If there’s one thing I know well it’s that the desire to live a more nourishing life doesn’t always align with taking the actions necessary to do so. It isn’t as if you don’t want life to be just a little better, you want life to be radically different. And then you get mired down in how complicated that truly is. Because while change is possible for anyone – no matter your age, personal history, or life experiences – it isn’t always easy. Rather than get stuck in that space of want VS needing to take major actions, I’m going to suggest that you start small by implementing some simple habits.
Yes, I know that you have BIG dreams. Or that you want to make major changes. Yet, while it can seem counterintuitive that small changes to daily habits can make a big difference, it’s the honest truth. Because when you make you life better in small, doable ways, that compounds. And, it gives you the opportunity build momentum.
And if you’re in a position where you might not want to change anything too much, incorporating small, simple habits is a way to make life more enjoyable in the long run. Because implementing good simple habits , you’re life will always improve.
Here’s ten incredibly simple habits that you can incorporate into your daily life:
One – Make your bed every day.
Truly the most basic (and most common) suggestion on this list, because its important. When you make your bed first thing in the morning, you have already accomplished something for that day. And when you get into bed at night, you’re falling asleep in something orderly. Making your bed seems like a simple habit, but it pays off.
Making the bed is one of my go-to relievers from stress, too. Because when your world feels out of control, making your bed allows you to feel in control of something in your life.
Two – Commit to a 30 minute workout.
No, I’m not suggesting you become a gym rat. And it doesn’t have to be every day, but your body is designed for movement. At least three times a week go for a long walk. Or sign up for a group workout class with your friends. You’ll start to love how you feel after and want to keep coming back.
And if you really want to make working out a habit, do it out of pleasure rather than as a way to “get in shape” or “lose weight”. When you create a habit that you associate with pleasure, it’s easier to stick to.
Three – Read for 20 minutes every day.
We live in an overly connected society. And we’re online All. The. Time. Not only do your eyes need a break screens. But your mind and soul needs a break from the onslaught of information. Combat this by reading a great book. And by “great book”, I don’t mean you have to read an epic classic. Rather, read something you find enjoyable and pleasurable.
Reading is a great way to learn new ways of being, travel without the need to pack a bag, and relax.
Four – Eat out only once per week.
Yes, I know that going out is both a treat and a saving grace. Especially for busy families. But, when you get into the habit of meal planning and prepping, it’s easier to eat healthily. And save money. For busy adults, this one can be hard. Try meal prepping on Sunday nights or creating a weekly meal plan that allows for one meal out of the house a week.
Oh! And whether you’re working at home – or are back in the office – plan for lunch as well. Otherwise it’s easy to skip lunch and overindulge at dinner. Or give into the temptation for drive-thru.
Five – More water, less booze.
I’m all about having a glass of wine at the end of the day. Or indulging in a cocktail when you go out with friends. While some folks have discovered that going alcohol free is the best path for them, you know what’s best for your life and lifestyle.
But, I promise you’ll be happier and healthier if you commit to keeping hydrated. And drinking more water than you do alcohol.
Six – Accomplish something on your “to-do” list before you get online.
When you begin the day checking something off your list, you’re more likely to get more done. And that’s the key to making changes in your life, right? Doing things. Because if you keep the same old habits, life will basically be the same. But ensuring you accomplish something early in the day builds momentum for getting more done.
Plus, it’s motivating to ensure that you are tending what’s important to you before allowing distractions and the outside world in. Because we all know that when begin responding to the demands of the outside world – like that sales email from Macy’s and the request from your boss – you’re less likely to get back to your own priorities.
This is critical especially if your goals include doing nothing but enjoying your first cup of coffee in quiet and meditation.
Seven – Get some fresh air every day.
Whether it’s a walk to the end of your driveway, sitting on the porch with your coffee, or going for a walk in the park, make it your mission to get some fresh air every single day. A series of studies published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that being out in nature made people feel more energetic after spending time in natural sightings.
Feeling more energetic allows you to be more focused. And it inevitably makes you feel uplifted and inspired. When you spend even a few moments in nature, it’s an invitation to simply be. To make it more mindful, focus on something specific. Maybe check out the way the light shifts through the trees or the way the same birds return each morning for breakfast.
Active presence while out in nature gives you a serotonin boost and the bonus of better mood which makes a great simple habit to create.
Eight – Wash your face at night.
Whether you wear make-up or not, creating the simple habit of washing your face every night will provide more benefits than just a clean face. In fact, use this time as an opportunity for committed self-care.
Make sure the water is warm, use a cleanser that smells wonderful to you, gently massage it into your skin, and rinse. (I prefer a washcloth). After washing your face, put on some good moisturizer and under eye cream. Then, end by looking in the mirror and gazing into your own eyes.
When you make washing your face at the end of the day into a loving ritual, you’ll get a mood boost. And feel better about life in general.
Nine – Journal for five minutes.
No matter what your experiences with journaling in the past, the simple habit of writing in a journal has the power to transform your life. That’s because journal writing helps release mental blocks and assists you in keeping a clearer head. When you write down your thoughts and feelings, you’re better able to understand your own motivations, your deeper desires, and fine tune your goals.
You can make it a gratitude journal, which is a great place to start as research consistently shows that us change our lives for the better. Or, you can keep a bullet journal, simply cataloging a list of everything you get done each day. Kind of a companion to your to-do list. This habit will also help remind you that you can do hard things. And that even if you reach the end of the day and feel like you’ve gotten “nothing done”, you have evidence that reputes that thought.
Ten – Tend your connections.
While it feels as if we’re always connected thanks to social media, that’s not the same as real connection. Commit to regularly tending the important relationships in your life. So, schedule a call with a friend once a week. Make that lunch date. Or go old school and write letters!
Humans are wired for connection. But when we get too busy to truly connect, those connections fray. The simple habit of corresponding with beloved ones will go a long way into making your life better.
No matter what you desire, creating simple habits that enhance your life will always be a rewarding endeavor.
No matter what your goals may be. Or how you define a nourishing life, beginning small with your habits has immense power. So, whether your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, make any of your relationships feel more nourishing, or create a life that you’re passionate to inhabit, I promise that it’s possible.
You just have to decide that what you want is worth doing the work to get it. And allowing simple habits to compound into a life that you can’t help but love.