5 Simple But Powerful Habits That Will Change You Forever

Do you feel like your life is in a rut? The answer might lie in your habits. As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Sometimes we just need the right habits to turn our life around.

Here are 5 simple but powerful habits that will change you forever.

1) Work backwards from your goals

Do you remember the last time you set goals and failed? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. A body of research compiled by Oxford University shows the best way to achieve a big goal is a method called “WOOP” – that stands for wish, outcome, opportunity and plan. First, identify a challenging goal – that’s your wish. Then, deeply visualize the best outcomes from the wish. Then, identify the obstacles that stand between you and your wish. Finally, plan small actions to achieve the goal and get around your obstacles. A study published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education demonstrated that the WOOP strategy is more effective than regular goal-setting, which is usually too wishy-washy to result in real action.

2) Do one thing every day that scares you

When’s the last time you did something that scared you? Not just outside your comfort zone, but something that truly terrified you? It’s easy to stick to what’s familiar to avoid pain, but life is never going to be completely familiar and comfortable. Instead of avoiding the scary and unfamiliar, try to dive headfirst and embrace what comes as a challenge. Every day, aim to do one thing that scares you. Try making small talk with a stranger, go skydiving or ask out your crush. Take opportunities to make the most of life, but please be reasonable and keep safe – we at Psych2Go don’t want you to try lion wrestling any time soon!

3) Remember the end of your life

How often do you think about the end of your life? We know, it sounds depressing, but it can actually be exhilarating. When you’re mentally stuck in the present, tasks seem urgent, squabbles seem overwhelming, mistakes seem unbearable and risks seem terrifying. Instead, imagine you’re on your deathbed at the age of 80, looking back on your whole life. When you reminisce on the most significant moments of your entire life span, will you even remember every little task, squabble, and mistake? Will you be more regretful by taking a big risk or by staying safe and wondering what could have been? When you think of your life from a future perspective, all your feelings become much smaller and your purpose becomes much clearer.

4) Be playful

man and woman playing on body of water
Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

Life’s too short to be serious. How many of the best moments of your life were full of joy, play, and connection with others? Probably most of them. How many of them were full of seriousness, chores, and routines? Probably not many. All the weird quirks that made life joyful as a child are still yours to nurture in the present day if you decide to have a playful attitude. Of course, we at Psych2Go are not suggesting that you neglect your duties, but even these can be turned into games. Any task can easily become little challenges or competitions if you are awarded  points and get rewarded at the end for “winning”.

5) Sleep well

sleepy woman waking up on bed in morning
Photo by Miriam Alonso on Pexels.com

After all the lofty advice we just gave, it’s time to close with something simple. Have a good night’s sleep and you will have a good day. Scientists recommend about six to seven hours of sleep each night. Any less, and your mental wellbeing will suffer, even if you don’t realize it. Sleep deprivation causes stress hormones to surge throughout the body, destabilizing your mood, impairing your empathy, blocking your problem-solving ability, and generally ruining your day. We know, it’s always tempting to stay up one more hour, but trust us, one more hour of sleep will pay off much better.

Do you think you can use these habits in your own life? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to like and share this article if you think it will help someone else. The studies and references used are listed in the description below. 


  • Aurelius, M. (2013). Marcus Aurelius: Meditations, Books 1-6. Oxford University Press.
  • Day, F. (2019). Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity. Gallery Books.
  • Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2019). Goal attainment. The Oxford Handbook of Human Motivation, 247-268.
  • Joo, E. Y., Yoon, C. W., Koo, D. L., Kim, D., & Hong, S. B. (2012). Adverse effects of 24 hours of sleep deprivation on cognition and stress hormones. Journal of Clinical Neurology, 8(2), 146-150.
  • LaFargue, M. (1992). The Tao of the Tao Te Ching: A Translation and Commentary. Suny Press.
  • Polania, F. C. (2019). The Mind-Bending Truths About a Life With Purpose. Felipe chavarro.
  • Saddawi-Konefka, D., Baker, K., Guarino, A., Burns, S. M., Oettingen, G., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Charnin, J. E. (2017). Changing resident physician studying behaviors: A randomized, comparative effectiveness trial of goal setting versus use of WOOP. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 9(4), 451-457.
  • Schmich, M. (1997). Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young. Chicago Tribune, 1, 1.

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