Everyday habits that will benefit your life
Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure.
Check out this guide and learn how to develop good habits for a healthy lifestyle.
When you put in the time to develop these healthy habits, the effort you put into your body, mind, and relationships will come back to you many times.
The little decisions add up to be overwhelming.
Establish A Morning Habit
Create a morning ritual. Maybe you like to go for a run. Or, maybe you want to meditate or enjoy a healthy breakfast.
Breakfast is an integral part of life.
Yet, one-fourth of Americans skip breakfast every single day. And that saying you’ve heard your entire life about breakfast being the most important meal of the day? It’s 100% true.
If you’re serious about success, eat a healthy breakfast every day.
This single habit doesn’t take much effort. Some planning is certainly required, and if you’re rushing out the door every morning with barely any time to spare, you might want to consider waking up earlier to ensure that you wield this habit in your own life.
Even if you don’t have time to cook a healthy breakfast every morning, you can use a good green smoothie as a quick and easy substitute.
Whatever makes you feel supercharged, kickstart your day with that habit. Establishing a meaningful morning ritual helps you start your day on a positive, proactive note.
Having a structured start to your day instead of rushing to make up for the lost time also helps eliminate stress.
We make a lot of decisions every single day, even just within the first few minutes of waking up: whether or not to hit snooze, what to wear (which is approximately 100 different decisions), when to turn on the coffee pot, to be or not to be (that is the question–especially when you didn’t get enough sleep last night).
The little decisions add up to be overwhelming.
Decision fatigue is a real thing, and it’s why we opt for pizza delivery instead of cooking at the end of a long day or forego the workout altogether if we have to think about which time slot works best.
To keep up with healthy habits, limit decision-making as much as possible, and reduce decision fatigue.
Meal prep all your lunches, sign up for workout classes in advance (or put a workout in your calendar so you can’t skip it), and try a go-to outfit formula so you don’t have to think about what to wear.
Make Your Bed
At the risk of sounding like your mom, please make your bed. It will feel good to get into a made bed at night, but it’s important for the success of your day.
Making your bed first thing every morning means one small win before you even have a cup of coffee.
Make A To-Do List
My mind constantly feels like it’s going a million miles a minute, which can make it hard to concentrate fully on what I most need to do. Sound familiar?
Making a list is my absolute best friend – I rely heavily on it to get me through the day. It gets me organized and helps me be prepared for the day ahead.
It allows me to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper (or electronic device), which is incredibly freeing. The key to a good to do list is to keep it simple.
Your to do list shouldn’t be a brain dump of all the things you can think of that need to be done. You’ll never complete it, and you’ll only feel crappy for it.
Keep it simple.
Start with what’s most important and make your way down the list, completing one task at a time.
There is no point in only having the list to record everything you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.
For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead.
Select what you want to work on, considering priority, time, and sequence, and then schedule these items into your calendar.
The golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.
When you exercise, you have more energy to take on your day. Studies show you’re better focused, less stressed, and can more easily stay at a healthy weight.
This one habit benefits us in countless ways.
Any physical activity counts, whether you’re going for a run, playing with your kids in the park, or joining a weekly sports team.
This is one of the best healthy habits to create because it will improve your health and well-being.
Moving your body for just 30 minutes a day can have significant positive health effects on your life.
We need to be walking way more than we currently are to live a healthy life. Aiming for 10,000 steps per day is a good place to start.
Taking a stroll through the neighborhood is a great way to reconnect with your friend or partner.
These walks are a great chance to get some fresh air and catch up on life without spending an arm and a leg.
Fresh air has been shown to improve your mood, help you release toxins through your skin (aka sweating), and can reduce anxiety and stress levels.
It’s also important to move for a minimum of two minutes every hour, but more ideally, every half hour.
Park further away from the store entrance, take the stairs, go for a quick walk around the block after dinner. All these little efforts will add up.
Many people are fixated on their weight. They weigh themselves every morning and every night. If they lose weight, they’re ecstatic.
