10 Simple Habits That Will Improve Your Life Now

We are creatures of habit.  We like routine.  Our world has a routine.  The sun comes up in the morning and sets at night.  Our weeks follow a 7-day cycle.
I spent years teaching first-grade students and at the beginning of every year, I spent time establishing daily routines and habits, practicing what they look like and helping them to commit them to memory.  Why? When the kids knew the routine, less time was wasted which left more time for learning.

Habits Help Us Use Our Time Wisely

When you know what to expect with a routine, you can make time to do what matters to you.  There’s a lot in our life that is out of our control.  Routines provide security and steadiness.
You won’t have to stop and think about what to do next, you will just know. Routines help us be more efficient and take back precious minutes of our lives.

What is a habit?

Google defines a habit as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.  So, what are some simple tendencies or practices that can make a positive impact on your life?  Let’s take a look at 10 daily habits that will improve your life right now.

 

10 Daily Habits That Improve Your Life Now

 

Get Up At a Set Time every day

Our bodies rely on cues including sleep and wake cycles to function optimally (read more here).  Although, it doesn’t seem important getting up at the same time each day will help your body to recognize when to wake and sleep.

You might even find after establishing a new wake time and doing it consistently that your body will naturally wake up at that time without the use of an alarm clock.  To read more about establishing an early morning routine, read here.

Create a Daily Meditation Time

Starting the day with some time meditation (I call it quiet time) is important.  For me, that means spending time writing in my Simple Purposeful Living daily journal and reading the bible.  I share more about my quiet time/meditation time in this post.  
Spending time reflecting, cultivating gratitude and processing what’s on tap for the day will help you step into the day with purpose and intention.

Make Your Bed

Retired Admiral William McRaven shared in a commencement speech the importance of making your bed every day.  “If you want to make a difference in the world, start by making your bed.”  His premise is that if you take care of the little things, you will take care of the big things.
The good news is if you have not made your bed previously, you can adopt this habit.  Not only, will it set your tone for the day?  It will also lead to reduced stress levels with decreased visual clutter leading to less mental clutter.   Adopting this simple habit will also help you confidently add other simple habits to your daily routine.

Get Ready for the Day

 
After I make my bed, I take about 10 minutes and wash my face, do my hair, sometimes my makeup and get ready for the day!  Then I get dressed even if its just to change into my gym clothes.  I find that if I stay in my pajamas I just feel cruddy later in the day.  Getting dressed and ready for the day sets the tone and helps you feel ready to be productive. 

Unload the Dishwasher

 
Get into the habit of running the dishwasher after dinner and then you can unload the dishwasher while your coffee is brewing.   Better yet, if your kids are old enough, they can take on this daily chore.  Setting a time to run the dishwasher and unload it ensures it goes done on a regular basis.
Unloading the dishwasher in the morning enables you to load dishes as you go throughout the day freeing up physical clutter on your kitchen counters and keeping your kitchen tidier.
 

Do 1 Load of Laundry Per Day

 
Of all the chores, laundry might be the most loathed!  It never ends and it can quickly pile up if not attended to.  So, do a load of laundry every single day.  Modern laundry machines can detect how much water to use so you aren’t wasting water.  Folding just one load of laundry doesn’t feel as painful.  We have made it a habit for the kids to grab their folded laundry and put it away as part of their bedtime routine.

Create a To Do List for Tomorrow

Before the day is over, make a quick to do list.  I try to keep it under 10 items and preferably 5-7 things.  I also check the calendar so I can mentally prepare and check my meal planner so I know what’s for dinner. It helps to wake up the next morning with a purpose and a plan.  All that to say, some days don’t go as planned so I can add anything I didn’t get done today to the to-do list for tomorrow.

Create Opportunities to Be Offline

Whether it’s a family dinner around the table, reading a book or catching a workout, it’s a good habit to get into to spend some daily time offline.  If you struggle to stay offline, read this article on simple ways to spend less time on your phone.

Daily House Tidy

 
At the end of every day do a quick sweep of the house.  Grab a laundry basket and pick up items that go to a different floor.  Don’t do this task alone.  Ask for help from your family.
Set a 5-minute timer and have kids race the time to put away all the toys, put the pillows back on the couch and do a quick vacuum.  Without the visual clutter, it’s easier to de-stress and relax after the kids go to bed.  I also love walking downstairs in the morning to a tidy space.
 

Establish a Bedtime Routine 

Every night, we go upstairs as a family for our bedtime routine.  The kids put away their clean clothes, brush their teeth, throw their dirty clothes directly into the washer for tomorrow’s 1 load of laundry.  Then, they get pajamas on before we pray as a family before reading a few books and kissing them good night.
Just like it’s important for our body’s cues to get up at the same time, it’s important that we go to sleep on time and get enough sleep.  Many people are chronically sleep-deprived.  The biggest culprit is late-night phone usage.  Try plugging in your phone and reading before bed.
On average kids need 10-13 hours of sleep.  Adults need between 7-8 hours of sleep so depending on what time you need to wake-up, subtract back to find out your bedtime.

Simple Habits Make Big Impact

Adopting these simple but powerful habits into your life can help you feel better and be more productive. Successful people are very purposeful about their lives and how they live them.  They know habits that add value to their life are important.

Remember, creating a new habit takes time and patience.  Don’t give up.  Remember why it’s important for you to do and give yourself 30 days to do it every day.  Generally, new habits form between 21-60 days.

What habits are important to your daily life?  What habits do you want to add in?  What habits would you like to stop?
Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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