10 tiny habits that can change your life.

I tried these for 20 days and here’s the result!

Madhav Bahl
8 min readJul 25, 2023

Before you go forward, I want to warn you that these small habit changes are very powerful, initially it might seem like nothing really changed, but after trying out these things for 15–20 days you will start noticing the difference.

Read this blog only if you are serious about sticking to these changes for the next few weeks, otherwise, you can close this right now!

1. Let’s do some ocean breathing…

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Activity: Sit down, close your eyes for 2 minutes and try to do ocean breath (or, Ujjayi Pranayama). Do this multiple times in a day.

To learn how to perform it, you can follow any tutorial on Google or YouTube,

If you don’t want to spend time learning this, you can just do deep breathing instead.

Reason: Stronger lungs, heart and a calmer mind.

Results:

  • It helped me with my seasonal allergy which cause some breathing issues (I won’t mention about it in details to keep this blog to the point)
  • It improved my focus time. Thanks to Instagram, my focus time was decreased so much that I couldn’t even work for 20–30 minutes straight — I needed some distraction every now and then. Ocean breaths definitely gave a boost to my focus time.
  • It definitely helped me become more calm over time. Just a couple of weeks ago I could remember having emotional reaction to a lot of things which I can now analyze calmly.

2. Start your day with gratitude

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Activity: Each morning, take a moment to express gratitude for three things in your life.

Reason: It sets a positive tone for the day.

Results:

  • Not a noticeable benefit for many days — this isn’t something that worked instantly
  • After some 10 days, I started noticing small changes, I became slightly more cheerful.
  • There’s one thing I absolutely loved about the changes that happened — I started looking at the positive sides of things. (I was going through a period of stress in past few months, and it actually shifted my mindset from worrying about what’s going to happen to planning about what can I do about it)

3. Drinking 1–2 glasses of water after waking up

Photo by Nigel Msipa on Unsplash

Activity: Each morning, drink 1–2 glasses of warm water.

Reason: Hydrating your body first thing in the morning can boost your energy levels, and flush out toxins from your body. Some studies also state that drinking water in the morning on an empty stomach can increase your metabolism.

Results:

  • The first thing that I want to mention since this was a major difference I could notice — it helped me with my acne (didn’t heal completely but made a good difference). Which is not a small thing if you’re like me and have a sensitive skin.
  • This probably also helped me manage my weight. I’m not sure if this is the reason I was able to manage my weight even during a dirty bulk past few days, some studies do say that it helps with metabolism. Maybe you can give it a shot too.
  • I didn’t notice when did I became a caffeine addict, but I did! Interestingly, all I had to do to get rid of it was to replace it with water in the morning.

I agree that water can’t raise your energy levels to the point where caffeine does — but if you’re like me overdosing caffeine since a long time, you know caffeine doesn’t help much (caffeine tolerance). I just started relying on water, and I could see it helped bring back some energy levels. It’s definitely worth a try.

4. Study for 20–30 minutes

Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

Activity: Open your calendar in any of your work apps (Gmail, Outlook, etc), and create a 30–45 minutes daily recurring meeting with yourself called “Study Time” with status set to DND.

As soon as the clock hits that time, close all your digital distractions (social media, email, etc) and go study something, anything!

Reason: 30–45 minutes won’t seem much in 1 day, but it becomes 3–4.5 hours in a week (assuming you just enjoy on Sundays) and more than 100 hours in 6 months.

100 hours is more than enough to give you good enough skills!

Imagine, you just need 30–45 minutes a day, 6 days a week to learn something completely new that can even help you start earning money, or do something more impactful — all of this in just 6 months!

Results:

  • This is something that I’ve been recommending everyone since years, this isn’t new to me and I have to tell you that this is the most habit you need if you really want to grow in life!
  • I follow half-yearly action plan to learn a new skill every 6 months, and all I need to do is to find out 30 minutes out of my schedule everyday, that’s it.

5. Workout 4–5 days a week

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Activity: Engage in some physical activity (at least for 20–30 minutes) each day for at least 4 days a week. It can be as simple as stretching, walking, or dancing.

