Over the years I’ve noticed that my habits and routine have a direct impact on how happy and calm I feel. When I have certain habits in place, life seems to flow more easily. I feel more ‘in control’, my mind is clearer and I’m generally more upbeat and positive.
At the beginning of a New Year we hear a lot about habits; ditching the bad ones, creating new ones and giving our entire lives a massive overhaul. The problem is that many of us aim for things that are unattainable, unachievable to just too damn hard to stick to in the longer term. The key to sustainable positive change is making small tweaks to your habits and daily activities that add up to a big difference. After all, our lives are made up of the little habits that we have every day. The better our habits, the better our lives will be! Plus, if it’s fun ad enjoyable, that’s even better.
Lately, I’ve been using an app called ‘Habit List’. It helps me to keep track of the little habits I want to do each day (or every few days) that keep me on track and feeling good. You just load your habits into the app and then tick them off throughout the day. It’s pretty satisfying ticking them off and you can even turn on alerts so you’ll get a notification when it’s time for you to complete a particular habit. It’s even more satisfying if you can multitask (especially if you’re super busy – and let’s face it – who isn’t these days?!) – fitting helpful habits into time that in the past may have been ‘wasted’ time, such as when at the gym or while waiting in a queue, is perfect.
Here are some ideas of small habits that help me and which might help you. I’d love to hear in the comments what little habits you’ll be adopting for more calm, health, and happiness in 2017! Let us know in the comments.
– Make your bed in the morning. It’s a small win that creates momentum and leads to other wins throughout the day.
– In the shower or while doing your makeup, make a list (maybe even out loud!) of the things you’re grateful for.
– While making a tea or coffee also make a hot water and lemon juice; it’s so good for digestion.
– On the bus to work read a few minutes of a Kindle book – which for me is almost always a personal development or psychology book that helps me both personally and professionally. I find this more relaxing than spending time on social media and it puts me in the right headspace to go to work.
– While at the gym listen to an audio book or podcast. It makes me really happy to be learning whilst working out. I loved ‘Mad Girl’ by Bryony Gordon, a book about mental health, or you can preorder my book ‘The Anxiety Solution’ here!
– Put a jug of water by your desk and drink it throughout the day. Adding a few slices of cucumber or sprigs of mint makes it really refreshing and a bit more special! You’re totally worth it btw!
– Download a meditation app like Headspace or Buddify and do a daily short meditation.
– Call a friend or a family member for a chat and a catch-up. Social connection and verbalising how we feel helps us to feel better. Fact! I make it a habit of calling a couple of people each week while I go for a walk.
– Over dinner with your partner or housemate, talk about the good things that happened that day, the progress you made and what you learned. It helps to put you both is a really positive mood, connect to each other and find good things about the day – even if it was a shitty one!
– When having a break from work or your lunch break, watch an inspiring TED talk or a funny YouTube video.
– Go to bed a bit earlier once a week and listen to a hypnotherapy MP3 – like the one you get FREE when you sign up to my mailing list (click the blue button below!)
What little habits will you be including in 2017 for more health, happiness, and calm? Let us know in the comments below!
PS. Obviously, don’t let sticking to habits become a source of stress for you – it’s just about doing a few simple practices which help you to feel better. If you don’t manage to fit it in that day, you’ve done your best, so don’t beat yourself up, just try again the next day. Good luck!