10 Essential Zen Habits to Start This Year 58

zen habits

Let’s make this year full of joy, mindfulness, tranquility and harmony by developing the right zen habits.

It’s a new year. And contrary to the many people who feel a bit depressed and upset because of that, I’m excited.


Well, we have the chance to improve, for a start. And instead of feeling bad about everything we did wrong and what we didn’t achieve last year, we can motivate ourselves to actually do it this time.

We have more experience and knowledge now, know what doesn’t work and that gets us much closer to what does.

But what we all need more of is peace and contentment. Without these two ingredients happiness is not an option. We just lead lives of stress and boredom, anxiety and haste.

Instead, we can make this year the most peaceful and simple one yet. Here are some zen habits you’ll want to build for more contentment:

10 Zen Habits for Peace and Harmony

  1. Be present.

Let’s leave the past behind, once and for all, together with the uncertain future. We don’t have anything to do there.

The only place we should be at is the present moment.

  1. Forgive.

Forgiveness is the ultimate salvation and an amazing zen habit. While holding grudges makes us unhappy.

So forgive others for everything they’ve done wrong, take the burden of the past mistakes off your shoulders (and off theirs too). Free yourself from carrying that into your present and future and make room for better things.

Also, forgive yourself. For the things you didn’t do, for the bad words you said, for the times you weren’t compassionate or kind to yourself or others.

That will make you enter every next year as a free person.

Related: How to Let Go of Grudges

  1. Focus on what’s important.

We do and pay attention to way too many things daily. And thus lose focus and forget about what matters the most.

It’s the people we love, the things we enjoy doing, the opportunities in front of us, the chances to learn and grow all the time. So define what’s most important for you in your life and dedicate more time and energy to it. After all, that’s what deserves your attention. Everything else is a distraction.

  1. Meditate.

If you haven’t given it a try yet, now’s the right time.

The only people who have made meditation a permanent part of their daily life are the successful ones and those who are contented. Everyone else is still trying to find a shortcut to removing stress.

Meditating helps you calm down, empty your mind, be still and alert. In the long term, it improves your health, mood, energy level and ability to solve problems.

That’s the easiest way to bring some peace and clarity to your days and one of the best zen habits you can start. So begin doing it first thing in the morning and you’ll feel its profound effect for the rest of the day.

Related: How Daily Meditation Can Change Your Life

  1. Have a zen morning.

morning routine infographic

Why not combine all of these, plus more simple actions and changes and create a peaceful morning routine for yourself?

Imagine spending the first hour of your day in creative activities, connecting with your true self, being full of appreciation and joy.

This will be your sacred time, with solitude, inspiration and clarity. You can even turn drinking your coffee into a whole ritual.

Related: How to Create e Zen Morning Ritual

  1. Stop trying to change others.

One of the things that brings us discontent in life is our constant desire to change the ones around us, to make them answer our expectations and behave the way we want them to.

That’s selfish and pointless as this way you don’t appreciate and accept them for who they are and want to turn them into new versions, just like the ones in your fantasies.

But if you think about it, will you really be happy with who they become, knowing it’s not their real face?!

Related: How to Stop Trying to Change Someone

  1. Keep a gratitude journal.

Being positive and thanking for each day is something we all know we should be doing. But are we doing it?

An easy way to remember to count your blessings and find reasons to smile daily is to keep such a journal. Just write down five things you’re grateful for each morning as a step towards building better zen habits.

The written word is powerful. And sometimes that simple act makes you realize what you have. In the long term you can find yourself living in abundance without changing anything.

  1. Be okay with change.

Fearing it is not the answer.

We’re changing all the time, anyways. Accept the fact that every morning we wake up a little different, that everything in life is changing and is a process.

This will help you adapt easier and even take control so that you can make this change positive.

  1. Make inspiration a habit.

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Most people think they need to do something to get inspired, or just wait for it to come. But that’s not the case.

Truth is inspiration is everywhere around you already. You just need to open your eyes. It comes with appreciation and being present.

Related: How to Be Inspired All The Time

  1. Be excited about the future.

The new year isn’t about what was, it’s about what’s to come. And that’s the beauty of it. You don’t really know and there’s a high chance it can be your best year so far.

So look forward to it, be excited. And in the meantime, take daily action towards achieving your goals so that you can help the process.

All these zen habits are simple and easy, right?

If you really want to make this year more peaceful and find contentment, then work on each. But focus on one at a time and take tiny steps.

That’s how change happens and that’s how we can avoid being overburdened and just enjoy the journey.

What do you think? Which of these 10 habits would you like to develop first and why? What other changes can we all make to find peace this year?

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How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted 4

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted

All people have been interested in studying at one moment in their lives. There are different goals set for diverse learners and each of them requires serious learning at one point in time.

Successful learners are those with full concentration during their studies as this helps them in remembering what was learned and apply it in the undertaken tests. However, irrespective of the reasons as to why people study, most of the times one would have his mind invaded by different thoughts distracting his concentration.

