11 Insanely Helpful Daily Habits To Improve Life
Important Daily Habits
We are going to chat all about daily habits to improve life. But first…
I am going to tell you a story.
Feel free to lean back, get comfortable, and grab a snack. Or maybe just a piece of candy. This story is not that long at all and not that juicy.
Once upon a time, in the land of 2002, there lived a young woman who truly believed that the habit that would improve her life was straightening her hair.
Oh, and wearing the “right” clothes obviously. I could go on and on here.
What this boils down to is that the only habits I gave two hoots about had to do with appearance.
That sounds so silly now, right?
But these things held such power over me.
(why oh why was the messy bun not so popular back then!)
Isn’t it funny when you think back about what you deemed as important? I mean, I guess I wish I knew then what I know now about myself and about life.
But that’s just not how it works. I was young. I was doing my best.
Heck, my dang prefrontal cortex was not fully developed yet.
I am concrete proof that you do in fact live and learn. (A LOT)
The tips and ideas I am going to share are not about lecturing you. I am not trying to shove ideas down your throat.
This is not a “my way is the right and only way” type of thing. As with anything, take what serves you and leave the rest.
*Now, I know I just said I’m not trying to lecture you, but #1 is basically a must.*
Do you know what good habits take?
Time to actually become habits in your life.
You can’t just write them down, click your heels together a few times, and POOF. Your life has all the good and none of the bad.
Turn off autopilot and do an autopsy of your life. Really get in there. Dig around. Get your hands dirty. Get curious.
Avoid an “it is what it is” mindset.
Our lives are made up of choices. And choices that we make consistently lead to habits being built.
While it may be fun to talk about habits that will improve our lives, it takes some real effort to create and maintain these habits for the long haul.
Bottom line is that habits will always impact your life. And you know the best news of all?
YOU get to choose your habits and the type of impact they will have.
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Here Are 11 Daily Habits To Improve Life
1) Drink Water
When I look back, I’m almost entirely sure I was dehydrated through my teens and into my early 20s.
How did I not look like a shriveled raisin?
Water is good for us. Our bodies need it. I know it may not be as tasty as coffee (or whatever your favorite drink is) but we still need to work on the habit of drinking enough water.
So drink up!
I love this motivational water bottle. It has words of encouragement printed right on it.
I am not suggesting you bust out some old-school giant textbooks and get to work. Unless you want to do that of course.
My favorite learning tool is actually the distant cousin of giant textbooks. Regular-size books. I am always reading some kind of personal growth book. ALWAYS. (here are some of my tried & true faves)
I just finished this one and it was really good. Not to mention, super easy to read. (and don’t put pressure on yourself to read for hours and hours at a time.. 10 minutes a day adds up)
I also highly suggest this book. It changed the way I viewed my life in so many ways.
You could also watch a TED talk or listen to a podcast.
Take in some helpful outside information. Gaining knowledge in any capacity is a good thing. And a choice we will never regret.
3) Set Boundaries
Whoa. Yep, we’re going there.
Busting out the big guns.
This amazing book is all about setting boundaries for ourselves. I absolutely can not say enough good things about it.
Boundaries are tricky. Hence the reason there are entire books devoted to them.
Reading about them really brought to light for me how much I truly struggle with them in my own day-to-day life. And also how much power I have to change things in my life by learning to use boundaries regularly.
This is another one of those things that my younger self used to neglect. Like big-time neglect.
Now, 37-year-old me thinks staying out until 10 p.m. makes me adventurous. And if I make it to eleven, then I am for sure telling everyone about how young, wild, and free I am.
If it is within your power to get enough sleep, I hope you do it.
Sleep impacts every area of our lives. It holds a lot of weight.
Now, this does not mean you have to build a habit of going to bed by a certain time and never veering off course. You can be flexible.
No need to skip your cousin’s wedding because it will be past your bedtime. You just might have to grab your favorite cozy blanket and sneak in a cat nap or two the next day.
I can’t do it all. You can’t do it all. No one can do it all.
That doesn’t stop us from trying.
