It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but you’ll find that the habits listed below are relatively easy to get into, and will have huge payouts in all areas of your life.

1. Wake up Early

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” one of the founding fathers of United States once said (he’s the one on the hundred-dollar bill).

Getting an earlier start to your day will allow you more time in the morning to be productive and get things done. While everyone else is sleeping, you’ll have a quiet time and place to work, meditate, pray, or pursue those side passions you’ve been thinking about, whereas, if you try to do them after work, you may find that you’re too tired to engage with them.

2. Gratitude Lists

You’ll find that this activity changes your entire perspective about anything, even unpleasant situations. Try making lists of 5, 10, 15, or even 20 things you’re grateful for about a particular person, thing, or place.

Wherever you’re finding difficulty in life, insert a gratitude list, and watch your attitude about that thing change for the better.

3. Read

Reading improves your vocabulary, communication, and knowledge base, which will allow you to engage with the world in a deeper way.

It’s not possible to live a thousand different lifetimes in your current life, but you can read a thousand different books and learn about new people, places, and thoughts.

Reading is also a relaxing activity that can help you distress, and it stimulates your mind more than television or movies.

4. Smile

The power of a simple smile is incredible. Strangely, when you start smiling, you will actually start to feel happier. Fake it until you make it may seem like a shallow attitude to naysayers, but would you rather be down in the dumps all day, or glowing with a pleasant aura that spreads to those around you?

A happy countenance smooths over social interactions, makes you more likable, and even makes other people feel better just by seeing you. Try it out!

5. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

So many of us grab a cereal bar and a coffee on our way to work, and scarf it down on the car, or start working and then forget we were even hungry until lunch.

Eating a healthy breakfast provides you with good, healthy energy for the day, and it can also be a great way to center yourself in the morning. Slice a banana into some yogurt or cereal, grab a newspaper and coffee, and enjoy a little bit of your morning before heading off to the rat race. You’ll find it sets a different tone to the day.

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You may also want to check out the post 5 Tips for Getting Better Sleep

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