5 Habits That Open Doors to Endless Opportunities

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How many times have you asked yourself, “Why can’t I just finish this? Or achieve that goal?” I know that feeling, it’s a nightmare.

Some of us can’t power through to achieve something even when we try, we often end up burned out and feeling like we’ve accomplished nothing. Obviously, something isn’t working and that could be a sign that you’re lacking a sustainable approach.

Fortunately, you don’t have to keep banging your head against the wall. Instead of forcing your way to success, you can be smarter about it. 

You can start with simple habits that make a big difference every day. Yes, setting goals is great and all, but goals only give you the direction you need to go, habits provide the fortitude you need to motivate you and propel you forward.

Why you need to adopt good habits

Habits are small daily actions or things we do on a regular basis, leading us closer to our goals. Even better, they create a rhythm in our lives, making our progress steady.

These habits not only improve and make life better, but also make it easier to adopt more healthy habits down the line.

Some of these habits might be obvious, other habits might come across as revelation or downright funny. And that’s okay. What’s more important is to focus on the most helpful habits first and add more over time.

01

 Journaling

PHOTO: PEXELS

 A few years ago, I remember chatting with friends at a café, and I mentioned that when I’m stressed, writing helps me a lot. I usually keep my feelings to myself, but sometimes I need to let it all out. That’s when I turn to writing. I can easily fill a page or two with my thoughts and feelings.

They laughed when I said that. They didn’t believe writing can be therapeutic, and I was surprised they didn’t know. I get it, though. Writing can also bring up old wounds, but facing our fears is how we grow.

When people are told to write things down, that could mean years of frustrations, pains, disappointments, past mistakes, and even current ones. But guess what? It works. You have to try it to know. Besides, writing is a big deal today. Communication through writing has become increasingly important, whether it’s for work emails, posting on social media, or even in a journal.

Writing helps structure thoughts and makes you a better thinker. Journaling or writing out your thoughts and feelings regularly has been shown to have calming effects

How to start writing? 

Start a journal. You can either use a nice app to journal on your phone or computer, or do it the old-fashioned way—writing on paper. Write about your feelings, ideas, fantasies, anything. Go on a tangent. It’s a tool for self-discovery.

 

02

Brush Up Your Culinary Skills

PHOTO: PEXELS

Cooking might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about starting a new habit, but if you’ve been sleeping on this, it’s time to wake up because the benefits are too rewarding to miss out on.

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If you really want to improve your overall well-being, taking charge of your cooking will be a game-changer. It might take some time to get the hang of it, but trust me, it’s worth the effort.

It wasn’t until after college that I truly understood the impact cooking could have. And this goes beyond making meals—the real benefits come from the ability to control what and how much you eat. 

Eating healthier is one thing, enjoying the process of cooking and trying out new recipes is another. Both of which are exciting and enthralling experiences. 

Understandably, a lot of people struggle in the cooking department because they’re short on time or knowledge, which leads to relying on fast and easy junk food. But eating well has a ton of benefits for your health and lifestyle. It reduces the risk of numerous health issues and boosts energy, focus, mood, sleep, and even your sex life. And for kids, it’s even more important.

Cooking can also bring new social opportunities, help you appreciate good food and wine, and save you money by cutting down on eating out. 

The only drawback here is adopting this habit isn’t easy, especially if you’ve had a rocky relationship with food like I have.

Sure, snacks and take-out are convenient, but they’re not sustainable. They sacrifice nutrition for convenience, and some restaurants prioritize taste over health. But it’s never too late to start cooking your meals. Don’t push yourself too hard, take baby steps, focus on the basics, then work your way up to more challenging recipes. As it is, I’m always on the hunt for healthy recipes that I genuinely enjoy making and eating.

What would it be like to be spotted in the kitchen whipping up salads, grilling chicken, or making breakfast eggs? Not too bad right?

 

03

Reading

PHOTO: PIXABAY

Only reading can make you feel like you’re stepping into other people’s brains and seeing the world through their eyes, sometimes, feeling what they feel [fiction or not]. Reading is so powerful that even if you’ve never had the chance or means to travel to other countries, or to other regions of your home country, you can still explore other cultures/traditions by simply picking up a book, and studies have shown that regular readers are smarter, more informed, and more empathetic.

