I am always working on life hacks. Kaizen my life. In the article below, there are seven great mini-habits to begin now that could change your life.
I love them all, but these are my top three:
#2—Put things back where you found them.
#4—Plan your day on a post it. Chelsea, my Director of Operations, started doing this and loves it.
#7—Dress slightly better than the occasion calls for. My wife taught me this years ago and it has proven itself invaluable time after time.
P.S. – For those of you who aren’t familiar with the word Kaizen, it is the practice of continuous improvement. I use this term all the time, as I am always looking for ways to improve myself and my businesses.
Rule #11 from my book The Fantastic Life: The Growth Paradigm
Making small changes to your habits, like the ones in this article, is a small way that we can control our growth. Watch as these small habits boost your growth later on.
7 Good Mini-Habits to Practice Each Day
By: Zachary Lukasiewicz
Apr 29, 2015
Here are 7 mini-habits that take literally 5 mins or less to do, but will change your life immediately.
If you do these 7 habits you will quickly achieve the things you want to achieve in life, you will have the success you want, and you will gain the love and respect of your friends and family.
You don’t have to spend years and years of your life developing these habits, and no habit requires you to sweat out.
But just these simple habits will completely change the direction of your life and point you squarely towards getting the success you want in life.
So lets look at the 7 mini-habits that will change your life.
1. Make your bed the minute you wake up in the morning
And do a damn-good job of making it. Stretch out the sheets, clean out the wrinkles and fold out the blankets perfectly.
There are two very tangible benefits behind making the bed perfectly in the morning.
First, you’ve finished a task immediately when you wake up, so you’re starting your day with a small self-esteem boost of doing something, finishing something, and doing it very well.
Second, when you come home from a tired day, when you’ve lost in other areas of the day, when things haven’t gone your way… you will come home to a perfectly made bed.
There will be nothing between you and a good night’s sleep.
The bed will remind you of the success you had in the morning and make you go to sleep looking forward to another day.
‘First thing in the morning’ is more of a metaphor, meaning get the bed done before you get lost in the day.
You can let it breathe, change the bed-sheets or whatever, but before you step out of the house, get it done. Or if you want to laze around get the bed made before lazing out on the couch.
2. Put things back to where you found them
What this means is that no matter what you use in your day, as soon as you’re done using it, put it back.
Done polishing your shoes? Put back the shoe polish and the brushes to where they belong.
Been cooking some food? Put back all the utensils where they belong.
Done watching a DVD? Put it back in the box and in the shelf where it belongs.
Here’s why this is super beneficial; every time you put stuff back to where it belongs you’re immediately taking care of a few functions in your life;
The first is that you’re clearing out the clutter instantly. When you put things back where they belong you drastically clear clutter in your life.
Clearing clutter helps you think better and have a better organized life.
The second benefit is that when you need them the next time you won’t have to look for it. You’ll know where you put it back.
And over time as you make putting things back in their place a habit, you will know every time where anything is.
This has the additional benefit of saving you tons of time without actually looking for things.
If you put your car keys back to where they belong every day, you won’t have to find them. You’ll always know where they belong.
The third benefit is long term – that you develop a habit of putting things away which will help you in your life as you get business and busier, putting things where they belong will help you remember where they are in the long term.
3. Pick up clutter before you go to sleep at night
This might sound like more than a 5 minute habit, however when practiced consistently this is a less than a few minute habit.
Often times we end up being tired at night and have dishes in the sink, clothes lying around in the bedroom, magazines all strewn across the coffee table… these are all messes in our lives.
When we wake up in the morning, instead of our mind focusing on the things that we have to do, it focuses on these messes and our brain runs awry…
Thinking about all the things ‘you should’ do and not focusing on the things that you have to do… nor the things that would bring you the best return on time invested.
So develop the habit of picking up any clutter you have lying around the house. This ties in perfectly with the previous habit.
If you put stuff away, there wont be too much clutter to begin with, but whatever clutter there is, you’ll put it away before you go to sleep at night.
This will help you have a cleaner mind, have clearer thinking and focus on things that you really want to achieve.
If you’ve never cleared clutter in your life – there will be a lot of it, so instead focus on clearing clutter form one space when you’re just starting out.
Here let me show you… if you’ve got a lot of clutter sitting around, think about clearing it from the kitchen counter every night before you go to sleep.
Then every week add another surface. As time progresses, you’ll spend less and less time on keeping the kitchen counter clean and eventually your entire house will become clutter free.
You won’t even notice this but you’ll wake up happier, and with more energy and a skip in your step.
4. Plan your day on a post it note
I used to have extensive to do list, with different contexts and different things that I had to do in different areas of my life.
It never worked. I would fail and felt miserable at the end of the day for not achieving anything in my life.
Then I started using the post-it note technique.
This essentially means that whatever you have to do tomorrow you write it down, then take the biggest, baddest, projects from that list and put it on a post it note.
These projects are the ones that will make the most impact in your life. Write only these on a post it note and forget everything else.
So from a work perspective, you write the 3 things that you can do that will make the most impact on your job, and for your employer.
You might have to ask your employer… “What’s the biggest result, most important thing, that will have the most impact on the company?” or “What results do I need to deliver?”
