Good Habits to Adopt


We are well into the new year and while hopefully some of us have kept our resolutions, there are others who may still be contemplating the differences they could adopt to truly make 2019 a more fruitful year. With self improvement buzzwords all over the internet like “mindfulness,” “hygge,” and “self-care,” people are looking for constructive and feasible ways to improve their life in small but beneficial ways. For those who decided not to delve into deep, life-changing resolutions, it’s not too late to adopt practical and easy ways to impact yourself and the community around you. Mike Wilson, Chief Operating Officer of CM Institute of Leadership in McAllen, shares these four small changes he has seen help to prepare his clients in leadership positions and can be applied easily to anyone’s life.

    1. SELF CARE- In order to meet the needs of the world around us, we have to be fully alert and able. A lot of our capability to tackle life’s issues begin with making sure our own needs are met before reaching a catastrophic burnout physically, mentally, and emotionally. And there are four key components to doing so.
      1. DIET- Diet can single-handedly affect every single aspect of self-care. Without the proper nutrients, our bodies will not function at an optimal level and will even impede brain function. If there’s no harmony in our gut, it’s unlikely there will be harmony outside of the body, either. While it may seem overwhelming to completely change our diets, making just one change can be life altering. Over time, the “one change at a time” approach will add up to a new, healthier you.
      2. EXERCISE- “If you exercise, it increases the oxygen intake to your body, thus you’ll be able to function more in your work environment or your business,” Wilson said. Sometimes, it can be as simple as taking a walk at a nature center.
      3. DO A NEGATIVITY FAST- Part of feeling our best is making sure our intake of things in all aspects needs to be positive. Things like crude humor, movies, music, raunchy videos on the internet, or memes that base their humor on things like horror, ridicule, or violence actually negatively impact our minds in ways that are sometimes subconscious. “People think that’s entertainment, but actually it’s feeding your mind with negative stuff that really will actually impede the way you think about others and about life in general,” Wilson said.
      4. HYGGE (pronounced hue-gah)- According to, it’s a Danish word used to acknowledge a special feeling or moment. The concept encompasses mindfulness, meditation, detoxing, and the idea that taking the time to center yourself will lead to peace. One way to embrace hygge may include disconnecting from technology and reading a book or taking a walk in nature. Leaving your phone in the car when you meet with your friends is another way to disconnect from a screen and find connection through friendship. Adopting a daily meditation or prayer technique can also help keep your stress and anxiety down and promotes thankfulness. “You have to disconnect from the world and center yourself — be more focused and energized to tackle life’s issues and everything else. If you don’t center yourself, you can’t succeed. Or maybe you can succeed, but you will be overworked and stressed,” Wilson said.  
    2. POSITIVE WORDS– Using positive words is actually the first step to having a more positive outlook on life. Saying things like “I know my business will succeed,” instead of “I hope my business will succeed,” is actually a crucial step to meeting goals. Positive words also includes the words you use to describe yourself. If you’ve been saying things like, “I’m dumb,” “I’m so worthless,” or things of this nature, replace them with words that deflect that negativity and turn them into something uplifting.
    3. BRING VALUE TO OTHERS– It’s validating even to ourselves when we’re able to be an encouraging person, love others, and make sure our words bring out the best in people. Next time you have any interaction with someone, try to compliment them. “Build your reciprocity account and always try to do things for other people without expecting anything back,” Wilson said.
    4. SMILE, AND SAY THANK YOU– According to, showing gratitude has been proven to open the doors to more relationships. People genuinely appreciate being around someone who’s grateful. Gratitude also improves physical and psychological health, and reduces aggression while enhancing empathy. It also reduces stress and improves sleep. “When you wake up in the morning, say thank you. Say thank you, God, thank you, wife, thank you, kids — just say thank you for every gift in your life. It’s not just for them. It’s for you,” Wilson said.

Some of the most well-respected leaders in our area and around the globe embrace these qualities, providing evidence that following them would bring great success. “Success doesn’t always mean you want to be a millionaire, but you need to find out what your success is,” Wilson said. “A lot of people have the wrong mindset about life in general or about themselves, but you got to change your mindset to truly be successful — whatever that success may be.”