Developing good habits can have a huge impact on you daily. They can actually help you live smarter, not harder.
I’m sure you want to live a simpler, happier life. I mean who doesn’t, right?
Little actions that you do everyday can take you one step closer to that balanced life you crave. It’s almost like certain parts of your life are on autopilot and you don’t even need to think about them to get things done. The result is a less stressful, less complicated existence.
Routines are present in all parts of your day. Just think about when you get ready in the morning. You brush your teeth, shower and get dressed, all without giving it much thought. You don’t stop at every point and think, what do I do now? It all just seems to flow.
And that’s the power of creating good habits. They make life seem easier and that’s an achievement we all want.
So, here are seven simple habits that will positively impact your life.
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7 Simple Habits
1. Find the Silver Lining
Life doesn’t always go as planned and when events pop up that turn your day upside-down, it’s easy to mope and wallow in self-pity.
A better option would be look for the silver lining in every bad situation. Easier said than done, I know! As a self-proclaimed pessimist, I seriously struggle with this but it does help.
Sit down and assess the bad times. Figure out what went wrong, how you can prevent it from happening again and what good things you can learn from it. There’s always something!
Don’t spend weeks agonizing over every tiny detail. Just do a quick and honest overview and pick out the positive learning experiences.
Doing this is a great way to learn and grow. Instead of blaming everyone and their mother for your life not turning out the way you wanted, you can use your misfortunes to get stronger.
2. Set Goals
We all have things we want to accomplish in life. Maybe you dream of a bigger home, a healthier lifestyle or more time to yourself.
Unfortunately, dreaming and wishing will not make these things happen. You have to actively plan and work towards accomplishing a bigger, better life.
This is where setting goals comes in. Write down everything you want in your life. Go big! Don’t hold back anything. Then, think about what you need to accomplish those things. Is it money? Do you need to exercise regularly and eat healthier to lose those ten pounds?
Set a deadline and a target. For example, instead of saying you want to lose weight, you will write you want to lose 5 pounds in six weeks. This is so important and a lot of people never do it. Having a fixed time and target that you need to work towards will keep you motivated and let you know if you can cross the goal off your list. How else will you know you have accomplished your dream? You’ll forever be trying to get somewhere with no destination.
Next, jot down all the action steps you have to take to make your dreams come true. Check in with your goals often and celebrate even the smallest win.
3. Read Inspirational Books
One of my most enjoyable habits is reading. A good book can transport you to another time and place. You gain knowledge and nothing is more powerful than that.
Find a topic that you’re interested in and read books about that subject. Do you struggle with your finances? Read books written by financial gurus. Home organization kicking your butt? Grab a book about managing your home.
You can drink in the words and apply them to your own life. In any case, you’ll at least be able to sit back and relax for a bit while reading and that in itself, is more than enough reason to do it.
There’s really no excuse not to delve into a good book. But, if you’re just too busy to sit down and read, try audio books. They are amazing to listen to on your commute to work, while doing mundane tasks like laundry and cooking. Audible is a great source of audio books.
4. Take A Break
Sometimes, we get so caught up in our day-to-day activities that it’s hard to find a moment to ourselves. After a long day at work, you come home to take care of your family and then, there’s still cooking and cleaning to be done.
At some point, you need to take some time for yourself. Step away from it all and give yourself a well-deserved break. This should be one of your most important habits but many mothers, in particular, struggle with this. You may feel guilty but think about it like this… If you don’t practice self-care frequently and get rundown or sick, then you won’t be able to look after your children or significant other.
Assign chores to each member of your family so you alone are not responsible for cleaning. You’ll have a little more time to get what you want done and you will teach your kids some responsibility. (Win-win!)
Find the time of the day that works best with your schedule and lifestyle. Whether you wake up early before everyone else in your household and jot down your thoughts or you head to the gym alone in the afternoon, make sure you look after yourself.
5. Sleep Should Be A Priority
Adults need 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night. When you rest, your body has time to rejuvenate so make sleep a priority.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Doing this helps to reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle which can help you get better rest.
There are steps you can take to make sleep come easier at night. Ensure your room is quiet, cozy and cool. Use fluffy pillows and breathable sheets on your bed, heavy drapes to block light and a fan or air conditioning to induce a comfortable temperature.
If you still have difficulty drifting off to dreamland, see 12 Proven Ways To Sleep Better Every Night.
6. Ignore the Outside World
Resist the temptation to have your morning coffee and toast with your eyes glued to a screen. One of the worst habits I have is checking my email first thing in the morning. It’s something that I have been working on changing and I admit I do slip back into doing it sometimes.
What you do in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Sure you may have great emails most of the time, but every once in a while, you’ll have one that upsets you or stresses you out. Not a great way to start the day!
Try to limit social media, email, phone calls and the morning news as much as possible. Not only are these activities time sucks, they can also put you in a bad mood very easily. Instead focus your mornings on eating a filling breakfast and preparing for the day ahead.
7. Meal Plan and Prep Food
One of the best habits that you can develop is to meal plan and prep your food every week. Meal planning has been a lifesaver for me. I save time and money and eat more nutritious, home-cooked meals.
Before I started using this technique, I wasted a lot of my hard-earned dollars buying groceries I didn’t use. At the end of each week, I had the sad—and exasperating—task of dumping my spoiled produce in the trash. Now, I know exactly what I will cook during the upcoming week and I buy only what I need.
I also purchase less fast food. Buying meals from restaurants, even if it’s just a burger and fries, adds up fast. That same money could have gone a lot further had I just used it to buy food I cooked myself.
Meal planning wards off the frustration of not knowing what’s for dinner. At the end of a long day, the last thing you want to do is come home and scramble to get food on the table. Planning and prepping ahead of time allows you to feed your family fast and makes the whole process a lot less taxing. Slow cooker and freezer meals can be your best friends on busy days.
When you prepare your own food, you know exactly what’s going into it. You control the ingredients and probably use higher quality ones than a fast food restaurant.
Start Small With Your Habits
Don’t bite off more than you can chew when you’re creating new habits. Start small.
If you’re not accustomed to cooking frequently, try quick and easy 15 minute meals. Don’t cook huge, complex meals because you will become frustrated and give up fast. Ease into whatever new routine you want to begin and grow from there. Tiny steps are doable and not as overwhelming as massive changes so you’re more likely to stick with them.
When you develop good habits, they help to shape your day into one that’s easier and less stressful. Use these seven tips to create routines that positively impact your life.