This will help you clarify instantly what your employer values the most and will get you to do more of those activities.
But only write down 3 things on the post it.
I’ve noticed that doing 3 things everyday will have more impact on your life than writing doing 10 things and doing 7.
Your mind will keep focusing on the ones you didn’t do and then you lose productivity and sleep on the next day.
So write down only 3 things on a post-it note and finish those 3 things every day.
5. Become enthusiastic
Most people drift thought life with their shoulders hunched, a frown on their faces and wrinkles on their forehead.
They are skeptical about everything, about a new job, about a new responsibility, about something new that their spouse tells them.
I used to be like that, and all it gave me was a bald head. Years later, I changed my outlook on life and started being enthusiastic.
Not just enthusiastic about going on vacation, or taking some time off from work… but about everything in life.
If someone shares an idea with me, I’m enthusiastic about it, I jump on-board and help them take it to the ‘execution stage’.
It may not work out, but never for a lack of enthusiasm. This has helped me make more friends, become relaxed in my daily dealings with others and have doors opened for me that would never have been opened for me otherwise.
Just last week I was at a luncheon with the Premier of British Columbia – only because of my enthusiastic attitude.
6. Treat every stranger like a friend
What this means is that instead of looking at strangers with a bit of caution, you treat them with open arms. You welcome them in your private space.
This completely changes things for everyone. When you meet someone for the first time, they are eyeing you with skepticism and you are eyeing them with skepticism.
This is an evolutionary reaction that helped us survive a million years ago, where a stranger was out to get out food, and steal our supplies.
Even up to 200 years ago this was true. That a stranger could rob you or steal you property.
But for most of us reading this on Quora, it isn’t true anymore. We live in a world where the strangers we meet will be in a very protected and secure space.
You might meet a stranger at work, at the movies, in a bar, in the shopping mall… all these places are pretty well protected. And the chances of you getting mugged are remote to none.
When you treat them like a friend, approach them with a skip in your step, open arms, wide smile… they will naturally become attracted to you and want to help you out.
You’re not doing this to get something out of them, but just to have a better time in life. Both you and the stranger are going through a tough journey called life… it becomes so much easier when you have a friend.
Be that friend for that person, and treat every encounter as if you’re meeting your friend.
Additionally, chances are that both of you watch the same TV shows, read the same books, and have a few other things in common that if you just got to talking you would have a great time.
The final benefit of treating every stranger like a friend is you aren’t anxious all the time. You can relax, your body can relax and you let go of all the stress inside you.
Remember; everyone else is treating you like a stranger also, they are sussing you out, also. The only way you can find a friend is to be a friend.
I’m not saying throw caution to the wind and make friends with the homeless guy in the alley behind a strip club… nor am I saying that you become best friends with every stranger that you meet.
But… and this is key… that you ‘treat’ everyone like a friend, unless proven otherwise.
So if you’re sitting down on a park bench and someone is sitting across from you – start a conversation with them like you’re both friends.
Not exchange your bank account – but just treat her like a friend. If she turns out to be someone you wouldn’t be friends with otherwise, no harm, no foul.
7. Dress slightly better than the occasion calls for
Notice how everyone who is an authority, who has power, who has charisma is dressed just a tad bit better than the other people in the room.
Even in the movies, you never see the president dressed shabbily and the rest of the press dressed like winners. The press is always worse dressed than the president.
So just by dressing up slightly better than the occasion calls for you will instantly become the alpha in the group.
This means that when you’re going out with your friends to watch a game, don’t just wear slacks and a t-shirt. But put on jeans and a shirt.
When you’re visiting friends, don’t just wear jeans and a shirt, put on a jacket also.
You’re dressing slightly better than the occasion calls for.
So if everyone at work wears casual clothes, you wear casual clothes with a sports jacket.
Yes you will stand out… but you will stand out to be better than everyone else. At work your boss will notice that you’re the best dressed person there and will think of you when new opportunities arise.
With friends you will become the natural leader of the group and everyone will look up to you for advice.
Even when someone else wants to talk to the group, they’ll perceive you as the authority and talk to you.
Plus the benefit of doing this is you don’t have to work too hard, for most situations you can put on a collared-button-down-shirt and a sports jacket and you’re good to go.
For other situations a suit is required, and still for other occasions wearing a tie is mandatory.
You know what each of that situation is you just need to implement this in your life.
But a quick warning… if you’re thinking about dressing slightly better, don’t be ironic about it.
What this means is if you put on a jacket, don’t let your shirt hanging out pretending to be a cool twenty something. If you decide to put on a sweater, don’t have the seams popping out at the back.
If you do something, do it well, not ironically. It’s not cool, it’s not impressive. It doesn’t make you look hip – it makes you look immature.
Immature people are never leaders, never alphas in a group.
These are the 7 mini-habits that you can implement in your life and drastically change your life.
They don’t take a lot of time to implement. They don’t require a lot of money, or effort.
But they do require your commitment. So make a commitment today to do these mini-habits in your life.
Take the 5 minutes right now to make a commitment that you will do these habits for the next 30 days.
Promise me that you will try each habit for 30 days before you discard it.
Then and only then decide whether it works for you or not.
What daily habits do you have?