect to develop your weaker areas either. Whether it’s taking on additional responsibilities at work to learn a new skill, or committing to a goal that stretches your resilience such as running a half-marathon. Setting goals and achieving them is key to being successful, but doing this in areas in which you don’t already assume you’ll be successful gives something more. You’ll develop your sense of determination, humility, and faith in your ability to overcome obstacles.