The all-or-nothing tactic doesn’t work. Proven by me, you and thousands of other people. The Japanese kaizen technique is much more effective, it is also the art of small steps.
“Small changes are less painful and more real. Plus, you see results faster,” says Brett Blumenthal, author of One Habit a Week. As a wellness expert, Brett has been a consultant for Fortune 10 companies for over 100 years. She suggests making one small, positive change every week. Below are 7 habits for those who want to start right now!
#one. RECORD EVERYTHING
In 1987, American psychologist Kathleen Adams conducted a study on the therapeutic benefits of journaling. The participants admitted that they hoped to find a solution to the problems in a written conversation with themselves. After the practice, 93% said that the diary has become an invaluable method of self-therapy for them.
Recordings allow us to freely express our feelings without fear of judgment from others. This is how we process information, learn to better understand our dreams, hobbies, anxieties and fears. Emotions on paper allow you to actively use previous life experience and remain optimistic. The diary can become your tool on the way to success: write about your progress, difficulties and victories!
#2. GET GOOD SLEEP
Scientists have established a direct relationship between health and sleep duration. When we sleep less than 8 hours, a special protein, amyloid, accumulates in the blood. It destroys the walls of blood vessels and provokes heart disease. When sleeping less than 7 hours, up to 30% of immune cells are lost, which prevent the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in the body. Less than 6 hours of sleep – IQ decreases by 15%, and the risk of obesity increases by 23%.
Lesson one: get enough sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same time, and try to correlate sleep with daylight hours.
#3. TAKE A TIMEOUT
American theater critic George Nathan said, “No one can think clearly with clenched fists.” When emotions overwhelm us, we lose control. In a fit of anger, we may raise our voices and say hurtful words. But if we step back from the situation and look at it from the outside, then we will soon cool down and solve the problem constructively.
Take a little time out whenever you don’t want to let your emotions show. It only takes 10-15 minutes to calm down. Try to spend this time alone with yourself, and then return to the situation. You will see, now your decision will be deliberate and objective!
#four. REWARD YOURSELF
“I finally figured out why I stopped enjoying my work! I took project after project by storm and in the hustle and bustle I forgot to praise myself, ”a friend, a successful photographer and stylist, shared with me. Many people are so eager to achieve their goals that they do not have time to rejoice at success. But it is positive self-esteem that motivates us to work hard and gives satisfaction from what has been done.
Reward yourself with a favorite treat, a coveted purchase, a day off. Praise yourself out loud, and celebrate great achievements in the team. Celebrating success together strengthens social and family bonds and highlights the significance of our accomplishments.
#5. BE A GURU FOR OTHERS
We all make mistakes, fail, learn new things, achieve goals. Experience makes us wiser. Sharing your knowledge with others will help both them and you. Studies have shown that when we transfer knowledge, we actively release oxytocin, one of the hormones of happiness.
As a mentor, we become a source of inspiration, motivation and energy for people. When we are valued and respected, we feel happier and more confident. By helping others, we hone our interpersonal and leadership skills. Mentorship gives us the opportunity to develop. Solving new challenges, we grow as individuals.
#6. BE FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE
Constant communication with friends prolongs life, improves brain function and slows down the process of memory weakening. In 2009, scientists proved that people who do not actively connect with others are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Strong friendships bring satisfaction and a sense of security.
Friends help you get through tough times. And when they turn to us for support, it fills us with awareness of our own value. Close relationships between people are accompanied by sincere emotions, exchange of thoughts and feelings, empathy with each other. Friendship is priceless. Invest time and effort into it. Be there in times of need, keep promises, and let your friends rely on you.
#7. TRAIN YOUR BRAIN
The brain is like muscles. The more we train him, the more active he becomes. Cognitive training is divided into 4 types:
– The ability to store information in memory and quickly find it: chess, cards, crossword puzzles.
– The ability to concentrate: active reading, memorization of texts and pictures, character recognition.
— Logical thinking: arithmetic, puzzles.
– Speed of thinking and spatial imagination: video games, Tetris, puzzles, exercises for movement in space.
Set different tasks for your brain. Just 20 minutes of cognitive training a day will keep your mind sharp. Forget about the calculator, expand your vocabulary, learn poetry, learn new games!
Introduce these habits one by one for 7 weeks and see for yourself: the technique of small changes works. And in Brett Blumenthal’s book, you’ll find 45 more habits that will make you smart, healthy, and happy.
Read and act!