We all want to be healthier and happier (who doesn’t?). But it feels difficult to actually achieve perfect health and constant happiness. After all, adding in new habits can seem daunting, and making drastic changes can seem like too much effort. But guess what: You don’t need to transform your entire life overnight in order to actually be happier and healthier. New habits don’t need to be giant life changes or huge transformations all the time. They don’t even have to be difficult to form at all. There are so many little ways you can improve your life, without dramatically changing your current routine. To prove it, here are 10 easy, tiny habits to try that will leave you feeling energized, refreshed, happier, and healthier.
1. Drink more water
Full disclosure: this is my New Year’s resolution every single year, and I’m finally starting to actually accomplish it (go me!). Water seems like the magical cure-all, because it really is. Water not only boosts gut health, but it can help you feel more toned, be more regular, and improve overall health. Even just drinking one extra glass a day can make a difference. Try adding in goals like drinking a glass when you first wake up before having a cup of coffee, or to drink half your weight in liters by the end of the day. Trust me: you’ll be able to feel a difference.
2. Create a morning and evening routine
Everyone talks about the importance of a morning routine, and we get why. Starting your day with an intention and already having accomplished some tasks feels amazing. What we can forget about though is the importance of having an evening routine as well. Getting yourself ready for the next day is a great way to plan while still staying present. Doing your skincare routine, reading 30 pages of a book, putting your phone away an hour before bedtime, doing the dishes—try whatever it is that makes you feel prepared for the day ahead, but stick to it.
3. Eat more leafy greens
Getting healthier is not always a dramatic transformation. In fact, it’s typically a series of small habits and minor additions to your diet that snowball into a healthier lifestyle that’s all-around better for you. Don’t focus on cutting out food groups or limiting what you can and cannot eat (that can lead to bingeing or an unhealthy relationship with food). Instead, focus on adding leafy greens to at least two meals a day. Add spinach to an omelet, throw kale in a pasta sauce, and order a side salad when you’re eating out.
4. Do weekly and monthly life reviews
We review beauty products and business plans all the time, but when was the last time you sat down to review your own life? Every Sunday night, I do a weekly life review. I sit down with a notebook and ask myself what worked this week, what didn’t, and what I want to improve on. I also do these more in-depth every month. This allows me to continue doing what you love (working out consistently or making daily matcha lattes), stop what isn’t working (like drinking too much soda or not spending enough time with friends), and figure out which new habits I’d like to try out (like any of these!). It’s amazing what you can realize when you sit and identify what you want out of your life.
5. Make a list of your go-to meals and a go-to grocery list
When you want to eat healthier or save money, the answer is always cooking more often. Creating a list of easy meals you know exactly how to make (and that you love!) is the key to making sure you stay healthy when stress, cravings, or a busy schedule try to take over. Just to make life even easier, create an accompanying go-to grocery list for when you don’t have time to sift through new recipes. Make sure this list has everything you need to make all of your go-to meals, as well as all of your kitchen staples. You’ll be able to go to these meals and grocery lists, even when your week gets busy or you start craving something specific.
6. Define your personal style
PSA: this can mean your clothing style, your interior design style, or just how you like to live your life. When it comes to clothing, knowing what you like and your favorite ways to pair the pieces you own simplifies your entire daily routine and makes getting ready for any occasion way more fun. For interior style, identify what pieces, items, and accents make you feel happy or calm whenever you see them (your home should be your own personal oasis). While not everything you like has to fall within those parameters, it makes shopping, pairing, and styling so much easier. Knowing what you like gives you more time to do the things you love.
7. Find ways to make healthy food work for you
I hate cooked onions, but I put raw red onion in every salad, stir fry, or taco I make. I know, it’s weird, but I’ve found how I like to eat my vegetables that make them taste good for me. Maybe you prefer to roast your veggies with herbs, or the only way you can get some spinach and kale into your diet is chucking them in a smoothie. It might take some trial and error, but do a little experimenting to discover just how you can get fruits and veggies into your diet without sacrificing taste. For example, sneak spinach into a pasta sauce or make a DIY ice cream by blending frozen bananas and berries if you don’t typically eat fruit plain.
8. Evaluate your commitments
We’ve all been there before: You’re waiting to go to a dance recital, a birthday party, a family event, etc., and it’s the last thing you really want to be doing after a long day, week, or month. Whether it’s a book club you just aren’t vibing with or a wedding you’ve been dreading for months, evaluate whether these commitments are adding anything positive to your life, if they align with your values, and why you really want to go. If the answer to the latter question is anything along the lines of, “I feel like I have to,” “I already RSVPed,” or “I’ll let someone down if I don’t go,” it’s probably safe to say this isn’t something you really want to be doing. Work on saying “no” when you want to say no. It’s like decluttering your closet–you’ll feel less cluttered and there’s room for more things that actually excite you.
9. Identify areas of negativity
Take notice of the stories you’re constantly telling yourself. Whether it’s “I suck at public speaking,” “My date with isn’t going to like me” or “I’ll never get a job I like,” start taking notice where self-negativity is coming up. It takes a lot of practice and self-awareness, but you’ll find you’ve been telling yourself untrue narratives for a while that are manifesting the bad instead of the good in your life. Find a way to question the narrative. Maybe you didn’t get the last job you applied for because you were late to the interview or because it wasn’t the right match for your set of skills, not because you suck at job interviews altogether. Also, if you tell yourself you’re great at public speaking or your date is going to go well, you’ll be surprised at how often it actually comes true.
10. Instead of taking a social media break, get up and move
You know it, you love it, you depend on it: the momentary pause from uninterrupted work to take a quick scroll through social media. At this point, opening Instagram might feel like second nature when you just finished one task and need a refresh before moving on to the next. But instead of scrolling through Instagram, checking Snapchat, or refreshing TikTok, get up and move your body to refresh yourself in between work tasks. A few jumping jacks, a mini dance party, a yoga flow, or just some stretches are enough to energize your body, reset your mind, and will help you focus better for the rest of the day. You’ll be healthier and happier in no time.