Changing habits can feel daunting, but there are certain things you can change with very little effort that make a huge impact. I like to call these mini habits — daily routines that take just a few minutes but offer huge returns in the overall quality of your life. If you start to incorporate these 10 incredibly simple — yet powerful — habits into your life, you'll start seeing results almost immediately.
1. Before you go to bed at night, tell your brain, “Wake me up at __ a.m.”
Unless you got drunk the night before, you’ll likely start waking up right before the alarm clock startles you awake.
2. Drink a liter of water upon rising.
Most people are fatigued because they’re dehydrated. Hydration is energy. Keep a liter of water at your bedside table before bed, and crush it immediately upon rising.
3. After you brush your teeth, pause for a moment and smile at yourself.
Then tell yourself something nice. Most people are too hard on themselves. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” If you are what you repeatedly do, then why not repeatedly affirm something positive to yourself?
4. Take a walk.
Walking has been known to help people solve problems, come up with new ideas, and have epiphanies that seem to have come out of nowhere. But they don’t come out of nowhere. Walking just lets you access those brilliant solutions. The act of walking actually increases creative output by up to 60 percent.
5. Give thanks.
When you start getting down, stop the spiral by thinking of three things you’re grateful for. It's not just hearsay. Harvard confirms that gratitude can actually make you happier. Why not give it a try?
6. Do the most important thing you have to do FIRST.
Before actually digging into your workday, figure out the single most important thing you need to do today. Then get it done. You're likely to do a much better job of it, and feel less stressed for the rest of the day, if you tackle the most significant task first.
7. Compliment someone.
I started doing this several years ago and it feels great to give someone something without expecting a damn thing in return. In fact, your body responds with “happy chemicals” like oxytocin and serotonin when you give a genuine compliment to someone.
Speaking of “happy chemicals,” exercising is one of the highest-impact changes you can make for your overall health and happiness.
9. Revisit your day, focusing on the good stuff.
I like to end each day by asking myself, “What’s the best thing that happened today?" Write down the best moments of your day in your journal if you can.