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11 Powerful Daily Habits That Improved My Life

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Are you looking for inspiring daily habits to change your life?

You’ve decided you are going to make a change this year. 

That’s it! I’ve had it! I’m sick and tired of living this way. It’s time to make a change!

And so you begin on a self-improvement journey towards a better you. But as you start, you quickly realize that transforming your life has everything to do with your habits.  

And you’re right.

Like the company you keep, the daily habits you keep directly affect the quality of your life.  

Think of your habits as the skeleton of your life. It provides a structural foundation that supports everything else in your life. The more effective the skeleton, the more successful your life will be. 

Like James Clear, habit researcher, expert, and New York Times bestselling author of Atomic Habits, says:

“Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits.”

Below are eleven habits that have dramatically improved my life below!


Daily Habit 1: Meditation

Meditation is weird if you’re new to it. Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch turned me on to Transcendental Meditation.

When I started with TM, I was terrified of doing it incorrectly. I would fall asleep all the time. I would want to give up because I thought I was doing it wrong.

But that’s not true at all.

Transcendental Meditation’s motto is meditation doesn’t make you tired, but meditation shows you that you are tired. It’s your body telling you that you need to rest. So sleep away!

Daily Habit 2: Morning Pages

Warning: you might get addicted to this one. This tool is potent for creatives.  

I learned about morning pages while reading the classic self-help book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. Many people have used her 12-week system to begin or reignite a creative path (a hobby counts as well).

She guides you through a series of exercises in 12 weeks, but one of her most well-known exercises is morning pages. 

Morning pages are similar to journaling but with a few more constraints. 

With journaling, you define what you want to write. Maybe you are processing an emotion after a breakup or writing poetry, for instance. 

With morning pages, you don’t guide your thoughts or plan of what you’ll write about that day. First thing in the morning, write three pages by hand. Don’t use a computer, and ideally, you shouldn’t stop or take breaks until you finish three pages. It’s a stream-of-consciousness technique.  

The purpose is to do a brain dump of your day-to-day busy thoughts. This process will naturally unlock your creativity. The coworker who didn’t respect you, your long to-do list, the day your mom forgot to pick you up at school, so you stayed and waited for 3 hours and now have abandonment issues. Whatever it is. Write, and don’t pick up your pen. 

 You’ll notice that your thoughts and writing will not make any sense or are sometimes erratic or fragmented. 

Once I implemented this habit, I have never looked back. I feel incomplete every time I skip my morning pages. 

Daily Habit 3: Setting Goals

Setting goals is a useful tool for people who lack clarity or direction.

I am a scatterbrain by nature. My mind is going in all sorts of directions. Writing things down helps me focus and think about my life critically.  

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s as simple as writing something on a napkin, although I highly recommend scheduling out a chunk of time to set goals.

Writing your goals down is such a magical process. It shows the universe that you mean it. You have intent, and the universe will reward you. 

Daily Habit 4: Write To-Do Lists 

Writing to-do lists is organization 101.  

If you want to get organized, I encourage you to start writing things down, especially to-do lists. Get all the low-level gunk out of your brain; save your brainpower for high-level thinking. Your mind can’t possibly hold everything.  

It is more advantageous to save your brainpower for more critical decision-making, creativity, strategies, or studying more complicated subjects.  

Daily Habit 5: Track My Habits

Why should you track your habits?  

Most of us have the worst memories. I can barely remember what I ate the day before. The busier you get, the more your days will blur into one another.  

Build habits that provide a stable structure. Tracking your habits will allow you to not rely on your memory alone.

We, as humans, love to shit on ourselves. I learned that my feelings are sometimes inaccurate compared to reality. Tracking your habits enables you to track your progress and setbacks and remain objective.

How to:

Take a sheet of paper (preferably drafting paper) and lay it out in landscape format. Make a list (in column form) of all the habits you want to track on the left-hand margin. Then, going horizontal at the top of the page, fill out the squares with the month’s days and dates.  

Then, fill in the squares of the habits you executed on the same day. I recommend filling it out daily. I have forgotten what I’ve done the day before.

Daily Habit 6: Prioritize Exercise and Movement

How you take care of yourself physically directly reflects how you feel about yourself.

