It’s in our nature to want to be a little bit better every day and, this time of year especially, we’re always on the lookout for more good habits to incorporate into our lives. We’ve compiled a list of 35 good habits to do every day according to the experts, so that you can start building them into your morning routine, evening routine, or somewhere in between.
These good habits to do every day are ideal for more peace and happiness in your life! However, before we get started, there are five important things to remember:
- Everyone is different, which means that some of these habits will work better for you than others. Know what works for you and what fits in with your life.
- Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Just because Sally on Instagram meditates 33 times a day and does yoga on the beach, doesn’t mean you need to or that it will be any good for you. Who knows, you might work up to headstands on a beach in Bali, but you also might not and that is okay!
- Don’t try to change everything at once… There’s a lot of good habits to do every day on this list, and it would be a recipe for disaster (and overwhelm) if you decided to wake up tomorrow and do them all. Pick 1-2 to start with and gradually add new ones to your list.
- Give new things a try – and if you don’t like them, never mind. It’s fun to try new things, even things you might have thought you’d dislike (and then eventually go on to love). Give something new a try and if you don’t like it, oh well! Ditch it and find something else.
- Some days will be better than others. Some days you’ll want to do all your good habits every day and you’ll feel like you’re flying on Cloud Nine. Other days you’ll want to lie in bed eating crisps and binge-watching Greys. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself if you don’t really feel like running 5k today.
Useful Resources for More Happy Habits and Motivation
Want to dig even deeper into happy habits, routine, goals and motivation? Here are some useful resources along with the below habits that might help:
- The Anti-Burnout Journal + Course (no membership required)
- The Happy Habits Course (no membership required)
- CBT to help improve motivation with CBT Psychotherapist Rachael (membership required)
- Spring into Action Course (membership required)
- How to get motivated to do anything – 14 ways to get and stay motivated (blog, no membership required)
- Habits That Can Make You Happier (According to Science)! (podcast, no membership required)
35 Good Habits to Do Every Day
Okay, so now we’ve gone through the important rules, let’s take a look at all of the good habits to do every day (according to science).
1. Practice daily gratitude
I used to be a real sceptic that practising gratitude could ever bring anything positive to my life – until I started doing it! Every evening, write down three things that you’re grateful for each day. You’ll find yourself looking out for the positives in each day instead of focusing only on the negatives. It’s a really powerful habit!
2. Get enough sleep
I know you’ve probably heard it a million times before, but sleep really is so important for us to live healthy and happy lives. I also know it can be easier said than done sometimes! I highly recommend trying sleep stories or using this breath work for sleep to get some more shut-eye.
3. Drink enough water
Staying hydrated is the key to better well-being! It can make you feel more alert, keep you productive, and help with your digestive system, skin and so much more. Make sure you drink a glass of water as soon as you open your eyes and keep on top of your hydration throughout the day.
4. Get moving
You don’t need to run 10k every day to see the benefits of movement. In fact, sometimes it’s just slow and gentle movement we need to keep our bodies and our minds healthy. Find a kind of movement that you really love, whether it be dancing, yoga, Pilates, running, HIIT, skipping, or something else entirely. The more you love it, the easier it becomes to stick at it.
Breath work and conscious breathing is such a powerful practice, that doesn’t need to take up too much of your time. This is one of those good habits to do every day, but especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
6. Practice kindness
We love Random Acts of Kindness at The Anti-Burnout Club, and science says it’s extremely good for you too! How can you bring a little bit of kindness into each day? It doesn’t need to be a grand affair; even just texting someone to tell them you’re thankful for them works wonders.
7. Get outside
We need fresh air and Vitamin D almost as much as we need water, so make sure you’re spending enough time outside whenever you can. Even if it’s just sitting in your garden with a cup of coffee in the morning, or opening a window and popping your head out on the days you can’t bear the outside world.
8. Start journaling
I’ll admit, I’m a journal addict (which is why I was so happy to make my own). I’ve seen so many improvements in my life just by spending 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening writing everything down. I designed The Anti-Burnout Journal with a lot of these good habits to do every day in mind.
