12 Daily Habits

12 Daily Habits to Improve Your Health and Well-being

What is a habit? What do you think of when you hear the word habit? If you’re like most people, you hear the word habit and associate something negative with it. Smoking, overeating, and always being late are all negative habits.

However, habits can and do show up as positive, if you know how to train yourself toward this goal. A habit doesn’t have to have negative associations. Many people, in addition to thinking habits are bad, also think new habits are painful. This does not have to be true either.

Once you see how habits are beneficial to you and how they will change your life for the better, you will live a fuller, more productive life.

The Idea of Habits

Before you begin thinking about habits, it’s important to look at your perception on habits. It all starts with your mindset.

We all put habits into two categories: good or bad. A bad habit is one which needs to be changed or completely deleted from our lives. A good habit is something we need to or should have or have to create.

Once you begin to see how your association with habits resonates, then you can begin to change them for the better. When you begin to think about habits, start thinking of them as a new creation rather than something which needs to get done.

When we think of something as need or should or have to, we automatically fight against ourselves. Habits are neither good nor bad. They just are.

Ending old ones

Before taking on the creation of new habits, it’s important to take a look at some of your old habits. Without judging them as either good or bad, simply take a step back and see which ones aren’t working for you.

More importantly, which ones are not working for your life? Do you stay up too late and can’t get up in the morning? If you’re like most folks, this one rings true for you. Are you late just about everywhere you go? If so, you are most certainly not alone.

Being late all the time is simply a habit, and one which you can change over time. Rather than focus on not being late, focus on being on time. It sounds odd, but it’s a shift in perception that takes the focus off the negative and puts it in the positive realm.

When your mind attaches to a positive outcome, it can then create success and momentum. When your mind thinks something is a chore, it will fight you tooth and nail to make sure it doesn’t get accomplished.

If you need to create the new habit of being on time, start with ending the old habit – staying up too late. Begin going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night, and do that until it becomes a new habit. When you get the proper amount of sleep, you can then focus on the new creation of being on time.

Creating new ones

Once you have identified the old habit as not being one that works, you can then go on to create a new habit from that point. Identify the old habit, clear it out and then move forward to the creation of a new habit.

In the example of being on time, set a goal to be on time and give it a specific and measurable amount of time. For example, write down on a to-do list you will be on time for three appointments this week.

Take it one step further, and make a declaration to someone you will be on time for three appointments this week. Keep going. Ask someone to hold you accountable for this new habit. When you have put it down on paper, it appears as something you will do and accomplish, as opposed to something you will do someday.

Once you declare it, now you are holding yourself to the task to be, and keep your word. Having someone check in with you is a great way to admit you are not keeping your word, or you are keeping your word and happily so.

The Reward System

In order for a new habit to stick, you could try on the reward system. Did you keep those three appointments on time? Well, if so, you should proudly announce to your accountability partner your new success. You will get plenty of feel good feelings, and this will prompt you to do it again in another area of your life.

In addition, why not treat yourself to a reward in some small manner? You don’t have to go out and buy a new car or anything extravagant, but you can treat yourself to something nice, even if it’s your favorite chocolate bar or some alone time. When you reward yourself for a job well done, your brain quickly learns achieving goals gets rewards and missing appointments is not so much fun. It will want to gravitate toward the fun stuff instead.

Why are habits important?

Habits are important because they set the tone and pace for a successful or messy life. When you have messy habits, you have a messy life. It’s really this simple. Habits are important because they dictate your success.

If you consistently show up late as a habit, everyone will associate you with being unable to keep your word. This may trickle into other businesses thinking twice about connecting with you or looking elsewhere for their business needs. How will that impact your bottom line?

Do you see how your habits create your life? If you don’t take charge of your habits, your habits will dictate the outcome of your life. This is why habits are so important.

How to Develop New Habits

When it comes to your exterior world, habits are vital. However, did you know habits are equally if not more so vital to your health and well-being? What do habits have to do with health and well-being? The answer is everything.

Your health and well-being rely on you, your choices and decisions. If you have habits which don’t promote and provide for a healthy lifestyle, you’ll have an unhealthy life. It’s this simple, but most people don’t realize it.

