At risk of sounding like that cat hanging onto a tree branch in the inspirational poster in your dentist’s office: Success (whatever that means to you) doesn’t come overnight—and that’s okay. What’s more, it’s often not one giant jump that gets you to the top of the ladder, but the little things in our everyday routines that build us up step by step.
“Habits are important because they make good choices automatic,” says Laura Vanderkam, productivity expert and author of Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done. Vanderkam defines productive habits as ones that bring you closer to the life you want, and will also set the right tone. Stacking these healthy habits is what leads to success, she says.
“I believe in everyday rituals and creating magic from mundane moments,” adds Latham Thomas, doula and founder of Mama Glow. “I know that rhythm and ritual help punctuate my day with presence.”
Need some examples of what these magical mundane moments look like? Nine simple healthy habits wellness entrepreneurs attribute to their success include: Tackling the tough stuff first, practicing gratitude, working with natural energy cycles, journaling about the future, journaling about the past, taking time to unplug, going for mindful walks, making time for loved ones, and developing a self-care practice. Keep reading to learn more about each tip and what it looks like to put it into practice.
9 wellness habits successful people practice:
1. Tackle the tough stuff first
Let’s get right to it: Procrastinating can be a total detour from your road to success, which is why Brittany Carbone, founder of CBD brand TONIC, says that when it comes to handling problems, she tackles The Big One first. “Jumping on the most harrowing and confronting issue as soon as it came up [has] allowed me to solve problems with more ease, instead of overthinking and overanalyzing,” she says. “It helps me avoid the inevitable ‘decision fatigue.’”
2. Practice gratitude
“I believe happiness is being able to soak in the moment,” Chrystle Cu, co-founder of Cocofloss says. “Wake up and give thanks to a new day. Acknowledging stillness makes room for the real work to begin.” And Cu, of course, makes sure to floss daily.
3. Work with your natural energy cycles
Sara Panton, co-founder of the essential oil brand Vitruvi, says learning when she works best is a habit that keeps her mind clear and her day productive. “I try to have all my calls scheduled after 3 p.m. because that’s when my energy starts to change,” she says.
Learning when you get into the best groove, regardless of professional narratives you may have heard, is key here. “I get my creative juices flowing in the afternoon and evening, even though ‘all the success people’ are morning people,” Whitney Tingle, co-founder of Sakara says. “I let go of what was ‘supposed to be’ and have been thriving ever since.”
4. Journal with an eye to the future…
Keeping a journal can be a tough habit to get into (think about all the empty notebooks you have piled up at home), but writing things down can help you achieve goals and work through roadblocks. Christina Rice, founder of OMNoire, starts her entries with “I am…” instead of wants or hopes. “By stating the things I want to manifest in my life [as if they’re] already present, I am evoking the emotion of euphoria and happiness associated with the achievement,” she says. “It gives me permission to put intention behind the affirmation.”
5. …and the past
Laying it all out in a journal works both ways. “In order to remember what I’m capable of, I have to remind myself of what I’ve already overcome,” Polly Rodriguez, co-founder of Unbound says. “For me, this takes form in journaling and actively rereading past entries.”
6. Put down the phone
You hear it all the time, but taking a break from your device can help to curb the automatic habit of grabbing your phone like, every second. “I’ve learned that I am at my best when I’m not rushing or distracted,” Thomas says. “If you get used to stepping away from your phone for a few hours a day, it really makes an impact on your work and life.”
7. Go on a mindful walk
“I don’t make dedicated time to meditate as much as I would like, so I choose mindful walking instead,” Kerrie Mohr, LCSW and founder of A Good Place Therapy, says. She walks to and from her office without listening to podcasts or music to be more present in her surroundings.
8. Make time for loved ones
“Surround yourself with people who love you and respect your values,” Kristian Henderson, founder of BLK+GRN, says. “For me, self care is communal.”
For Jordana Kier, co-founder of LOLA, dedicating family time before diving into work helps her center herself. “Spending that 30 minutes of quality time helps me get into a good headspace,” she says.
9. Discover what self care means to you
When talking with these wellness founders, self care was the common thread that ran through all of their habits. After all, burnout doesn’t equal success. Monique Volz of Ambitious Kitchen says busy isn’t always best. “I’ve found that in times of rest and reflection I have grown the most,” she says.
For Lisa Levine, founder of Maha Rose Center for Healing, self care means remaining open to new ideas and experiences. “Receive!” she says. “Take the experiences of life deeply into your soul and see how rich you feel.”
Originally published August 4, 2019. Updated March 13, 2020.
If you need to break a few bad habits to make room for healthy ones, you’re going to want to see this piece of advice from one of the top motivational speakers in the world. And for more inspo, here are 10 wellness habits you could work into your routine tomorrow.
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