You had every intention of starting this year by developing good habits. No, not just good habits, the best habits. If you’re like most of us, you’ve already failed that New Year’s resolution you set for yourself. And guess what? It’s okay. Don’t be so hard on yourself. One study showed that only eight percent of people actually succeed at their New Year’s resolutions, probably because they make huge goals that are incredibly difficult to achieve.
Maybe you set one of those challenging goals. You know, goals like losing 50 pounds, moving to a different state, finding your dream job, getting out of tens of thousands of dollars of debt, and so on—all by December 31. These goals are attainable, but they might take longer than a year to meet, or it might be challenging to stay motivated to achieve them over the year. Enormous goals often become too frustrating to accomplish because they involve creating too many new habits all at once.
I’m here to tell you; it’s not too late for you to begin new habits! But, this time, don’t bite off more than you can chew. The best habits to start are those that are easy to accomplish but lead to significant changes. These habits are achievable—and they can change your life.
The 4 Best Habits to start living your best life
Habit 1: Wake up 20 minutes early
I know. You’re probably thinking, You said these would be achievable habits! This habit will be the most difficult of the four for many, but it’s worth it. There’s something incredibly fulfilling about waking up when all else is quiet and getting things done. If you wake up earlier than you usually do, you can pray, get a quick workout in, do a morning Bible study, read a few pages of a book, and even set goals for your day. You don’t want to exhaust yourself by consistently not getting enough sleep, so make sure you go to bed early too! Bonus: It’s easier to get to sleep at a decent time when you force yourself to get up a little early too.
Habit 2: Journal for five minutes each day.
You’ve got this—close Instagram for five minutes. Then, get out a journal and a pen. Open the Bible App. Read a bit, think a bit, pray a bit. Then, make a journal entry. In these journal entries, write down what you’re thankful for or what you feel God is telling you. Some days, my list looks like this: “Coffee, technology, the Bible, God’s grace.” Even on the worst of days, there’s always at least one thing in your life that is positive. These journal entries don’t have to be long, but they will help you focus your mind on what’s positive every day. You might even find that it’s easier to see what God is trying to reveal to you when you write down your thoughts and feelings immediately following your Bible study.
Habit 3: Take a Break
Do you feel distracted all the time? Maybe you need to take a break. The Bible says, “Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy.” Sabbath was the day where no one was allowed to do anything productive! This was one of the 10 Commandments. You know, God’s basic advice for healthy living, like don’t kill, don’t steal—and remember to rest for a full day each week. Yes, God thought it was important enough that He added rest to this all-time best habits list!
I know it might seem stressful not to do something work- or school-related whenever you can, but this one day off will prove beneficial for you. It will show you that it’s always better to obey God. It’s meaningless to get your to-do list done if you’re exhausted and burned out afterward. Follow God’s advice instead. Let Him show you how you can accomplish more with Him in fewer days each week. It can be the day where you sleep in, do an extra-long quiet time over a cup of coffee, and go on a nice walk! I’m not sure about you, but a whole day where you do whatever brings you rest and joy sounds excellent to me!
Habit 4: Join a LifeGroup.
LifeGroups are groups of people who support, encourage, and provide accountability. They meet in person or online. So, choose to surround yourself with people who will encourage you and challenge you to stick to these new habits. Honestly, this one’s probably the easiest to accomplish of all the four habits. All you have to do is find a LifeGroup and show up. And guess what? It will also probably make the most significant difference.
Even if you adopt just one or two of these best habits, you’ll see a big change in your life. These habits are easy to maintain, and you can start them at any point of the year.
So go ahead and set your alarm back! Why not give that gratitude journaling a try right now? Give yourself a rest this week, and find your people. You can do it. I believe in you!