301 Positive Habits to Change Your Life

Want a surefire way to change your life?

Change your habits.

“Nothing can change your life like developing a well-chosen habit”

But which habits should you develop?

I’ve assembled the ultimate list of 301 positive daily habits that you can apply to your life.

When you look over this list, choose the habits that will have the biggest impact on your life.

This is a list that you can keep re-visiting regularly to give you inspiration and direction for which areas of your life you can improve.

So here’s the list:

Habits 1-20

1. Meditate: Even 5 minutes a day will make a difference to your life. The key is finding a time in your schedule, and sticking to it.

2. Keep a to-do list: Bring some structure to your day. As Brian Tracy says:

Always work from a list

3. Eat slowly: When you slow down your eating, not only do you eat less, but you feel more satisfied

4. Check your email only a few times a day: Constantly checking your email is a productivity killer.

5. Break down your tasks into small ones: Any time you’re procrastinating or feel overwhelmed by a task, it’s because you haven’t broken it down into small enough parts.

6. Write down 3 things you absolutely want to achieve today: This sets your priorities and gives you a clear indication of what absolutely needs to be done each day.

7. Journal for 5 minutes: Write down whatever comes to your mind for 5 minutes in the morning. It will clear out your mind for the day ahead.

8. Take time to think: People who are successful spend a lot of time thinking through solutions.

I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think

Warren Buffett

9. Give someone a compliment: It doesn’t matter who it is, just give someone an honest compliment. They’ll feel better and you’ll feel better for having made them feel better.

10. Turn off screens (TV, smartphone, computer) an hour before bedtime: This will help you sleep better.

11. Read non-fiction regularly: Try and expand your mind, by reading something that challenges your thinking.

12. Read fiction regularly: Take time to escape and enjoy a good story.

13. Keep a food diary: Simply the act of writing down what you are eating will make you eat less. And be more aware of what you eat.

14. Make your bed in the morning: This is an easy way to start the day in a positive way.

15. Go for a walk: It’s hard to go for a walk and not feel better.

16. Be OK with being bored: In a world of constant stimulation, and smartphones at the ready, we’ve lost the ability to tolerate boredom. But it’s often when you’re bored that your mind is able to come up with new ideas.

17. Write down what you learned at the end of the day: This will make you focus on learning and growth

18. Come up with 10 ideas a day: Build up your idea muscle by writing down 10 ideas a day.

19. Take regular naps: This is an easy way to recharge during the day. If you say you feel groggy after napping, it probably means you’re napping for too long. Stick to under 20 minutes.

20. Complete the most difficult task first: If you get it out of the way first, the rest of the day will be much easier.

21. Ask yourself “Am I in the present moment?”: Most of our lives are spent looking to the future (worry or anticipation), or reliving the past. But life happens now.

22. Hang around with positive people: Some people are always optimistic and positive. Be around them more.

23. On your to-do list, write down when you will do the tasks: When you schedule in when you will do a task, you supercharge your efficiency.

24. Do morning stretches: Keep flexible by doing some simple stretches in the morning.

25. Ask yourself: “Will it matter in 10 years?”: Most things are not that important, even if they feel important at the time.

26. Listen to audio programs in your car: Brian Tracy calls this a “university on wheels”

Turn your car into a university on wheels

Brian Tracy

27. Send a thank you note: People love getting thank you notes (or emails)

28. Review your day and re-live what went well: This way you get double the enjoyment from the same experience.

29. Review your day and see what could be improved: Look for ways you can make each day better.

30. Ask “What’s the worst that can happen, and can I cope with it?”: You can reduce your anxiety just by remembering that you can cope with most things that come along in your life.

31. Do yoga: This can help with flexibility, muscle strength and posture amongst other things.

32. Only eat when you feel hungry: A lot of extra eating happens when we’re not hungry.

33. Forgive yourself: Don’t waste energy giving yourself a hard time. You’re OK.

34. Ask “Where is the opportunity here?”: No matter what is happening, there is always an opportunity for something better. Look for it.

35. Practice solitude: Modern life is noisy and relentless. Take some time for some peace and quiet on your own, without reading or watching anything.

36. Laugh out loud every day: We all know that laughter is the best medicine. Read some jokes. Watch something funny. Talk with a friend who makes you laugh.

37. Be courteous: Simple manners go a long way. For instance, saying “please” and “thank you”, holding the door for others and standing when another person enters the room.

38. Plan what you’re going to eat in advance: You don’t need a detailed menu for the week. But when you wake up in the morning, ask yourself “What am I going to be eating today?” It will help you eat better and not have to resort to poor choices because of a lack of planning.

39. Go to sleep earlier: Getting organized and going to sleep, even 1/2 hour earlier, will give you more rest, and you’ll be able to wake up full of energy.

40. Put yourself out of your comfort zone: You will not grow as a person unless you are regularly out of your comfort zone. It may not feel pleasant at the time, but you will be grateful for doing it.

41. Get an accountability partner: It’s so much easier to get things done, especially making big changes to your life, if you have someone else to keep you on track.

