Last Updated on September 20, 2022 by Stephanie
In this post, I’m going to talk about a few healthy habits including creating a morning routine, picking your five tasks of the day, practicing gratitude, exercising, and practicing inbox zero.
Where should I start?
Honestly, you shouldn’t start here. Creating time for your life and being successful starts with setting goals. Habits are what help you achieve your goals, otherwise what is the point of creating that healthy habit? If you want to learn a good place to start with setting up your goals, check out my post “Setting Goals That Empower You.”
If you already have some goals, then now you might be wondering what to do next!
This post is not going through the creation of habits and science of habits or anything like that. I will save that for another post if you are interested because I love learning about that. What is coming up next is more about a select few healthy habits that can help you.
Healthy habits start with a morning routine.
I read a book called “The 5 A.M. Club” by Robin Sharma, and while the storyline was a bit interesting, the information was awesome. One thing that it mentions is that your willpower is weakest when you are tired. That totally makes sense to me. When your body and brain are spent from a day of working, dealing with children, or dealing with life in general, it’s hard to do anything productive. Sharma’s idea is to wake up every morning at 5:00 in the morning to start your day.
There is a great deal of you that just wanted to punch me in the face, and I totally get it, but I’m going to put it out there that this has changed my life.
Starting every morning with time for yourself is the healthiest habit you can have!
Make yourself a priority.
Be selfish. Those with little kids, I hear you very loudly saying “but….” I know and I hear you! I have a toddler who gets us up early as well. My solution is to get up earlier than her. Depending on what you want to do in your routine, will determine how much time you need to create for yourself.
I start my days between 5:00 and 5:40 every morning. I do a short burst of exercise, grab some water (and coffee), do my morning journaling and goal review, check my finances from the day before, eat breakfast, read for 10-15 minutes, and start working on some tasks. For more details about my morning routine, check out my post about it here. The most important thing is to make the first few minutes of your day all about you! This can be as simple as taking 10 minutes to do the next healthy habit and drink your morning coffee.
If you are not your best self, how can you be the best for everyone else in your life?
Pick your top five tasks for the day!
During your morning routine or even the evening before, set yourself up for the day by always doing these one or two things. If you are a to-do list person, check out my post about how an effective to-do list can rock your productivity and review the list for the day for this next healthy habit.
Think about the day ahead and think of five things that you would like to accomplish. These don’t have to be huge things like saving the world or writing an entire business plan. In fact, I like to have a mixture of tasks in my list of five. For example:
- Print off lesson plans for next week.
- Call for flu shot appointment.
- Finish grading 2nd grade papers.
- Take books back to the library.
- Email team about Friday treats.
I have something on there that might take me some time and brainpower (grading papers), something I can do on my phone anywhere (call about flu shot and emailing my team), an errand (taking books back), and something super simple (printing plans). If I get those things done, I will have gotten some great things done during the day. Sometimes I will split my list in half and pick 5 tasks for school and 5 tasks for home, but that is determined by how I’m feeling in the morning or the evening before!
The point of this though is to flush out some tasks that you want to get done. So much time in the day is wasted on deciding what we want to do instead of acting on it. If you weed through the mess of your big list or your brain first thing in the morning when you are fresh, you are ready to act when the chaos of the day begins! Again, if you are a to-do list person, you should seriously check out my post about how to use to-do lists effectively!
Another healthy habit… practicing gratitude.
In my post about creating goals, I mention getting a journal, and I’m going to mention it again here! Get something that you can write in and review often. I love my morning journaling habit. When creating this blog, so many of my posts are coming from reviewing my journal and seeing what I was struggling with in the day-to-day. You can use the journal as a place to reflect and put your 5 tasks for the day. Another reason for the journal is this next healthy habit that will help you create time and success… gratitude.
Now, to be clear, I am not a fluffy person. I do not like the touchy-feely stuff. When I hear the word self-care at a staff meeting, I have to contain my eye rolls. Practicing gratitude though is something I do.