Btw — I create fitness content on Instagram to motivate people to start working out. I have curated an AMAZING workout program that can help you take your fitness game to next level. If you want my workout program at a SPECIAL discount of 50%, send me “medium workout” on DM and follow me on Instagram ;)

https://www.instagram.com/theleanprogrammer/

Reason: You will feel more active, more energetic and ultimately it will help you be more productive in your work. Some people even find working out to be better than actual therapies in case of a stressful life.

Results:

Just like the previous one, this is something that I’ve been recommending people for almost an year now. But to actually tell you the results I saw when I started working out last year post covid-era (Feb. 2022), here are a few things I noticed in just a few days -

  1. Significant body composition changes: Due to low physical activity during the covid lockdown period (2020–2022), I gained a lot of fat (my fat% went beyond 40~46%). But, in just 20–25 days of working out, I could see significant drop in fat %.
  2. Better mood throughout the day: I won’t lie, I lost all my stamina and flexibility during lockdown which, I think, significantly impacted my mood. After I started working out, I could see a huge reduction in my stress and anxiety levels leading to a more positive outlook on life.
  3. Increased stamina: As I mentioned above, inactive lifestyle depletes your stamina which in turn affects your mood and motivation to do things. Working out can increase your energy and stamina.
  4. Better sleep: I don’t know if this is scientifically backed, but I definitely noticed it (probably because I became too tired with work and gym), I saw a huge improvement in my sleep quality.

6. Plan your day even before it starts

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Activity: Spend a few minutes each evening to plan your tasks and priorities for the next day.

Reason: It will increase your overall productivity

Results:

  • Improved productivity and time management: By knowing what needs to be done, I start my day with a clear focus and purpose, which leads to increased productivity and better time management throughout the day.
  • Enhanced sense of accomplishment: Obviously! crossing off completed tasks from your to-do list provides a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
  • Increased self-discipline: By creating a habit of planning my day in advance, I developed greater self-discipline and accountability.

7. Practice random acts of kindness:

Activity: Perform small acts of kindness, like holding the door for someone or giving a genuine compliment.

Reason: It cultivates positivity and creates meaningful connections

Results:

  • I would not add any materialistic results here, since I did not do it with any ‘motive for profit’ in mind.
  • All I can say is, that it feels very good — be kind to others, you never know what they are going through, if someone smiles because of you, nothing can be better than that. ❤

8. Maintain good posture

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Activity: Be conscious of your posture throughout the day and make an effort to sit and stand tall.

Reason: Good posture can boost confidence, reduce back pain, and of course, it can improve your overall body language.

Results:

  • Increased energy levels: Wait, there’s actually some science behind it, Proper posture allows your lungs and diaphragm to function optimally, leading to better breathing and increased oxygen intake. This improves blood circulation and increased energy levels.
  • Enhanced self-confidence: When you stand and sit with good posture, you naturally project a more confident and assertive demeanor. Over time, this can lead to increased self-esteem.

9. Practice good sleep hygiene

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

Activity: Establish a consistent sleep schedule, sleep in a dark room and create a relaxing bedtime routine.

Reason: Good sleep = better recovery from exhaustion = more energy
Sleep is very important for your overall well-being.

Results

I’m one of those people who get lazy when it comes to sleep. At times I sleep at 1 am at night and wake up 5 am the next day. It is a very unhealthy habit.

But, even with less sleeping hours, I wanted to make the full out of it, so I did a few things -

  1. Created a sleep schedule — I’ll be sleeping by this time and will be awake at this time sharp.
  2. While sleeping, I close all the lights to keep the room dark for better sleep.
  3. Take a quick bath just before sleeping.

These three things improved my overall sleep quality, and even with less sleep, I could see an improved overall performance.

10. Connect with friends/family/partner

Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash

Activity: Reach out to a friend or family member every day, even if it’s just a quick text or phone call.

Reason: Nurturing relationships is crucial for happiness and well-being.

I don’t need to tell you the benefits of doing this, you are already aware how important it is for humans to connect with people who understand us.

That’s it! If you need any help from me, don’t hesitate to reach out, I’m active on Instagram and LinkedIn -

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theleanprogrammer/
LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/madhavbahl/

Feel free to drop a “Hi” if you want to connect :)

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Madhav Bahl

✨ Tech, Fitness and Lifestyle - Helping software professionals stay fit and grow in career ✨