42. Declutter your home: Cluttered house = cluttered mind. Take some time to eliminate the needless belongings that accumulate over time.

43. Count your steps: There are plenty of apps and devices available that count how many steps you take each day. This will help you to be more active.

44. Look for something someone else did today that inspires you: Every day there are people doing amazing things. Look for the inspiration.

45. Spend time in nature: Reconnect with nature regularly.

46. Iron your clothes: Walking around with crumpled clothes is not a good look. Schedule in time to iron your clothes or get them pressed.

47. Forgive others: You may have heard of the saying:

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die

Do a favor to YOURSELF and forgive others. Free up your mind and soul for better things.

48. Write your to-do list the night before: Rather than wasting a productive part of your morning doing planning, try writing your to-do list last thing at work, or before you go to bed.

49. Read positive, uplifting, useful articles: We are surrounded by so much negativity. Make sure that every day, you read positive articles on useful topics.

50. Restrict the amount of time you spend watching or reading the news: This might be controversial, but I’ve cut back how much news I consume, and my life is so much better for it. Why do you need to know who got killed today? I always remind myself that the maxim the media live by is “If it bleeds it leads”. Why do I want to be part of this?

51. Do some gardening: Gardening can be very relaxing. Even keeping a pot plant on your desk is a start.

52. Take a deep breath: Eckhart Tolle in “A New Earth” says:

One conscious breath is enough to make some space where before there was the uninterrupted succession of one thought after another

53. Look after your teeth (brush and floss): A healthy habit is to take care of your teeth so that you can keep them!

54. Write a daily blog post: Seth Godin suggests that everyone should blog daily. It’s a commitment to publicly express your ideas regularly.

55. Look at photos of loved ones during the day: Remember why you do what you do, and who you’re doing it for.

56. Put up with life’s irritations: If you can withstand trivial annoyances like poor service, excessive waiting or boredom it will make life easier and a lot less stressful.

57. Try and see the other person’s point of view: Too often we get wedded to our point of view and rigidly think the whole world should think that way. Open your mind to how other people think, and you may just learn something.

58. Reduce the amount of low-fat, low calorie and diet foods you consume: A lot of diet foods are chemical concoctions. I still enjoy the occasional diet Coke, but I know it’s not good to have regularly.

59. Be honest: Honesty is good for the soul (as long as it doesn’t hurt someone). And a wonderful side effect of honesty is that it creates trust.

60. Write 3 things you’re grateful for: It’s easy to forget how lucky we all are. Take some time each day to remember what you’re grateful for.

61. Have playlists of uplifting music: Create a playlist of motivating songs that you can play at the gym or while working.

62. Ask “Am I justifying anything?”: You only get better when you abandon the excuses.

63. Eat more vegetables: Every week you might get told that a different food is good for you or bad for you. But there’s one food that is always recommended: vegetables. If you have to, make a smoothie out of them.

64. Go to the gym: You don’t have to go to a gym to get exercise. But if you can, it’s a great way to stay in shape.

65. Be generous: Each day make sure you give something to someone. It doesn’t have to be money or things. It can be something as simple as wishing someone well.

Giving makes you feel abundant

66. Stand up straight and walk with your head up not down: If you look around, you’ll see that most people have terrible posture when they’re walking. Make an effort to stand up straight and walk tall.

67. Write down 3 things you achieved today: I started doing this a few months ago, and it makes such a difference to my perception of the day. It makes me realize what I have achieved, instead of finishing the day and thinking “I haven’t done enough”.

68. Face your problems, don’t run away from them: Denial is an easy option. Sometimes, in the short-term it’s an appropriate response. But in the long-term, it’s not going to get you anywhere. Face your problems and deal with them.

69. Eat less processed food: Processed food is engineered to be tasty. But it’s not good to have too much of it. Try and cut back and replace it with real food.

70. Don’t speak ill of others: A great thing to work on is becoming the sort of person who doesn’t speak badly of others.

71. Assume that things are going to disrupt your well-planned day, so don’t be surprised if they do: Instead of expecting perfection and then being disappointed when invariably something goes wrong. Why not assume that your day will be disrupted? Then you won’t be so upset.

72. Get some sun: Vitamin D deficiency is quite common. The simplest solution is getting some sun. Plus it feels good!

73. Make conversation with a random person: You never know who you might meet. Make an effort to speak to random people. Just say hi.

74. Lift weights: Maintaining muscle mass is an important aspect of health. Try and develop a weights habit.

75. Celebrate small wins: When you get better at celebrating small wins, life will be much more enjoyable and you may even find that you’ll be more productive.

76. Keep a time log: Ever wonder where all your time goes? Why not keep a time log?

You’ll be able to see exactly what you’re doing and where you can make changes.

77. Don’t have second servings: When having a meal, try and only serve yourself once, rather than continually going back for more. It will mean you eat less overall.

78. Over-estimate how long it will take to get places: I know people in London who only give themselves 1/2 hour to travel across the city and then when they’re invariably late, they get stressed (and blame traffic). Make life less stressful and leave more time to travel.

