It can be tough to create a good habits list that you’ll enjoy following. It may feel like you are working uphill to build a good habits list that you will actually follow. In the short-term, you may have days when you just don’t feel like making the effort.
In the long-term, implementing good habits can improve your quality of life. So long as you can stick with the challenging component of the routine, you will ultimately be rewarded.
Let’s take a look at how to develop good habits that will improve your life greatly, with 25 tips to get you started.
Why habits matter
Habits are second nature to you. These are your daily activities, week over week, or month over month, without much thought. Once you form a habit, it just becomes a normal part of your day-to-day life.
Of course, this can be good or bad. So if you’re accustomed to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, you may want to quit this habit. But if you develop a list of good habits, such as jogging every day, you might eventually get to the stage where running feels like something you do effortlessly.
Habits affect your long-term quality of life
Because you are continually training yourself to act in certain ways, you might be leading yourself to actions that either hurt or help you. It’s very important to keep in mind that you can set bad habits yourself.
As an example, we don’t actively make our decision to drink a cup of coffee every morning. We just do it! Habits significantly reduce the thinking and planning parts of a task, so you just need to perform the action itself.
If you can teach the habits you need and program them yourself, it’s like discovering a cheat code to life. The first step is determining which habits you want to program into your “default settings” as a person.
How to develop a list of good habits
To come up with a good habits list, you need to consider the things you want to improve upon across several areas of life.
If you want to improve your health, mental and emotional well-being, finances, career prospects, life skills, social interactions, or anything else, a listing of good habits can help you make progress in these areas.
Begin by listing the areas where you want to improve your life. Next, write down habits that will make it easier to make the changes you desire.
Let’s examine daily habits to improve daily life in all the important categories!
Everything else in life has to do with our well-being.
For example, if your body isn’t feeling well, that’s going to affect your energy levels, motivation, physical activities you can perform, etc. Fitness has its own set of good habits, so let’s begin by starting with a good habits list for your personal health!
1. Get quality sleep
Have you heard the term sleep hygiene? Just like you might have have a hygiene regimen, there are steps you can take for enhanced sleep quality.
Some of the CDC’s recommendations include having a set bedtime, not drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, and turning off the technology before you go to bed.
2. Eat the rainbow
Eat as many different colors of fruits and vegetables as you possibly can during the day. The different colors are indicative of different nutrient profiles and antioxidant levels that provide you multiple benefits.
This is a great habit for children because it is enjoyable to track all the colors throughout the day.
3. Cook more homemade meals
When things get hectic, it’s easy to reach for microwave meals or order takeout. In return, your wallet gets emptier as your sodium, oil and added sugar consumption increases.
Save money and get healthier by practicing the frugal habit of cooking nutritious meals. Check out these tips to make meal-planning efficient and affordable!
4. Spend time outdoors
Being in nature offers many physical benefits.
For instance, science points to longer life expectancies, lower stress levels, better sleep, and reduced risks of cancer and heart disease.
So find some your nearest green spaces and regularly visit them.
Although fitness is a subset to health, it has its own set of good habits. Daily exercise is one of the best ways to improve your general wellbeing.
By following these healthy habits, you’ll boost your immune system, sharpen your mental functioning, strengthen your muscles and bone structure, and so on.
1. Aim for a daily steps goal
If you have an activity tracker or a smart phone, you can see how many steps you take in a day!
It is gratifying to work towards a nice round number, such as 5,000 or 10,000 steps a day. Step tracking is a great way to stay fit by parking farther away and moving more regularly.
Cash-back incentives may be available from your workplace or health insurance provider. My insurance has a program offering $20 per month for walking 10,000 steps per day!
2. Find a physical activity you love
Exercise is a gentler habit to maintain when it is simply not that demanding. For example, take up an active pastime like hiking, swimming, bicycling, dancing, running, etc.
A group fitness class can also be fun, mixing exercise and social time.
3. Practice regular stretching/yoga
No matter the type of physical activities you enjoy, it’s crucial to include stretching in your routine.
Pilates, yoga, tai chi, and other flexibility-centered workouts are beneficial exercises for maintaining your joints and muscles limber.
Do you ever find yourself stuck in a cycle of negative thinking and stress? Practicing the right mindset habits can turn your brain into a more peaceful, positive place to dwell.
1. Meditate or try mindfulness
Meditation does not always mean sitting cross-legged, looking picturesque on a fancy mat.
Instead of focusing on strenuous workouts, it can mean just enjoying a peaceful nature walk through a park or meditating with tea or coffee. Or practicing mindfulness while on your morning walk.
Mindfulness meditation is about taking a moment of quietness and clearing your mind of distractions and stress. Studies show that mindfulness meditation can help alleviate depression, anxiety, and pain.
2. Look for silver linings
Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of life, we should focus on the positive aspects.
Make a habit of reflecting at the end of each day and thinking about what you have learned from the experiences you’ve had.
3. Start journaling
Journaling is a good way to help you sort your thoughts and feelings. Journaling is a forgotten art in the age of the internet, but it deserves to be revived.
Journals are a great tool for storing information and also make interesting records of experiences and ideas over the years.
4. Make a gratitude list
Thinking about what you are grateful for is not just for Thanksgiving anymore! This is a wonderful daily habit to focus on all the good things in life.
Think of something you’re grateful for every day and write it. Recall previous entries whenever you want a boost.
By practicing good habits for financial wellness, you’ll stay on track with your goals easily. Stop worrying about money, and enjoy life!
1. Track your finances
The best way to plan for your financial future is by using a program or app that shows your income, expenditures, investments, etc.
It takes only five minutes to check in each day. Learn about managing your money and earning cred by tracking your progress.
