With a new year right around the corner, the time for making goals and bucket lists is approaching. As important as it is to set up those objectives, it’s important to have a plan to achieve them, and there are always small things that make a huge impact. Building small, healthy habits will get you right on track to accomplish whatever goals you have for the year ahead.
Let’s start with an easy one, make your bed. Yes, it sounds way too simple for it to be a beneficial habit to have, but there’s a lot of benefits behind it that will give you that push you need to start every day. Naval Admiral William McRaven says that “if you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.” By getting into the habit of doing something this small, the easier it’ll be to develop and master “harder” habits.
Wake up early. This can be a hard one, especially if you aren’t getting much sleep at night. This doesn’t mean you have to wake up at 4:00 am every morning. Waking up 30 minutes to an hour before your usual wake up time is enough to get all of the benefits. Having that extra time in the morning will give your brain and your body the chance to ease up to the day and not rush into things. Besides, no one likes being late and rushing to get out the door, so this is the perfect habit to incorporate in your life if one of your main goals for the new year is to be more productive.
Get some sleep. We live in a time where the more you work and the more things you do during the day, the more “productive” you are, and in the midst of it, we tend to sacrifice sleep. Many other factors avoid us from getting the necessary amount of sleep we need; social media, video games, television, or any other activity that interferes with sleep. Getting those recommended 8 hours of sleep will give your body and brain the rest they need to function properly. Going to bed a little earlier will also make waking up earlier a little easier.
Spend some time away from the screens. Yes, this one can be hard, especially during this time where everything is done through our laptops and phones. But having some time away from the devices will help you get in many aspects of your life. The blue light from the devices impacts the brain’s production of melatonin, the hormone that makes us fall asleep. Constantly checking our phones and FOMO (fear of missing out) gives us an anxiety that takes over our lives. Even if it’s only for a few minutes a day, turn off your phone, close your laptop, take off your smartwatch and just enjoy the day, get some air, and take some time away from the screens.