79. Save money: Take a small percentage of your income and put it aside in another account. Don’t spend it. Invest it.

80. Avoid toxic people: Some people just drain you of happiness and energy. Try and avoid them as much as possible.

81. Check your bank account regularly: This is a great habit because it helps you to keep track of finances and prevents unnecessary charges from your account going into overdraft.

82. Keep an accomplishment list: Keep a list of things you have accomplished in life. Don’t restrict yourself to “big” accomplishments. Write down anything and everything no matter how seemingly small. It will be a real boost to you, to read it back at a later date (And be sure to keep adding to it).

83. Sit up straight: Hunching over a computer screen all day is very bad for you. Try and sit up straight.

84. Schedule in time to do maintenance tasks: I got this idea from Chris Bailey’s book the Productivity Project. He says to clump together maintenance tasks like shopping, washing clothes, etc, and schedule in a time during the week to do all of them.

85. Say “I could be dead tomorrow” so enjoy life now!: If you were to die tomorrow, you’d feel pretty silly wasting your last day on earth worrying about something annoying someone said to you.

86. Remove tempting food from your environment: Don’t needlessly surround yourself with food. If you have a packet of chocolate cookies always on your desk at work, then get rid of them.

87. Ask “How can I make this situation better?”: Bad situations arise. But rather than focus on the problem, always be looking for solutions, or at the very least, how you can make the situation better.

88. Occasionally, leave your phone at home: This is a hard one, but freeing yourself from your phone every now and then is a good thing to try.

89. Put things back where you got them (Have a place for everything): If you always put things back from where you got them, you will never need to tidy up.

90. Go to an area of town you don’t usually go to, and look at it with fresh eyes: Mix things up a little. Don’t just settle into the same rut. No matter where you live, you can go somewhere local but different.

91. Go to an area of town you often go to, and look at it with fresh eyes: Whenever people come and visit me in London, I love showing them around, because I get to go to places I am around every day, and see them like a tourist. It’s fun.

92. Use a password manager: To avoid trying to remember lots of passwords or using the same basic password for everything, use a password manager app. e.g. LastPass

93. Do something that has a long timeframe of paying off: The most significant achievements are ones that require a long-term commitment. If you find that life for you is just about day-to-day tasks, take some time to think of a bigger accomplishment that you can work towards, doing a little bit each day.

94. Expect criticism: The only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing.

No one ever made a statue for a critic

95. Do what you say you will do: This is a key component of integrity. People trust people who do what they say will do. But equally, you feel much more self-confident, when you always follow through.

96. Be punctual: Most people run late. You will stand out when you make a habit of always being punctual.

97. Make an effort to dress well: Rather than just throwing on whatever, make an effort to dress well. Buy clothes that are well-fitted and that convey a good impression (whatever the impression you want to convey is).

98. Be patient: Big goals take time. You need to be patient and trust that if you keep doing the work, you will eventually get there.

99. Pay attention to details: Shoddy work results from not paying attention to the details. Even if you are generally a “high level” thinker, it pays to put a bit more effort into ensuring the details are taken care of. (For example Steve Jobs was a big picture guy, but he was excruciatingly obsessive about details).

100. Think of 3 good qualities you have: You will be what you see. Regularly, remind yourself of your positive qualities.

1466072658 (6)

101. Apply something you’ve learned: It’s not enough to read something useful (like this list). You should make a habit of applying things you learn each day.

102. Have a “switching off” routine at the end of the day: To make sure that you draw the line between work and home, have a specific routine that you have when you finish work. It could be turning off your computer and taking a deep breath. Or even playing a particular song.

103. Think of fun memories: Keep a list of fun memories and revisit them regularly.

104. Prepare a nice meal: Even if you’re not a great cook, it’s worth it to learn how to cook one amazing meal.

105. Watch inspiring documentaries: Some documentaries can be very motivating. One of my favorites is Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

106. Always assume the best intentions of people: It’s often easy to jump to the worst possible interpretation of someone’s behavior. But why not just assume the best? Don’t be naive about it (and be taken advantage of) but treat people nicely.

107. Time purchases for when it is cheaper: If you can buy things at times when they are cheaper you can save a lot of money.

Buy straw hats in the winter

Russell Sage

108. Stop comparing yourself to others: Comparison is the thief of joy. It’s very difficult to accurately compare yourself to anyone. You don’t know the reality of their situation, and no one has figured out a system to rank different people’s lives.

109. Always think of buffers and safety margins: Occasionally things go wrong. Why not build some slack into your systems so that if and when something bad happens, you can absorb the shock. For example, when you are planning something, incorporate a bit of extra time just in case things go wrong.

110. Think strategically (not tactically): Most people are focused on the short-term. Take a step back and see the longer-term significance of each of your actions. The most successful people always think strategically.

111. When offered food, choose the smaller portion: Most of us tend to think about “getting our money’s worth” with food portions. But it’s better for your waistline if you always go for the smaller portion. You can always get more later if you’re still hungry.

112. Don’t overcommit: Saying no to things is the essence of focus. You can’t agree to do everything.

I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.

Steve Jobs

113. Put aside some money as a cash reserve: Build up some money in a separate account as a cash reserve, just in case you need it.

