Every one of us has one thing, or many things, in our lives that we could use as an excuse to not take care of ourselves. Whether it’s work, kids, physical ailments, weather, etc. the list could go on. It’s so easy to let life take over and before you know it, weight gain, depression or even broken relationships follow. Especially as parents, we often put our kids first. We wake up every day and go to bed every night worried more about their school, sports, friends and less about our own mental and physical health.
I’ve found the key to balancing our own happiness is to organize our intentions, just like we would create a plan for a project at work. You’ve got the tools already, it’s putting them into play that is the hardest part.
I’ve developed a list of 21 daily habits for creating a balanced life. Now, this doesn’t mean to do each of these daily. We’re already busy people, there’s no way we could do each of these. Instead pick one or two to focus on. Just a small change each day can lead to big results.
- Wake up and go to bed early – sleep is scientifically proven to be a huge factor in wellness. Not only will a good night’s sleep improve your productivity the next day but, it also will play an important part in your overall internal physical health and external appearance. We’ve all had those swollen baggy eyes from not enough sleep!
- Make your bed every morning – maybe it isn’t making your bed but, instead it’s making sure your bathroom counter is clean. You decide what you want to come home to after a long day of work or what you will get satisfaction from seeing after you put your kids down for a nap.
- Drink a big glass of warm water with lemon as soon as you wake up – this has been a big part of my morning routine for many years. There are a lot of scientific benefits that come from drinking warm lemon water (digestion being one of the biggest benefits) but, for me having that ritual is an integral part of my day.
- Workout for at least 20 minutes – working up a sweat for at least 20 minutes a day are countless – stress reduction, weight loss, mood boosting, memory improvement, increased productivity, just to name a few. You can pick any exercise that gives you joy. If you don’t like it, you won’t do it.
- Morning and evening visualization and affirmations – visualize it and make it happen. Sometimes it’s just as simple as that. Imagine your dreams, create the steps in your mind to achieving them and then conquer.
- Wear clothes that make you feel good – even if you’re going to stay home all day, dress for success. If you feel good, your actions will align accordingly.
- Write out your goals – If you’re anything like me, you have a million thoughts going on inside your head all day long. Remind yourself what you’re working for each day and that will lead you closer to your goals. Never lose track of what you want most out of life.
- Make a plan for the day – this goes hand in hand with writing out your goals. Create action steps each day so you can end your day with a feeling of satisfaction. Be careful not to put too many steps on the days plan. I’m notorious for listing everything I want to do then feeling disappointed because I didn’t accomplish everything. I’ve started creating two lists – 1) weekly goals 2) daily goals.
- Spend time on something you love – whatever your “thing” is make sure you devote some time to it. Do you love to knit? Do you love to hike? Do you love to visit your grandparents? No matter, what it is, if it’s special to you then it deserves to be cherished.
- Have a protein smoothie – a protein filled, smoothie does the body good. I’ve got a lot of example on my Pinterest page for you to check out. Appropriate protein intake reduces hunger levels, increases muscle strength, reduces cravings, boosts metabolism, lowers your blood pressure, increases fat burning and helps maintain fat loss.
- Do one thing you’ve been procrastinating – most of us have a tendency to put off the things we don’t enjoy. What an incredible feeling of accomplishing something though, especially something you didn’t want to necessarily do.
- Learn something new – with so many ways to learn, books, podcasts, online courses, etc. there is no excuse not to fuel our brains with new information.
- Come up with a new idea – this can carry over into every aspect of your life. Maybe it’s something that will improve your work performance. Maybe it’s something that will benefit your home efficiency. There are always things we can improve and a new idea can help us get there.
- Share a thought – blog post, social media sharing, text a photo
- Go for a walk – aside from clearing your mind, walking has so many great benefits. Walking can lighten your mood, help you lose weight, help strengthen your muscles, improve sleep and support your joints, just to name a few. It doesn’t need to be a long walk. Just get outside and enjoy some fresh air.
- Give a smile or compliment to a stranger – think back to the last time someone gave an unsolicited compliment to you. I’m sure it put a smile on your face and boosted your confidence. Pay it forward and do the same for someone else.
- Declutter – pick one item or one area to focus on. It’s amazing how satisfying it is to come home to a clean kitchen or play room!
- Send someone you know a nice message – send your friends and family some love. It’s easy to let life take over and forget it’s been weeks since you messaged your best friend to check in.
- Recognize gratitude – think of three things you appreciate in your life. Give thanks for those things and make note of ways that you can continue to have those things in your life.
- Review your day – what worked, what didn’t, what can you do different tomorrow? It’s not about making mistakes, but instead how we can learn from those and become the best version of ourselves.
- Make a list for tomorrow – clear your mind before you go to bed. I am a thinker and if I don’t do a brain dump before I go to bed I bring all those thoughts with me. Put it all on paper that way when you wake up in the morning it will be there waiting for you to start your day.