8 Habits That Will Instantly Improve Your Life
You don't have to be a life coach or psychologist to know that the small things matter. The way you greet people, eat breakfast, and organize your schedule can all send signals to your brain about how you're feeling and what kind of day you're going to have.
If you want a happier life—and who doesn't want that?—consider these eight habits that will instantly improve it. Some can become part of your daily life, while others are a nice addition to your Sunday routine to set you up for the week.
1. Drinking more water
Drinking more water is one of the easiest habits you can incorporate into your daily life. Staying hydrated has many benefits, including improving skin quality, boosting energy levels, and strengthening your immune system.
How much should you drink? The general rule is to aim for eight 8-ounce glasses each day.
2. Set a better alarm tone
It’s not just the lack of sleep that makes the morning so rough—your alarm tone is a big part of it too. If you use a jarring tone that doesn't jibe with your natural rhythm, or if you have to fumble around in your alarm clock app to turn off an obnoxious sound that blasts from every direction, then waking up will be even more unpleasant than it needs to be.
Instead, try setting an alarm tone that's pleasant and not jarring; soothing nature sounds, including birds chirping in the morning light, are a much more gentle way to start your morning.
3. Get some sunlight every morning
You'll be surprised by how much getting some sunlight can help you. Vitamin D is a nutrient that's important for calcium absorption, immunity, and mood regulation (to name just a few). However, many people are deficient in vitamin D because they don't get enough sunlight.
About 20 minutes per day should suffice if it isn't too cold outside or if cloud cover makes it hard for UVB rays (the ones responsible for producing vitamin D) to reach your skin.
4. Make your bed first thing in the morning
It's a small thing, but it can have a huge impact on your life. When you make your bed, you're telling yourself that you value yourself and the time you have. You're saying that you deserve to be tidy and organized and that you will not accept anything less than the best for yourself.
5. Start a gratitude journal
Gratitude journaling is one of the most powerful habits you can adopt because it's so simple. Each day, try to write down three things that you're grateful for. The specifics of what you write aren't important—it's all about the act of writing itself. Writing down your gratitude can help you feel better by reminding yourself how lucky you really are, thus making it easier to focus on solutions instead of problems and leading a happier life overall.
Gratitude journaling can also help keep you on track with your goals by reminding yourself why achieving them would be so great—you'll also be more likely to notice when progress is being made towards those goals as opposed to focusing only on the outcome.
6. Use a weekly planner for your schedule
A weekly planner is a great way to stay organized and on track. It helps you plan ahead, prioritize tasks, keep track of appointments and events, remember important dates, and stay organized.
Here are some tips for using a weekly planner:
- Use an actual paper planner instead of an online calendar or app (unless it's designed specifically for productivity). This will help you avoid distractions such as notifications from other apps while you're working.
- Set aside at least 10 minutes each week to plan out your week ahead. If possible, do this on Sunday night, so it doesn't interfere with Monday morning preparations like getting dressed or packing your bag for work/school.
7. Clean as you go, not all at once
Cleaning as you go is a great way to ward off clutter and keep your home looking tidy. It's also incredibly efficient, meaning that it won't take up too much of your time or energy. All that's required is a bit of organization and some good habits.
Here are some good reasons why cleaning as you go is better than tackling everything at once:
- It's easier to stay focused on what you're doing when there's not an overwhelming pile of clutter lying around.
- You'll be less likely to forget about a pile of dirty dishes in the sink or laundry waiting in the basket.
- You'll get more things done faster, which means more free time.
8. Little things can add up to make a big difference
If you're looking to improve your life, one of the best ways to do it is by making small changes. Don't be intimidated by the big things. If you want to lose weight, for example, don't think that those are too huge goals; just try cutting out one piece of junk food per day. If you want to get fit, don't intimidate yourself with an hour-and-a-half gym workout every morning—just go for a walk every night after dinner instead of sitting on the couch watching TV or scrolling through Instagram.
These little steps add up over time and can help make big changes in your life if they're done consistently. Plus, when you start making small changes like these and seeing results from them right away (like how much better it feels not having that post-dinner ice cream), it's easier to stay motivated when tackling more difficult changes later on down the line.