💪9 Habits for a better YOU
Ace 2023 with these | Wisdom Letter #174
Welcome to Wisdom Letter 174.
A very happy new year to you and your family :)
Hope you achieve all your goals this year.
January is probably the best time of the year to focus on self improvement.
On building the right habits and setting the tone for the year.
Today on the first day of the year, we want to talk about the top 9 habits you can build this year to become the best version of yourself.
We have divided these 9 habits into 3 sections -
3 habits for a better mind
3 habits for a better body
3 habits for better wealth
Let’s get into it each one of them -
3 Habits for a Better Mind
“A man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read”
— Mark Twain
Reading is the ultimate meta habit.
If you are good at reading, it will help you get better at almost everything else in life.
If you don’t already have a reading habit, yesterday was a good time to get started, today also works!
When you’re starting out, don’t fret over what topic you are reading, it can be fiction, non-fiction, chic lit, young adult, anything.
Just get the habit rolling. You will gravitate to the important stuff with time.
“Read what you love, until you love to read.” — Naval Ravikant
“The thing about meditation is: You become more and more YOU”
— David Lynch
A sound mind is the base for a healthy and fulfilling life. Meditation is an easy path to building a sound mind.
We are talking about mindfulness meditation here, not transcendental meditation. This is not about achieving nirvana, or even stopping your thoughts.
This is just about observing your thoughts, trying to run your mind in debug mode.
There are many unresolved threads that accumulate in our minds over the course of our life.
Meditation is a way to be mindful of these threads.
Meditation will bring a sense of calm to your life. Achieve it, and cherish it.
“Brilliant things happen to calm mind. Be Calm. You’re brilliant”
“Writing is thinking on paper”
I have stopped forming opinions on things I haven’t written about yet.
When I want to form an opinion on something, I read about it, then sit down and write what I think about it, and then know what I actually think about it.
What goes on in our minds is so raw that it should not be considered as opinions.
Writing is the perfect way to think through stuff.
It helps to clear the cobwebs in your head, and forces you to articulate your half baked thoughts.
Don’t write to publish, but write to better your own thinking.
Through writing, your past and present self can discuss a topic in depth. That is really a super power!
“Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on”
For more actionable tips on how to build the habits of reading, meditation and writing, do check out an earlier post we wrote -
3 Habits for A Better Body
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live”
— Jim Rohn
Everything else in your life can come second, you health must come first.
Build a fitness routine. Play a sport, join a gym, go for a run, or even a just a regular walk.
Take care of your body today, so it will take care of you tomorrow.
The real impact of exercise can take a while to show up, but you will start to feel fitter within 7 days of starting a workout habit.
So make sure to get started and try to reach day 7 asap.
“The Only Bad workout is the one that didn’t happen”
“Everything you do, you will do better with a good night’s sleep”
— Arianna Huffington
It’s odd that sleep makes it to a list of “habits”.
Sign of the times we live in I guess, but the importance of sleep cannot be emphasized enough.
Quality of your sleep is a direct contributor to the quality of your life. It has been proven scientifically as well as anecdotally.
One more thing -
Try to wake up naturally, without an alarm.
The quality of sleep you feel when you wake up naturally is exponentially higher compared to when you wake up with an alarm, even if you just get 10 minutes extra sleep that way.
Respect the circadian rhythm of your body more than the artificial rhythm of your calendar.
“The best bridge between despair and hope, is a good night’s sleep”
— Mathew Walker
3. Drink Water💧
“Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine”
Another odd addition to a habits list. But the “busyness” of modern life often causes us to “forget” to drink water.
If you wait to feel thirsty to drink water, then it’s too late, your body is already feeling dehydrated.
Water has a positive impact on all organs of the body, and the only side effect is perhaps that you will pee a bit more.
That’s a massive upside for a minimal downside.
Water is the modern elixir, it helps with almost every ailment, it’s also the simplest positive act you can do for your body.
Don’t miss this low hanging fruit in building a better body.
“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water”
— W.H. Auden
For more actionable tips on how to build the habits of exercise, sleep and drinking water, do check out an earlier post we wrote -
3 Habits for Better Wealth
1. Track Your Money
“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions”
The first step of managing your money is knowing where it is right now.
Money has a tendency to fall through nooks and crannies without us realizing it. Tiny expenses that we ignore can mount up to a significant amount over the course of a year.
I’ve said this before, will say it again, what gets measured gets improved.
It might seem silly, but it works.
“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement”
2. Cap your Living Expenses
“Beware of small expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship”
The part of your income that you save today will be the seed for the entire income you will earn in the future.
“Save more than you spend” is obvious advice that is misleading.
When you start to earn initially, it’s very difficult to implement, as you grow it becomes easier, and after a while it becomes effortless, but also pointless.
The idea is not to break your income in percentages like 50:50 save and spend.
If your starting income is X, 50% of X is perhaps too difficult to save, while 50% of 100X is perhaps too much to spend.
Rather, the idea is to identify at what exact amount you can say — “Yup that’s all I’ll even need to live comfortably, everything else I can save”
That amount can be X, or 5X or 10X.
But it will be ab absolute amount.
Know that after a point, money has zero marginal utility. Beyond that point, spending more doesn’t give you more satisfaction.
Identify that point, and stay well within it, so all your expenses add meaning to your life.
“He Who buys what he does not need, steals from himself”
3. Diversify Your Income
“If you don’t find a way to earn while you sleep you will keep working till the day you die”
This is not as much a habit, as it’s a mindset.
But it can be practiced like a habit.
Relying on a single source of income, even if it’s a “stable” job, is the riskiest thing you can do.
You need to have multiple avenues to earn money from. Only then will you be able to pay a decent salary to your future self.
There is an element of risk in any avenue you put your money in, yes you can lose it all. But there is greater risk in relying on a single source of money.
You can lose that too!
“If we never save money or invest, we will always be poor. No matter how much we earn”
For more actionable tips on how to build the habits of tracking your money, capping your living expenses and diversifying your income sources, do check out an earlier post we wrote -
Thank you for reading 🙏
Hope this post gave you a few ideas about the right habits to build in 2023.
If you need help in building these habits, do check out our resources around the book Atomic Habits -
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