But if they gain weight, they can quickly sink into depression. Now, please don’t get me wrong, you certainly should be aiming to have a healthy weight.
However, this will be a natural consequence of eating healthily and exercising regularly.
Social Media Detox
Take time to cut back on social media to reduce stress and mental clutter.
You can’t have quality time if you’ve got your heads buried in your phones, video games, or laptops.
You can certainly enjoy those things with one another, but commit to spending some time together screen-free.
If you’re out to lunch, make a no-screen policy so that you can actively listen to one another.
Switch off your phone and laptop for a few hours every day to improve your mood and reconnect with the world around you.
As much as it enhances our lives, the digital world can take away our present moments and allow us to miss what’s going on around us.
Detoxing will give you that sense of freedom of time to do other things that will boost your mental health.
Invest In Self-Care
Taking some time off to unwind can do wonders for your mood, mental health, and self-esteem. Do at least one thing every day that makes you feel good.
Listen to music, learn a new skill, take a long bubble bath, or prepare a nice meal. Whatever floats your boat!
Developing these habits requires determination, oodles of patience, and constant effort.
Stock Up On Healthy Foods
You snack on what’s in your cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer at home.
If all you have in there is ultra-processed foods like fries, chocolate, and ice cream, then you’ll find yourself snacking on them (not a good idea).
To break this habit, make sure you have loads of healthy foods in your home
Colors vs. Calories
Too many people put their health and diet focus on how many calories they are consuming every day. But a healthy diet is not just about calories.
A straightforward way to boost your intake of healthy foods is to add an extra serving of greens to each of your meals.
If you normally eat burgers and fries (not recommended!), start adding a portion of peas or a green salad to your plate.
Over time, you can increase the greens and reduce the junk food.
There is a big difference between eating a handful of raw nuts and the same calorie amount of cake.
Sure, the latter may taste better to you – but the nuts will always be the healthier choice.
Getting healthier is not always a dramatic transformation.
It’s typically a series of small habits and minor additions to your diet that snowball into a healthier lifestyle that’s all-around better for you.
Don’t focus on cutting out food groups or limiting what you can and cannot eat (that can lead to bingeing or an unhealthy relationship with food ).
Instead, focus on adding leafy greens to at least two meals a day.
Chew Food At A Slower Pace
Most people gobble down their food, and don’t take the time to chew or enjoy it properly.
If you’re one of these people, try slowing down your eating by chewing your food longer than you would normally do. You’ll enjoy the taste of your food more, and you’re likely to eat less too.
Develop A Positive “Inner-Voice”
This helps with building your confidence and self-esteem. It may seem a bit odd but hear me out.
If you have low self-esteem, it can be difficult to feel confident in yourself, so telling yourself how amazing you are daily will help start new positive habits that will improve your life.
Relieve Yourself of Toxic Relationships
You should carefully consider who you’re spending time with. Let go of relationships that bring you down instead of lifting you.
And spend time with people who know how to nurture and share happiness. Since happiness is contagious, it’s one of the easiest ways to create positivity in your life.
Sometimes people’s mental well-being declines because they get used to being around people who bring them down.
This can damage their self-esteem and self-worth, but they often don’t associate this with others. You are the total of the five people you’re around the most.
This doesn’t mean condoning what someone has done but just dropping the negativity around it and moving forward.
Studies have shown that forgiveness protects against stress, and forgiving yourself is important too to release any baggage and self-hate and create a happy life.
Spend Time With Pets
Any loving animal can increase your feelings of positivity in small and meaningful ways.
They decrease loneliness, get you active, create loving bonds, keep you present at the moment, and give you purpose.
Spend Time Alone
This can be a tough habit to stick with, but it’s one of the best life habits you can create.
Spending time alone allows you to return refreshed and more focused on your goals and tasks without the external voice and opinions drowning out what you need to accomplish.
Your Morning Coffee
Certain things are just better with caffeine.
