Everyday life is beautiful. But it is also hard not to lose yourself in everything that’s going on around you. For that reason, I find it incredibly important to have good routines in place that help you stay connected to yourself and the world.
Today, I am sharing with you 5 easy habits I have added to my everyday life. They will help you stay focused on what you really care about and make you more receptive to happiness.
1) Start your day right
Don’t rush into your day mindlessly. Instead, find a habit that helps you establish a sense of calm first thing every morning. Something that grounds you in the present moment.
For example, I start every morning with a mindfully made cup of Matcha tea and a short meditation. Other options include a bit of exercise, praying, or even walking your dog.
2) Plan for success
If you don’t take a moment to plan your priorities, everyday life can sweep you away. The answer is investing 5 minutes to roughly schedule the upcoming day. Ideally, that should include the top 3 things you want to accomplish and when you will do them. But also plan times just for yourself and for socializing to create balance in your day.
It’s fine to make adjustments on the fly, of course. The simple act of making a plan and thinking about what the day should bring will help you to get done more, feel a greater sense of accomplishment – and make more time for things that refuel you.
Here is how I do this: After breakfast, I boot up my work pc, check my e-mails to see if any urgent topics have developed – and then based on this information plan out my day. I then immediately start a deep work session to tackle the 1-2 most important work tasks and get them out of the way while my mind is still fresh. Even on weekends, I will make at least a rough schedule to avoid drifting through the day.
3) Enjoy something with all senses
As I wrote before, our biggest obstacle to happiness is that we are almost always distracted. Re-anchoring yourself in awareness during your (work) day will help you greatly with that problem. So, define one activity in the middle of your day on which you will focus with all your senses every day. That can be a short walk outside, a one-minute breathing exercise, or a cup of coffee by yourself.
For me, it is my afternoon snack. One or two dates, a yogurt or a homemade smoothie, eaten very mindfully and with zero distractions.
4) Disconnect to reconnect
The world is a much calmer place if you don’t check your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Having your phone out of reach for extended periods helps you be more present, less stressed, and a better friend. So give yourself some rest from the endless digital distractions and create your own healthy boundaries.
There are two ways to approach this: Either you define no phone times, e.g. I have committed to not even touch my phone before breakfast or after 9 p.m.
Or, you set fixed times during which it is okay to do whatever you want on your phone – and outside those times you only use it in emergencies. I am currently trying out this advanced method, with only two or three 30 minute phone times spread across the day.
5) Ease into sleep
Find an evening ritual that helps you make peace with the day and get your mind and body ready for sleep. A hot shower, a walk, or some reading for example. This way, not only will you fall asleep more easily. You will also go to bed at a more consistent time – both of which will lead to better rest.
Personally, I like to do another short sitting meditation, often followed by some reading in bed on my Kindle. No need to turn the pages or for a reading lamp means I can just drift off into sleep mid-page.
Small changes, great effect
All of these habits are low-effort and super easy to integrate into your day. What is most important is that they fit your life. Maybe instead of reading, you are better off listening to a sleep podcast like Sleepy or Send me to sleep. Or it is more productive for you to take 5 minutes in the evening to plan the next day, rather than in the morning.You do you!
I have created a simple worksheet to help you with that – just sign up for my free newsletter and I will send it to you. Following the instructions in the worksheet, you can define your very own habits, tailored to you and your life. Then you can print out the worksheet and put it where you see it every day – on your fridge, as a phone background…
I promise you, the 15 minutes it might take you to define your own everyday habits will be some of the most rewarding time you ever spent on yourself.