And how to build them in under 30 days.
What you do every day determines what kind of man you will be.
Good routines will boost the quality of your life like Dom Toretto his car when he pushes the NOS button in The Fast & The Furious. It’s why bestselling author James Clear calls habits the “compound interest of self-improvement.”
While sporadic actions make you feel good for a short time, they won’t bring meaningful change.
- One healthy meal won’t give you a six pack
- Reading a few pages on the weekend won’t give you life-changing knowledge
- Writing a relationship journal once won’t solve the problems with your partner
If you want to become the man you dream of being, your best bet is to establish the right habits – here are six I’ve tried and tested.
Boost Your Creativity, Productivity, and Happiness by Doing Niksen
“Sometimes sitting and doing nothing is the best something you can do.” – Karen Salmansohn
When was the last time you did nothing?
We live in a hyperactive world. Netflix, work emails, and buzzing smartphones. Juggling a career, family, and personal growth at the same time is hard. Doing nothing will improve your hectic life in many ways.
- It boosts your creativity and problem-solving skills. Research by the University of Lancashire shows the benefits of seeking out boredom.
- It makes you happier. Psychoanalyst Manfred Kets de Vries says, “keeping busy can be a very effective defense mechanism for warding off disturbing thoughts and feelings.” Face them instead so you can improve your life.
- It makes you more productive. This sounds crazy, but consultancy Ernst & Young found workers get 8% more done for every ten hours of vacation. A well-rested mind is a productive one.
Every Sunday, I block one hour to sit on my porch with a pen and paper, do nothing, and let my subconscious bring up whatever it wants to.
The Dutch, one of the happiest people in the world, call this practice Niksen.
Self-improvement doesn’t get any easier.
Try this habit if:
- You’re constantly busy and always have something going on
- You find yourself constantly distracting yourself with social media
- You rarely take time for yourself
- You want an easy way to find solutions to your problems
Harness Your Excess Sexual Energy and Use It for Something Productive
“We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every time you masturbate, you give 100 million unrealized offspring a theme park ride through the local drainage system and flush your sexual energy with them.
I used to be a chronic masturbator and watch porn multiple times a day. What started as a natural urge turned into a toxic habit that drained my energy and messed with my sex life. Then, I committed to nofap – in other words, no self-made orgasms.
- My energy and drive went through the roof like rockets in a burning firecracker factory
- My confidence improved drastically
- My sex drive increased and I enjoyed the horizontal tango and physical sensations much more
Many other men I’ve spoken to report the same.
When you feel the urge, use your sexual energy to do something productive instead. This could be exercising, a creative endeavor, heck it could just be cleaning your place.
Try this habit if:
- You never tried it (it’s one of the things you should challenge yourself to experience at least once in your life)
- You want insane amounts of energy, drive, and motivation
- You watch porn and masturbate too frequently
Turn Yourself Into a Powerful Bastion of Calm
“The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
Panic, confusion, and anger get you nowhere. They only make difficult situations worse by stressing you out.
I used to be a hot-headed nuclear bomb with a short fuse. Stress was my drug and once I was high, I couldn’t stop. The results were grey hairs and failed relationships.
Daily meditation has turned me into a bastion of calm. You can achieve the same so you perform better in:
- High-stake meetings at work
- Difficult talks with your partner
- Lessons you teach your kids
All you need is a simple meditation habit. I’ve found the best method for beginners is a body scan. Close your eyes and focus your awareness on the small area between your lips and nose, then let it wander through your body.
Keep these tips in mind:
- You don’t have to “achieve” anything. The essence of meditation is accepting and being in the present moment as it is.
- Don’t try to not think. If thoughts come up, let them be and go. The goal is to increase the time between them.
- Try different times of the day – some people prefer mornings, others evenings.
Unrestrained anger is weakness, calmness is power.
Try this habit if:
- You have anxiety or stress out in difficult situations
- You want to stay calm no matter what life throws at you
- You want to improve your ability to focus on a task for hours so you can become more productive
Learn To Understand What You Already Know
“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” – Christina Baldwin
Putting thoughts into words wipes the fog of your mental glasses.
I’ve been journaling for over three years and it has saved me from taking the wrong path many times.
Most of your thoughts only exist deep in your subconscious. If you journal every day for a month, you will bring them to the surface and know much more about yourself than before.
