To make real change in your life, you need to learn to make better habits. Making changes a daily part of your life will help you meet your goals faster. These five habits that changed my life have helped me both personally and professionally and brought me closer to success. Adopt any of these habits that resonate with you.

Here are the five habits that changed my life:

1. Write Things Down

If you have an idea, write it down before you forget about it. We have so many thoughts throughout the day, and so many amazing ideas pop into our heads. We think about them in the moment and then we get distracted. Carry a notebook or use the notes section in your phone to capture your thoughts before they slip away.

It’s also a good idea to write out your goals. When you write them down you make them tangible. And then it’s easier to break them down into smaller actionable steps.

I also find it helpful to make to-do lists of things I want to get done. I love the feeling of checking off the tasks I have completed.

Take notes when you hear something that inspires you, or when you learn something new. When taking notes, don’t just write down what you hear, but also what you want to do about it. I often write down what I learn and then next to that thought I write down ideas of how I can implement these ideas into my own life.

2. Take a Minute Before I Respond

It’s so easy to see a negative comment on social media and hurry to defend yourself. We’ve all been there. But it serves no purpose, and no progress is made. Take a moment to calm down, think it through, try to understand where that person is coming from, and choose whether or not to bother responding. Sometimes things look worse in print that they were intended by the writer. And sometimes people are just trolls and not worth your time and energy.

In conversation, listen to what people are saying instead of thinking of the next thing you are going to say. Sometimes we hear what we expect to hear, instead of what the person is actually saying. Take a moment to really listen to them before responding. You’ll save yourself a world of drama by taking a breath before making a comeback.

3. Trust My Intuition and My Own Way

There is so much advice all over the Internet. You see business advice, social media advice, personal advice, all day long. Everyone knows better and they can’t wait to tell you how to live. What works for them may not work for you.

It seems there is always someone telling you how they did it and how you should pay them to learn how to do it too. While it’s fine to get other people’s points of view and read about other people’s experiences, it’s important to trust your own feelings and make your own decisions.

This goes for advice from friends and family too. Even if they have the best intentions, only you know what you really want and what will make you happy. Trust in your own judgement, follow your own gut, and make decisions that are right for you.

4. Question Everything

Working as a journalist taught me to cut through press releases and promotional materials, and to analyze a situation on my own. You have to do your own research.

It’s so important to question everything you see in the media. With social media sites, information is getting tossed around faster than ever. Sometimes we don’t know where the information originated from. Everyone has their own agenda. Every advertisement is trying to sell you something. Even Facebook is in it to make money.

Learn to cut through the BS and think about things logically. Find your own answers. Ask your own questions. Always check the facts.

5. Write My To-Do List the Night Before

I used to get up every morning and think about what I needed to get done that day. It would take me a while to figure out what I wanted to work on, and in what order. Now I set my to-do list the night before so I wake up with an action plan. It saves time and helps me get to work right away.

It’s a very different feeling in the morning to wake up with a clear purpose instead of having a vague idea of what I need to do that day. Take a few minutes before the end of the day to plan out your top three tasks for the morning. You’ll save so much time and be that much closer to success.

Your Thoughts?

I hope these five habits that changed my life resonate with you in some way. I’d love to hear if you do any of these things or if you are planning to implement any of these tips for success. Let me know your best habits in the comments below. I love learning from you too. Thanks for reading.