Easy habits, simple habits or micro habits. Whatever you want to call them, they can make a big impact. Whether you want more or less of something, there are plenty of easy habits to start today.
15+ easy habits you can start building today
1. Drink more water
Drinking more water seems so simple. But it took me about six months to get into the habit of drinking one litre of water per day. One litre. But now that I have that under my belt, it’s much easier to hit and exceed that goal.
And we all know why we should drink more water. But it can take some time for the benefits to show. So take your time when you start building this easy habit.
Just like drinking more water, forming a new exercise habit isn’t always simple. It can take a lot of trial and error to find something you like. And sometimes that can include a lot of money, especially if you deck yourself out in all the gear.
Some ways to help you get started:
- find an exercise you like doing
- figure out what time of day works best for you
- find a workout partner
- join a challenge either at home or as part of a gym or program
- use an app or YouTube
And if you go to a class and it turns out you didn’t enjoy it but you’d like to keep trying, try the same or similar type of class with a different teacher. Just like in school, you might begin to hate a subject because you don’t really like the teaching style. All teachers and instructors have their own style and you need to find one that works for you.
3. Be a better friend
I don’t think it takes much to be a better friend.
A phone call.
An invitation to catch up over coffee.
Sharing a silly meme.
A personalised video of encouragement. (One of my fave ways to connect)
4. Read more
Reading is not just a way to learn, its also a way to unwind. Some might even say it’s an escape. But I know it’s all three for me. And you don’t need to read a lot to form a new habit. You can always see what I’m reading and what I’ve read on Goodreads.
If you read for 21 minutes each day for a year, that’s almost 128 hours. You could read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone 15 times! Join in on Gretchen Rubin’s read 21 minutes every day in 2021 by following along with the hashtag #read21in21.
5. Wake up earlier
Easier said than done. But waking up earlier can give you more time to work on projects that are important to you. The best way I’ve found to get your self to wake up earlier is by gradually shifting your alarm. Move it back in five-minute increments. Going from waking up at 7 am to 5 am is not going to literally happen overnight!
6. Get up when your alarm goes off
And while you’re trying to get up earlier, why not get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off? It can be much easier to get out of bed if my phone isn’t in reach. Which is why you should…
7. Put your phone away
Keeping my phone in my handbag or on charge someplace other than my desk is a simple way for me to reduce my screen time. It also reduces that little feeling of FOMO that makes me pick up my phone every two seconds.
8. Reduce screen time
Remember when Apple brought out the ability to track your screen time? If you are anything like me, you were absolutely mortified. I’ve managed to work out some patterns in my phone usage and take advantage of a few of the features like do not disturb, down time and app time limits.
9. Make plans
Make plans with your friends. Make plans with your family. Heck, make plans with your dog. Making regular plans to do things can keep your personal connections strong.
Some ideas for different plans you can make:
- coffee date with a friend
- watch a movie with your spouse
- doggy play date at a dog park or the beach
- kids play date at a park or play centre
And if you’ve got a friend that wants to get stuff done, become accountability buddies. Then make plans for your accountability meetings!
10. Inbox zero
Inbox zero might seem impossible. But I’m sure you could clean out your email inbox. And if you are anything like me, you have more than one email account. Slowly but surely, chipping away at the emails sitting in your inbox. I’ve created folders to put almost all types of emails in. So if it’s still in my inbox it still needs to be actioned. Most of the time when there are a lot of emails for me to sift through, I cheat and just delete them all. If I’ve left them sitting there unread for so long, any value they had has diminished.
11. Quit or cut back on caffeine
Quitting caffeine is not to the taken lightly. So if quitting is not an option, cutting back might be. I’ve only ever been a one-coffee-a-day kinda person. So cutting back would mean eliminating it completely. I do like to have a few coffee-free days throughout each month though.
12. Eat meatless meals
Plant-based, vegetarian or even vegan is not always an option. Especially when there are other family members to consider. But one small habit you can begin today is eating meatless meals. And there are plenty of ingredients to use to make sure you feel full and satisfied at the end of the meal.
13. Meal plan
And eating meatless meals could mean doing some meal planning. And there are so many different ways to meal plan. So find one that works for you.
Some different ways to mean plan are:
- shop first then cook according to what you have
- plan your meals then shop accordingly
- have a certain item on a certain day of the week (chicken on Monday, beef on Tuesday, take away on Friday etc)
14. Set a bedtime alarm
Just like you probably set an alarm to wake up, it can be a good idea to set an alarm to prompt you that it’s time to get ready for sleep. This might mean you go through a nighttime routine or it might just mean stop what your doing and go to bed.
15. Learn something new
If you’re trying to get up earlier, you could use that time to learn a new skill or build on an existing one. Some things you might want to learn:
- Learn a language
- Learn to knit, sew or crochet
- Learn how to use Photoshop or write code
- Learn how to create and use a budget
And the beauty of learning new skills in this day and age is that most of it can be done online. There are a number of online learning communities like Skillshare and Udemy. And you can learn almost anything from watching YouTube videos.
16. Use the one minute rule
The one minute rule is quite simple. If something is going to take you a minute or less to complete, do it straight away.
Things you can do in less than a minute:
- Put your shoes away when you take them off
- Put your dishes in the sink or dishwasher when you are finished
- Hang up your coat when you take it off
- Put the junk mail in the recycle bin when you’ve looked at it
- Hang up the tea towel where it belongs rather than leaving it on the bench
I now realise that most of these have to do with putting things away!
17. Power hour
Make use of a power hour when you have a few errands to run or tasks that need to be completed. You know the small things that you really can’t be bothered with. Like going to the chemist, post office or booking an appointment with the dentist.
The first thing I like to do during a power hour is put on a load of washing. The washing cycle I use the most often takes around an hour, so it’s a perfect indicator of when my power hour is finished.
But sometimes, power hour can get you so motivated, that you just keep going after the hour is up!
18. Make a swap
There is no limit to the number of things you can swap in your life.
- Swap one cleaning product or one beauty product for something with fewer chemicals or less waste.
- Swap soft drink at home for Soda Stream.
- Swap shower gels for bar soap.
- Swap your afternoon coffee for herbal tea.
- Swap pads and tampons for period undies.
19. Use a to-do list
I’m a list person. And I think I know why I love them so much. I often have an ever-growing list in my head. And I seem to go in circles thinking about what I need to do. But when I finally get them all out of my head and on to paper, I realise that there isn’t really that much that I need to do. And it definitely makes me more productive.
What other easy habits can you start today?