Excuses

Why do we eat so poorly? We don’t have time. Not having time is an excuse. Making time is where you want to put your energy. If you have to give up three minutes of sleep or disengage from a negative conversation in order to make a healthy bowl of oatmeal in the morning, we can make these choices. We can either make choices or make up some excuses which don’t work for us or for your healthy lifestyle.

Why don’t we go to the gym? We are too tired. There are too many things to get done. The excuses can range from truth to ridiculous at times. It’s not always easy, but it is doable. We can give up thirty minutes of television or thirty minutes on focusing what’s not working and get to the gym. We can talk endlessly about a problem or make time to go to the gym. It’s all a matter of making reasons instead of excuses.

Declare It

When you begin to see how you have the power to create new habits and end old ones which don’t work, you take back your power over unproductive habits. Begin declaring to other people what your intentions are surrounding new habits. You will begin to notice an immediate shift.

Once you begin to declare new habits you are creating, they begin to manifest their way into your life. For example, if you begin to declare you will create a new habit of meditating, you will begin to get into conversations with those who are interested in meditation.

They will either never have tried meditating, and may want to join you, or may know of a great meditation they watch and use. Once you begin to declare your new habit, it takes on a life of its own of sorts.

No matter what your goal is, begin declaring it and watch how it now gains momentum and life.

Measure It

Begin to measure your new habit in small increments. With the meditation exercise, begin to declare you will take on meditating 10 minutes every night this week for three nights.

When you break it down into manageable chunks, it works much better. It’s okay if you can’t keep your word, just try again next week. However, saying you are going to start meditating has no measurability to it. It’s too vague and you set yourself up for incompletion.

In addition, setting a goal as a new habit and not being specific can also create incompletion. For example, getting too excited and overzealous about a new habit creation with specific and measurable smaller goals can have you fall off the cliff rapidly.

Start slowly and make steady progress. You’re better off.

Which habits should you look at when it comes to health and well-being? Well, there are many, but here are the top 12 for you to look at and explore.

Top 12 Habits for Health and Well-being

Being in the present moment

You may have heard the expression a million times about living in the present moment. It might sound hippie yippie, but it’s really a great way to create new habits for your optimal health and well-being. Why? Here’s why.

Being in the present moment is a gift. When you live in the present moment, your past is not invited into the room. It’s gone, over and done with, and it has no power over you or your present. When you invite your present moment to take the stage, you also alleviate worry and concern about your future.

Practice gratitude daily

We have so much to be grateful for and to be upset about. It’s called life. There are upswings and downward battles. It’s all in the focus on these events, though.

When you create a new habit – and yes, it’s a habit – of gratitude, we create new habits that work for us and our lives. Gratitude is a practice, and is one of the top successful habits for health and well-being.

Begin your gratitude practice the moment you open your eyes in the morning. It’s so easy to focus on how grumpy, tired and not ready for another day of work we are. However, when we open our eyes and are grateful for another opportunity for another day, then we begin to live into our healthiest and highest state of well-being on all levels.

Well-being, of course, means your physical health is intact. However, it also means you are well in mind and spirit, also.

Take a look around and see any small thing to be grateful for – even if it’s coffee. Think about a world where coffee becomes extinct. Sounds outlandish, but the point is clear. There is so much to be grateful for from the coffee we drink to the rain from the sky. Take some time and get into the practice of gratitude.

Have Quiet Moments Each Day

We all have such busy lives, but it is essential to quiet our minds daily. Take a few moments each day and just be quiet and be still. If you have to go in the park or in your car for a few minutes of quiet during lunch break, then you can choose to do so.

If you want your few moments of quiet to begin your day with, then do this if it works for you. Many people like to end their day with a few moments of quiet, as well. No matter what time or place you choose, make certain to create a new habit daily of getting quiet and getting still.

It’s in those moments of quiet and of stillness where you find all you need to know. Answers to things you are not thinking about come to you. Did you ever go look for your lost keys and wind up finding something else totally unrelated? This is similar to how being still works. When you are not focusing on something, the answer sometimes simply becomes apparent.