114. Pay off debts as soon as you can: Even putting aside a little bit extra to pay your debts, will get them paid off much quicker than otherwise. Try and remove debt from hanging over you.

115. Tell a family member or friend something that you appreciate about them: It’s always good to let the people close to you know what you appreciate about them.

116. Develop a different response: If someone always makes you feel irritated, think of a different response and a strong reason to respond in that way, and then practice that response each time you see them.

117. Ask: “Am I accepting what is?”: Life will throw all sorts of problems at you. You make life much more stressful when you keep fighting it. Sometimes you just need to accept it. This doesn’t mean giving up. But it means being OK with problems and not getting upset by them.

Am I accepting what is?

118. Clear your desk so you can focus on one task properly: A good way to focus on the task at hand is to take everything on your desk and move it onto the floor, so that you have a clear space to focus on the task at hand.

119. Ask “Am I working on the highest value activity at the moment?”: It’s easy to waste time on low-value tasks. Continually asking this question will help you to focus on what’s really important.

120. Do something special for your significant other: Don’t take your partner for granted. Make an effort and do something special for them.

121. Be OK with making mistakes: Making mistakes is part of learning. Don’t beat yourself up for it.

122. Look for the grain of truth in any criticism: Good quality feedback is a shortcut to mastery. So even if you don’t like what was said, look for the little bit of truth that can help you improve.

123. Always see how you can increase your value (upgrading skills, learning something new, improving yourself): Complacency is disaster. If you want to have a good life, you should always be looking to improve your value.

124. Slow down while driving, and let other people through: Driving fast, aggressively and impatiently is stressful. Why not try taking it easy, and let others through for a change?

125. Do things you love: Life is too short to NOT be doing things you love.

126. Be persistent: For any big goal you desire, “Without persistence you cannot win. With persistence you cannot fail”

Without persistence you cannot win. With persistence you cannot fail

Napoleon Hill

127. Call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while: It’s easy to let relationships drift. Why not make an effort and reconnect with someone?

128. Stop taking yourself so seriously: Do you take yourself too seriously? Get over it!

129. Get rejected: Much of success involves trying things, being rejected, and keeping on trying until you succeed. So rather than avoid rejection, learn to deal with it.

130. Donate clothes you don’t need: If your wardrobe is bursting at the seams, see which clothes you actually like and wear and donate the extras to charity.

131. Get 7-8 hours sleep a night: It might sound impressive if someone is getting 3-4 hours sleep a night but most people’s functioning deteriorates at that level of sleep. Get more sleep, and you’ll find your waking hours are far more effective and efficient.

132. Spend time with loved ones: Every day, try and make time to spend even a few minutes (in person or by phone) with loved ones.

133. Watch less TV and replace with other activities: Notice how you feel after 3 hours of watching TV. In most cases, you won’t feel better than when you started. So cut back TV watching and replace it with other things.

134. Ask “Am I acting in scarcity instead of abundance?”: When you act from a standpoint of scarcity, you are desperate and needy. From a standpoint of abundance, you are generous and expansive.

135. Keep important things to remember in the same place: Do you have important information that you never have on hand when you need it (for example, good restaurant recommendations, movies you want to see, health information)? Why not keep them all on one document, or on an app like Evernote?

136. Sit less: Get up and walk around regularly

137. Look for things you enjoy about your work (or find another job): Don’t put up with a misery-inducing job.

138. Delay before making big purchases: With big purchases you want to be sure that you’re making the right decision. Don’t buy impulsively.

139. Make better eye contact with people: Making good (non-awkward) eye contact is a way to present yourself better and with more confidence.

140. Practice progressive muscle relaxation: Tense up and release the different muscles in your body, starting from your head and moving downwards.

Habits 141-160

141. Put down the remote control, newspaper or telephone when your significant other arrives in the house:: Show your partner they are more important than whatever activity you are engaged in at the moment.

142. Focus on remembering people’s names: Dale Carnegie said:

A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language

143. Do something fun each day: Life’s too short to not make the time to do something fun every day.

144. When setting up a new project give yourself 5 years to make it work: 5 years is a long time and you can achieve almost anything in that time.

145. Listen to podcasts on your commute: Make use of your otherwise wasted commute time to learn something

146. Savor your food: When you eat something you like, take the time to really enjoy it.

147. Single-task: It’s a myth that multi-tasking makes you more productive. Focus on one task at a time and do it properly.

148. Move unhelpful apps away from the home screen on your phone: If you find you’re always mindlessly checking a social media or news app, move it from the home screen onto another screen, or better yet, nested within a few folders to remove the easy access.

149. Turn down lighting at home as evening progresses: If you lower the lighting as it gets closer to bedtime, it will make it easier to get to sleep.

150. Figure out what the other person wants: Sometimes it’s helpful to think about what the other person wants, so you can negotiate a better compromise.

151. Keep a thought diary to spot regular and unhelpful thoughts: Habitual unhelpful thoughts can often slip under the radar. Keep a thought diary to identify these thoughts.

