The goal of this post is to give you some ideas for easy and simple habits that will change your life, giving you huge long-term benefits for relatively little investment. Nothing difficult, just super simple and quick tasks that will you give you the most “bang for your buck” in the long run. Pick and choose, do them all, modify them, whatever you like. Just stay consistent for the best results. If you want to learn more about minimalist habits you can utilise, click here.
1. Go Outside Every Day
Time required – 2 minutes (or more)
It doesn’t matter how long go out, or whether you exercise or not. The point of this habit is just to muster enough effort to get out the door.
Going outside even for 2 minutes is enough to perk you up and get the blood flowing. As we’re in Winter and many of us are working from home, not going outside for a few days at a time can become a pretty common occurrence. This can take a toll on your mental health without you even noticing. I do this constantly. Shame on me. We’re not meant to be idle for this long, and the longer you stay that way then the worse the effects will be on you. Get outside!
2. Wake Up Early
Time required – 0 minutes (but do go to sleep earlier)
A controversial opinion of mine is that everyone should be a morning person, and your “early bird” or “night owl” state of mind is not a fixed trait, but a product of your habits. Get up a couple of hours before you normally would.
As your willpower is slowly depleted throughout the day from continuous decision-making, you are less likely to achieve tasks that require any real amount of effort the longer you wait to start them. Therefore, the earlier you attempt them, the more likely you are to actually succeed.
An added benefit of this is that an early victory will brighten your mood. The quality of your whole day is determined by the quality of your morning!
3. Practise Gratitude
Time required – 2 minutes
This is a simple exercise that I have been doing every day for around a year now. It takes a while for you to really see its effects on your attitude, but when you do, you’ll be glad you made the effort. Before you go to sleep, take a pen and paper and write down 3 things that you are grateful for. It could be the weather, the food you ate, people you care about. Literally, anything that has brought joy to you that day.
The goal of this is to keep your perspective fixed on reality and not focused on the challenges you are facing. If you are reading this, you likely have a higher quality of life than over 99% of all living things on earth, and even better than royalty from just 200 years ago. It’s worth being grateful for.
4. Daily Review
Time required – 10 minutes
Before you go to sleep, make a note about how today went. How do you feel about today? What went wrong and why did it go wrong? Was it out of your control or did something happen because of your actions? What would you do differently next time, and what went well?
If you don’t make note of how your days are going, your days won’t get better. You will repeat your mistakes over and over again as you have nothing to compare them to.
5. No Screens or Food After 20:00
Time required – 0 minutes (If anything, this habit actually gives you more time)
Feel free to change this time depending on when you sleep, personally, I try to avoid using my phone and computer as well as eating any food around 2-3 hours before I sleep.
Even with a blue light filter, I find that taking in new information (especially videos) shortly before sleeping can have a big impact on my sleep quality for that night. The same goes for eating. I love a midnight snack as much as the person. But does it make sense to take in energy as you’re about to sleep? Not really. Let your body and mind wind down to help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.
6. Plan Out Your Whole Week
Time required – 30 minutes (weekly)
This is what I try and do every Sunday. Write out a list of everything you want to achieve for the following week. Then, take those activities and schedule them for specific days. It doesn’t matter what days you schedule them for, as long as they all get done by next week.
When you only plan one day at a time, you can lose perspective on the bigger goals you want to achieve that can’t be fragmented so easily. Taking this approach makes it easier to incorporate those non time-sensitive tasks you keep postponing.
7. Drink More Water
Time required – 10 seconds (throughout the day)
This is so easy to forget about but makes such a big difference! Some people like to use reminders on their phones to drink more water but I think that’s a bit unnecessary. Just keep a water bottle with you and keep it close.