30 Second Habits That Really Can Change Your Life
I know what you’re thinking.. 30 Second Habits?
Anything that promises to change your life in 30 seconds is probably click-bait. But I’d never do that in my blog. I really do believe that you can change your life by doing quick and simple things every day.
Keep in mind… These habits can only be life-changing if you actually use them. Try them out for one week, and see if you aren’t feeling a whole lot more productive and better about yourself.
30 Second Habits That Can Make you More Successful
#1 The 30 Second Summary Habit
This habit could be the most useful on the list. Studies have shown that summarizing what you learn can increase your understanding of the material by 19%. This can have a huge impact in many areas of our lives.
Many of us lead increasingly busier lives. We go to meetings, attend trainings, watch how-to videos. We’re ambitious, but a lot of effort can be wasted if we aren’t retaining the most useful information.
To put this habit into practice, simply take 30 seconds after any activity and write down the most important and useful things you learned or need to remember. It can be tempting to want to overthink and spend several minutes taking additional notes, but this is precisely what you should try and avoid.
Experts say that keeping your summary to around 30 seconds will force you to only write down the most important and useful information, which will allow you to remember those things better and for much longer.
Making a habit of quickly summarizing what you’ve learned will also make you better at recognizing things that are useful to you when you see or hear them. Performing this habit can make you sharper and will allow you to master what you’re learning by only keeping the most useful information to you.
These days, I use a journal app on my phone to keep track of all kinds of things. If I go to a boxing class, I write down what I learned that day. If I watch a how-to video, I quickly write down what I learned. I can attest that this quick habit pays big dividends in mastering things faster.
#2 Start the Day by Narrowing Your Focus
In the frantic pace of life, it’s way too easy to lose sight of the many things we want to accomplish in a day. I know from the moment I wake up, there can be all sorts of competing priorities tugging me in different directions.
To narrow your focus, try doing this one simple thing every morning: When you wake up, and take your first sip of your morning coffee, write down the 3 things you’d most like to get done in your day. You may have more than 3 things you want to accomplish, but narrow it down to the 3 that are the most important.
According to research:
“Setting goals is linked with higher motivation, self-esteem, self-confidence, and autonomy and research has established a strong connection between goal-setting and success.Tweet
#3 Use Visualization to Keep You Motivated
Motivation is always strong in the beginning, but can be fleeting as time goes on. I think we’ve all started something with grand intentions only to see our motivation fade out. For years I wanted to start a blog, and did so several times, with little to show for it. It wasn’t until I put it down on paper and had a vision that I actually made it happen in any capacity. I can say this for a lot of things that I currently do.
To keep yourself motivated, find a picture that represents what you’re trying to accomplish. Something that fills you with motivation and reminds you of the deep desire you have to reach that goal. This can be done by keeping a picture in your wallet and looking at it a few times per day, or especially when you feel your motivation is fading.
A Vision Board is basically just a collection of pictures that represent the goals you want to accomplish. You can put them on a corkboard, and keep it somewhere you’ll see it every day. I’ve found vision boards to work in an almost mystical way… The law of attraction really does have some merit.
Of course, it’s important to understand that the vision board is essentially a daily visualization practice. Visualizing holding $20,000 will not make the money manifest in your hands. What research tells us is that visualizing the Process of obtaining the money is what will cause it to manifest into your life. Seeing yourself achieve your goals is the key.
This technique has been used by many of the most famous athletes and entrepreneurs. It worked for them, and it can work for you too.
If you want to make a vision board, this is the one I’ve used.. as I like to also be able to write my goals down along with having visual representations. (This is an affiliate link, but it’s the one I use, and you can use whatever means you have at your disposal).
30 Second Habits to Make you a Better Person
I think deep down, we all want to be a better person. It’s part of the human spirit. But within the chaos of life, it can be difficult to willfully take the time to go out of our way for a complete stranger. But, success and being a better person are intimately related, and so these habits seek to help us consciously improve this aspect of our lives.
