“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
“The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult.”
Madame Marie du Deffand
You don’t have to make a big change in your life.
However, I believe belief is one of the things that holds people back from improving themselves and their world.
A simpler way that more often results in actual action being taken and new habits being established – in my life at least – is to take smaller steps but many of them.
Today I want to share 10 habits that will help you change your life in under 2 minutes per day.
Through these small steps you can start to build habits that become stronger and over time can change your life in ways you perhaps can’t imagine now.
To remember to actually do one of the things below each day I recommend writing down a simple reminder.
It can be placed on your nightstand to make sure you have it at hand when you get up in the morning. You can also place the note in your work area so that you are able to see it in the early hours of your day.
If you wish, and if you are able to, increase the small habit by adding a few minutes per day.
1. Start working on your most important task for just 2 minutes.
This one is used at least once per week.
On some days I simply don’t feel like getting started with work. I’d much rather stay lazily on the sofa.
On such days, I simply start working for 2 minutes on my most important job.
This is the deal.
The truth is that getting started is the most difficult part.
Once I’ve moved for 2 minutes, it is often easy to continue my work.
2. Recap and reflect on your day.
Your self-esteem can be raised by doing positive things throughout the day. When you look back, you will see that you did so.
Spend two minutes at the end of each workday. Take the time to appreciate what you did, and what your thoughts were.
This is what I’ll do after I finish this article and my workday.
3. For the day, set a low standard for happiness.
One thing I like to tell myself when I wake up in the morning is this: “Have a low bar for happiness today.”
This is something I keep in my head and try to remember throughout the day. I find that I appreciate more things.
My work, food, and weather become more than just everyday things. They are something that I am happy to have.
It is easy to take for granted the small things, but I find it important to pause and take in what is around me.
Do I have to be happy with the little things in my life? Or do I need to be motivated to strive for the greater things?
This way of viewing my life gives me more energy and inspiration. I am able to explore and work towards bigger and smaller goals.
4. Breathe even when you are stressed.
If stress is a problem, it can cause you to feel anxious, irritated, or fearful. It takes 2 minutes.
Breathe in through your nose, and then breathe in deeply through your belly.
For those two minutes, focus on your breathing. There is nothing else.
This will calm you down, and you can return to work in a more focused and relaxed state.
5. Be open to the present moment.
You can’t drag yourself down the spiral of despair if you go back to the past and relive an old conflict. You can’t imagine a disaster at your next meeting, date, or presentation if you don’t get out of the past.
Focus your attention and energy on the place you are. You are here and now.
You can do this by sitting down for two minutes.
Take a look at what is in front of you.
Pay attention to birds and cars from outside.
The sun is shining on your skin through the window.
Feel the tiny draft coming from one of the windows.
For those two minutes, be fully present with all your senses.
Relaxing your body and mind will help you relax. It will make it easier to think. An optimistic outlook will feel more natural.
6. If you feel the need for judgment, try understanding instead.
Take 2 minutes to evaluate someone you don’t know, or if you feel the need for judgment. These are the questions you should ask yourself:
- What are the parts I can see in this person?
- Is he or she like you?
It’s better to do this than judge.
People don’t want to be judged negatively.
Plus, the extent to which you judge others can often be reflected in how you judge yourself.
You can make these two changes to live a happier life. Stop judging yourself when you feel the need to and choose something better.
7. Give a compliment to someone you care about for a moment.
Give yourself a minute to think about what you truly and sincerely appreciate about the person in your life.
Spend the second minute telling the person you love the compliments.
He or she will be happy. You’ll feel good about yourself and probably get some positive feelings too from the now happy and complimented person.
It’s a good and small way to build more positive relationships.
It’s a small thing but physical intimacy can reduce stress and make us feel good. Hugging is a great way to spend two minutes each day.
You can use compliments to make your relationships more warm and positive with everyone in your life.
Before you begin hugging, use common sense.
9. Be curious, not just interesting.
Begin a conversation by asking one or two questions about the person you’re talking to.
Pay attention and don’t just wait for your turn to talk again.
Your interest will be most likely returned, and you can begin to have a meaningful conversation as well as a rewarding and giving relationship.
10. Mix it up.
Try the opposite…
- If you are a meat-eater, consider the vegetarian option.
- Don’t make a bad situation worse.
- You should let go of one thing if you hold on to it too much.
- If you are used to saying no, say yes to something unexpected and continue with your daily routine.
Spend 2 minutes examining a common or negative situation in today’s life. Then, take a moment to reflect and make a decision that is unusual for you.
Mixing things up can make life more enjoyable. To make your life more interesting. To create unexpected experiences.
It is easier to get out of your comfort zone when you are really needed.
To feel alive.