Personal growth doesn’t happen by accident. It takes work, the right mindset, and a willingness to improve every day. Developing good habits helps you work toward improvement and personal growth. Habits become the framework for building a better life.

Habits are the things you do regularly without really thinking about them. They become part of your routine. Habits that promote personal growth help you maintain a positive outlook, improve, and deal with life’s challenges.

Here are five essential habits to help you get started.

1. Meditate

Meditation is taking the time to shut out the world and focus on your thoughts, feelings, and goals. It’s time to examine how and why you react to challenges in life.

You can also use medication to prepare yourself for life’s challenges through personal growth. Understanding and having control over yourself is the foundation of personal growth.

Meditation can be a formal process where you set aside time each day to relax, concentrate, and listen to your thoughts and emotions. The act of meditating daily is a habit, and performing daily meditation helps build the positive habits of peacefulness, understanding, and control.

You can also take time as you need it throughout the day to meditate on your current situation or circumstances. Meditation can be a “pause” in your response to life’s challenges to allow you time to collect your thoughts.

2. Gratitude

The habit of gratitude comes partly from learning, though meditation, what you can and cannot control. Gratitude also comes from learning to be mindful of each moment and seeing your circumstances with a positive mindset.

When you learn to practice gratitude as a habit, you approach every situation with an open mind, looking for the best, instead of expecting the worst. Gratitude promotes your personal growth by improving your mindset.

Psychologists believe that people who practice gratitude have a better sense of well-being, are more positive, and have a better support system of family, friends, and mentors than people who haven’t made gratitude a habit.

Gratitude allows you to accept help and support gracefully, increasing your opportunities for personal growth. It also makes you a more positive personal and improves your mindset and reaction to life’s challenges.

3. Affirmations

Affirmations are a way to build your self-esteem, outlook, and promote personal growth. By using affirmations as a habit, you counter negative self-talk with positive beliefs. Affirmations can be spoken or written and should be something you reflect on daily.

You can use affirmations to remind yourself that you have the abilities, skills, and control to be a better person. You can also use affirmations to stay focused on achieving your goals.

Affirmations promote personal growth by placing your positive qualities and greatest desires first and foremost in your mind. By focusing on your affirmations, you create a mindset of improved personal growth.

4. Read and Learn

Take time every day to read something or learn something new. Reading and learning are habits that promote your personal growth by improving your skills, knowledge, and self-esteem. The more you know and understand, the more positive and productive you will be.

You can develop the habit of reading and learning by subscribing to a magazine or an online class or service. Chose a topic that interests you or something you’re curious about learning.

The simple habit of learning a new word each day, reading a chapter of a book, or watching a short how-to or history lesson video increase your knowledge and promote your personal growth.

5. Exercise

Like meditation, exercise can be a formal or informal time each day. Formal exercise, like going to the gym or taking an exercise class, promotes both physical and mental personal growth.

But informal exercise is important too. Taking time each day to stretch, get up and walk around, or even to practice deep breathing exercises helps to improve physical health and relieve stress.

Doctors and health coaches agree that exercise releases endorphins, or chemicals that give pleasure, into the brain. Endorphins can lover your stress response and improve your immune system.

Exercise not only promotes a healthy body, but it also promotes a healthy mind. Making exercise a habit promotes personal growth by helping you lessen stress and be physically able to handle life’s challenges.

The habits of meditation, gratitude, affirmations, reading, and learning, and exercise are all vital habits that promote personal growth. You can create these habits by focusing on yourself and your mind, body, and spirit.