#1 Give Someone a Compliment
It might sound overly simple, but can you recall the last time you went out of your way to give someone a real, sincere compliment?
Can you remember the last time someone gave you a real compliment? It feels pretty good and can really make a person’s day. A study showed that receiving a compliment lights up the same reward section of the brain as receiving a financial gift. Research has also shown that receiving compliments can improve performance and learning ability. The catch? The compliments must be Sincere.
It takes no more than 30 seconds to tell someone that they’re doing a great job and explain why. Or you can simply tell someone that you really admire what they do.
This habit is mutually beneficial. It feels good to compliment someone, and feels even better for the person you’re giving it to. You never know what kind of day or week someone is having, and your compliment might just give that person the boost of confidence they needed to achieve their own goals.
#2 Random Acts of Kindness
Believe it or not, there is actually a ton of research on the benefits of performing random acts of kindness. Specifically, research has shown that performing acts of kindness:
- Can lower blood pressure
- Releases “feel good” chemicals from the brain, such as Oxytocin and Seratonin.
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce stress and the stress hormone Cortisol by 23%
These benefits happen not only during the act, but also every time you think about it. Regularly performing selfless acts of kindness can make you a healthier, happier and more successful person. That’s coming from real research.
Here are a few examples of random acts of kindness that almost anyone can do with little effort:
- Next time you’re in the Starbucks line, buy the person behind you their coffee.
- If you’re doing laundry, leave enough quarters on the machine for the next person.
- Let someone in line go ahead of you.
- Buy a homeless person a meal, or give them a couple dollars.
- Leave an anonymous “thank you” note for a coworker.
I think we’ve all done things on this list at some point in our lives, but how many people have made it a Habit? Doing something selfless and kind for another person every day can simply make you a better, happier and healthier person, and that is a fact!
#3 Spend 30 Seconds Being Grateful
This one seems pretty easy, but I’d bet you don’t even spend 30 seconds on a daily basis actually willfully focusing on how grateful you are.
Regardless of what you have going on, we can always find things to be grateful for. Family, friends, a job that allows us to live a pretty decent life. Our health! Grateful for being alive to live and learn and pursue new dreams.
Research shows that spending time each day being grateful can lead to greater physical health and overall happiness and a sense of enhanced well-being. It’s amazing how focusing on positive emotions can have such a dramatic effect on our lives, but it’s true!
30 Second Habits to Make You Stronger
Seeing as my blog usually focuses on Fitness related topics, I had to throw this one in there. You can achieve a lot in a short time, simply by being consistent.
#1 Do 30 Seconds of Push ups or Sit ups Throughout the Day
It’s amazing what you can accomplish in just a few minutes per day. If you suck at push ups, simply doing 30 second sets throughout the day can have a huge impact over time. Remember… Consistency.
Start with just 30 seconds per day, and then start doing it twice per day, and continue adding rounds. Progress = Motivation, and once you see yourself getting better, you’ll WANT to do more. Start incorporating 30 second sets of squats, or lunges, or any other body weight exercise you’d like. Once you see progress, you’ll be hooked.
This leads me to my final point in this article:
30 Second Habits Will Turn into Much Bigger Habits
While all of these daily habits are simple and easy, you’ll find that if you actually do these on a daily basis, you will not worry about how long it takes. When something makes you feel good, improves your life and makes you a better, more successful person, you’ll naturally want more.
Small, 30 second daily activities can turn into life-changing acts that begin to define your successes and who you are. Like most things, we just need to get started. Once your foot is in the door, the door will open and you’ll step right through to a far better version of you.
If you liked this article, here are a couple others that I think you’ll enjoy:
The Art and Science of Teaching / Summarizing to Comprehend – Robert J Marzano
World Compliment Day: The Science Behind Praise – Suzanne van de Groep
Can Random Acts of Kindness Increase Well-Being? – Erica Stoerkel, MSc.
The Science of Gratitude – The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley
The Science & Psychology Of Goal-Setting 101 – Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury, BA