9 Small Habits You Could Start Today That Will Transform Your Life in 1 Year.

And Beyond.


Teronie Donaldson

3 years ago | 7 min read

And beyond.

It’s funny how we fall victim to hindsight bias, the common tendency for us to perceive past events as being more predictable than they were.

We evaluate where we are right now and convince ourselves the situation would be better if we acted on that one decision years ago. But, the reality is you never acted on that decision because you didn’t have today’s mindset.

Sounds confusing, right?

The “would have, could have, or should have” plays on your mind, and you invite regret. When you allow yourself to wallow in the guilt of failed actions, you miss out on the now and what it could be.

Life goes on and will continue to no matter what your decision. If you have a skill you want to develop, the best time to start is today — right now.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb.

If you start now and develop the habit you desire, you will be astonished by the results within one year; This is because we genuinely overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year.

Your habits are the determining factor. And if you start small, you can finish big.

Here are 9 Small Habits you could start today that will transform your life in 1 year. And beyond.

1. Read daily.

I am a staunch advocate for reading, as reading has so many benefits. I am also a reading habits coach - shameless plug aside, reading has changed my life in many ways. I honestly couldn’t tell you where I would be if not for the books I read.

The books taught me lessons for growth, provided mentorship from the authors and strategies that fostered a strong belief in myself. And it can do the same for you. If you develop the habit of reading, you will be astounded by the results.

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” — Charlie “Tremendous” Jones.

To set the habit;

Start today by reading as little as 1 page. Then, every day afterward, try to do it the same time daily and build upon your progress.

Keep in mind, reading is a personal journey and never leaves the reader the same way they went into it. (If you need help with your journey click here)

2. Build a strong network.

We are more connected than ever through social media. Yet how many of those connections are weak ties — the type of “friend” or “connection” who is only a part of your contact list with no interaction.

You wouldn’t want to hang out with someone who doesn’t engage with you in real life, so why do it online?

A strong network is where you engage with one another through dialogue, support, and well wishes. You can have associates, partners, and friends worldwide — online and offline.

“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.” — Keith Ferrazzi

To set the habit;

Genuinely reach out to others.

(Online) Say “hi,” leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s post or support what they are doing.

(Offline) Be present, listen, and see where you can offer assistance.

At the beginning of 2020, I started to reach out to people in my contacts list offline and friends list online. Over that year of touching base, my network has grown and is more solidified than ever, which results in many opportunities for gatherings, great conversations, and ways to help more.

“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want” — Zig Ziglar.

3. Listening well.

Listening is such an overlooked skill. Of course, I’m not perfect; I don’t even listen to myself sometimes; nevertheless, I work on it daily.

Listening is a critical component in avoiding unnecessary miscommunications. 

Here are great examples of what happens when you listen well;

  • You have better relationships 
  • You can uncover underlying issues
  • You can gather critical facts before making decisions
  • You provide others with a sense that you are present to their needs

There is an excellent example of listening in the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie;

At a dinner party, Carnegie met an accomplished botanist. Being genuinely interested in his knowledge, Carnegie let the botanist talk without interruption. At the end of the night, the botanist told everyone at the dinner party how exceptional Carnegie’s conversation skills were. Keep in mind all Carnegie did was listen and ask questions where appropriate, which made the botanist feel important.

To set the habit;

Start small and when someone is speaking to you, avoid the habit of planning what to say next. Just listen.

4. Write down key points of what you did for the day.

Look at it like a journal or a log. Write down a couple of critical points on how you spent your day.

Things such as;

Where you spent most of your time.

How you felt.

Or the most important thing that happened today.

Whatever you feel like writing. Reflect on what you wrote and build upon it from now on. Writing down key points of your day is vital as it helps you gauge where you were or how your mindset was at a particular point in time.

To set the habit;

Get any notebook and write 1–3 things you did for the day.

Keep doing it for one year, and you will be amazed at your growth.

