I’ve been rather stuck lately when it comes to consistent, productive daily habits because there will be some days where I feel like I finally managed to get it together, and others where I fall flat. Creating habits that stick requires discipline that, for a while, I didn’t believe I had, but I’m starting to see that it is indeed possible.
You have to ask yourself what you genuinely want to achieve before you can even begin outlining the habits that fit your life. Since we’ve all been social distancing, the number one thing that has thrown my entire schedule off was the lack of physical exercise I was getting every day. It was affecting both my writing and mental health, so I decided to do something about it. This was just one of the habits I wanted to address while being stuck inside, but I wanted to make the most of it.
Here’s what I learned along the way.
Enjoying the process can make you more productive and much happier
Lately, I’ve been trying to diminish the amount of stress that I feel on an everyday basis. I’ve taken a step back to appreciate the process again, no matter what I may be trying to accomplish. Instead of meeting every task or daily goal with dread, I stop treating it like it’s work and allow myself to enjoy it. This has made a significant change in how I write and how I feel overall.
Treating goals like a challenge you have to complete instead of a task can help you reach them
When it comes to my workout routine, I’ve struggled quite a bit without being able to leave the house. Finding the motivation to exercise while indoors can be hard, but I’ve taken a different approach to get it done. I set a goal for fourteen straight days of small workouts, and I count down the days as they go. It turns out that I’m more likely to get it done, having a record of the progress I already completed. This method has been productive regarding my work as well, and it certainly keeps things interesting.
Don’t be hard on yourself for the bad days, but plan for a reset
I still struggle with this because I usually end up beating myself up for letting an entire day pass me by not completing much of anything. Though, I’ve now been able to move past them without letting them overshadow the rest of the week. I’d tell myself that I can plan better next time, and engage in activities such as reading, journaling, or meditating that will put me in the right mindset once the next day rolls around.
Take time to do the things that genuinely make you happy
When I’m feeling at my worst, the last thing I want to do is get back to work, but one thing that has helped with that is taking the time to do the things I love. Looking forward to that time in the evening when I can relax and unwind gets me through the workday. I can enjoy it, feeling like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, and that makes getting back in the groove the following day much easier.
Create an adaptable daily routine
I try not to plan the night before because I hate having to move things around if I woke up too late or had something urgent that needed tending to. So, instead, I’ll write out a list of goals that I want to accomplish the following day and make a solid plan right before I start. This allows me to change things up as I go if need be, and it doesn’t leave me stressed, thinking I didn’t accomplish half the tasks I wanted to.
Reflect on how you’re feeling, and what you can do to make things a bit easier
I’m a firm believer in the positive effects of journaling. I stick it in my calendar to offload all of the thoughts that are swimming around inside my mind, probably distracting me. Reflecting on how I feel has helped me to see which areas of my life need work, and that way, I can outline a plan to improve these areas over time.
Making habits that stick can be difficult, but you have to remember that it is always possible no matter how many times you believe you’ve failed. There is always a reason to get up and try again.
I hope these tips help you to discover the habits that will better your life overall so that you can continue to work hard and enjoy the process without compromising your happiness.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.