9. Savour everything
Have you ever tried savouring what’s going on around you? It’s such a powerful thing to do, but many of us don’t do it! Take notice of all the beauty around you and truly soak up whatever moment you’re in. Whether you’re outside in nature, laughing with friends, or even just curled up on the sofa with a good book. Savour that moment and feel your heart fill with joy.
10. Mindful moments
A little bit of mindfulness each day can bring huge improvements to your life and general well-being. The best thing is, you can practice mindful moments pretty much anywhere and at any time. Brushing your teeth, showering, washing the dishes, commuting to work… Try bringing a little bit of mindfulness into these daily activities (you can try these free mindfulness activities here).
11. Stretching your body
Not in the mood to move too much? Try a little bit of a stretch instead. This is also ideal for the days after you’ve done some more high-intensity exercise and need to give your body a good stretch. Try this little morning sun salutation routine that we posted on Instagram recently (and don’t forget to give us a follow too).
12. Hugging loved ones
Did you know that hugging can release lots of lovely hormones, such as oxytocin and endorphins, and therefore make us feel good? Try to get in as many hugs as you can, whether it’s with your partner, children, or a pet. Hugging can also help reduce our reactivity to stress in the long run!
13. Laughing and smiling
How many times do you laugh or smile every day? Probably not enough! Boost your happy hormones with one of my favourite good habits to do every day. If you need a little help, try putting on your favourite sitcom or a feel-good film. You can also fake it until you make it; try fake laughing or smiling until a real one appears (it won’t take long)!
14. Get creative
It doesn’t matter if all you can draw is stick people (like me) or if you’re the next Yeats, creativity is good for the brain and for the soul. If you can, spend a little bit of time each day trying something creative to boost your feel-good factor.
15. Be playful
I truly believe in the power of play, and I know it’s something that Brené Brown talks about a lot in her books. Being playful can help reduce stress, boost our happy hormones, and make us feel good. We sometimes forget how wonderful playing is as we become adults, so add it to your list of good habits to do every day.
16. Reading a book
Reading is yet another activity that’s good for the brain and for the soul. I like to read a good mix of both fiction and non-fiction books, so that I always feel like I’m learning and to open up my own creativity too. Try swapping some of your phone scrolling time for page flipping time and your mind will thank you.
17. De-cluttering your life
Imagine what would happen if you spent just 15 minutes a day de-cluttering parts of your life? It doesn’t need to be a whole Marie Kondo of your wardrobe, you can start with just a drawer if it’s easier. I also highly recommend taking the de-cluttering to your digital life, including social media feeds.
18. Try meditation
Whether you’re brand new to meditation or a seasoned pro, adding this in as a daily habit could really change your life. Meditation has been proven to help reduce stress, increase our resiliency, make us feel happier, and so much more. Even just a few minutes of meditation a day can add up to some big, positive changes.
19. Fit in breaks throughout the day
As humans, we’re not designed to be totally productive for 8+ hours a day. I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro Method to fit in some self-care breaks throughout the day, as well as actually scheduling in some proper downtime each day. I talk about this in a bit more detail in this feature on HuffPost.
20. Eating plant-based foods
One of my favourite ever lessons from our nutritional therapist Anna was the 30 plant-based foods challenge! We did it back in Spring 2021 and it’s also a lesson for The Anti-Burnout Journal. The concept is to try and fit different 30 plant-based foods into your diet each week. Being more proactive about eating plant-based foods can work wonders for both your gut health and your mental health!
21. Ask yourself what went well today
Do you check in with yourself at the end of each day? In The Anti-Burnout Journal, there’s an end of day check-in which asks “What went well today?” Sometimes we can get so caught up in what went wrong, that we forget to focus on what went right! Definitely add asking this question to your list of good habits to do every day.
22. Set intentions
I think intentions are such an amazing way to start each day, and I’ve set one pretty much every day for over a year. Intentions are positive and focus on the present moment, such as “I am focused and energised today,” or “I am filled with joy and peace today.” Start each day with a new intention of how you want to feel today.
