15+ Simple Habits to Start Right Now

Easy habits, simple habits or micro habits. Whatever you want to call them, they can make a big impact on your overall health. Whether you want more or less of something, there are plenty of easy habits to start today.

Take these examples of small habits that you can add to your daily routine to lay the groundwork for a more mindful, purposeful, and fulfilling life. These small changes, when practiced consistently, have the power to transform your daily experience, enhance your relationships, and bring you closer to your personal goals.

15+ easy habits you can start building today

1. Drink more water

Drinking more water seems like such a simple habit to build. But many of us don’t drink enough water.

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 health benefits to show.

Tips to build this habit:

  • drink a glass of water before you eat or drink anything in the morning
  • carry a water bottle everywhere you go

2. Exercise

Just like drinking more water, improving your physical health isn’t always simple. It can take a lot of trial and error to find a physical activity that you like. 

Some ways to help you get started:

  • find an exercise you like doing
  • figure out what time of day you like to workout
  • find a workout partner
  • join a challenge either at home or as part of your gym membership
  • use an app or YouTube
  • regular outdoor walks in the fresh air

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.

The added benefit of working on your physical health is that it often goes hand in hand with improving your mental health.

3. Be a better friend

It’s the little things that make you a better friend.

Some simple yet effective ways to strengthen your friendships:

  • a phone call
  • a text message
  • an invitation to catch up over coffee
  • sharing a silly meme
  • a personalised video of encouragement (my personal fave)

easy habits you can start building today

4. Read more

Reading is not just a way to learn, it’s 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! 

2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Kathleen hasread 6 books towardher goal of25 books.
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5. Wake up earlier

I know, i know. It’s 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 yourself to wake up earlier is by gradually shifting your alarm.

Take super small steps, moving your wake up time back in five-minute increments.

Going from waking up at 7 am to 5 am is not going to 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?

Get stuck into your morning routine 

It can be much easier to get out of bed if your phone isn’t in reach. So keep it in another room overnight, also easier said than done.

7. Put your phone away

Keeping your phone in your handbag or on charge someplace other than right next to you can be a simple way for me to reduce your screen time.

It also reduces that little feeling of FOMO that makes me pick up your phone every two seconds.

15+ easy habits you can start today

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, downtime 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 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 dates at a park or play centre

And if you’ve got a friend who 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.

An easy way to clean out your inbox is to unsubscribe from unwanted emails as soon as you get them.

11. Quit or cut back on caffeine

Quitting caffeine is not something to be 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.

Switching one of your daily coffees to decaf is also a great way to minimise caffeine intake.

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 more meatless meals. And there are plenty of ingredients to use to make sure you feel full and satisfied at the end of the meal.

My current favourite meatless meals are 15 Minute Miso Dumpling Soup and Red Lentil Sweet Potato Curry.

15+ easy habits you can start building today

13. Meal plan

And eating meatless meals could mean that you need to do some meal planning. Tthere are so many different ways to meal plan. So find one that works for you

Some of the best 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

A good night’s sleep is not just a luxury; it’s a major key to better health. Embracing better sleep habits and practicing good sleep hygiene can lead to improved cognitive function, enhanced mood stability, increased productivity throughout the day, a synchronised circadian rhythm and a strengthened immune system.

While a lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your physical and mental health, impairing cognitive function, mood regulation, and decision-making abilities. 

And 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 you’re 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 things or build on an existing skill.

Some things you might want to learn:

  • a language
  • to knit, sew or crochet
  • how to use Photoshop, Procreate or write code
  • 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 many 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, or 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!

habits to start today

18. Make a swap

There is no limit to the number of things you can swap to have a healthier lifestyle.

  • 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 reusable menstrual products.

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 you finally get them all out of my head and onto paper, you realise that there isn’t really that much to do. And it can definitely makes you more productive in the long term.

Cultivating good habits on a regular basis is a great thing for your overall well-being. By integrating healthy daily habits into your daily routines, you lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle and a more fulfilling life. Remember that consistency is key, and even the smallest positive changes can yield incredible long-term benefits.

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