152. Weigh yourself every day: If you want to lose weight (or stop weight from increasing), weighing yourself every day is a good way to keep your awareness around food decisions you make.

153. Work from first principles: When you’re faced with a challenge, do what Elon Musk does and break it down to first principles. Sometimes when you do this, an innovative solution will become apparent.

With first principles, you boil things down to the most fundamental truths…and then reason up from there.

Elon Musk

154. Act as if: If you want to be more confident, act as if you’re already confident. If you want to be successful, act as if you’re already successful. Act as if you’re the president of the firm. Act as if, to bring about the change you desire.

155. Don’t settle for mediocre food: If you’re going to have some calories, why waste them on something mediocre?

156. Use a sleep mask and ear plugs: Especially when you are in a different environment (e.g. staying at a hotel) get a good night’s sleep by using a sleep mask to block out unwanted light and ear plugs for unwanted sounds.

157. Keep your tax receipts in order: Setting aside some time each week or month will help you keep on top of things, rather than having a daunting pile of receipts waiting for you at the end of the year.

158. Act enthusiastically: People love enthusiasm.

159. Fill up your car with gas when the gauge shows less than <1/2: Never run out of gas again.

160. Take the stairs: An easy way to inject a little bit more exercise into your life is to always take the stairs.

Habits 161 - 180

161. Ask “What am I afraid of?”: Figuring out what you’re afraid of, can be a great way to uncover why you’re avoiding certain tasks.

162. Always think “They can’t get this anywhere else”: Whether you’re selling a product, a service or an idea (we’re all doing one or more of these things all the time) reminding yourself of your uniqueness, will make you feel more confident.

163. Start badly to begin with, just to get started: Perfect is the enemy of good. So sometimes if you’re feeling intimidated by a task, just start poorly. Don’t worry about quality, just get moving. You can always refine it later. This is often enough to get you started.

164. Ensure that you’re playing to your strengths: Don’t waste your time on things that you’re not good at. The more you can focus on your strengths, the more likely you will achieve excellence.

165. Make a shopping list and stick to it: Supermarkets are engineered to make you impulse-buy. So write a list and stick to it. You will get through your shopping much quicker and without needless purchases.

166. Make time each day to talk to your significant other: Sometimes life gets too busy. But it’s good to make sure that each day you make time to talk with your partner.

167. Use a habit tracker: Make it a daily ritual to check through a habit-tracker app to ensure you’re sticking with your habits.

168. Imagine people who annoy you as being 100 years old or babies: When you see people as really old or really young, it makes you feel more compassionate towards them.

169. Be happy BEFORE you get what you want: We get taught that happiness comes after achieving or acquiring something. But try it the other way. Be happy first.

Be happy BEFORE you get what you want

170. Be reliable and consistent: When you’re reliable and consistent, especially at work, you will draw other people to you.

171. Be curious: Always be looking to learn something new.

172. Alternate water and alcohol to slow down your drinking: To have a good night but not go overboard, alternate alcohol and water.

173. Ask: Is this helping me get to my goal or pushing me further away? Rather than acting mindlessly, get in the habit of asking if things you do during the day are helping you or hurting you.

174. Invest time in figuring out extra functions on your phone: Smartphones these days have lots of extra functionality. There are often features that will boost your productivity if only you knew about them (for example the step counter on the iPhone). Regularly check the features of your phone to see what it’s capable of.

175. Don’t finish food just because it’s on your plate: Most of us were taught by our parents to finish everything on our plates. But this is a bad habit. Only eat as much as you need, and if you don’t like throwing away food, then serve yourself less.

176. Snap a rubber band around your wrist when you have negative thoughts: Once you’ve determined unhelpful thoughts via a thought diary use the snapping rubber band to jolt you out of those thoughts.

177. Look at a timeline of history and the universe: When you appreciate that in the entirety of time, your life occupies just a speck, it gives you more perspective on what is important and what is not.

178. Create a master list: In the personal productivity book Getting Things Done, David Allan suggests writing down EVERYTHING you need to get done on a master list, so it’s no longer taking up space in your mind.

179. Don’t chase others. Be the prize: Desperation is a turn-off socially, in dating and at work. Be the prize.

180. Shake hands properly: A good firm handshake gives an excellent first impression.

Habits 181-200

181. Don’t hand off tasks to “future you”: In the book, the Productivity Project, author Chris Bailey talks about the temptation to put off tasks for the “future self” to take care of. Avoid doing this, and get things done NOW.

182. Have mini-relaxation breaks during the day: Make a point of taking time out of a busy and / or stressful day to have a relaxation break. It can be as simple as a few deep breaths or a short walk.

183. Wash dishes as you go: If you’re manually washing dishes, use a sink of hot water while you’re preparing food to do the dishes as you go. If you’re using a dishwasher, rinse plates immediately and put them straight in.

184. Replace judgment with understanding: For some people it can be very easy to judge other’s behavior. Instead, look to understand their backstory. It may help you to be more compassionate.

185. Set standards and live by them: Make a list of standards you have, for example, about personal honesty, integrity, punctuality and work ethic. List exactly what you will and won’t do and stick by those standards.