To get the most productivity out of your caffeine, you can add something that will make it even more beneficial for your day, like coconut oil or collagen peptides (which may help reduce inflammation).
Alternatively, you could drink green tea or matcha tea which is quite popular for boosting focus and energy levels.
It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget how fortunate you are. Practicing gratitude is a great way to create positivity, reduce stress, and improve physical health.
Express gratitude for the things that happened today. You know many good things happen every day in your life. Be grateful for them.
How can you cultivate this healthy habit?
- Start a gratitude journal
- Take time to appreciate your loved ones and remind yourself of at least one thing you’re grateful for every day before going to bed.
A good habit to start is to think through your day and note everything great – from the straightforward commute to work, a smile from a stranger, the delicious food you had for lunch, or a text from your friend.
Try to make each item as specific as possible to avoid your gratitude practice becoming redundant and mindless.
For example, instead of saying “my family,” write down a particular conversation or moment shared with a family member that you’re grateful for.
While “sorry” is just a word, language can affect the way we think and feel about ourselves, and women, in particular, are taught to be polite by putting themselves down.
Instead of “sorry,” make a conscious effort to say “thank you” instead.
“Thank you for being patient!” instead of, “Sorry for being late!” is another way to practice gratitude, but it’s also a consistent way to be kinder to yourself.
The more you appreciate the little joys of life, the happier you’ll be.
Whether it be in the form of a journal, blog post, an Instagram post, or just private thoughts in a notepad, writing something down daily is a great habit to have.
Sharing this practice publicly will keep you accountable, and it’s helpful to see your thoughts written down for reflection.
Take Advantage of Your Lunch Break
Devote half of your lunch break to editing your work. If you want to explore your artistic side, spend ten minutes a day reviewing artistic work that inspires you.
Keep a journal with you. Make notes of colors, images, and textures that catch your eye.
We attract negative things into our lives when we think negatively, harboring negative thoughts. When we think positive, we attract positive things.
It’s hard to stay positive, and it’s often our natural tendency to think negatively about things.
However, positive thinking is one of the surest pathways to achieving your goals.
Ignore the naysayers and the people who doubt your abilities, pursue the things you love, stay positive all the while. It’s purely a matter of momentum.
Adding positive affirmations to your morning is a great way to improve your mindset and set yourself up for success.
For example, you could use the affirmation “I can do anything” before leaving your house, or “Today is going to be amazing” once you’re on your commute to work.
It’s a great way to start your day focused on positive thinking, which can be incredibly motivating for the rest of your day.
It’s often difficult to stay motivated for any considerable amount of time.
When things arise in life, we get discouraged and dissuaded from the goals that send us on tangents and veer us off track.
But one of the absolute best ways you can stay motivated in life is to inspire yourself daily.
Wake Up At The Same Time Everyday
A good life starts the minute you wake up. Literally.
Get more sleep Easier said than done, right?
But don’t worry: even though it might feel like getting more sleep is impossible, it’s a habit just like anything else.
Even if you’re not a morning person, use incremental changes in your daily routine to start waking up earlier and earlier.
Begin by setting your alarm clock back by 15 minutes the first week, 15 minutes the next week, etc. Do this until you can wake up at least two hours earlier than waking up now.
Waking up at the same time every day is one of the best ways to support your sleep, which will subsequently improve your health, mental well-being, and ability to execute in every other facet of your life.
However, if you care enough about your physical well-being and your future success, you’ll focus on a minimum of six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
If you have trouble falling asleep, be wary not to drink coffee or alcohol too close to your bedtime.
Also, if you smoke, eat too much sugar, or ingest any other type of toxins throughout the day, you’ll find it challenging to get to bed at a decent hour.
Cut those out of your routine to get some ample rest at night.
You might have limited control over your mornings (like an early work start time or a child to take care of), so waking up just 10-15 minutes earlier than you need to will help you feel more in control and calmer throughout the entire day.
Whether you spend your time meditating, indulging in a luxurious skincare routine, or brewing a coffee cup with a moment of silence, you will not miss the 10 minutes of extra sleep.
