Today’s a little random in that I feel like writing more than I ordinarily do – and I’ve got around 10 minutes before my 1030am ‘turn on’ to the rest of the world.
So I’m taking this moment to get some words out in relation to this ‘feeling’…I’m ‘feeling’.
I had the option of ‘learning something new’ or writing.
And I felt like writing – and I think this is in relation to the habit of daily writing I’ve now developed.
Of all of my morning activities – which are fundamentally writing, recording, and listening – writing stands tall as my favourite.
Makes sense since I’m a literature major I suppose.
And so I wanted to talk about how to build ‘Happy Habits’ for creatives and everyone else to help you on your path to success.
I myself am around 38 days into the new powerful habits I’ve begun building – and WHAT a difference it is already making to my life.
I’m going to go through as best as I can what’s happening, and how I think about my happy and creative habits, and how you can ideally NICK ideas from it and implement them into your own lives and see success 🙂
What Are Happy Habits?
For me – these are literally habits that release one of the happy hormones in your body which are dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins.
These are habits within your control, and ones that lead to the release of one of these hormones in your body.
How To Identify Happy Habits?
Well, in short – it’s a case of simply ‘looking’ for that feeling right?
‘You’ll know it when you feel it’ really is a simple enough approach in this instance when it comes to happy habit formation.
However, the trick with making such habits, happy and productive comes from digging a little deeper.
How Do I Avoid Bad Habits?
So the habit that I’m talking about, or rather expressing quite literally here is writing.
However, what’s interesting, is that the act of performing this habit – is in replacement of another ultimately healthy habit – which is learning.
So in this instance, I’m replacing (temporarily), one ‘positive’ habit – with another ‘happy/productive habit’ that has similar levels of impact – ‘learning’.
And here’s a big key to understanding how to avoid bad habits.
The best way to ‘avoid bad habits’ is the following:
Replace Bad Habits With Another Habit Instead
When it comes to building any level of success in your life – 80% of it will revolve around ‘habit formation’
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn
So when you’re motivated to ‘lose a bad habit’ – then NEVER aim to just
‘stop that habit’ – rather look to replace that habit with something productive instead.
This is a key part of being able to shake off ‘bad habits’ – through the replacement of bad habits with good ones.
Naturally, this is easier said than done and requires challenges all by itself – but focussing on building small new habits, consistently will be a critical driver to increasing your success.
What Makes You Happy That You Can Turn Into A Habit?
Let me walk you through some of the changes I’ve made in my life that have made me a happier person.
Being productive is something that makes me happy. The idea that I can finish a day knowing that I’ve accomplished a lot is important to me.
With this in mind – a habit that I thought could lead to this – is waking up early.
Yesterday I didn’t start writing until 1105am as I’d only woken up 30 minutes before that at 1030am.
This has a big negative knock-on effect for the rest of my day. This blog itself that you’re reading – you’ll notice I started back on the 8th Feb…again at 1019am (i.e much later than normal)…
I’m actually coming back to it today and here’s the date and time:
It’s taken me almost a whole month to come back to this blog – and that may well be because of the time at which I start writing it.
Now…at 6 am I’ve started earlier than the 8th Feb and the 5th April.
And that sets a much more powerful day in motion.
So waking up close to 430am has definitely been a big game-changer for me in terms of my productivity – and this one habit has led to big change for me in other aspects of my life.
The Happy Habits Of A Creative Mind
Another key part of this is what I’m doing right now.
Each day I sit in my flat by myself working away.
This is likely going to be the same for the foreseeable future (i.e the next several years). I may well work my entire life ‘alone’ rather than having an office.
The challenge with this is I don’t get the opportunity to have much dialogue with anyone or give my thoughts enough consideration…
This is why writing every morning has become so important for my mental health.
Putting together content (like I’m doing right now) so I can share it with the world.
So writing is something that’s massively important to me to ‘DO’ before I start my day.
I’ve been doing this consistently since the 1st January when I started this journey of producing content each day – and it has definitely become habitual now and will become a core part of my future success I expect as I churn out more and more content.
Spending Money On Other People
Nothing makes me happier than being able to support the people around me whom I love.
My partner Strawberry is pursuing her medical degree and being able to support her on her journey makes me feel really positive.
Alongside this, my father is managing one of my properties and will soon be managing all 5 of them – which I’m paying him to keep on top of.
Then there is my sister and brother-in-law with whom I’m building a business – and I’m very excited by the idea that I could build a property sourcing and management company that would become the first family business.