186. Forget about sunk costs: Don’t be influenced in making decisions based on how much time or money you’ve already invested. Those are sunk costs. You need to draw a line in the sand and think about whether it’s worth persisting with it from today.

187. Always give yourself the option of eating later: Most people hate to be denied things. Delaying is not so bad. Rather than saying “I can’t eat that” say “I can have this … later” and leave the option open.

Delay don’t deny

188. Make a playlist of soothing music to unwind to: Have some music to help you relax.

189. Ask for help, when you need it: Don’t battle on your own. Success is only achieved with the help of others.

190. Ban yourself from asking negative questions: If you watch your thinking closely, you may see that you’re often asking toxic questions like “What is wrong with me?” or “Why do I always stuff up?”.

191. Let negative thoughts pass like water in a river: Your mind continually churns up thoughts, wanted or unwanted. We think each thought is special, but it is not. There are plenty more where they came from. You don’t need to engage with every negative thought you have. Think of it like a river and let the negative thoughts flow past.

192. Say “No matter what happens, I will get through it”: None of us can prevent bad things from ever happening but we can help with our coping ability if we remind ourselves that we can get through it.

193. Regularly go over a list of all your current projects: Regularly reviewing your list of current projects is a good way of assessing progress and keeping on track. It stops important things slipping between the cracks.

194. Catch yourself acting like a victim: People who act like victims are doomed to failure. Take responsibility for your life, and when you catch yourself feeling sorry for yourself or blaming, then stop it immediately.

Don’t be a victim

195. Stop fidgeting: Fidgeting gives a very poor impression.

196. Ask “How can I re-frame this?”: Every situation no matter how bad it is, can be reframed in a different way. For example, losing a job could be seen as an opportunity to start something new.

197. Don’t use food for other purposes: Food is for nourishment and it’s enjoyable. But don’t use it for other functions like rewards, relieving boredom or coping with stress.

198. Check if you’re thinking the grass is greener: It’s easy to compare to others and assume the situation elsewhere is better than yours. In most cases it probably isn’t. The grass always seems greener on the other side.

199. Focus on the process not the outcome: You can’t control the results in most things. All you can do is focus on the process.

200. Try something new: Make a habit of looking for and trying new things each day. It keeps life fresh and interesting.

Habits 201-220

201. Relish obstacles on the way to a goal: Remind yourself that if it was possible to achieve a goal without significant obstacles, then everyone would be able to achieve it.

202. Tell yourself that a solution will present itself when you need it: When you think through your past, you’ll see that often solutions came up as you needed them. Cultivate this belief and it help you to cope with stress much easier.

203. Cut back distractions when you’re working: Try and make your workspace as distraction-free as possible so you can properly focus.

204. Always be looking for bigger problems to solve: Greater success comes from solving bigger problems. Instead of shying away from problems, look for bigger and bigger problems to solve.

205. When you feel nervous, say “I’m excited”: When you feel nervous it’s easy to reframe those feelings as excitement which then creates a more empowering state-of-mind.

206. When someone asks how you are, say “I’m great”: Simply by saying “I’m great” or “I feel fantastic”, it’ll make you feel better.

207. Ask “What would I do differently if I had this situation to do over again?”: There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes but there is something wrong with making the same mistake over and over again. Get used to looking at your mistakes and figuring out a better way to avoid making them again.

What would I do differently if I had this situation to do over again

208. Only start things if you’re committed to finishing them: For some people they waste most of their time starting things but never finishing them. Make it a habit to only start things that you are 100% committed to finishing.

209. Imagine other people (especially those who annoy you) as having angel wings: I’ve tried this and it does make it harder to be annoyed with them!

210. Write down lucky things that happened during the day: When you pay attention to good things that happen to you it will make you feel happier and more lucky.

211. Look for opportunities to delegate tasks: Regularly review your daily tasks and see if there is anything that can be easily delegated.

212. Think of bad events as an opportunity to be a better person: People can grow better with challenges.

213. Ask about your partner’s day: Showing an interest in what your partner has been doing is great for your relationship.

214. Trust your instincts: Get practice tuning in to your gut feelings about situations.

215. Compete with yourself each day: Rather than comparing to others, just try and be better than you were yesterday.

216. Reduce expenses: It’s always better not to waste money. It could be used for other better things. So make a habit of regularly going through your expenses and cutting back things that aren’t necessary.

217. Only do things that you feel “hell yeah” about: This is advice from the legendary Derek Sivers. It makes you focus only on projects that get you truly excited.

218. When you are full, stop eating: Tune in to your body and stop eating as soon as you feel full. Slowing down eating will make this easier to do.

219. Find something to get excited about: Think through your day ahead and look for something to get excited about.

220. Focus on someone else’s needs for part of the day: It can be easy to be too self-focused (especially if you live alone). Take some time out of the day to focus on other people and their needs.

Habits 221-240

221. Remind yourself that most of the things you worry about don’t happen: Anxiety and worry about the future are normal but you’ll have noticed that most of the things you worry about, actually never happen.