It is also possible to have one diverted by noises and stories made by one’s roommates, children, and neighbors among others.

With these intrusions, an individual would lose focus and this is what is required to be successful in what one was reading. It is therefore important to identify possible issues that can lead to distraction in order to come up with the most appropriate ways of remaining focused. Here are some tips:

1. Pick the right time and place when reading.

This helps in getting rid of the clear distractions.

For instance, a person would not easily focus if he chooses to study in the presence of friends who are engaged in other activities. Similarly, one would not read well if with music, television, phone, or computer on.

Once the phone vibrates or rings, an individual would be tempted to answer and this would divert his attention.

In understanding how to stay focused, it is recommended that a reader has conducive environment bearing in mind that different learners would stay alert at different circumstances.

This is an indication that no single environment fits all types of students. The right time would also involve studying at the moment when a learner feels comfortable with the schedule such as in the evening or very early in the morning.

The place chosen should not be the classroom or bedroom. But rather a quiet and nice place with a relaxed sitting position such as the library or the office.

2. Take frequent breaks.

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In addition, tips for students indicate that instead of succumbing to distraction, a pupil has to take short breaks.

When engaged in 45-minutes of learning, the student should take breaks of between ten and twenty minutes. Taking longer of breaks of over 20 minutes are dangerous for they might lead to forgetting what one was initially studying.

By planning breaks with an alarm, you not miss them or accidentally take longer ones.

Breaks are considered very crucial because they help the brain to recharge after processing the earlier acquired information. Breaks involving walking around should also be taken as an opportunity to improve recalling memory and test scores.

Breaking in between reading is, therefore, a good way of ensuring that a reader does not overburden his brain/mind with information that would not be processed. Taking pauses in between the reading session refreshes the brain and makes it possible to read for long and wide volumes.

3. Staying focused while reading is also linked with staying motivated.

As stated on EssayZoo, there are different forms of distractions for varied learners and this can be addressed by understanding the reason behind one’s studying.

This is done by taking a test or exam as something meant to challenge the reader’s learning. Since a person’s learning would eventually be rated, the process should start by setting a goal.

Even though the set goal should not be unrealistic, it should be challenging so that the learner can perform better than he has been found in the past tests or maybe better than people expect.

Once an individual is able to surprise others based on their expectations, he would feel motivated to continue studying.

Additionally, learning should be motivated with a reward, which acts as a form of self-control by ensuring that a student is compensated for hard work, studying well, being prepared, and performing well in an exam.

Encouragement should also be done by understanding what learning is important, which is different for diverse readers but all meant to enhance attentiveness to achieve personal goals.

4. Getting enough sleep during studying is a vital way of improving concentration.

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Even though many of the times pupils learn under pressure especially when exams are near, this does not mean an individual should read without sleep.

Just like taking breaks during a day of reading, sufficient sleep refreshes the brain and makes it ready to be fed with and process acquired information.

Learning is successful if one can remember and apply the learned information during a test. This is possible if a person is able to actively concentrate during the planned hours of studying.

According to tips for students, studying for long hours without break or sleep is on strenuous and does not bear the expected results.

Dedicating at least 6-8 hours of sleep ensures that a person wakes up fresh, alert, ready, and relaxed for the day’s scheduled learning activities.

Once ready to learn, a student would be organized and in an ordered place with only the reading materials a person requires, aware of the number of hours to spend on a topic, and the number of breaks he will take including their times.

5. Stay calm to concentrate.

Lastly, remaining focused when learning can be done by practicing concentration.

Once a student has everything he needs on the table, he should not postpone the learning exercise. It is advisable that a pupil is aware of the most crucial information to study first before proceeding to the rest. This is to ensure that one is guided by key concepts that would make the learning enjoyable and encouraging.

Also, practice concentration by not panicking, minimize computer and phone use, don’t listen to music unless it aids in studying, and remaining on topic.

It is notable that by panicking, one would make mistakes.

So make sure you remain calm, take deep breaths, and convince yourself that you read, understand, and pass the exams.

Further, a student should turn the computer, Internet, and the cell phone off to ensure maximum concentration. This is to avoid responding to text messages or searching via the Internet things that are not related to the topic of study.

It is arguable that listening to music when learning acts as a distraction because the learner is provided with additional information to process thus interfering with the real intention of the learning process.

In order to stay on-topic, you shouldn’t explore different subjects at the same time more so when studying boring, complex, and unexciting topics.

Studying would thus be effective if a person remains focused in order to achieve the set goals. Nobody enrolls for a course or learning institution without a goal. This would be achieved if concentration is always at its maximum.

While there are major ways of enhancing attentiveness, the discussed ones in this essay are picking the right time and place, instead of succumbing to distraction, taking short breaks, staying motivated, getting enough sleep, and practicing concentration.

The aim is to ensure that a learner understands the importance of learning and is committed to achieving his intentions.