As we dive deeper into the world of ‘happy habits’ there are other considerations (as I’ve Googled and considered) that I’ll also include here:
Smiling As Much As You Can
This is a big part of my day – whenever I’m on calls with people I’m almost always smiling. I encourage you to do the same as it can lift your day.
Getting Enough Sleep
Today I had the alarm set for 430am, woke up at 2.24 am then 4.10 am and at 4.10 am I turned my alarm off and closed my eyes, finally waking up at 5.35 am – at which point I got out of bed.
I definitely wake up early as we’ve discussed – but I also won’t force it. ‘Waking up at 430am has become something that is more and more habitual.
However, waking up and staying awake isn’t something I’ll do if I feel too tired.
There’s a lot of research done around sleep and it’s potentially the case that I don’t get enough of it.
But I can tell you that if I feel tired or feel like I’m in some kind of fog – I’ll sleep.
Eat A Light Breakfast
If you’re anything like me and are most productive in the mornings, I now start my day with no food other than perhaps a banana, and up to two cups of coffee.
It gives me a little caffeine kick, but ultimately not eating heavily in the morning allows me to be most productive when I’m at my…most productive.
Alongside this – avoiding crappy food, in general, is a good idea – I’ve eaten junk over the last several days and it really hasn’t made me feel good.
Practice Gratitude And Appreciate Your Successes
Now I was thinking about this because off-hand I didn’t think I did any of this. But then I thought about the end of my day when I go for a walk with Strawberry. Also when I shower, and when I get ready to go for a run.
These moments occur literally every day – I’ll find myself expressing appreciating what I’ve built with Pearl Lemon, and being grateful for everything that it’s giving Strawberry, my team and me.
The same thing will happen when I have a warm shower, I’ll mentally reflect upon things that are going well – and if there have been any troubles – it’s a place to mentally wash away my troubles.
This is definitely something I’ll reserve for the sales team as I feel they need it, alongside some of the content team.
Giving compliments is a great way to brighten up someone’s day and to congratulate them for all the hard work they’re putting in.
It’s quick to do and can mean a lot to, well almost anyone.
There hasn’t been anyone whom I haven’t seen rise up less as a consequence of receiving compliments from me.
Meditative Deep Breathing
Whenever I feel overwhelm coming on – as of last week – I’m trying to incorporate deep breathing into my routine – and I can already see the instant benefits of it.
There’ll be different reasons throughout my day to feel anxious for one reason or another – and so I’ll use three deep breaths as an opportunity to steady and to still myself.
So far – the early results show it creates a powerful short term and immediate impact in calming myself
Stay Away From Your Mobile For A Couple Hours A Day
As part of my morning routine, I won’t look at my mobile phone much.
This is always somewhat up and down – but simply put – the mornings will be reserved for work (such as this) whereby I won’t look at my mobile phone until 11 am.
I’ve since changed that (again as of last week) to 9 am because 11 am felt too long.
But given I’m up at 430am (ish) – it means I’m not looking at my phone for several hours.
This is why my mornings are the calmest time of the day for me.
Spend Time Alone And In Self-Reflection
I won’t dwell too much upon this because I made reference to myself being alone – but I recognise this isn’t the same for all of us.
Many of us are around people constantly, but spending time for yourself is really healthy and nourishing for your soul…
How you do that…well do what I do – wake up earlier, don’t look at your phone, and don’t take meetings before a certain time.
I’ll walk through some other high-level things that will keep you happy and help with the formation of the happiest habits you can muster:
- Keep a tidy workspace (Goes without saying)
- Talk walks in nature (Especially in summer!)
- Exercise regularly (5x per week!)
- Eat well (healthily!)
- See a coach or therapist (I do – weekly!)
- Treat yourself (that’s cinema for me!)
- Let go of grudges against others (that’s tiring!)
- Hang out with friends (you’ll smile more)
- Enjoy life’s little pleasures (for me it’s Hagen Daaz lol)
- Find a hobby (mine is starting businesses)
- Wake up early at the weekend (if you don’t it’ll ruin your Monday and even Tuesday) to avoid the weekday blues
- Wake up early at the weekend to use your free time!
This list could go on forever, and I wanted to keep the focus upon things that I actually do that have been helping me over the years – and I hope this helps you as much as it’s helped me with becoming a happier person than I definitely was through my 20s.
Routine, and building happy and powerful routines have perhaps been the biggest game-changer for me.
I didn’t have such routines up until around turning 32 – and as I’ve read and understood more I realised that routine and purpose are perhaps the greatest ways to ensure I’m happy.