At times, the path to improvement and self-growth is a mystifying one. It’s not always easy to pick it up and create the life you want, even at times when the desire may be gnawing. What happens when the drive is there, but the motivation isn’t? Set it into motion by starting as they say, small. Starting small can help in considerable ways.
Here are six practical ways to streamline you into change a little bit each day.
1. Don’t Wake Up with Your Phone
Most of us check our phones first thing in the morning, and it makes sense because, in the digital era, we can miss a whole world of information in five minutes. When the phone is the first thing we pick up, however, our thoughts are conditioned to respond to whatever stimuli lie on the other side of that screen. As we know, this can sometimes be troublesome. Even when it’s not, you’re not free to wake in your peace.
Try: Avoid your phone for the first ten minutes you’re awake. Get up, center yourself, and acquaint yourself with the day. Then, set a limitation for what you’re checking your phone for, don’t let yourself get automatically sucked in.
2. Set Water Intake Checkpoints
Something else we all know—that we should be drinking water. Even when we make conscious decisions to carry water and fill it up, are we aware of how much we’re taking in?
Try: Set at least three water checkpoints for yourself throughout the day. Set a goal intake for each, and meet yourself there. Not only will this bring a sense of accomplishment, but you may feel lighter, experience better digestion, and be more alert overall. For more tips, here’s our GR8 guide to remind yourself to drink more water.
3. Spend Five Minutes in Complete Silence
Silence is nice when it happens, isn’t it? How often does it organically happen, though? Being intentional in taking moments of silence is so healthy for your mind and emotional state. It allows you to reflect on whatever rises to the surface.
Try: Choose a time that makes sense for you, and for five whole minutes, do nothing but sit in silence. Take in your atmosphere, the sights, the smells, and every sensation. What happens next will be natural.
4. Ask Someone How They’re Doing and Listen
It is more common than not that we ask someone how they are doing with the cursory intention of knowing the truth behind it. It’s a friendly way to communicate regard for someone, but it’s often more of a neutral greeting. How about shocking someone by asking how they are doing?
Try: Ask with genuine intention, communicate that you want to know. Then, stay silent and take it in as they answer. If possible, acknowledge their feelings as valid. If the conversation carries on, ask clarifying questions to let them know you’re paying attention. When people feel that we care, it makes them feel good. This, in turn, makes us feel good. It’s a simple, overlooked, act of kindness that lifts our mood.
5. Read for Ten Minutes About a Subject You’re Curious About
In the traditional school system, we aren’t permitted to determine what kind of courses we’re educated on until college. Even then, we have practical reasons to study certain things that are apart from genuine interest. Often, when we’re curious about something, we Google it.
Try: Instead of skimming the internet for a quick answer, take an allotted amount of time to educate yourself. Find something you’re interested in, and take ten minutes to conduct a speedy research session.
6. Limit Your Screen Time
Many devices can share insights into screen time. Some compartmentalize the insights into where specifics amounts of time are spent. If you don’t already, take a look at your averages. If, for some reason, this isn’t possible, consider what your screen time might be. A good way to start is in ballparking how many times an hour you pick up your phone, or how many hours a day you’re on the computer.
Try: After a short reflection on your screen time, make it a daily choice to limit whatever your screen time is by half. This, of course, does not include work or other pressing matters. This is more about social media and other time suckers that demolish productivity.
With daily practice, these ways of being will become second nature. Before you know it, you’ll feel more relaxed, aware of your surroundings, and with more conscious actions.