5. Put a time frame on your goals.

Often, the goals we aim for seem perpetual, and when there is no significant progress, it can feel defeating.

If you put a deadline on your goals now, it becomes “do or die” time. Think of all the times when you had a school paper due and procrastinated until the last minute. Then, magically the paper got done. Whether or not it was any good was another story.

The deadline applies Parkinson’s Law which is the law that states that work expands to fill the time allotted. So if you dont have a deadline, you seem never to get it done, and when you do have one, you are likely to complete your task.

To set the habit;

Every goal you have for this year, both big and small, put a deadline on it. Keep mindful of this, and it will boost your productivity.

6. Practicing communication.

How you communicate will open more doors than you ever know. A great communicator is worth their weight in gold as many people fear public speaking.

Communication comes in different forms; a few examples are verbal or written. If you become a better speaker, you will be confident in your ideas and yourself.

The benefits of communicating well are;

Building trust — as effective communication develops trust with others.

Promotes team building. 

Increases engagement.

Improves productivity. 

Preventing issues. 

Resolves issues. 

Provides clarity and direction.

Creates better relationships.

Increases confidence. 

To set the habit;

Practice at every opportunity in written and daily conversations. You can also practice in front of a mirror or record yourself on your phone. The more you do it, the more natural you will become. 

Of course, it will take getting used to, but you will love how you feel in 1 year of steady practice.

7. Learn digital skills.

Our digital and physical worlds are intertwined now more than ever; This connection makes it the absolute best time to learn. Nothing made this more apparent than being lockdown under Covid. You had to adapt quickly to the new normal. But, as things are easing a bit, that doesn’t mean you should.

Learning a digital skill is essential to the next stage(s) of our lives via business, employment, and side hustle opportunities.

To set the habit;

Pick a skill you want to learn and start learning. You either already know what interests you, or you will find out whether it’s social media marketing, content strategy, machine learning, etc. Anything is learnable as long as you take the first step.

8. Post content daily.

Put your material out there. Post that shit. Don’t hesitate to show the world who you are. Posting daily keeps you consistent.

I know you may be thinking, “What will I post?” But don’t let this stop you from expressing yourself. You can post your thoughts, pictures, creations, articles, videos, etc., whatever your creative expression is.

I waited for years to post my articles and videos. I wanted them to be perfect. I wanted to do more research, and I doubted myself. When I decided to do it, life became easier for me. I stopped worrying about perfection and became more comfortable.

To build the habit;

Execution trumps knowledge every day the week, and your life is determined by the actions you take consistently. To take consistent action on a goal I utilized the Jerry Seinfeld method. I found that method pretty easy and straightforward.  

9. Believe in yourself and strengthen your mindset daily.

Strengthening your mindset is the most important of all the habits you can form. The battle with your mind is constant. No one critiques you more than yourself.

You will constantly come across doubts, fears, insecurities, and false beliefs all the time.

Most people are operating at a fraction of what they are capable of, and this is due to the mindset. If you were to believe in yourself, you’d be surprised what you can achieve.

To set the habit;

Always work on your mindset. 

Here are some ways you can do it;

Expose yourself to something that genuinely inspires you.

Step out of your comfort zone.

Learn from the losses.

Practice gratitude.

Be mindful of your negative self-talk.

Surround yourself with people that match your desired mindset.

Take action on the things you fear.

Celebrate the small wins.

Sounds easy right? But this is one of the biggest challenges you will face and you need to practice all the time. If you do it every day you will be a different person — the person you always aspired to be.

“Habits are not a Finish Line to be crossed; they are a lifestyle to be lived.” — James Clear

Keep in mind your journey is a personal one. There are so many habits that will be beneficial, these are the ones that have worked for me and I highly recommend them.

If you have any great habits that were beneficial to you please let me know.

Thank you for reading.


Created by

Teronie Donaldson

Writer | Motivator | Reading Habits Coach | Content Creator. Around Me, Everyone Wins!







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