Smile and laugh

If a focus on health and well-being is your mantra, then smiling and laughing are two of the best habits you can create for yourself. If you have to, put laugh out loud on your daily to-do list. You won’t be sorry.

Laughing and smiling release endorphins, which are also known as feel-good chemicals. These feel good chemicals work in two ways. For starters, they increase the release of endorphins and decrease the release of cortisol. Endorphins are natural feel-good chemicals and cortisol is a damaging, stress released chemical. If you want less cortisol and more endorphins, then it’s important to laugh out loud at least once per day. Find things to smile about. It’s not so hard. Watch a funny video or movie or read a joke. Laughing and smiling are great habits to learn.

One act of loving kindness to self daily

What does improving health and well-being have to do with being kind to yourself? A lot. We all have a tendency to give up our power and turn our happiness over to the care of others. We wait for love, adoration, attention and affection. However, what we don’t realize that our well-being and health are our responsibilities.

In order to have a healthy and fit spiritual and physical life, we need to pay attention to ourselves once in a while, too. It’s okay to love and nurture ourselves. We don’t have to give all of our power away to others like our family, friends, and colleagues. We can nourish and treat ourselves kindly.

Take a moment to be kind to yourself. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate event. You can take a moment to really think about what you appreciate about yourself. It only takes a minute. Are you resourceful, kind, loyal? What’s your best quality? Take a minute to acknowledge yourself and own it. It’s not being conceited. It’s being self-loving.

One act of loving kindness to someone else daily

Once you get in the habit and practice of being kind to yourself, you will come to understand how important kindness is to overall health and well-being. We all need kindness, each and every one of us.

Get into the practice of being kind to yourself, and then make that an extended part of who you are and how you show up in the world. Being kind to someone daily doesn’t have to be elaborate or difficult, either. It only takes a minute. Even if you just hold a door open for someone. How about that smile from before?

Remember, smiling releases endorphins and when you smile at someone, they can smile back at you, causing lots of feel-good feelings being released on both the giving and receiving end of it.

Smiling takes a brief second, but can change someone’s day. Knowing you had an impact on someone can increase your happiness, health and well-being as well as theirs. That’s a win/win situation for all.

Practice passion

Do one little thing every day you feel passionate about. It doesn’t have to be this grand scheme which reaches the masses. A small goal toward a bigger goal that makes your heart sing is perfectly fine. Something that makes you jump up every morning and get out of bed.

You may want to simply write in a journal or you may want to create a business plan for a new business idea. It may even mean making that phone call to learn that musical instrument you’ve always wanted to learn. Whatever you have passion about, it’s time to get up and jump up for joy and practice passion daily.

Pick one way to nourish your body, mind and spirit daily

Pick one way to nourish your body, mind and spirit daily. Whether it’s a cat nap or a vitamin or a walk around the block, take time to nourish your body, mind and spirit. If you want to simplify this exercise even further, take turns picking one category such as body, mind, or spirit.

From there, take time to nourish that one area. For example, get some exercise if you choose body or get the same amount of rest every night. If listening to music soothes your soul, then go in that direction. Either on your way to work or on your way home, or at night before bed, say a prayer of thanks in order to feel a good feeling of health and well-being for your spirit.

Learn how to delegate and say no and how to prioritize (time management)

One of the fastest tracks to creating new habits to improve your health and well-being is in creating good time management skills. When your time and your schedule is scattered, so are you.

It’s impossible to be successful in the area of health and well-being when your time and your schedule are scattered. One of the many aspects of improving your health and well-being is to communicate.

You might ask what does communication have to do with good health and well-being? Communication is vital to your well-being, because when you hold things in or stuff them down, you become ill. It may manifest itself in the form of a sore throat or another type of illness, but it will manifest itself one way or another.

Asking for help is one form of communication which will help you move forward in improving your health and well-being. Delegating tasks is another. Saying no when you know you are unable to complete a request is another helpful way to keep your time management skills under control.

Practice the habit of letting go

There’s a lot of talk around the concept of letting go. You may hear people say, “Just let go”. It’s not as simple as that. Letting go is a practice and it takes time. You need to practice letting go before it becomes a true habit.