Ever wondered why Warren Buffett, the famous investor, recommends investing in knowledge for your future? Because money and people come and go, but what you know stays with you. Even at 80, he still earns returns from the knowledge he gained in his 20s.

And did you know that historians believe that reading and writing are the foundation of civilization? Without literacy, we wouldn’t have a cultural identity or empathy for others, especially those from different times and places. 

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So if you’re looking to adopt a reading habit, the best way to approach this is to start with what you enjoy. Don’t worry too much about what you “should” read or what’s popular. For example, if you’re still reading this post without wanting to gouge your eyes out then you’re probably already enjoying reading, plus you’re noting the steps in this guide which is good because you should never have to force yourself to finish reading articles or books out of guilt or fear of looking stupid. Give yourself a chance to explore different genres and find what really sparks your interest.

More importantly, if you’re not enjoying a book, put it down and move on. It’s not healthy to try to force yourself to read something you hate. Personally, one reading rule I follow is reading the first chapter, and if I’m not feeling it by then, I simply move on to the next book on my list. Life’s too short to read what you can’t feel, not to mention there are so many amazing books out there to spend time on. 

 

04

Workout/Exercise

PHOTO: UNSPLASH

I still struggle with this occasionally. Maintaining a regular exercise habit can be a breeze on some days while a hassle on others, so I can relate to the difficulty of finding the time and motivation to hit the gym or engage in some form of physical activity. But if you spend enough time thinking about the benefits of regular exercise and what it has to offer for your overall health, that should be enough to propel you to start moving your body.

Aside from helping you look good (who doesn’t want that?), exercise has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. It can also improve your mood, energy levels, sleep quality, and even your sex life. And the best part? You don’t have to go to extremes to reap these benefits.

In fact, another research shows that just 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week can lead to significant health improvements and trigger weight loss. If you’re just starting out with exercise, don’t worry about fancy gym memberships or personal trainers just yet. Simply start with some basic exercises like squats, or a quick jog up the stairs. The important thing is to show up and do a little bit every day.

I’ve witnessed quite a number of fitness enthusiasts admit that the best thing they did was commit to exercise every day, no matter what. Even on days  they aren’t feeling their best, they still made a point to get some basic exercise in. And that, right there sums it up – showing up consistently. Once you’ve established a daily exercise habit, then you can worry about improving your workout routine with the help of a personal trainer (if that’s your thing).

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Challenge yourself to do some basic exercises each day for 30 days and see how you feel. You might be in for a surprise.

 

05

Financial Literacy

PHOTO: PEXELS

Imagine what life would be like if you didn’t have to worry so much about money and making bad decisions, cool right? It might be time to invest in books on wealth accumulation and take a few notes (are you connecting the dots?).

Isn’t it unfortunate that we are prone to ‘not-so-great’ decision making when it comes to money. This leads to taking on more debt, spending on unnecessary “wants,” having little to no savings or investments, which might ultimately force us to work out entire lives, shackled under the clutches of finance itself. Even worse, a lot of us aren’t taught any of this growing up and as a result, lack of financial literacy is a major reason for many of our woes. Hence why you need to develop a money habit. 

And this includes all the subsets of the field of [personal] finance, like saving, budgeting, investing, money management, tax etc.

Tired of being broke? Want to be empowered and independent?

Lofty goal, right? It’s not impossible.

It starts with learning the right approach to your personal finance. And digging a little deeper to know which financial literacy works for you.

Side note: Know that adopting this mindset doesn’t apply to wealth building only—when it comes to forming habits and crushing goals in your life, it’s pivotal.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to achieving our biggest goals in life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged by the magnitude of the task ahead. But it’s the small wins that pave the way to our greatest victories.

Think about it. We are quick to underestimate what it takes to achieve big goals and overestimate the effort required to take on a series of small ones. However, in my experience, it’s the consistent pursuit of success in small daily victories that eventually leads to the big ones.

I’ve found that when we become so focused on achieving the small daily goals, we may not even realize that one of our biggest goals has already been achieved until it passes us by. And that is the power of developing healthy habits.

The five habits outline the foundation for a healthy life in the most important areas of life: physically, emotionally, psychologically, and socially. They’re all interconnected and build on one another, creating a compounding effect that leads to lasting success.

And the best part? These habits are quite simple to achieve more than you think. So don’t let the fear of tackling big goals hold you back. Start small, celebrate your daily victories, and watch as they lead you to greater heights.

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