Am I right or am I right? I am willing to bet that you have been guilty of setting yourself up for failure by having very unrealistic expectations.
We tend to do this over and over thinking that if we tweak something here or there we will eventually get it right.
Spoiler alert: If right equals “doing it all” then we will never get there.
We have to make a sort of priority totem pole. This is a great tool to almost force us to rank things rather than just put everything on the same importance level.
It takes time and loads of practice and some good old trial and error but we are very capable of getting into a rhythm of knowing our limits. And also protecting our sanity by not stretching ourselves unbelievably thin.
6) Do Something For Yourself
We often think that doing something for ourselves requires a big effort. But I argue that the opposite is true.
Today, for example, while my 18-month-old daughter napped, I ate lunch and watched a baking show I love. Sure, I had a long list of things I thought I should have done. Even things I really wanted to get done.
But yesterday was a busy day. A dentist appointment and a doctor’s appointment. Grocery shopping. Laundry. (my husband was out of white undershirts of course)
So today, I chose to rest.
Rest is important! It is also what I needed.
Sometimes doing things for ourselves feels uncomfortable. It almost feels like we are doing something wrong. Why is this?
Maybe because people are praised for doing it all while putting themselves on the back burner.
Your worth is not determined by how clean your house is or how beautifully you put together a homemade meal.
Doing something for yourself or putting yourself first are things that hold value. So much more value than we give them credit for.
You deserve to take a little joy break. You don’t have to earn it.
Whether this is a bath (take your bath up a notch with this bathtub caddy), a walk alone, reading, TV, pilates, or a 10-minute dance party, do something for yourself!
7) Name ONE Small Thing You Are Grateful For
An attitude of gratitude may sound cheesy. It is one of those ideas that sounds nice in theory. But then life happens and…
Well, frankly, gratitude does not make it on the list of things we need to do.
But it should be on our list. It’s one of those seemingly small things that can have a really big impact on your life.
Gratitude shines a light on the present. And living in and enjoying the present is something we could all use a little more of.
This gratitude journal would be perfect for making gratitude a part of your everyday life. Or you could just stick a pile of post-it notes on the nightstand next to your bed or next to the coffee maker.
8) Put Your Phone Down
OK, this might be a hard one. I mean, I know I pick up my phone so many times without even realizing I am doing it.
Is it even a conscious decision? Or has constantly checking my phone become a habit for me?
Screen-free time is good for us.
You know what else is good for us?
Time off of social media. Social media breaks are crucial. They are vital for our mental health.
The real key here is to be sure you are not spending more time living through your phone than you are in your actual real life.
9) Declutter Regularly
It’s safe to say many of us have a lot of stuff. Maybe too much stuff.
I am a HUGE fan of the idea that less is more.
Less physical clutter, for me, means less mental clutter.
Right now, we are rolling into the holiday season which just amplifies the idea of more.
When the holidays start rolling around, I like to start thinning out what we have.
Often we can almost get tricked into believing we need more. Either by ads we see or social media posts. Our minds are put through a lot.
Truly decluttering your home will take time. Slow and steady is the way to go.
There is no exact right amount of things to have. But I like to look at what is taking up space and really decide if it deserves to take up that space.
Also, check out this article which shows you step-by-step how to organize your home.
10) Get Outside
Or at least out of the house.
I live in Wisconsin so I know all too well that it is not possible to get outside every day of the year.
But if it is at all possible, go get some fresh air. Some sunshine is good for the soul.
11) Pick One
We can plan and talk until we’re blue in the face. But that doesn’t change much in our lives.
In order for anything to change or improve, we have to back our words with actions.
Don’t go and pick 26 things you want to work on. Divide and conquer is not the way when it comes to changing our habits or our lives in general.
Choose something small and go from there.
Habits are fun to talk about. Of course!
They are things we want to happen or the way we want things to be. They represent our ideal selves or ideal lives in a way.
But we are always changing and evolving. Life is that way as well.
So this is not about getting everything neat and tidy and wrapped in a pretty little package by next Tuesday.
This is about checking in on ourselves more often.
Which of these daily habits to improve life will you work on?
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