How to Create Good Habits in Your Life: 4 “Must-Have” Behaviors for Cultivating a Thriving Mentality

If I ask if you want to be a victim, survive, or thrive throughout life, what is your answer? If you’re like most people, you probably said, “Thrive!” While that response is easy to say, there are things you must do to cultivate this thriving mentality. One of those is creating good, healthy habits. Below, I’ll share how to create good habits in your life and discuss my top 4 “must-have” behaviors for developing a thriving mindset.


Why is Creating Good Habits Essential to a Thriving Mindset?

Weathering life’s storms requires building your fortress, which I discuss in more detail in my book, Thriving in the Storm: Nine Principles to Help You Overcome Any Adversity. The concept of building your fortress can be difficult for some to grasp because we live in a society of instant gratification, where everyone is in search of a quick fix. But this fortress wasn’t built in a day – it’s built over a lifetime of good habits and routines.

This fortress, created by good habits, isn’t going to prevent the storms from arriving, but it will allow you to not only survive those storms but thrive when they occur. They reinforce your purpose and bring you closer to achieving your goals, but they also serve as a defense mechanism to keep you on course and prevent you from being swept away or going adrift. They become your anchor, ensuring you’re ready for whatever life throws your way.


Must-Have Habit #1: Bookend Your Day

Bookending your day is creating meaningful morning and evening routines. Bookending sets me up to handle whatever life throws at me, and I’ve learned that taking just 15 or 20 minutes in the morning and evening makes a world of difference. My routine is always in flux and varies depending on what I might need to work on at any given time, but here are some of the basics I’ve used to help me wind down at night:

  • Cut out distractions, like TV and social media, which can keep you from enjoying more important things.
  • Avoid negativity. For instance, I skip watching the news before bed because any negativity I see can set the tone for my night and carry over into the next morning.
  • Look for positivity. Take time to do something you love, whether spending time with your kids or doing a few minutes of yoga.
  • Avoid stress, like going over your schedule for the next day or sending difficult emails.
  • Write about what you are grateful for in your Thriving Daily Journal.
  • Check in with yourself. Ask, “How did I make a difference today? How did I contribute? What act of kindness did I perform?”

Your morning “bookend” will likely look different from the above suggestions but take time to find what works for you. Perhaps that’s enjoying a 5-minute meditation or drinking your coffee while listening to a motivational podcast – whatever helps you to be more mindful at the moment and purposeful throughout your day.


Must-Have Habit #2: Have a Proper Bedtime Routine and Get Quality Sleep

In a previous blog post, I discussed how to maximize energy levels, and one way to do that is to optimize your sleep. Your first must-have habit (bookending) will help ensure you decompress and relax before hitting the hay, and here are a few other things you can do to help promote better sleep:

  1. Increase bright light exposure during the day (which helps with your circadian rhythm) while ensuring your bedroom is dark at night.
  2. Don’t consume caffeine in the six hours leading up to bedtime.
  3. Optimize your sleeping environment by minimizing noise and maintaining a comfortable temperature of around 70 degrees.
  4. Invest in a sleep tracker like an Oura Ring to better understand your sleeping patterns.


Must-Have Habit #3: Fuel Your Body With Nutritious Foods

Junk in, junk out. You can’t expect to cultivate a thriving mentality if you fuel your body with unhealthy foods. Sugars and refined carbs lead to energy crashes and weight gain, while whole foods provide more balanced energy levels.

Create the habit of eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding processed and fried foods. Medical News Today reports that the following foods can help boost energy:

  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Fish
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Beets
  • Dark Leafy Greens
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Seeds


Must-Have Habit #4: Exercise With Purpose

“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” ―W. Clement Stone

As we share how to create good habits in your life, we can’t forget to address working out. While any exercise is better than no exercise, there are things you can do for your body to put yourself closer to a thriving mentality.

Try to avoid “going through the motions.” People with a surviving mentality show up to the gym and go through the motions. They do the same simple exercises day in and day out.

Instead, show up with a purpose! Do the best workout you can every day. Switch it up if you’ve been doing the same 30-minute workout for six months. If possible, get outside and enjoy nature while exercising. Push yourself past your limits, and be eager to try new things. You can do it!


More Information on How to Create Good Habits in Your Life

Creating good habits is essential to cultivating a thriving mentality. While there are dozens of healthy habits out there, bookending your day, getting proper sleep, exercising with purpose, and eating nutritious foods are the top four that will help you go from surviving to thriving.

I dive headfirst into creating healthy habits and providing tips for sticking to them in my book, Thriving in the Storm: Nine Principles to Help You Overcome Any Adversity. Click here and fill out the form to get a free chapter!