Either as part of your morning routine or at the end of your day, write down three things that you are thankful for. When you do this, it forces you to take a step back from your day and realize the positive happening in your life. You do not have to be philosophical and super reflective for these three things. I’ve had everything from “I’m thankful for warm baths,” to “I’m grateful that my husband has found a new workout place that he enjoys.” You can be thankful for chocolate and a new pair of shoes… just take a moment to think about the positive things in your life. A good rule of thumb is that this should take you less than 5 minutes. Don’t overanalyze what you are grateful for!
If you’re someone who does digital journaling and planning, I’ve got free gratitude widgets available in my freebie section!
Get that body moving!
Exercise is near the top of the list of the best healthy habits. If you can exercise during your morning routine, it will also benefit you even more in the long run. I’m not talking about needing to go to an hour-long class at the gym or a crazy sweat session (if you can fit that in, more power to you!), but just getting your body moving!
In my post about my morning routine, you can see that my exercise in the morning varies from 10-30 minutes. If you read my about me section, you know that I love CrossFit as well. While I have been known to grace the 5:00 AM class with my presence at CrossFit Thunderbolt… it is few and far between. I usually do that after school. Here are a few reasons why moving at least a bit in the morning can help you throughout the day:
- Exercise releases the feel-good chemicals in your brain.
- It increases the oxygen flow to your brain, which leads to clearer focus, more energy and more productivity.
- Exercise (especially in the morning) increases your slow-wave sleep, allowing you to sleep better and longer!
- If you do a little bit first thing in the morning, you won’t feel defeated if you miss going to that class or for a longer session later in the day because you got some movement in earlier!
- You can get it done before your brain knows what you are doing… no really… you are less likely to talk yourself out of it.
It doesn’t matter what you do or when you do it really, it just matters that you move during your day!
The best digital healthy habit – the inbox zero.
I have a few friends that shall remain nameless that show me something on their phone or ask me to help them with something on the computer and they absolutely make my eye twitch. Why am I twitching? It’s the number of emails in their inbox. Thousands and thousands of emails.
“I’ve read the important ones.”
“They aren’t all important.”
“I can find the ones that I need.”
All of these things might be technically true, but your brain does not think of it that way. David Allen, in his book and methodology of “Getting Things Done,” talks about the idea of open loops and how these unfinished and unprocessed items nag at our brains even if we don’t really think about them. Every time you glance at your phone or open your email, that number is staring you in the face as thousands of things that you haven’t done. I go into more detail in my post about a zero inbox life, but it is as simple as this:
A few times a day, carve out time to get your email inbox(es) to zero.
If you are like my unnamed friends with 8,000 emails, you may have to carve out a few hours or so the first time you do this, but after that, you will be a machine! Unsubscribe from emails you don’t really care about, set up filters for store emails you might want for coupons, and create labels and folders so you can find things more easily. It is LIFE CHANGING! Read this post to get started with clearing your inbox.
How do these healthy habits create time and success?
Adding in some of these things takes time, so you might be thinking this is going off of my mission… creating time for life. It absolutely is not. These small actions will create time and success because they help you operate more efficiently.
Reviewing the five habits, these are ways they create time and success for anyone who sticks with them:
- A morning routine, when stacked with some of these other habits or just used as time carved out for you, reduces your stress levels, adding time to your life.
- Setting up your top five tasks of the day creates time during your day that is typically wasted figuring out what to do when in the moment, and helps you be more productive!
- Practicing gratitude will help you see the positive in your life and encourage you to create more time for those moments and things that you reflect on.
- Daily exercise adds years to your life by preventing disease.
- Having a zero inbox helps you process things in a timely manner, reduces the time it takes to find something, reduces your mindless digital scrolling (the biggest time-waster of all because your inbox is no longer filled with a bunch of fluff.
Now that I’ve given you some ideas, are there any other healthy habits that you practice daily? Go out and do something extraordinary today!