Whether we know it or not, we all have habits. They are a part of our daily routine, and the truth is, these habits are the building blocks of a fulfilling life. These little pieces of discipline that we add to our daily lives over time make a massive difference to our overall health and happiness.
But are these the right habits for us? Or are we unknowingly engaging in bad habits that may be causing harm to our physical, mental, or emotional well-being?
Sometimes we need to step back and evaluate our daily actions to make sure they’re contributing towards our overall health and happiness and not hindering it.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 15 good habits you can start to adopt now for a more healthy and happy life.
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- How to Form Healthy Habits
- 15 Good Habits
- 1. Look after your body
- 2. Look after your mind
- 3. Adopt a healthy screen time routine
- 4. Listen more, talk less
- 5. Smile
- 6. Plan your financials
- 7. Show kindness and empathy
- 8. Never stop learning
- 9. Be sustainably conscious
- 10. Practice gratitude
- 11. Wear sunscreen every day
- 12. Exercise in the morning
- 13. Meditate
- 14. Create a healthy sleep routine
- 15. Make your bed each morning
- Are you ready to form new habits?
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How to Form Healthy Habits
Ironically, I have a notification on my phone to remind me to put my phone away at 8pm every night. But without this reminder, I might end up scrolling through social media for hours and losing precious time that could have been spent doing something productive or having fun with friends.
By setting reminders, whether it’s on your phone or using sticky notes on the fridge to choose a healthier snack, you’ll be able to stay on track with forming healthy habits. These reminders will also serve as little nudges when we forget to do something that’s good for us.
Jumping into all 15 good habits at once will no doubt be overwhelming, not to mention almost impossible. The best way to succeed is to take small steps to begin with. Start with introducing one or two of these habits into your daily routine and as time goes on, add the rest slowly.
Forming good daily habits takes time and patience. Change isn’t going to happen overnight and you’ll only be disappointed and unmotivated to continue if you’re unable to keep all these new habits right off the bat.
Set clear goals
Have a think about what it is you want out of life and what will make you happy. With this in mind, set clear and achievable goals for yourself. This will give you something to work towards and help keep you motivated.
Make sure your goals are realistic and specific, not just vague ideas or wishes. For example, instead of saying “I want to be healthier”, set a goal like “I want to exercise three times a week and cook at least four home-cooked meals per week.” This way, you have something tangible to strive for.
Surround yourself with positivity
Surrounding yourself with people who are positive and uplifting can make a huge difference in your journey towards forming healthy habits. Not only will they be able to support and encourage you, but their positivity will also rub off on you and help keep you motivated.
15 Good Habits
1. Look after your body
Taking care of your physical health isn’t just about looking good. It’s about feeling good too.
A healthy body works like a well-oiled machine, providing you with the energy and stamina you need to go about your day.
Aim to do some form of exercise for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis, whether it’s going for a walk, doing yoga, or hitting the gym for a HIIT session – just some sort of physical activities that makes your body move about.
Make sure to also nourish your body with nutritious healthy food and stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day. Try to cut out the fast food and junk food – or at least cut down to begin with.
2. Look after your mind
Looking after your mind is just as important as looking after your body.
There’s a huge emphasis these days on mental health and for good reason – our minds need care and attention just like our bodies do.
Make it a habit going forward to take time to check in with yourself. Are you doing ok? Is there something niggling at the back of your mind? Is work getting too much for you?
All of these things can affect our mental well-being, so it’s important to take a step back and address any issues that may arise before they start impacting on us in a negative way.
3. Adopt a healthy screen time routine
In today’s digital age, screens are a huge part of our everyday lives.
Whether it’s for work or leisure, we spend a lot of time in front of screens and this can have negative effects on our health if not managed properly.
Don’t get me wrong, technology definitely has its benefits but it’s important to set boundaries and have a healthy screen time routine in place.
Adopting a healthy screen time could mean different things for different people, but some suggestions include:
- Make a new habit to have an hour of screen-free time before going to bed.
- Limit screen time during meals and instead use that time to have conversations with your loved ones.
- Take regular breaks from screens, especially if you have a job that involves sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time. Every hour, get up and walk about the office or outside for a few minutes to get your eyes away from screens.
- Set boundaries for yourself such as no checking work emails after a certain hour or only allowing yourself a set amount of social media scrolling per day. You can use an app like Freedom to limit your usage on certain apps at various times throughout the day if you need the extra help.
4. Listen more, talk less
In a world where everyone seems to have an opinion and wants to be heard, it’s important to remember the value of listening.
Listening isn’t just hearing what someone else is saying, but truly understanding and empathising with their perspective.
When you listen more, you can open yourself up to learning from others and gaining new insights into different topics.
It also helps to build stronger relationships, as people feel heard and appreciated when they’re listened to. And they’re more likely to come back and speak to you if they know that you listen and empathise.
When someone needs to talk, put the phone down and give them all your attention.
Have you ever walked down the road and spotted someone smiling away to themselves? If you have, you probably started smiling there and then too, right?
Smiling is infectious and it can have a huge impact on our mood, and the mood of others. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you see a beautiful smile.
Reminding yourself to smile each day is an easy habit to commit to. It barely takes any effort and takes no extra time out of your day.
So, start smiling more and see the positive effects it has on your life. Not only will you feel happier, but those around you will too.
6. Plan your financials
Budgeting, saving and investing wisely can give you the freedom to live the life you want without constantly worrying about money.
Start this new habit by tracking your expenses and creating a budget that works for you. Cut back on unnecessary spending and start putting aside money for savings or investments. Seek financial advice if needed to make informed decisions about your money.
