Find Your Process: Lewis Howes Shares 5 Ways to Nurture Positive Habits in Your Life
Success starts with a process. Billionaires, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and Olympians all have one thing in common: they’ve built positive habits that have helped them achieve their goals.
At Zoom, we’re striving to help everyone learn what it takes to build forward with confidence. That’s why we teamed up with podcast host, author, entrepreneur, and former athlete Lewis Howes to create a webinar that features practical tips to help you build positive habits, get clear on your vision, and achieve your goals.
Here’s a brief recap of the webinar, which you can also watch in full here:
Defining positive habits
We rise and fall to the level of our training — good habits lead to growth, while bad ones result in frustration. A good habit doesn’t have to mean an entire overhaul of our existing routines, but rather small, achievable wins that help improve our perspective and change our mindset. To Howes, these good habits can be defined as:
- Healthy eating
- Being in service
- Replacing negative self-talk with positive
- Making your bed first thing in the morning
- Creating a morning or evening routine
Lack of accountability fuels negativity
We’re all aware that positive habits help improve our lives, yet so many of us experience procrastination, lack of sleep, not taking breaks — habits that hold us back and even negatively impact our relationships. So why do we struggle to adhere to positive processes?
Well, Howes claimed, “Because we’re not being reminded and held accountable to our negative habits.”
The challenge? “Staying consistent,” he added. We all need to clarify our vision and remind ourselves of the ‘why’ behind anything we do.
5 ways to drive positivity
Consistency is what matters most for positivity, and a better life can be boiled down into five key areas that help drive growth:
1. Mindfulness: Many of us don’t know how to manage negative thoughts, so we seek out easy alternatives to get a sense of positivity — we’re glued to our phones, we can’t stop checking social media, etc. You need to get curious about the craving and ask yourself, ‘why am I craving something that’s not good for me?’ While we don’t need to beat ourselves up, we need to investigate our minds so we can begin to understand what drives us. Understanding fosters mindfulness.
2. Showing up for others: “Happy people are more social,” said Dr. Laurie Santos, one of Howes’ recent podcast guests. That doesn’t mean that introverted people aren’t content, but rather that humans need to be around people who we respect and like. We need to spend quality time with the most important people to us, show up for them, and consistently invest in these relationships in meaningful ways.
3. Physical health: Let’s admit it: coffee is a huge part of many of our daily routines. But are we as dedicated to drinking water as we are with coffee? You need to apply that same consistency to habits that you know improve your physical health. Drink water, schedule physical activity, take breaks, get sleep — put reminders on your calendar so you don’t forget or push these activities out. You can even combine habits two and three by playing a sport, which is both a social and physical activity.
4. Service: In a Harvard study by Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, some participants were asked to spend money on themselves while others were asked to spend it on other people — the latter group rated themselves happier by the end of the day. The greatest gift you can give yourself is giving to others. When you give, you receive way more in return and create a more sustainable form of happiness.
5. Gratitude: Gratitude is the foundation for joy, connection, and community. And all gratitude has to be is a shift in perspective. By appreciating what we already have, we get more out of it. In fact, a study by American Psychological Association found that patients who kept a gratitude journal for eight weeks showed reductions in circulating levels of several important inflammatory biomarkers, as well as an increase in heart rate variability while they wrote. Expressing that gratitude eases your mind and helps improve your overall health. Whether it’s through a gratitude journal, leaving messages with friends, or just sharing over a team call, be sure to consistently verbalize your gratitude.
Identify and implement
Positive habits are achievable, all you have to do is apply yourself. “By selecting one of these habits, identifying what that habit looks like, and implementing the process, you’ll level up,” Howes said. Just commit to one thing at a time, for five to ten minutes a day — you can even tap an accountability buddy to help you stay consistent with a habit. Define your process and the results will follow.
If you want to learn more about how you can create positive habits, be sure to explore Howes’ workbook, Building Positive Habits: How to Be More Present and Productive.
Stay up to date on the latest thought leadership on the hybrid workforce — check out upcoming events in our Building Forward webinar series and read the recap of our interview with body language and virtual communication expert Mark Bowden.