Getting enough sleep is crucial to your health and well-being, but if you’re a mom, you know that those hours at night, when the kids are asleep, and the house is quiet, are such a lovely time to sit up and enjoy time alone.
BUT… sleep is crucial.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep by heading to bed at a decent hour.
Spend Time In Nature
Being outside has been found to profoundly affect your mental well-being, mainly due to exposure to sunshine increasing your serotonin levels.
Research has also found that spending even a short time around nature boosts your mood.
Genuine smiles portray our inner happy feelings, but research has found even fake smiling tricks the brain into thinking we’re happy.
So even if you’re in a quiet room by yourself, smile, and you’ll notice over time, it creates a sense of mental well-being.
Save For The Future
No good habit list is complete without one that calls for saving and investing.
When it comes to sound financial habits, this is an important one to have and will lend itself to your future financial success.
The money saved on frivolous or extraneous expenses can be saved and invested for your future. Don’t ignore the future to revel in the present moment.
We often overlook the necessity to save for the future because we’re so busy living in the present moment.
The truth is that 44% of Americans have can cover a $1,000 expense saved up at any given moment. But it’s not just about saving.
You have to invest the money you save, and do so wisely.
Managing your money based on what does and doesn’t bring you joy will reduce the stress of spending money on the vacations, items, and experiences you truly love.
Also, invest in yourself: get the gym membership, purchase that online course, and open a savings account.
The more money you put into something, the more likely you will keep it up as a habit.
The more attention you pay to this now, the more your life will be replete with financial success in the future.
Confront Your Fears
We spend a lot of time immersed in fear. Those doomsday what-if scenarios play out in our minds throughout any given day.
We’re so worried and nervous about the future that we forget to enjoy the present moment. It’s so ingrained in our minds to fear things that it stifles our progress.
Breaking through your fears is possibly one of the most important habits you could develop.
Get used to doing one thing that makes you feel uncomfortable every day.
- Cuddle (with a lover, friend, or even a pet – physical touch is comforting.)
- Detach from the source of stress (excuse yourself from a meeting, take a break from a project, remove yourself from an argument) for a five-minute break.
- Sniff lavender or geranium essential oil (both lower blood pressure.)
Take A Cold Shower
Cold showers have been a daily practice of many for thousands of years, and it’s easy to see why.
Cold water activates your parasympathetic nervous system, slowing your heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and reducing stress hormones.
Still, it also has numerous other benefits, such as improving circulation and skin quality.
Say The Most Positive Thing You Can Think of Out Loud
This is one of my favorite positive daily habits to implement because it’s almost instantaneously effectively lifting my mood and making me feel grateful for what I have.
All you have to do is think about 1-3 things that are the most positive outcomes of a situation – no matter how small they might be – and say them aloud.
Do Laundry Daily
This is probably the daily habit that saves my sanity the most when it comes to house chores and keeping on top of what becomes “Mount Washmore.”
Each day, do at least one load of laundry.
Drink Water With Lemon
One habit with monumental health benefits is drinking a large glass of water with lemon every day.
Lemons are a natural source of Vitamin C and possess other health benefits, such as helping with your digestion, boosting your immune system, and cleansing and rehydrating your body.
The water itself is also an important way to flush any toxins from your system early in the morning when you first arise.
Never Stop Learning
Educate yourself, and learn something new every single day.
Commit to learning and improving your life, whether by acquiring new skills or enhancing the existing skills you already have.
From foreign languages to software programs and apps, you should carve out a small amount of time every single day to dedicate to this habit.
Stop Eating When You’re “Almost” Full
It might seem counterintuitive since most people eat until they are no longer hungry.
Still, the reality is that often we overeat because our body has already signaled for us to stop long before we have given those signals much thought.
As soon as you feel full or uncomfortable, stop eating!
You might be surprised how quickly your stomach shrinks when you train it to recognize the difference between 80% full and 100% stuffed.