This knowledge is power. It will help you make the right decisions instead of acting on a whim and regretting it. But staring at a blank page is intimidating – so how do you get started?
There are two simple methods I use:
- Answer specific journal questions. These give you a great, everyday framework for putting your thoughts in order. Read 6 Simple Journal Questions.
- Stream of consciousness. When you’ve got a specific issue that bugs you but you’ve hit a wall, write down what comes to mind. The key is to not judge your thoughts or aim for anything specific – just let the words flow. Get a page or two deep and you’ll have new insights, guaranteed.
Written words uncover your true thoughts.
Start here: How to Get Into Journaling: The One Thing That Can Change Everything
Try this habit if:
- You want more clarity and order in your thoughts
- You feel unhappy but don’t know why or what to do about it
- You hit the same walls again and again
Strengthen Your Mind and Body at the Same Time
“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”― Socrates
You have raw, masculine power inside of you – but most men never realize it.
Instead, they hug the couch after work, crack open a beer, and let their potential go to waste.
I’ve worked out for over ten years and the regular gym sessions have given me much more than a jacked body.
- They taught me discipline, structure, and commitment, the basic pillars of true freedom.
- They are free therapy sessions. Sometimes, shit has to hit the fan and lifting weights is a healthy outlet for aggression.
- They are a great way to connect with like-minded, growth-focused men. Some of my best friendships have started with a simple “can you spot me on this exercise real quick?”
- They skyrocketed my energy and drive. The human body is paradoxical – movement creates energy.
As a cherry on top, regular workouts also boost testosterone – and who wouldn’t want more of that?
Don’t know where to start? How to Start Working Out Again: A Simple and Manageable Starting Point to (Finally) Get Back on Track
Try this habit if:
- You feel lazy, drained, unmotivated, and lack drive
- You don’t like what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror naked
- You want to tap into your raw power
Feel Fulfilled and Get More Out of Life
“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” – Jim Rohn
Most men approach life with a “what’s in it for me?” mentality.
It’s natural because human beings are egoistical by nature – but that’s not how life works. If you’re always on the lookout for what you can take…
- Others will resent you
- You’ll get stuck in a game of endless chasing
- You won’t be happy because you’ll never have enough
Instead, flip the script and focus on giving. Contribution to something bigger than yourself is one of the biggest factors of a fulfilled life and therefore essential for your mental well-being. So, ask yourself:
“What can I give?”
- A smile to a stranger
- A dollar to a homeless person
- A “how are you?” text to a friend who’s having a rough time
- A few words of appreciation for your coworker
- A helping hand to your wife or children
Once I focused on giving instead of taking, my life skyrocketed. I got more clients, benefits, and love than I could handle. And you can get the same.
Give, and life will give back.
Try this habit if:
- You feel like your life lacks meaning
- You feel insignificant and want to make a difference in the world
- You seem to never have enough
How To Easily Build a New Habit in 30 Days
Building habits is easy if you know how to but a nightmare if you don’t.
From years of experience with myself and coaching others, here are four helpful tips.
- Standardize before you optimize. You have to get in your reps, so make it easy for yourself and increase the challenge over time. One minute of meditation. One small deed a day. Twenty minutes of working out or doing nothing. Start small.
- Use your environment. Your surroundings have a huge influence on you. Set alarms, write post-it notes, and put your journal on your nightstand. Make the cues obvious and the behaviors will follow.
- Make a rule to never miss twice. You’re a human, not a robot. It’s fine to mess up – but if you do, make sure you follow through the next day.
- Track and reward yourself. This will make your brain release dopamine, a reward hormone that makes you happy and reinforces learned behaviors. Get a calendar and draw an “X” for every successful day. Buy a nice dinner as a reward for seven days in a row. Condition yourself into the right behaviors.
Now you know how to build a habit – all that’s left is to choose one that will benefit you most from this list:
- Do nothing intentionally to boost your creativity, productivity, and happiness.
- Stop masturbating and use your energy productively instead.
- Meditate to stay calm in even the toughest situations.
- Journal to increase your self-awareness and see clearly.
- Work out to make your mind and body strong.
- Give without expecting anything, this is where you’ll find fulfillment and meaning.
Get to work – you are what you repeatedly do.