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Are you looking for daily or weekly habits to improve your life in 2021?
Small habits can add up to big changes over time. And what better time to start changing your habits than now?
In this post, I’m sharing with you 21 daily habits that have made a massive difference in my life, and I hope that they will in your life too!
1) Start your day with journaling.
I know that we all know that journaling can help, especially to keep our mental health in check. But how often do we actually manage to journal?
I, for one, have been known to fall off the journalling wagon quite often.
To make it more difficult for me to skip this habit, I now keep my journal on my bedside, and the first thing I do after I wake up is to drink some water and sit down and journal.
Sometimes I write down what I dreamt about, whereas other times it could be just things I have planned for the day.
You can also keep a note of how you feel and what you are looking forward to for the day.
Since I work from home, taking the extra 10 minutes in the morning to just lay in bed and collect my thoughts has been a huge game changer for my overall mood.
P.S. If you love to write down your thoughts, you can also do the same routine at nigh before going to bed. That way you wake up happier and with a clean slate! Here’s a journal I love:-
2) Follow the Pomodoro technique.
If you’re someone who seems to be always short of time and want to get way more productive then this one’s for you.
here are six steps in the original technique (from Wikipedia):
- Decide on the task to be done.
- Set the pomodoro timer on your phone (traditionally to 25 minutes).
- Work on the decided task.
- End work when the timer rings and put a check/tick on a piece of paper.
- After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.
The idea is to focus on just one task for a concentrated period of time and once you’ve done a few tasks to take a long break to recover.
This helps you from getting distracted every 10 minutes and also helps you block your time for related activities.
3) Dress up for work (even for home office).
Whether you head to an office or work from home, dressing up will change the way you feel about work.
While working in your night suit is tempting, it doesn’t really tell your mind to switch which then makes you feel like your whole day was one long never-ending chore.
You needn’t dress up a lot or even wear makeup, but simply putting on a nice top, some comfy lowers and brushing your hair can make a huge difference.
Once you’re done for work, dress down into your lounge wear. That’ll help you switch into various modes and make you feel more productive throughout the day.
4) Find time to be active every day.
Health should always be a priority but with a hectic life and a gazillion new rules to follow, finding time to work out can be a challenge.
I, for one, get bored really fast of the same routines.
So I try to make a plan going into the week to work out say 3 days for X amount of time. Then I allot a specific time, before work, mid-day or after work and make sure to schedule it in.
If you can be disciplined enough to carve out some time to be active, that’s even better!
Now being active doesn’t mean you have to sweat like a crazy person and lose 20 kilos in a month.
It can just mean going for a long walk, taking your kids out to play or simply spending time doing an activity that requires physical movement.
5) Light some candles or diffuse essential oils.
If holistic healing is something you are interested in, you will love this habit. Whether its about lighting a candle on your work table or mixing essential oils where you can smell them, they can all help.
Buying candles can add up really fast, so a more economical option would be to get a diffuser and pick the oils you like.
You will need some tea candles to make it work for a manual diffuser. For an electric diffuser all you need is water and some oils.
Some of my favourite oils to relax to are eucalyptus, sage and lavender. Lighting them while journaling or meditating and dedicating a special space in your flat or house can also make a huge difference.
If you like taking baths and have a bath tub at your home, adding essential oils to the bath can also be a great mood-lifter!
6) Take a shower or bath in the evening.
A lot of people like to take a bath in the morning, but for me taking a shower or a bath acts as a cleanse for the whole day.
Taking a shower at the end of the day can help you get some time to just focus on yourself and switch to a calmer state.
I love taking showers before I go to bed and then relaxing with a movie or a tv-show or even with a nice book.
Of course, you can take as many showers as you want in a day but if the option is to just take one, I highly recommend to switch to an evening one!
7) Chat with a virtual friend.
Since going out isn’t the best option anymore, chatting with a friend online is the next best thing!
Whether its your daily all with mum or a weekly virtual drinks session with the girls, make sure to create a schedule.
Humans are social creatures and love some amount of interaction. Since physical interaction is on the down-low, adding a virtual chat session to your calendar can be a great way to catch up and improve your mood.
8) Have at least one home-cooked meal.
Tempted to order your next meal? Think again. Not only will cooking fresh allow you to cook organic and healthy meals, it will also save you a ton of money over the course of a year.
Let’s say you order 3 times a week and you drop that down to 2. Even by just ordering one less meal a week, you’ll save at least $20/week, which adds up to $80/month which adds up to $960 per year.
That’s almost a $100 that can go to a separate fund instead. Maybe an emergency or self-care fund?
9) Take regular breaks from work.
Even if you don’t use the pomodor techniques, taking frequent breaks from work can help you be more productive at your job overall.
Make sure to take breaks every 2-3 hours even if its just a 15-minute coffee break, a yoga break or walking your dog.
It has been proven time and time again, that we are most productive when we don’t work in long stretches at once.
Keep that in mind, the next time you refuse to leave your desk!
10) Focus on just 1-2 big themes for the day.
This is really for people who do have some level of flexibility in their work life. If you are over-worked and micro-managed by your boss, creating this habit will be hard.
