Before I get to the simple habits that could change your life, I want to explain something. Lately I have been feeling like I am just floating through my life. I go through my regular routine, I get things checked off my checklist, but am I really living?
Am I making the most of my days and doing little things to protect my happiness? I want to live intentionally, but that phrase is so vague on its own.
After breaking down what an intentional life really looks like to me on a daily basis, I came up with a list of habits that should be priorities for me.
These things are all very simple, but really important and I can already feel how much of an impact they are having on my mood, my energy, and my outlook!
No, your dentist didn’t pay me to put this at the top of this list. I did, however, spend a few years working in a dental office early on in my career, and the cases that I have seen would shock anyone into brushing, flossing, and seeing a dentist regularly!
Bacteria live on, and between teeth and can build up if not controlled by daily brushing and flossing and regular cleanings. The bacteria can get below the gums and begin to cause bone loss, which eventually leads to periodontitis and the loss of teeth.
A few minutes of flossing can remove the bacteria that has built up over the course of the day and help you avoid costly surgery or dentures later on in life. Plus, I’m not sure why exactly, but getting rid of the bacteria on my teeth just makes me feel like I can take on the world.
Set a goal and write it down
Because I am such a visual person, when I get overwhelmed with how many things I need to get done, it makes a huge difference for me to physically write things down. With life going by as fast as it does, it is important to make sure that we are getting the most out of every day.
Making a specific intention for each day can help keep us focused and motivated. Anything from ‘don’t gossip’ to ‘run 3 miles’ can be something to conquer for the day. Even if today’s goal is the same as yesterday’s, we should still write it down and read it to ourselves.
Daily goals should be something specific enough to evaluate progress or completion at the end of the day. A sticky note in the car, on a mirror in the bathroom, or anywhere it can be seen throughout the day can help to keep it at the forefront of our minds.
Go for a walk
“If you seek creative ideas go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”
-Raymond I Meyers
It might be the fresh air or it might be the angels whispering, but something about going for a walk just seems to clear my mind and help me sort out my day.
It is forced quiet time without all the distractions that are usually surrounding us. Nature has a way of refreshing us and clearing out some of the fog from our minds.
Getting our bodies moving while we are mentally decompressing has therapeutic effect on our physical and mental selves too. I usually come back with a fresh perspective on situations, or a new idea that I want to pursue.
Do something for someone else
Even taking an extra few seconds to hold the door for someone can set their day in a better direction. We can never know what troubles the people around us are facing and showing a little extra kindness, even if it’s undeserved, can make a world of difference for them.
It also helps to take our focus off ourselves and our own problems for a moment and remind us that it’s not all about us all of the time.
Carry a water bottle
Most of us are drinking far less water than our bodies need. Staying properly hydrated can help keep us feeling more full, flush out waste, keep our brains feeling great, and even prevent illness.
One of the most important things for me about drinking enough water is the effects that it has on the health of my skin. We all want to be radiant versions of ourselves, right? It might be surprising how much better being fully hydrated can feel for the rest of our bodies too.
When we are dehydrated we can feel fatigued easier, be more likely to choose unhealthy snacks, and eat more calories. Having a large water bottle can make it much easier to sip throughout the day.
Put your phone down
I understand the irony of talking about the importance of laying technology aside seeing as most people are probably reading this articles on their phones right now, but since the article is almost done, everyone can put their phones away soon!!
On serious note though, it is a little insane how much time I spend on my phone throughout the day. I have to work from my phone quite a bit, but a lot of my phone time is really unnecessary. I could benefit from a digital detox.
If I have even second of down-time I reach for my phone to check my social media feeds. I know that this habit has kept me from being fully engaged in conversations with people, and it can distract me from the things that I need to get done. Especially when I am getting ready to go to bed, I waste a lot of time on my phone that I could be using to decompress from the day.
- Do your job with all you’ve got
It gets really easy to do everything just well enough to get it done and check it off my list. Especially when it feels like I have a million things to get through – some of which are not fun tasks.
It would stand to reason that putting forth all of my effort into each task I have would leave me feeling exhausted, but in reality it makes me feel even more energized. There is something to be said for attention to detail and for reducing the chances of having to do something over again because it wasn’t done well the first time.
It is a great feeling at the end of the day to know that I did everything to the best of my ability, and it also has the potential to bring more opportunities my way.