“Let today be the day you pay attention to what you feed your mind, your body, and your life. Create a nourishing environment conducive to your growth and well-being.” – Steve Maraboli
After years of blood, sweat, and tears, you’ve finally gotten your hands on that highly coveted Bachelor’s degree. You’ve bid adieu to countless all-nighters and consuming unhealthy amounts of caffeine and fast-food. You’re more than excited to start the next chapter of your life, but at the same time, are overwhelmed with the one million and one things written on your list of life goals. The possibilities and opportunities post-graduation are endless and you may find yourself not knowing where to begin.
During confusing and overwhelming times like these, it’s best to begin by focusing on yourself and creating an environment that is conducive to your overall growth and well-being. To start, here are three key habits that you can develop to help you shake off that post-graduation “high”, work towards your goals, and create the best version of yourself.
- Be an Early Riser
Post-graduation and unemployed, I found myself waking up at the crack of noon almost every day. Sleeping in was a luxury I didn’t have time for in college, so after graduation, I made it my personal mission to catch up on sleep. However, after two months of sleeping in almost all of the time, I realized that I was neither maximizing my potential nor doing anything proactive to work towards achieving my life goals. Waking up late always led me feeling sluggish and lazy the rest of the day.
Though waking up early has always been difficult for a night owl like me, I started slowly by going to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. I worked on this every night for a month, trying to sleep a little earlier than the night before, until being an early riser became second nature to me.
Practicing the simple habit of becoming an early riser has made such a big impact on my daily routine. It sets off a chain of good habits such as setting my goals, getting organized and exercising. Now, waking up early each day sets my mood and encourages me to maximize my day.
- Live a Healthier Lifestyle
Making healthier food choices doesn’t mean that you suddenly have to become a vegan or start buying organic, gluten-free food and what-not. You can start small by trying to incorporate as many fresh fruits and vegetables into your regular diet as possible. By cooking most, if not all of our meals, we know exactly what is going into our bodies. Limiting how many times you eat out in a week helps too—your body (and wallet!) will thank you afterwards.
Similarly for physical activity, squeezing in just 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine will do wonders. Exercise makes us feel stronger, more energized, and improves mental clarity. With so many amazing exercise and fitness channels on YouTube, you don’t necessarily even have to purchase a gym membership. Start with 10-minute workouts and when you’ve gotten into the habit of exercising on a daily basis, challenge yourself with 30 and 60-minute workouts.
Transitioning into living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive or technical. It’s about making better choices and working with what we already have. It’s as simple as reaching for an apple instead of a bag of chips and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Our 20’s is the best time to focus on being healthy because we’re young and full of energy. Consider it an investment which benefits you’ll reap when you hit your 30’s and 40’s.
- Maintain a Daily Routine
Believe me, I’m all for spontaneity, but when you’re fresh out of college and soul-searching, it’s best to stick to a routine in order to actually get things done and develop good habits like the ones mentioned above. Adhering to a daily routine provides structure and order to your daily life and can help keep us motivated as well.
Going through your daily routine and being able to accomplish menial tasks such as waking up at the same time each morning, tidying up your room or taking your dog out for a walk, can provide you with a sense of fulfillment and give you the momentum you need to accomplish greater tasks.
I also find that sticking to a daily routine allows me to maximize my day and make time for hobbies which I did not have time for in the past. I believe that when we set aside time each day to work on our hobbies, we’re setting aside time to do what makes our souls happy.
Which habit will you start today?
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