It’s never too early or too late to start planning for your financial future. And by taking control of your finances, you’ll feel more secure and better equipped to handle any financial challenges that may come your way.
Surprises are always popping up – whether it’s a new part for the car, a plumbing issue or an unexpected bill – having a financial plan and being prepared is an essential habit and can make all the difference in managing these situations without added stress.
7. Show kindness and empathy
Being kind and empathetic towards others isn’t only good for them, but also for yourself. Small acts of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s day and it doesn’t take much effort.
These acts of kindness don’t have to be big or grand, it could be as simple as holding the door open for someone, offering a compliment or listening to someone who needs to vent. You may not realise it, but a compliment can go a long way for someone who is facing self-doubt or feeling down.
So spread kindness wherever you go – not only does it make the world a better place, but it also has a positive impact on you and those who learn from you.
Practicing empathy – putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding their feelings – can also help build stronger relationships and improve communication. It can bring a sense of fulfillment and purpose to your life.
8. Never stop learning
Learning is a lifelong process. As we grow and evolve, there will always be new things to discover and skills to develop.
Whether it’s through formal education or self-learning, investing in your personal growth is always worth it. It helps keep your mind sharp, broadens your perspective, and opens up new opportunities.
Don’t be afraid to try something new or step out of your comfort zone. You never know what hidden talents and passions you may uncover. Whether it’s learning a new language or how to make a new dish, you don’t have to limit yourself to academic or career-related topics.
It’s also a great way to stay connected with the ever-changing world around us and think outside of the box.
9. Be sustainably conscious
Learning to be more environmentally sustainable is a growing concern in today’s world and an excellent habit to adopt. We desperately need to pull together and take care of our planet, and it all starts with small individual actions.
Simple changes such as recycling, walking instead of driving, using reusable bags and containers, reducing water usage, and choosing sustainable products can make a significant impact on the environment.
It also sets an example for others to follow. If you adopt this new habit into your household, your family will also learn the importance of sustainability.
Being sustainably conscious not only benefits the earth but also your finances. By reducing waste and choosing eco-friendly options, you’ll likely save money in the long run. So it’s a win win habit all around!
10. Practice gratitude
I think this is something we forget to do in our daily lives. We live each day at such a fast pace that we often don’t stop to appreciate the things we have and the people in our lives.
But forming a habit each day to reflect and express gratitude can have a huge impact on our mindset and overall well-being. It helps us focus on the positive aspects of our lives, no matter how small they may seem.
Start by simply saying thank you more often, whether it’s to a friend, family member, or even a stranger.
Write down the many things you are grateful for each day or keep a gratitude jar where you can add notes of appreciation. You can even get the family involved with this! Find what works for you and make it a part of your daily routine.
11. Wear sunscreen every day
I am sure you have heard this countless times, but it’s worth repeating. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is crucial in preventing signs of aging and reducing the risk of skin cancer.
The sun doesn’t have to be out in all its glory for you to put on sunscreen. Even on cloudy or overcast days, the sun’s rays can still cause damage to your skin.
Make a habit of applying sunscreen every day as part of your morning routine. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher (50 in my case) and reapply every few hours if you plan to be spending extended periods in the sun.
This simple habit can make a huge difference in the long run and keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.
12. Exercise in the morning
While it may not be very inviting to wake up early and exercise, there are so many benefits to getting your body moving in the morning.
Not only does it jumpstart your metabolism and boost your energy levels or the day, but it also sets a positive tone for the rest of your day.
You don’t need to do a full on HIIT session at 5am, even a simple 15-minute walk or yoga session before work can make a difference. I’ve recently started doing an online Zumba class in the mornings and it’s also a fun way to get the day started! Find an exercise routine that you enjoy and stick to it.
This is an old habit of mine, which I’ve continued for a few years. Before bed, I try to meditate for 10-15 minutes. It’s a great way to clear your mind and relax before going to sleep and leads to a better sleep too.
However, I’ve recently started incorporating a short meditation session in the mornings as well. It helps me set an intention for my day and start off on a positive attitude. I do this while still in bed, just after waking up.
Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, there are plenty of apps and online resources that offer guided meditations for beginners, such as Healthy Minds or Headspace. It can be tricky to get into the habit of shutting everything out for meditation, but guided meditation can definitely help with this.
14. Create a healthy sleep routine
I know many wonder what’s the difference if I go to the bed late and get up late instead of going to bed early. But it really does make a difference. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis.
The hours of sleep you get before midnight are the most important for your body, as this is when it goes into deep restorative sleep. So try to aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep and make an effort to go to bed earlier.
Put away all electronics at least an hour before bed and make a space that promotes relaxation and sleep. This could be dimming the lights, using essential oils or reading a book. Do whatever helps you wind down and get your body ready for rest.
15. Make your bed each morning
This is a great habit to have each day, and it’s the most simple one to get used to! The first thing on your to do list each day is to make your bed (and open the curtains). Do this one quick thing and you’ve already accomplished something from your to-do list! It’s as simple as that!
Not only does it keep your bedroom looking tidy and inviting, but it also sets you up for success for the day.
Plus, who doesn’t love getting into a perfectly made bed each night? It’s an extra added bonus.
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Are you ready to form new habits?
These 15 good habits are just a start to living a healthier and happier life. Remember, forming new good habits takes time and effort, so be patient with yourself and celebrate your successes along the way.
Not everything from the above list of good habits is a big change. Start small and pick one habit at a time to work on and gradually incorporate more into your daily routine.
Before you know it, these healthy habits will become second nature and you’ll begin to see positive changes in your life.