If you are someone who overreacts, take on the practice of holding space for a minute or two. Take a moment to regain your composure and step away from the situation for a moment. In stepping back for just a moment, you are actually taking on the practice of letting go. You may not see this right away, but in essence by not reacting, you take on letting go.

The more you practice this, the easier it will become to let go of things more quickly and with more ease and grace. The more you live in flow of ease and grace, the better your health and well-being will be.

Connect with others in relationship

What does connecting with others in relationship have to do with being healthy and well? Just about everything. Scientific studies are showing loneliness can be the cause of disease and depression. It makes sense.

If you feel lonely and in need of connection with others in relationship, there are plenty of ways to achieve that goal. Remember, your health and well-being are dependent on connection with other people in your life.

There are plenty of groups, both social and support wise, which can fulfill your every desire. There are sports teams, clubs, events, volunteer opportunities and book clubs, just to name a few. Don’t allow any more time to pass if you feel the need to connect in relationship.

If you do feel lonely, remember you can boost your health and well-being by tons when you reach out and volunteer. There are many health benefits to volunteering. You get to feel a surge of feel-good feelings when you volunteer. Giving back also means gaining. You gain a sense of pride, purpose and usefulness and it will show all over as you radiate health and wellness to those around you.

You may be surprised at how many people will ask you if you got a new haircut or if something else is different about you.

Practice the art of momentum

Do one thing every day that moves you forward in some way, whether it is a financial goal, a relationship goal, or a health and fitness goal in order to create the habit of momentum.

What is momentum? Momentum is two things. First, momentum is taking one action step each day to move you forward in your life’s goals. It doesn’t have to be a big, mountain-moving event. It just has to be an action step. It does not matter if the action step is big or small.

Secondly, momentum is being enthusiastic about what you are doing. If you are not enthusiastic, then no one else will be enthusiastic either. In order to keep momentum going, you need to be enthusiastic.

Even if you are not feeling it in the moment, take it on anyway. Get encouraged, get inspired and get motivated. Keep the ball rolling and in play.

Top Tips to Incorporate These Habits into Your Daily Routine

Being in the present moment

  • Say things out loud as you are doing them. For example, “I am washing my hands right now and the water feels warm.”
  • Notice things like colors, sights, smells and sounds.
  • Notice people’s expressions on their faces.

Practice gratitude daily

  • Look for even the smallest things to be grateful for.
  • Especially when you find yourself in the midst of being angry, find one small thing to be grateful for.
  • Simply be grateful for being alive and healthy and more health and well-being will come your way.

Have Quiet Moments Each Day

  • Take two minutes each day – that’s all it takes to be quiet.
  • Be intentional about your quiet time even if you have to sit in your car for two minutes and just practice stillness.

Smile and laugh

  • Find something funny about each and every day even if it’s the fact that nothing seems to be working according to plan.
  • Smile at someone and let them smile back at you.

One act of loving kindness to self daily

  • Be gentle and kind to yourself every day. It could be a simple act of wrapping your arms around yourself or a kind word of encouragement to self.

One act of loving kindness to someone else daily

  • Even if you are not in the best of moods, your health and well-being will be impacted greatly when you provide one act of kindness daily. It will lift your mood and your spirits, and theirs, too.

Practice passion

  • Take one small action step toward something you are passionate about every day.

Pick one way to nourish your body, mind and spirit daily

  • Choose a category of either body, mind, and spirit and nourish yourself one way in that area daily.

Learn how to delegate and say no and how to prioritize (time management)

  • Learn how to say no.
  • Learn how to delegate.
  • Learn time management skills like chunking your time.

Practice the habit of letting go

  • Let go of little things as a daily practice and eventually you will move your way into letting go of the big stuff.

Connect with others in relationship

  • Take time out of your busy schedule to simply acknowledge someone daily.
  • Instead of waiting for someone to reach out to you, make the first step and reach out to them.

Practice the art of momentum

  • Take on the practice of momentum daily by taking on being enthusiastic.
  • Be enthusiastic even when you have to pull from deep down. It will eventually become a habit.

When you take on the practice of these 12 daily habits, don’t be surprised if you notice new habits forming with ease and grace. While it may take some time to become second-nature, if you practice these daily, you will reap the results and the rewards.