222. Take calculated risks: Fortune favors the brave. And you can only win big when you take risks. But don’t be careless. Look for risks with low downside and potentially high upside

223. Do something spontaneous each day: Don’t be boring and predictable. Do something spontaneous each day.

224. Have a ‘One-Note-Wardrobe’: Reduce the mental effort involved in choosing what to wear each morning (so you can focus your mind on more important things) by having a wardrobe consisting of lots of copies of the same outfit. This is the wardrobe strategy of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama.

225. Stop trying to please everybody: You can’t please everyone and trying to do so will usually invite problems. Accept that as much as you try, some people will never be happy with your efforts.

226. When someone annoys you, think: “Everyone is just doing their best and trying to be happy just like me”: It’s good to remember that everyone is fighting their own battle.

227. When you feel stuck, take 30 minutes to plan: Time devoted to planning is remarkably effective at getting you unstuck.

228. Plan small rewards: Which is better? A regular lunch with a friend. Or a lunch with a friend which is a reward for something you achieved? Take normally pleasant events and make them a reward for something that you’ve achieved.

229. Sit with a negative feeling: Instead of fighting a negative feeling, face it, sit with it, and allow it to dissipate naturally.

230. Say regular thank you’s: Throughout the day, say thank you for good things happening to you

231. Try and be in places where good things happen: Where are you more likely to get new business? If you stay at home every night or if you’re out networking? Be in places where you’re more likely for good things to happen.

232. Only react to things if reacting gets you closer to your goal: Does getting angry make you more likely to achieve your goal? If so, go for it. If not, then re-think the use of your energy.

233. Listen more: In most conversations the person who speaks the least benefits the most.

234. Give better than expected service to clients, customers and colleagues: Going the extra mile at work will always reap its rewards eventually.

235. Put the alarm clock / phone further away from the bed: If you have to get out of bed to turn off your alarm, then it will be much harder to push the snooze button.

236. Hara hachi bun me: In Okinawa, whose inhabitants have one of the highest life expectancies in the world, their approach to eating is captured by the expression Hara hachi bun me which means “eat until you’re 80% full”

237. Only ask opinions of people qualified to give an opinion: It’s easy to succumb to availability bias and ask for advice from people who are conveniently there in your life. But when you ask your long-term unemployed friend (because he’s the only one available during a workday) about what you should write on your resume, you probably won’t get the best response.

238. Use a pleased tone of voice when receiving a phone call from your partner: Rather than answering the phone with a gruff “What do you want?” try this instead.

239. Look for expansion and growth opportunities: If you’re not growing you’re dying. Every day look for ways to improve and grow.

240. Practice your response to bad events: This might seem a little negative, but if you want to respond to stress better, you need to realize that part of what makes an event stressful is its unexpectedness. So prepare ahead of time.

Habits 241-260

241. Look for common ground with others: If you don’t see eye to eye with someone else, it’s a good idea to look for common ground.

242. Be optimistic and positive about the future: The media relies on presenting a worrying negative view of the world. Fight back from this, and look for the positives and reasons for optimism.

243. Improve your skills: Invest time in becoming excellent at what you do

244. Become low maintenance: Reduce your desires. If you need less, life will always be easier for you.

245. Accept that setbacks are “part of the game”: If success is a game, then dealing with setbacks is part of it. Don’t get upset when things don’t go your way. Expect and accept it.

246. Write one thank you note each day: Write a genuine thank you note (or email) to one person each day. It’ll make them feel better and make you feel better too.

247. Ask “what at the moment is lacking?”: This is a question mentioned in the book The Power of Now. Asking it regularly helps you to stay present.

248. Instead of saying “I have to” say “I get to”: You don’t actually NEED to do anything. Nothing is compulsory. You could give it all away whenever you wanted.

249. Don’t make assumptions: Always question everything and make sure that what you believe is actually right.

250. Tell your partner how good they look: It’s easy to let things slip in a relationship. Make a point of letting your partner know how good they look.

251. Whatever happens, ask yourself “What if this is a good thing?”: I’m sure you’ve had situations in your life that looked like they were disasters but actually turned out to be a good thing.

252. Practice responsibility transfer: This stress management technique involves handing over problems to another entity e.g. God, the universe. It’s like taking a weight off your shoulders

253. Stop doing things you dislike: Life is too short to do things you hate. Eliminate the negatives from your life.

254. Do more of the things you like: Decide what makes you happy and structure your life around those things:

255. Give yourself some “play” time: Have some time during the day where you take a break and play. This could be anything like drawing or playing a game.

256. Get up at the same time each day: Part of developing a good sleep routine is waking up at the same time each day.

257. When something bad happens, “Write it out”: If you have a bad experience, get a pen and paper or open up your laptop and just write. It can be very therapeutic.

258. Ask “Would I want others to replicate my behavior?”: If everyone behaved the same way as you, would that make the world better? This will usually give you an idea of whether you’re doing the right thing.

259. Park further away: A good way to do more walking is to park further away from where you’re going.

260. Live life like you may live till you’re 100 but also may die today: Holding these contradictory thoughts in your mind at the same time is the path to living a happy and meaningful life.

