Everyone wants to lead a happy and healthy life, yet it can be so difficult to achieve. But here's the harsh truth: happiness and good health doesn't come to you – it's something you have to work for by picking up and committing to good habits.
That said, many people are discouraged from picking up good habits because they just seem so unattainable. Habits like "go for a 30-minute jog before work every morning" or "stick to this healthy-yet-expensive diet" are difficult for many people to commit to.
And that's why we're here to show you 10 good habits that are simple and inexpensive, yet will still improve your life in the long term.
So without further ado, let's get into it!
1. Establish a morning ritual
Mornings are usually the most important part of any day, because how you feel in the mornings will dictate your mood for the rest of the day!
A morning ritual will make you feel refreshed, productive and accomplished, all before your day even starts proper. Plus, having a structured start to your day prevents you from rushing through the morning.
Your morning ritual is uniquely yours, and should be made up of activities that make you feel happy. It could be something as simple as sitting at the table for a few minutes, sipping at your coffee in silence. So, don't feel pressured to create a morning ritual that is "more productive".
2. Setting daily intentions.
However, something you should consider adding into your morning routine is to set your daily intentions. But what do we mean by that?
Setting intentions isn't exactly the same as making a to-do list. While a to-do list is usually just a list of tasks you want to complete that day ("do the laundry", "feed the cat"), intentions go deeper than that. These are reminders of how you want to live your life and are often more internal and spiritual.
To help you get a better idea of what intentions are, here are some examples:
This may seem simple, but your daily intentions are basically a roadmap of your day ahead, and will set a positive tone of the rest of your day.
3. Exercise regularly
We simply cannot understate the importance of exercise! Not only can it help you stay fit and healthy, but exercise releases endorphins, which will lift your spirits and boost your mood!
However, with how busy modern society is, it's no wonder that many people find it difficult to carve out time in their schedules to work out. Not to mention how much discipline it takes for someone to work out after a long day at work or school.
And that's why it's best to commit to a less rigorous exercise schedule, especially if you're just starting out. Instead of planning to exercise everyday, start out with 30 minutes of exercise, twice a week. A gradual start will make it much easier for you to commit to the new habit, and will help you build stamina.
You may also consider starting a fitness journal to help you keep track of your fitness journey. It's also a great way to ensure you commit well to this habit!
4. Spend time in nature
Take a day or two out of your week to step out into nature and breathe in the fresh air! This is especially important if you've been cooped up in an office or classroom five days out of the week. Simply plan a morning or evening on the weekends to take a trip to the beach, go on a hike, or just a walk through the nearby park.
Spending time in nature has a bunch of benefits! For one, spending time outdoors can boost your immunity, and being exposed to sunlight will boost your vitamin B levels. Studies have also shown that being in nature has a calming effect, and the University of Essex has even found that walking in nature lowered depression scores in 71% of participants!
And while you're out among the flora and fauna, consider taking a small break to just be present. Take pictures, write about your surroundings, and how you feel! This will help you ground yourself and truly soak up what Mother Nature has to offer.
If you use a journaling app like Journey, you can add any images and videos you've taken on your outing to your journal entry!
Plus, Journey can even map out all the places you've been with the Atlas feature. All you have to do is tag your journal entries with a location, and your entries will appear on the Atlas. This is a fun way of recording your thoughts and memories about the places you've been.
5. Celebrate your wins
No matter how small or how trivial, it's important to celebrate your wins! So many people are hard on themselves for not being "good enough", and that's just such an unhealthy mindset. If this is something you struggle with, it's important to make celebrating your wins a habit!
It may feel awkward at first, but try to keep a list of your wins in your journal or on your phone. It can be anything you consider a job well done – cleaning your room, clinching a big business deal, cooking a meal for the first time… these are all things to be celebrated.
Whenever you feel down about yourself, just go back to this list and take a look at all the things you've accomplished. You'll be surprised at just how much better it'll make you feel.
6. Take regular social media breaks
Social media has become such an integral part of our lives. It's a place for us to connect with others, read the news, find entertainment, yet it's also a place where negativity can thrive. In order to make sure that the negativity of social media doesn't outweigh its positive aspects, it's a good habit to take regular social media breaks.
Here are some ways you can take a social media break:
- Limit the time you spend on social media
- Dedicate or schedule "social media time" in your day
- Once every two weeks, put your phone away for the entire day
Meditation is so beneficial to your mental health, yet not many people have tried it! If you haven't already, let this be a sign for you to get started on this amazingly good habit.
Some benefits of meditation include:
- Calming yourself during difficult times
- Connecting with yourself
- Quiet your mind
- Ground yourself in the present
If you're new to meditation and unsure about how to start, there are so many resources out on the Internet that can help! There are many videos on YouTube that will help guide you through the meditation process, and there are even guided meditation apps like Calm and Headspace.
Just like meditation, journaling comes with so many benefits, and a consistent journaling habit can most certainly help you become happier and healthier. It's a great way to relieve stress, stay focused on your goals and improve your well-being in general!
Plus, journaling doesn't just have to be about writing about your day and your feelings. There are, in fact, many different kinds of journaling that you can try. Here are just some examples:
- Gratitude journal
- Fitness journal
- Creative journal
- Manifestation journal
And if committing to one type of journal is too much for you, you can always try out different journal ideas in a single journal. It's all about finding what type of journal suits your needs best.
We highly encourage you to journal frequently, if not everyday, for the best results. And with Journey, you can even set reminders to write journal entries if you need help staying committed to a schedule.
9. Clean up your desk before bed
Going to bed in a clean and tidy room sounds simple, but it can actually do wonders for your mental wellbeing! However, since cleaning your entire room can be quite a chore, why not scale down and tidy up your desk every night before bed instead? It's certainly more doable, yet still achieves the same result.
Cleaning up your desk before bed gives your mind and body a signal that work is over, and that it's time to relax and wind down. You'll be surprised to find how much more relaxed you'll become if you put in the extra effort to put your things away on the desk before turning in!
10. Remember to smile
Last but not least, try to making smiling everyday a habit! It may be awkward and unintuitive at first, but putting a smile on your face even if you don't feel like smiling can actually lift your mood! Extra points if you put on a smile every morning when you wake up – this will help you have happier mornings and give you that extra boost of motivation to start the day.
We hope that this list of good habits has inspired you to pick up at least one of them! Trying to form and commit to a new habit isn't easy, no matter how healthy it is, but give yourself a pat on your back for giving it a shot! We wish you the best of luck.