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10 Important Habits You Need to Be A Better Person This Year

10 Important Habits You Need to Be A Better Person This Year

Ben Franklin once said, “Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

Whether you want to be a better person, get healthier, or find fulfillment in your work, there are a number of habits you need to develop that are common to all of these goals. In this article, we’ll explore 10 of the most important ones.

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1. Socialize with people with similar interests.

There’s one thing all successful people are good at: networking. It’s a simple premise: find people with similar interests and spend time with them. Use social media to form connections and network with these people as much as possible. Spend more time with your friends who share your interests too. They can be a great source of inspiration.

2. Stop multitasking.

When you multitask, you’re not putting 100 percent of your mental effort into whatever you’re working on. If you want to be a better person, you need to develop a more singular focus so you can put in your best effort. This is what leads to improvement. So close those 10 browser windows you have open. Put your phone on silent. And just focus on one thing at a time.

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3. Copy the habits of successful people.

One of the most important habits to develop if you want to improve is to spend more time with successful people. Want to lose weight? Then hang out with people who have done it. Want to start a new business? Surround yourself with entrepreneurs and folks who have been there, done that.

4. Make a to-do list every day.

An infographic published by Entrepreneur Magazine showed the habits of the world’s wealthiest people. One of the more interesting habits was this: 81 percent of wealthy people keep to-do lists. You should do the same. Write down the tasks you want to complete before you start each day, and then evaluate at the end of the day to see what you accomplished. Prioritize the big-ticket items that are going to get you closer to your end goals.

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5. Don’t leave things unfinished.

One habit you need to develop to experience more successful outcomes is finishing what you started. We’ve all been guilty of starting something important to us and then giving up before it’s done. Try a different approach: see things through no matter what the outcome. If you fail, the valuable lessons you will have learned will be worth the effort. A lot of times we don’t realize how close we actually are to accomplishing something great.

6. Spend some alone time every day.

Humans are social creatures by nature, but making a habit of spending time alone is important too. Spend time every day reflecting, pondering, and visualizing what you want to happen in your life.

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7. Set one or two big goals.

Your desire to work hard usually matches the size of your goals. Set small goals, and you can expect small results. Set big goals, however, and the sky is the limit. You may not (and probably won’t) accomplish them right away. But it will help you form a mindset of aspiring for bigger and better things for your life.

8. Focus on the process of achieving your goals.

Big goals are important. But what’s even more important is developing habits and routines. These are what will ultimately determine your success or failure. Those seemingly insignificant, day-to-day tasks compound into great achievements over time. Once you set your goals, forget about them and focus on the process. Plant a seed, water it every day, then sit back and watch it grow.

9. Eat real food.

What does eating healthy have to do with becoming a better person? A lot, actually. Following a healthy diet can help your brain function at a higher level, is good for your heart and can help you live longer. So get into the habit of eating better by making a commitment.

10. Be productive with your downtime.

There’s a big difference between being productive and being busy. Busywork is meaningless if it doesn’t make you a better person or get you closer to your goals. Take a long, hard look at what you consider “productive” work. Hint: checking emails every 5 minutes won’t make you more productive—it will just distract you from getting work done.

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Last Updated on August 21, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. Hello promotion, here I come!
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. No, thanks Alzheimer’s; you and I are just not a good fit.

So how to train your brain to learn faster and remember more?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new.

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.” Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

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But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

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Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

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I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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