Make The Habit Easy As Possible
Setting up your environment to do the right thing is the path of least resistance. Set your floss out on the counter, hide that junk food, or place your journals and pen on your bed.
When it comes to improving your life, living a better life, and creating a life you love, the first place you always want to start is by looking at your habits.
Because at the end of the day, these daily habits create changes in your life. But, knowing where to start can be incredibly overwhelming.
Make the good habit as easy and obvious as possible. Decide what makes it easy to follow through and set it up.
How Value Drives Your Habits
You may be surprised to learn that you don’t decide more than 40% of the actions you perform every day. They’re habits.
Habits dictate how we live, perform, and the results we achieve in life. This is why it is so important to have strong, positive habits.
If you usually smoke outside, force yourself to walk around the block twice before deciding if you need to smoke.
If you have specific places you used to smoke, find replacements for those places.
Establish new habits, for example, going to a restaurant where smoking is not permitted for lunch each day, or buying coffee in the office instead of walking somewhere (if you used to smoke while getting coffee down the street.)
Smoking is an ‘all too common’ lousy habit that has a negative effect on your life
One of the biggest mistakes we make with new habits is going too grand. Then, we get discouraged and give up.
Want to exercise more often? Start with just getting on your workout clothes. Want to floss daily? Aim for just getting the floss out, or flossing one tooth.
It’s about forming a consistent habit FIRST.
Then, you build on it. Without a plan, we’re destined to fail. So, write out when, where, and how long you will make your new amazing habit before taking that first step.
Habits already ingrained in us are great triggers for a new habit. So, think about what you already habitually do.
Those habits hurt or help us, and our worlds directly reflect them. Sure, they are often so small that you overlook the impact right away.
But over time, they make ALL the difference. Fortunately, we have the power to change bad habits and add superb ones.
To break a habit, or get rid of it completely, you’ve got to try and make sure that your replacement habit is both easier and more rewarding than the bad habit you’re trying to break.
You need to be committed to this new habit and make sure that you make the good habit every time you feel like doing the bad one (which will probably happen).
Over time, your bad habits will fade out, and you won’t miss them!
If you’re wondering what habits consist of, think of them this way: something that you regularly do without having to consciously think about.
Your values drive your habits. If you value your health – you will exercise, sleep enough, eat well and not smoke, you will have good habits. Inspiration (like Red Bull) gives you wings!
You will look into how you can strengthen these pillars. Social pressures and your environment will not impact your values – if they are strong enough.
If you value the freedom of a lifestyle business, you will work hard to set it up – or – if you value watching TV more, you will watch TV.
Parting ways with our bad habits and replacing them with good habits is by no means a simple task.
It takes commitment, willpower, and an unwavering desire to overcome our seemingly natural tendencies to think, feel, speak and act in a certain way.
Track Your Habits
When you’re creating new habits and changing things in your life, you can have a hard time seeing the big picture and how far you’ve come.
Tracking your habits allows you to see how the simple things become big things and how the positive habits you create positively affect your new healthy lifestyle.
Simply use a habit tracking tool like a habit tracking app or printable habit tracker to get a visual representation and maintain your motivation to keep going with your new habit.
Continue Growing With The Ross Community Center
You’ve just read through a massive list of good daily habits that can be developed. Now is the time to take action. You do not need to do EVERYTHING on this list by any means.
Just pick one of these habits and make it part of your daily routine!
Start improving your life today. There’s no time to waste if you want to live a healthy, happy, and successful life.
Implement some habits that will support your ultimate goals, repeat them every day, and you won’t fail.
Improving your life doesn’t have to be complicated.
When it comes down to it, the most effective way to create a balanced and happy life is to continually focus on building better everyday habits at a sustainable pace.
The Ross Community Center‘s mission is to “build community by providing and promoting programs, services, and activities to advance education, health, and wellness in our diverse community.”
We hope this blog has helped you shape healthy habits into your life. Check out our additional blogs for more entertaining and takeaway information.
Featured Image: Inc. Magazine