Right now, we are in the midst of the “level up” movement, arguably brought to the mainstream by Ciara’s hit song, “Level Up”. But what exactly does “leveling up” mean? Confidence and sense of self are based on accomplishments and are built on a foundation of good habits. As Maya Angelou said, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” You like who you are by knowing who you are, living by your values, and practicing habits that help fulfill your potential, and make you a better family member and friend.
But how do you get to that place? By building good habits, and having the discipline to practice them every day.
Here are Habits That Will Help Improve Your Life:
1. Always Network
I know you’ve heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Well, it’s not a saying for nothing, neither is the saying, “Your network is your net worth”. So why are these sayings popular? Because they have proven to be true for a lot of people in getting to the next level in their life. It’s like the “Six Degrees of Separation” – somebody in your circle always knows somebody who knows somebody, so always be willing to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people, go to different social events, take a class, show up!
I know it may be easier said than done, but remember, leveling up is all about growth, and it will be uncomfortable at times, but welcome the discomfort, it means you’re learning and growing into a better version of yourself. You never know, you may just meet someone who can change your life in the best way possible, so polish up, buttercup!
2. Practice Time Management
Time management is one of those skills that I think should be taught in college because as we get older with more responsibilities (jobs, families, hobbies, side hustles, etc), time (like money) needs to be managed, allotted, and budgeted. Some people live by their Google calendars, while some do best with having their “to-do” lists on their Notes app on their phones. I grew up in the 90s, where Lisa Frank’s stationery was all the rage, so I love planners, cute pens, etc., and I love writing things down – so it’s really about finding the best time management system for you. Again – this is a skill that will need practice, but always remember that we all have 24 hours in a day, use that time wisely.
3. Embrace Failure
Failure and lots of failures are the precedents to success. Failure isn’t permanent. Be resilient, and continue to work and progress despite failure. This is what builds success. The sooner you learn to embrace failure and to keep working in spite of it, the sooner you will see results.
4. Get Outside
Similar to exercise, getting outside improves focus, outlook, and mental health. It also strengthens the immune system. Feeling the sun, breathing fresh air, and taking a walk can help you re-energize and refocus in the middle or at the end of your day. Making some time for yourself to be outside and get some light exercise will pay dividends as you work more efficiently throughout the day.
5. Keep Learning New Skills
In addition to learning to manage your time, ALWAYS be open to learning new skills! If 2020 – 2022 has taught us anything, it’s that a traditional 9-5 job is not as “stable” as we are taught to believe and the traditional college route isn’t the ONLY path to success. So many people took the initiative to start up businesses during those unprecedented times and many others decided to look online to learn new skills!
How many of us learned how to bake sourdough bread from TikTok or YouTube? How about learning a new language, how to create social media viral videos, or learning a new hobby? My point is, always be a learner of life as you do not know when your new skills will help you earn money in unexpected ways!
Discipline is the foundation of achieving goals. You check off a to-do list and achieve your goals by having the discipline to do the necessary work every day, whether it is completing a work project, a side hustle, building your network, or striving to exercise more, having the discipline to do things when you don’t want to do them, repeatedly is the foundation of excellence. As Aristotle wrote, “excellence is not an act, but a habit,” and having the discipline to create good habits is what will fundamentally improve your life.
What other ways/areas of your life are you leveling up? What habits from the list above can you incorporate into your daily life? Remember, the level-up journey is a never-ending journey!