If you are lucky enough to set up your own schedule, then make sure to batch content together.
As a business owner with a remote team, I’m often pulled in too many directions. This is why I like to plan my day by tasks that require a certain skill.
For example, if I’m having a creative day then I will spend time writing blog posts and coming up with scripts for videos.
If I have an admin day, then I’ll work on emails, taxes, financial planning etc.
When you batch tasks according to themes or big buckets, then your brain doesn’t have to constantly have multi-task.
And multi-task isn’t really as great as we have been taught to believe. On the contrary, it makes us less productive.
11) Write down what you are grateful for.
You can club this activity with journaling or just use stick notes to fix on your laptop or bathroom mirror, Each time you feel down or annoyed during the day, just remember what you wrote down you were grateful for.
It’ll shift your mood and allow you to start on a more positive chain of thoughts.
IF you believe or practice the law of attraction, then this is also a great practice to keep your vibration high throughout the day.
12) Limit your screen time.
As a digital CEO, social media= work for me and it can be REALLY hard to put the phone away. But thankfully for us, we have phones and apps like “Screen Time” that can block you from using your phone beyond a certain limit.
Make sure to find a screen time limit and create it for yourself so you’re not tempted to watch all those reels or Tiktok videos and waste hours of time when you could really be working on your goals and personal growth.
Not to mention, less screen time is great for your eyes and for sleeping at night.
13) Delete your social media apps on weekends.
Closely related to limiting screen time, is to monitor social media usage. You’ll be surprised at how much time you’ve spent scrolling on Pinterest or Instagram.
Social media is a great tool for our age but it can also be a time and mood-killer.
FInd a day or two or even a whole weekend to delete your apps so that you can spend time with loved ones or doing things you enjoy that don’t involve your phone.
14) Enrol in an online course.
All the extra time at home, is making people re-evaluate their passions and skills. Maybe you want to grow a home kitchen garden or learn how to play the piano again.
Or start a business from home. Whatever skill you’re looking to learn, I can bet there is a mentor and a.course out there.
Enroll in what you would like to work on and get started.
Who knows by the end of a year, you might have learnt a new skill or started a new business that makes some extra cash!
15) Join a fitness class.
If you’re not the kind to learn skills online, maybe look at joining a fitness class? It’s also a great way to meet new people and schedule working out in your busy day.
When you pay for a class, you are more likely to show up than when you just try to motivate yourself to do it every day. (i speak from experience, haha!)
Whether its yoga, pilates or belly dancing, find your thing and sign up!
No one will judge you for your choices and who knows you might even make a few new friends while getting fitter!
16) Carve out time to meditate.
I started meditating in 2020, and OMG it has been a game-changer. I’m a quite moody person and quick to react, but meditation really has made me less reactive and more observant.
Not only this, I’ve discovered that meditating regularly helps me connect to a spiritual side I didn’t know I had.
You can use free apps like headspace for guided meditation or just buffer music on Youtube and start.
At the beginning it can be hard to sit still for even a minute but over time, you’ll ease into the habit.
17) Go for a walk in the neighbourhood.
Want an activity that is free, helps you get more fit and lifts your mood? A walk!
Nothing fancy and no equipment required. It doesn’t matter if you take a 5 minute or a 50 minute walk, the idea is to find time to go outside and get some fresh air.
If you work in a home office or stay at home most of the time, you’ll love this new habit!
18) Listen to one podcast every week.
No matter how busy you are, you can squeeze in time for podcasts. I prefer them to reading books because reading books requires me to stay still while I can listen to a podcast while on a walk, in the shower or while cooking.
I love catching up on my favourite shows while still doing something so I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time.
19) Purge your space once a month.
Another habit that will help you upgrade your space (both physically and mentally) without buying anything. Once a month, pick one theme and see what you can donate, give away or throw in the trash.
I started to do this in summer of 2020 and the amount of stuff I don’t use is appaling.
You know what they say about one man’s trash is another man’s treasure or something along those lines.
You don’t need to donate large sums of money like a billionaire, but you can find things you no longer need or use and donate them.
There are so many people who need help and might be looking for just that thing that is sitting in your storage cupboard occupying space but is of no use to you.
20) Take time to pause, breathe and reflect.
In other words, slow down. We’re so used to constantly running from one task to another, it can be hard to really find the time to sit and do nothing.
Whether you choose to meditate or simply look out the window, find time at least once a day to do NOTHING.
There’s even a spiritual practice that revolves around a “day of nothing” where you take out one day and do nothing.
Not even read a book or cook. It is a day just for connecting with yourself and being still.
While this might be a bit extreme for the most of us, the concept still works.
21) Spend time in nature.
It costs nothing to go to a park. It costs nothing to look at the moon from your window. It costs nothing to go for a hike and just connect with nature.
You don’t need to have access to a national park at driving distance. Find new spots in your city or village where you can go to spend some time.
I often go for a long walk in parks nearby and take a cup of tea and a book to read with me.
I love sitting down on a bench or even on a picnic blanket and just observing things around me.
Since taking large trips isn’t going to be an easy feat, we have to make the most of what we have and a quick trip to nature whether for reading a book, gardening in your backyard or even fishing can be a great mood changer!
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