Back in the day, exercise was foreign to me. I couldn’t fathom how people could do such a thing. It looked and felt extremely hard.  

One day, I had enough and changed.  

It was a complete change from being sedentary to becoming a personal trainer. I say this not to give myself kudos but to demonstrate that change is 100% possible, and you never know how far a change will take you.  

I highly recommend exercise for everyone, even if it’s a light form of exercise like stretching. Don’t skimp out on this part of your life.

Daily Habit 7: Set Out Time to Reflect

Back to the notion above: humans are notoriously forgetful; our memories are skewed, and how we feel about ourselves is mostly inaccurate. 

Let me share with you an example from my life:

One day, I felt cynical about my week. I felt like I wasn’t getting enough things checked off, and I wasn’t doing enough. I was down on myself.

Then, I did my usual reflection of the week to see what went wrong. To my surprise, I experienced a massive week of progress! I had significant growth in my hobbies, realized that my habit tracking habit was consistent, finished a challenging exam for one of my courses, and passed.  

Many positive things happened that week, but I focused on the feeling of not getting enough done. My example illustrates that sometimes, our emotions dramatically skew our reality.

Conscious reflection allows you to remain objective in your life.

Set aside time in your day, week, month, quarter, and year to reflect on all of your goals, achievements, and setbacks.  

Daily Habit 8: Prepare My Day the Evening Before

Remember when your grade school teacher taught you to lay out your clothing and prepare your homework the night before? 

Well, I guess they were right. 

Taking care of your night routine is just as important as mastering your morning routine. The energy you go to bed with seeps into the following day.  

I am naturally a spontaneous and forgetful person. I have left the house countless times, only to realize I forgot something. I’m sure you’ve been there.  

Most people are on autopilot in the morning and rushing out of the house. Preparing for my day ahead of time has alleviated the unnecessary stress that preparing on the same day has caused me before.

Daily Habit 9: Simplify Your Daily Eating

Do you get bored quickly, or is the thought of having a routine for your breakfast and lunch dull? But more than anything, it goes against everything you are as a person — a person who loves food.

I completely understand!

This one is hard for me. I used to spend at least 30 minutes deciding on where to eat. Eating three times a day equates to about 1.5 hours of being indecisive. 

The indecision was causing a lot of unnecessary mental stress. And more importantly, I was not using my time effectively.  

The 80/20 rule works perfectly here. If you make 80% of your life a routine, you can have more spontaneity with the other 20%.

Find three to four breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas you enjoy and don’t mind eating over and over. Then, cycle through them.

Daily Habit 10: Read Enjoyable and Nourishing Books 

Reading books by thought leaders enlightens you.

It opens up neural pathways to new ideas and ultimately changes you.  

Building a reading habit is challenging, especially if you don’t read often. But if you stick with it, the mental growth will eventually outweigh the initial pain.

If you don’t already read but want to build a reading habit, start with reading 10 minutes a day. Stack it with another habit. Maybe during your lunch hour. Or right after you wake up. Or right after you brush your teeth before bedtime. You can read something nourishing, like career industry news, spiritual texts, or self-development books.

If you are already a reader and want to become more consistent, I would suggest setting reading goals. Setting goals has been a total game-changer for me. It gives me clear guidelines for what I must do that month. You can even plan what books you will read for the month.

Example: I will read 1 book a month or 2 books a month. Or I will read 1 book a week. 

Daily Habit 11: Take Daily Vitamins 

Sometimes, we are low on specific vitamins and are unable to get them from the food we eat. I, for instance, am always low on Vitamin D because I live in a colder climate where natural sunlight is compromised most of the year. 

When I’m low on Vitamin D, the stress shows in my hair. I either lose hair, get bald patches, or my hair starts getting frizzy. These are signs that I need to look at my emotional health and Vitamin D levels. But before taking any vitamins, check with your doctor.

Closing Thoughts on Daily Habits

I hope that this list has inspired you to take action to improve your habits. What are the habits that have impacted your life?

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Picture of Susan Pham, mbgFNC
Hi, welcome! I'm Susan, the creator and writer of Manifestaire. My mission is to help you explore the powers of your being so you can create a magical life you love! Here, you can find articles on manifestation, spirituality, metaphysics, yoga, wellness, and so much more.
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