30 Second Habits That Really Can Change Your Life

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.

form life changing habits

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.

life hack habit summary

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

form life changing habits

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.

#3 Use Visualization to Keep You Motivated

vision board for daily motivation

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.

Vision Boards

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

habit of compliments

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

habit 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.

consistency habit

#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

form habits to improve life

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:

Mike (Supastrong)
Mike (Supastrong)

Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach and personal trainer. I’ve run boot camps and served as the wellness coordinator for a fortune 500 company. Currently a Federal Agent in San Diego, CA, and an Infantryman in the Army Reserve.

References:

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

How to Form a New Habit.  5 Tips

How to Form a New Habit. 5 Tips

We all have things we wish we would do more often.  Maybe it’s working out… or waking up earlier to start the day.  We know it would improve our lives.  Yet making the change remains elusive.  New habits are hard to keep.

We think about it, and maybe even dabble in it a little bit, and then it’s gone. 

So how can we actually create a new habit and make it last?  It’s a question worth asking, as our habits are what actually define who we are, what we accomplish and where we’re headed.

how long to make a new habit

How Long does it Take to Create a New Habit?

In the 1960’s, a plastic surgeon named Maxwell Maltz observed that after an operation, his patients took about 21 days to adjust to their new look.  Maltz published this finding in his book, “Psycho-Cybernetics,” which went viral and sold over 20 million copies.

And this is where the myth of “21 days” to create a new habit originated from.  People like the idea of 21 days to make lasting change.  It’s short and seems really doable. 

Unfortunately, it’s not true. 

How Long Does it Really Take?

A study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it took an average of 66 days to create a new habit. This study also found that:

  • Missing a day or two didn’t have any impact on successfully implementing a new habit.
  • More difficult habits, like doing 100 sit ups every morning, took longer than something simple like drinking a glass of water after breakfast every day. 
  • Some People are more resistant to forming new habits than others.

5 Tips to Successfully Make and Keep a New habit

create new habits for success

Armed with this new information, we can create a plan to change our lives with a positive new habit. 

Tip #1:  Identify a New Habit You’d Like to Implement into your life.

You can probably already identify at least one thing you wish you’d do more often, or every day.  Make sure it’s something that you can actually do.   If it’s something unreasonable, you may be setting yourself up for failure.  For example, instead of trying to wake up 3 hours earlier every day, you can get up one hour earlier.  Doing too much, too soon is what causes a lot of people to fail. 

Tip #2  Use Psychology to your advantage. 

make new habits, use psychology

Our brains are hardwired with a built-in reward system.  Think about it.  Habits like smoking or overeating are easy to adopt.  They’re easy because they trigger the reward system in our brains, releasing chemicals and causing feelings of pleasure.

When we’re trying to create a new habit, we can use this to our advantage.  Every time you successfully perform the new act, give yourself a reward.  If you’re waking up earlier, your reward can be a cup of coffee.  If you’re working out, the reward can be a piece of chocolate or any other food that normally triggers pleasure for you.  In time, working out will feel good and will replace the chocolate anyways!

Use your body’s own design to get what you want out of it. 

Tip #3  Use Microgoals to ensure you can’t fail

This is expanding on Tip #1, when we said we shouldn’t set an unreasonable goal.  Setting small, achievable goals can ensure you’ll actually make a change successfully.  Maybe you’d like to wake up 2 hours earlier, but the chances of making that last aren’t too great. 

Willpower can only go so far, and it’ll never last for 66 days.  Instead, try waking up 20 minutes earlier every day.  Once you’ve established this new habit and it no longer takes any effort, you can work on another 20 minutes.  Be creative and apply this principle to whatever your goal might be. 

Tip #4   Don’t Let Yourself Fall Off The Cliff

New habits.  don't fall off the cliff

When trying to start doing something new every day, you’re bound to miss a day here and there.  Don’t be too hard on yourself, but never miss more than 1 consecutive day. 

Once you’ve missed 2 or 3 days in a row, your habit is likely going to be broken and you’ll be starting from scratch again, which can be a really demotivating experience. 

Instead, accept the temporary defeat of missing a day, then get back on the horse and keep riding off into the sunset. 

Tip #5   Be Patient. Excellence and Greatness Don’t Happen Overnight

The whole point of creating a new habit is to improve yourself.  We all have a vision of a best version of ourselves, and creating new habits is our attempt to get closer to becoming that person.  By going after this goal, you’re on the right path.  Have faith in that and embrace the journey.  Every day that you complete successfully is another small victory.

Conclusion

Creating a new habit can be life changing. Like money in a 401k, small changes compound over time to become really big changes. Whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish, I hope this was helpful and I know you can get it done.

Don’t wait another day. The time is never just right. The time is now!

Mike (Supastrong)
Mike (Supastrong)

Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach and personal trainer. I’ve run boot camps and served as the wellness coordinator for a fortune 500 company. Currently a Federal Agent in San Diego, CA, and an Infantryman in the Army Reserve.

Citations

How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world