23. Practice positive affirmations
Similar to intentions, positive affirmations are a powerful way to change that inner monologue (you know, the one that usually trash talks ourselves). You can use positive affirmations for pretty much any part of your life you want to reframe, including helping you get to sleep!
24. Try a cold shower
I know many of you at this point will want to run away screaming, “There’s no way I’m adding cold showers to my list of daily habits, you’re crazy!” However, a quick cold shower can increase your endorphins, improve your circulation and sometimes even help fight off illnesses. I tend to have a quick blast of cold water at the end of a normal shower to help me feel good!
25. Learn something new
As humans, we’re always on the lookout for ways we can thrive and improve ourselves as mentioned earlier. It’s why #5 of our Five Foundations of Wellness is Growth! Learning something new every day can help improve our intelligence levels, but also our mental health too. You may learn something new by reading, taking a lesson at The Anti-Burnout Club, or hunting out fun facts online.
26. Put your phone away
I know, I know… We’ve all become reliant on our phones, especially with everything that is going on right now. However, try to limit your screen time as much as possible by putting your phone away (even just for 5-10 minutes). It’s one of those good habits to do every day that you probably know, but which you struggle with. This is your reminder to put it away!
27. Spend time planning
I’m a complete list-a-holic, which means that I thoroughly enjoy my planning time at the end of each day. I find that it frees up my mind to concentrate on something other than work or tomorrow’s responsibilities if I plan for tomorrow today. Just spend 5-10 minutes writing down your list and priorities for tomorrow, to get it out of your head.
28. Spend time reflecting
Alongside planning for the next day, I like to spend some time thinking about the day that’s just been. Just like asking yourself what went well today and practising gratitude, spend a little bit of time reflecting on all the positives of the day. You can also think about what you’d like to improve tomorrow. Once a week, reflect back on all of your achievements and give yourself a huge pat on the back!
29. Make time for a hobby
What do you wish you had more time for? Crocheting? Basketball? Swimming? Cooking? Whatever lights you up, try to find a little bit of time each day for it. You don’t need to necessarily practice the hobby each day (not everyone has that much free time), but you could do something else related to it such as listen to a podcast or read a magazine on the topic.
30. Brain dump
Everyone that knows me knows that Brain Dumping is one of my all-time favourite things to do. At the end of each day, I like to just jot down anything that’s clogging up my mind. Each week, I also do a huge Brain Dump and use this to plan my days and weeks ahead. It’s so cathartic and really helps decrease stress and overwhelm.
31. Fit in a little moment of self-care
Don’t have a lot of free time? We have a whole list of self-care ideas that take 5 minutes or less. It might be a quick bit of skincare or even just lying down on the floor for a big stretch, whatever works for you. What matters is that you add a tiny bit of self-care onto your list of good habits to do every day.
32. Spend time with your tribe
Your besties, your loved ones, your family, your community, your tribe… Whoever brings you joy! Make sure that you spend a little bit of time each day connecting with the people that light you up. For me, it’s the gorgeous community at The Anti-Burnout Club (I’m not just saying it, they really are the best). Who’s your tribe?
33. Do something new
Or do something that scares you! We can often put off trying something new because of the fear that holds us back, but actually, this is even more of a reason to do it. It doesn’t need to be anything as intense as skydiving (unless you want to) but even just trying out a new hobby, a new walk to work, or talking to someone new can help boost our confidence and happiness.
34. Make goals and work towards them
Every day I like to make a little bit of progress towards some of my biggest goals, and every week I evaluate those goals, add in new ones, or take out the ones that don’t serve me anymore. Giving yourself something to strive towards keeps us motivated and gives us purpose, which is a key way to feel happier with life overall.
35. Learn when to say yes and when to say no
Say yes to things that seem scary and no to the things that don’t serve you. Say yes to exciting new opportunities and no to the people who are draining your time and energy. Say yes to going on new adventures and no to that extra workload you really can’t deal with. Learning the right things to say yes to has changed my life, but so has learning the things I need to say no to.
Of course, there are so many amazing habits you could try and include in your life that we’d be here until 2024 trying to cover them all. However, I hope this gives you some ideas for good habits to do every day that will bring you joy, peace and happiness.