A Few Real Habit Changes to Improve Your Life

Stop Being Tethered to Your Cell Phone

The first step to reducing my cell phone addiction has been to stop using my phone as my morning alarm clock and having no excuse for keeping the phone in the bedroom. I bought the alarm clock above (it’s so cute and thin!) for $14 and have set up my charging station outside of the bedroom. This means when I’m home, I’m using my phone less and only checking it when I need to talk to someone. I want to be focused on what I am doing and when my cell phone is in view, all I want to do is look at it. This doesn’t really achieve anything. There’s no problem with using the phone when I need it, but 95% of the time, I don’t need it.

Stretch for 15 Minutes at Some Point Everyday

I have a distinct memory of always seeing my parents on the living room floor stretching out their backs and legs after a long day of work. On the weekends, they would do this in the mornings before starting the day. They would often ask us kids to walk on their backs (this was when we were under 100 pounds) or in the case of my mom, we would grab her feet and pull them away from her, giving her legs and back a good stretch. Now I see how helpful that little bit of stretching time can be. Not only is it helpful if you’ve been sitting down all day, it gives you time to meditate and reflect. I’ve also been using a Foam Roller to stretch the muscles in my back and legs. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a runner and a cross fitter person.

Clear out the Dishes in the Sink or Put Away the Clean Dishes

I dream of the day when I hire a weekly housekeeper to clean our house from top to bottom. But really, the kitchen is the biggest time-thief. Make a commitment to make sure the dishes in the sink have been washed or put in the dishwasher at least once per day. If there are no dishes out, then take those few minutes to wipe down the counters, take out the trash or sort the recycling. It doesn’t matter if you do it in the morning or in the evening, just give yourself a few minutes everyday to put the kitchen in order so that there is less visible clutter in your everyday life.

Make Water Delicious and Eliminate Most Other Beverages 95% of the Time

I already love drinking water and get pretty close to the recommended daily amount. But sometimes the mere thought of an ice-cold Coke or orange Fanta feels impossible to resist. I want to be serious about never drinking soda, lemonade or sugary juices, even when it’s free. To get your fix of something that’s a little more exciting than just plain water, you can infuse water with a few slices of cucumber, watermelon, or any other fruit, or try mineral (sparkling water). This Infuser Water Bottle is a sleek looking option if you prefer something fancier.

Set the Alarm for No Distractions for 45 Minutes Every Work Day

If you do any kind of work where you have time to work independently- whether you are in construction, a writer, a manager, or anything else, the chances are that you are likely to get distracted throughout the day. There are a few different theories on what “chunks” of time are the most productive- you can do three to four 15-minutes chunks of time with no distractions (turn off email, phone, put up a “do not disturb” sign), or 25-minute segments with a 5-minute break right after. Personally, I can’t take the 5-minute break. A 5-minute break turns into me looking up what are the latest movies Anna Kendrick is in and why does such and such person have 1 million Instagram followers? And then I start thinking about what I want to eat for lunch so let me just get my phone out and check Yelp real quick. So I prefer the 15-minute segments. I still let the buzzer go off to remind me that I’ve completed one, and depending on how I’m doing I try to do at least 2 more segments of uninterrupted work. Usually this focused time helps me get so much done that it sets the tone for the rest of the day and gives me that sense of accomplishment I am constantly seeking.

Work on One Important Goal Each Day
Right now I feel like I am floating without any written goals. But even without them, I know that I have some big goals like making more money, cleaning and decluttering our home, and writing more. If I am at least doing something towards each of those goals each day, I start to see progress in the right direction. To make it a habit, focus on one of your goals each day. Give it a separate time or scorecard. If you’re goal is to lose weight or get in shape, give yourself a fitness journal. If you want to write one page of your novel every day, make your desk the space only where you write the novel, not pay bills and write grocery lists. If your goal is to change how you feel about yourself, give yourself time to clear out your old thoughts and behaviors to be able to create new patterns.
Although I could make this list much longer, I wanted to do a list that was achievable but not overly easy. It’s not easy to wash dishes everyday, but I always feel better when I do it. I admit I don’t have focused time every workday, but it’s something that is very important to improve how I work. Does this list help you or are you already checking the above items off everyday and this is easy-peezy? Let me know!