Habits 261-280

261. Leave gym clothes out the night before: If you want to exercise in the morning, reduce the resistance to getting going by having your clothes ready to go as soon as you wake up.

262. Give yourself permission to be happy now: Some people are always waiting for something to happen before they can finally be happy. It never ends. Instead say to yourself “I can be happy right now”.

263. Ask and answer honestly “Why haven’t I achieved my goal yet?”: Regularly asking this question will uncover the limitations holding you back.

264. Figure out the calories in things you regularly eat: There may be things you regularly eat that you think are healthy or light but are actually packed with calories.

265. Arrive home on time or let them know if there is a delay: Show respect to your family and either be on time or keep them informed.

266. Commit random acts of kindness: Do nice things for people whenever you get the chance.

267. Make yourself wait 20 seconds before checking your phone: If you are addicted to checking your smartphone, make yourself wait 20 seconds before checking. Slowly build up the time until it’s no longer controlling you.

268. Ask yourself for advice: When faced with a problem, get a pen and paper, and write down the answer as if you’re advising yourself. You’ll be surprised by what you get.

269. Clean your car out: Rather than driving around in a mobile garbage dump, clean your car out periodically and make it a pleasant environment.

270. Eat without distractions: Eat while giving full attention to the meal. Don’t eat while watching TV.

271. Regularly throw away unnecessary reading material: You know that pile of old magazines or papers sitting in your study? Will you ever look at them again? If you haven’t looked at them in the last year, then get rid of them.

272. Make sure you’re better prepared than your competitors: In whatever field you’re in, you’re competing against others. Better preparation is often the difference.

273. Use time standing in line to be silent: Turn what is otherwise an annoyance into a time for solitude and silence.

274. When you have a negative thought about someone, immediately counter-act it with something positive: Thinking negatively of others doesn’t help you at all. Replace the habit by neutralizing the thought each time it happens.

275. Instead of thinking “What can I get?” think “What can I give?”: The future belongs to the generous.

276. Chunk your tasks: Group together similar tasks so that you get them done more efficiently.

277. Think and talk about what you want: Instead of what you don’t want.

278. Keep some cash in other places: Leave some money in your work bag, in your desk or in your car in case you forget your wallet or purse (or can’t get to the cash machine).

279. Take time to daydream: When you daydream, you have an opportunity to come up with new ideas. Just be sure to nudge your mind away from worry and towards goals and solutions.

280. Put your winter clothes away in summer and summer clothes away in winter: Don’t clutter up your wardrobe with non-seasonal clothes, that just make it harder to find what you need.

Habits 281-301

281. Plan your week on a Sunday evening: So you can hit the ground running on Monday morning.

282. Automate your finances: Organise automatic payments with your bank so that savings happen without needing to think about it.

283. Every day teach something to someone else: Teachers learn what they teach. In helping someone else you also help yourself.

284. Pause before speaking: You’ll reduce the chances of saying something you shouldn’t have or will regret.

285. Write down your worries on a piece of paper and then set them alight: Apparently Bruce Lee used to do this.

286. Think well of others: Always focus on the positive attributes of other people.

287. Play with your kids every day: It’s so easy to put this off because it feels like other jobs are more important.

288. Shine your shoes: It makes you feel better and conveys a good image.

289. Have different environments for different activities: If you can, have a different place for activities like thinking, writing, or making phone calls. This way, simply going to that place puts you in the right frame of mind.

290. Anticipate obstacles and make a plan for them: All significant goals have obstacles. Identify what they might be and make a plan for dealing with them.

291. Keep a sleep diary: Note how many hours you sleep, and what helps and hinders your sleep. Notice patterns that you can use to improve the quality of your sleep.

292. Get practice doing public speaking: The ability to speak in public is a valuable one. Join a Toastmasters and get regular practice.

293. Don’t eat food just because it’s given to you: Just because food is offered to you doesn’t mean you need to eat it. Have some standards, so you don’t end up needlessly overeating.

294. Sweat the details: Even if you’re a big picture person, it’s important to be familiar with the details of things that are important to you.

295. Take all claims with a large pinch of salt: If something is likely to have an impact on your life, then don’t accept other’s claims at face value. Always verify.

296. Work on improving your persuasion skills: The ability to persuade will bring you more success than almost any other skill.

297. Be on the lookout for if your tasks are too easy: If your daily tasks are too easy, it means you’re not pushing yourself enough.

298. Count to 10 when you’re angry: You’re liable to do stupid things when you’re angry. Try and put some distance by counting to 10, 20 or 50.

299. Look up at the stars: Looking at a night sky packed with stars puts your life in perspective.

300. Say “no regrets” and mean it: Regrets are a waste of time. Make a resolution to have no regrets. Everything you have ever done, you did it because you thought it was the best thing at the time. Sure, learn a lesson from it, but don’t wallow in regret.

301. Smile: Smile more. It makes you and others feel better.

And that’s it!

Have you picked some habits you want to get started on?

Remember to bookmark this page, so you can revisit it regularly.

Good luck!

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