2. Sleep on big purchases
Patience is the enemy of impulsive purchases. Give yourself time before purchasing expensive items.
You and your partner could agree to agree that whoever gets more of a particular item gets to buy the other more.
Take a day or two to ask yourself the important questions first.
“Is this a need or a want right now? How often will I actually use this? Could I find it cheaper used?”
Make a list of pros and cons beforehand.
3. Avoid unnecessary debt
Maybe you have already learned how to dig yourself out of debt holes. Interest continues to accrue, making your debt ever more insurmountable.
When it comes to finances, prevention is the best cure. So get into the habit of paying off credit cards in full each month (or using debit if credit is too easy).
Consider purchasing a used car instead of taking out a new car loan. Some debt is “good debt,” such as a mortgage or a car loan. Fetching a mortgage or a student loan does not afford you a free pass into the housing market or college enrollment. Examine each situation carefully.
4. Save and invest every month
Whenever a paycheck arrives, use a portion of it to put away funds for savings and investments.
If you’re paying off a debt, you can make this lifestyle adjustment to fund that task first. Saving and investing wisely are the most essential things you can do for your future.
Whether you are just starting out in your career, climbing the corporate ladder, or running a business, these good habits list tips will help you thrive.
1. Take initiative on projects
If you always wait for others to tell you what you should do, your career may stagnate and your confidence could suffer. You should always look around for ways that you can pitch in and act on your own.
Ask for suggestions for ways your team could perform better. If you see work that needs to be done, volunteer to do it. These tactics make you valuable as a worker or a supervisor!
2. Pursue new skills and knowledge
Learning doesn’t stop after school; you can make it a habit for life!
Talk to your colleagues in the industry about what they wish they had known earlier. If you have a supervisor, ask what you should be commended for in order to qualify for a promotion. Constantly acquire new job skills or learn more about your industry.
3. Invite constructive feedback
Peer review can be intimidating, but it should not be feared. Perhaps you are a CEO and want to know what you can do to create a better workplace.
Maybe you are an employee who wants to make sure your performance is above par. Living up to (and being appreciative of) constructive criticism will help you a great deal.
4. Be solution-oriented
It’s easy to complain about problems, but it is more productive to come up with solutions. Think about the personality type you would prefer to have on the job: Someone who complains frequently, or someone who is content to help solve problems. The latter is a type of coworker, employee, or boss everyone loves.
Social & romantic habits
But family and friends can also be forgotten very easily.
The goal of this daily regimen is to appreciate those who enrich your life.
1. Do random acts of kindness
You may have heard of this idea before! Random acts of kindness are things you can do for strangers or family members. Look for ways to make someone’s day brighter.
Here are a few things that do not cost anything to do, and you can even do these while helping out your neighbors. Offer a sincere compliment, share a lunch, pick up an item from a friend, etc. Provide more uplifting experiences to the world.
2. Join a group for your interests
Wanting to meet new people and take part in popular hobbies? Look for local groups that gather for activities you enjoy.
Maybe it’s a hiking group, a book club, a board game or trivia group, foodies who enjoy exploring new restaurants. Whatever it is, it certainly enriches your life to make new connections with people who share your interests.
3. Practice active listening
If there is one social habit that can improve the quality of any relationship, it is active listening. By truly focusing on others when speaking, we can ensure that connections are of the highest quality. Stay alert and participate in the chat.
Pay close attention while you’re waiting your turn to speak in order to truly comprehend what they are saying instead of simply half-listening. This habit makes you both feel like you’re being heard and valued. Diligence cultivates a stronger connection between the both of you.
Personal development habits
This beneficial habits checklist is about suggestions to improve your health in a manner it’s all for you.
1. Make time for your hobbies
Be sure to carve out time in your schedule to reignite your love for the things you enjoy.
2. Read a chapter a day
Do you have a late-night phone-scrolling habit that you’d like to change into something healthier? Make a list of books to read and work on the habit of reading one chapter every night before bed. This habit also relates to the earlier “sleep hygiene” habit by asking you to put away your phones earlier.
With a good book, you can learn about a topic that interests you or escape into a make-believe world. However you like to read books, this is a great way to do so!
3. Take a class
Today, continuing education is more accessible than ever. If you prefer in-person education, your local community college or public library may offer adult education workshops.
Online learning is another excellent way for acquiring new skills or expanding your knowledge. Sign up for free online courses on platforms like Coursera. Don’t forget about including free Clever Girl Finance lessons to your to-do list, as well!
Bonus: Quitting bad habits
If you wish to build a brand-new list of good habits in your life, you should start with a clean slate. Ending negative behaviors can be just as impactful as creating new routines-if not more so!
Think through your habits honestly
Think about the small things that are holding you back from living a healthier life. It could be a harmful behavior, such as smoking, overeating junk food, or drinking too much.
Perhaps you face a task or organizational issue, such as procrastination on important tasks. You could be struggling with a financial habit such as impulse spending.
In any case, be honest about yourself.
Brainstorm positive replacements for habits
Then, start brainstorming how to turn that bad habit of mine into good daily habits that improve the quality of my life. Add any good ideas to my daily habits.
Time to craft your good habits list!
The key to forming good habits is the most challenging aspect of cultivating them: consistency. A habit is not formed by performing an activity on occasion. Be committed to carrying out a new habit for 1 to 3 months (if possible).
It may take around 66 days for the system to become habitual, but you should at least note your fatigue decreasing over time.
As long as you have the right attitude and are willing to continue working hard when the going gets tough, any habit is within your reach.
Make your way through those first difficult months and little by little, you may come to find yourself budgeting, exercising, and roasting cauliflower without even thinking about it.