We often find ourselves stuck doing things we would consider “bad habits.” These habits are typically labeled in a negative connotation because they are not moving us in the right direction. Sometimes these habits are making us take a step back. If you have a hard time being productive at work then you may often find that you are taking your work home. Or you may find that you don’t plan your meals out for the week and you are snacking on items from the vending machine throughout the day or ordering take out for lunch. Either way, these bad habits that you have created are running your life in the wrong direction.
Instead, you want to create healthy habits. Habits that will move you into a positive direction in life. They will contribute to your goals and successes, not tarnish them. Healthy habits have to be developed over time. They do not happen over night. I will be the first to admit that it takes time, energy and a positive mindset to create habits that stick. When creating healthy habits, you must make sure they align with your goals and intentions for the day.
One of the best habits you can begin creating in your life is to plan ahead. Planning can benefit you in several ways. Having a plan in place for everything you do will make the purpose of your task more meaningful. We often communicate the purpose of our lessons to our students so that they understand the why. We have to do the same thing for ourselves. Take a moment each week or even day to plan out the following day. The planning doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be quite simple.
- The 3 “To Do’s”: Write down a list of three things you want to accomplish for the day. I like to break my three “to do’s” into three categories; work, home and family. Each day I accomplish something in each category. If you have different responsibilities you can tailor the categories to fit your needs. For example, you may plan to accomplish one major task at work such as lesson planning for the week. Therefore, your focus for that particular day will be on creating your plans. Your next “to do” for the day may involve making a phone call you’ve been putting off for days. Last, you may have to finish working on that project with your kids. The fact that you checked off a task for the day in each of your categories will make you feel accomplished. Once you begin doing this on a weekly or even daily basis you will find that you have developed a healthy habit that you can’t resist.
- Meal prep: Write down a list of meals you want to make for the week. Planning out your meals and preparing them ahead of time will keep you from making unhealthy choices throughout the day. Pick one day out of the week where you will write down all of your breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week. Then take the next step and make your lunches, prep your breakfast and dinners. This task alone will save you so much time during the busy work week. You will have more time to enjoy the process of eating and feeding your loved ones instead of feeling the pressures of cooking. Once you’ve created this habit you will find that you can’t live without it!
I am a huge advocate in taking care of ourselves and promoting self-care. Taking the time to do something for yourself each day will decrease stress levels and increase your happiness. Make it a habit to do one thing for yourself each night before you go to bed. Here are some things you can do:
- Read a book: Take some time to read a chapter or a few pages of that book you’ve been putting off. Once you begin reading a little at a time each night you will find that you look forward to picking up that book again.
- Hot Shower/Bath: Take a moment to be present with a hot shower or bath a few times during the week. In the mornings you may find yourself rushing to shower and get dressed. Therefore, use the night-time as a way to stop cleansed physically and mentally.
- Draw/Writing: If you love to write or even draw and can never find the time to do it, then just start doing it. Find some time each night to do what you enjoy even if it’s for ten minutes. Sit down and get lost in the joy of drawing or writing down your thoughts. You will find that you are able to let things go and be slow to react to less than great situations because you have taken the time to care for yourself.
- Watch your favorite show: You might not have time to watch that movie you’ve been putting off but watching a 30 to 45 minute show may work. Find time to watch something that you look forward to watching each week. When you do sit down to watch your favorite show make sure that is the only thing you are doing. Eating while watching TV, doing work or scrolling through social media is not self care. Instead, this is multi tasking and your mind is scattered. The purpose of doing something for yourself is to focus on that one task. Do just that, focus on the TV and what you are watching and you will find that you enjoy it more.
These habits are very simple and can change your life if you start today. Pick one thing to start planning ahead on and one self-care item. Developing a few simple habits can change the way you think and feel. Write down how you are feeling while you are doing these things. Check back in with yourself a few weeks later and notice the difference in how you are feeling. You may find that you are less stressed at work or that you are smiling more often. The key is to start small because once you have created these habits then you can start to add more habits. Start doing these two things on a daily or weekly basis and see how your life starts to shift.
What healthy habits have you created in your life? What habit resonates with you the most on this list? Comment below and share your thoughts. We would love to hear from you.