5 Useful Habits to Pick Up in 2018

No matter how much I tell myself it’s just another year, I can’t help but think this is the year I’ll become a better person. Massive lifestyle changes may demand more than just a ‘new year, new me’ attitude (you have to be completely ready to commit to change), but the new year is a fantastic opportunity to pick up small habits that will hardly take up any time and have a big impact on your life.

That being said - here are some useful habits to pick up this year!

 

Get off your phone

Social media lovers, hear me out! You’re probably thinking ‘yes, I spend time on my phone, but it doesn’t change anything’. To be honest, that’s my mindset most of the time. But every now and then I’ll sit back after an hour or two of sitting in one spot on my phone browsing social media, and think about how I’ll never get that time back. Then I wonder why I complain about never having enough time to get my coursework done. Surprisingly, I’ve only just made the connection.

Find some activities to fill up your free time outside of mindless phone browsing. Reading a really good book, watching a thought-provoking film, physically talking with others or doing some creative writing are just some activities that can make you feel much happier.

 

Make lists

From shopping lists to online ‘films to watch’ lists, lists can help you get your life together in a concise, bullet point format. I don’t think I would get any work done if it wasn’t for making lists, but they’re also fantastic for keeping track of things you have enjoyed. It doesn’t have to be on pen and paper either; apps like GoodReads and Letterboxd helps you keep track of books you’ve read and films you’ve watched. There has to be something appealing about being able to see everything you’ve enjoyed throughout the year all in one place!

 

Practice another language

If you dream about studying, living or working abroad one day (or even just travelling), learning a language can be so helpful!

 

You’re probably thinking this isn’t a ‘small habit’ as much as it’s a massive lifestyle change, as it takes a lot of effort to learn a language - which is true. However, turning language learning into a ‘habit’ means instead of spending hours at a time conjugating verbs when you really don’t have the time, you can simply spend 10 minutes a day learning vocab or grammar in short bursts using a simple app like Duolingo or LingoDeer that you can review each day. In no time, without feeling like you’ve tried too hard, you’ll feel like you can already remember so much because you’re keeping at it daily!

 

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is something you may already practice, in the form of relaxation - like taking a bath or having a nice cup of tea. Feeling present in the moment can help you stop feeling so overwhelmed about all those looming deadlines by taking time each day to feel normal again and prevent the stress from consuming you.

Like I said, you don’t have to be a Buddhist or a yogi to be mindful and relaxed. But if you want to try out yoga or meditation (they are known to aid anxiety and depression), they are easy to incorporate into your daily routine, starting from just 10 minutes a day!

 

Improve your posture

This sounds way too simple to even be on the list, but the physical and mental health benefits of having good posture can be huge. Most people don’t even realise how much they slouch in daily life, and it can be the root cause to neck, shoulder and back pain, headaches and even more back problems in later life.

Forcing yourself to sit up straight is definitely a lot of effort at first and even hurts, but with persistence it’s crazy how quickly your body and mind recalibrates and slouching starts to feel like the strange way of sitting. It also helps with self-confidence when you stand tall!

These are just a handful of habits that have helped me, and may help you too. Even getting one down into your daily routine may make a difference!

 

Edited By Isabelle Walker

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