10 daily habits that will transform your life

Have you ever realized that you are usually on “autopilot”? According to research, we spend 50% of our time in this mode. This means that once you adopt a routine, you tend to follow it unthinkingly.

Have you ever analyzed your routine? Is your autopilot bringing you happiness and fulfillment or misery and emptiness?

It’s time to think about your routine and start adopting habits that will bring you closer to what you want and help bring your life in alignment with your purpose.

Here’s a list of 10 habits that can transform your life if you make them part of your daily routine:

1. Exercise:

Mens sana in corpore sano:  A healthy mind in a healthy body.

Exercise is a good way to ease stress. It increases dopamine (the happiness hormone), gives us energy and confidence, and contributes to our general well-being, helping us maintain a healthy weight and beat sedentarism. You don’t need to work out very hard every day to start benefiting from exercise.

Tip to start: Set a goal you can commit to and start with something you can stick to every day, even if it’s just a 15-minute walk. It’s better to be consistent than too ambitious and then quit after the first week.

2. Meditate:

Our life is a reflection of our inner self.

Exercising helps us take care of our body, but what about our mind? Are you exercising your mind and listening to you? If you adopt the habit of meditating, you’ll have more emotional resilience, reduce your stress and anxiety, improve your ability to be focused, and enhance self-awareness.

Tip to start: Start with 5 minutes per day. Find a place where you can be on your own, sit comfortably, close your eyes and focus on your breath. There are also free apps with short guided meditations, and these can be an excellent way to start. One popular example is  Simple Habit.

3. Eat healthy:

We are what we eat.

The food we take in has a direct impact on our body, health and emotions. What you eat will be used to build your body and become part of you. Do you want to be made of nutrient-poor foods like fast food or ultra-processed food? Probably not… You should pay attention to what you eat and go for natural and nutrient-dense food that can give you energy and nurture your body and mind.

Tip to start: Stop eating foods with sugar and refined flour. Instead, eat more vegetables and fruit, and try to look for natural foods in place of processed foods.

4. Get enough sleep:

Rest today to refill the energy you’ll need tomorrow.

Some people may think they don’t need to sleep or that sleeping is a waste of time. As a result, they reduce their sleep time in order to have more waking hours to do whatever they want. But it’s not usually a matter of having more or less time - it’s about being more effective and resolutive when you are awake, so that you can do more in any given time. If you are tired you won’t be productive anyway, and it’ll take you more time to do things and you’ll probably end up making more mistakes because your mental faculties are not fully activated.

Tip to start: Go to bed earlier and sleep for at least 7-8 hours per day. Avoid watching TV or using your computer or mobile phone just before going to bed, as these on-screen activities tend to interfere with the production of the hormones that regulate your sleep.

5. Be thankful:

Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

You don’t need to have a lot to be happy and feel abundant; you just need to appreciate what you have. If you are always focusing on what you are lacking, you’ll always feel miserable. On the contrary, if you acknowledge all the good things that you have in your life you’ll feel fortunate, blessed and grateful. There are lots of things that we take for granted because we’ve always had them. Now it’s time to be thankful for each of these blessings: having a family, a home, a hot shower, food, sunlight, good health.

Tip to start: Before going to sleep, write down two or three things that happened during the day that you are grateful for.

6. Keep a diary:

Listen to yourself, free your mind.

Writing down what you have in mind helps you process what happens in your life and see things clearer and in a more objective way. It’s a good opportunity to listen to yourself and build self-awareness. Journaling is an efficient way to organize your thoughts and develop self-awareness.

Tip to start: Start by just answering this question: If you were writing a book about your day, what would the title be?

7. Let things go:

Be more with less.

Try to live a minimalist life, because we tend to accumulate lots of things we don’t need. Take your time to clean, tidy up, organize your house and keep it simple. Give away things that you don’t use. If you have chaos around you, you’ll have chaos in your mind. Let go of past hurts, problems and negative feelings, and choose forgiveness instead of resentment. Let the past go so you can welcome all the new and positive things that have to come.

Tip to start: Tidy up your wardrobe. Give away all the clothes that you haven’t worn in the last year, because you don’t need them anymore. Other people will get a chance to use and appreciate the clothes, and you’ll have more wardrobe space for new ones. It’s a win-win situation.

8. Be altruistic:

You’ll get what you give.

Did you know that helping others releases happiness hormones just like dopamine and oxytocin? When you do something kind for someone else, you are actually doing it for yourself too, as doing so promotes your wellbeing and sense of purpose. It’s not about doing something to show off in front of others - the point is to do something that comes from your heart without wanting anything in return.

Tip to start: Commit to one small action, like smiling at someone you don’t know in the street, volunteering at a shelter, or making a donation to support a good cause.

9. Set goals:

The starting point of any achievement is a dream.

What are your dreams? Do you know what goals you want to achieve? Having dreams and goals keeps you motivated, and gives you a reason to wake up every day. Goals provide you with direction and aspiration - have you thought what you want to achieve in life? Create a plan to get there and start doing something today that brings you one step closer to your goal.

Tip to start: Think about one thing that you’d like to achieve this year. What can you do today to be closer to it? Do it!

10. Be mindful:

Life is available only in the present moment.

How much time do you spend thinking about the past or worrying about the future? Our developed brain gives us lots of resources to move back and forward in time, but this may be working against us if we forget to be present. Try to be focused and enjoy small things in the present moment, paying attention to the little details and letting your thoughts go.

Tip to start: Do one thing that you really enjoy, and try to get focused on it and use all your senses. For example, go for a walk in the park. If any thought or worry comes to your mind, just let it go; tell yourself that you’ll have time to think about it later. Feel the ground under your feet - is it grass? Is it mud? What sounds do you hear? Is the temperature hot or cold? What do you smell? You’ll realize that many things are happening around you, even though you usually disregard them because you’re lost in your own thoughts.

There are no excuses. You can start changing your life today by including some of these simple, powerful habits in your daily routine. Happiness is within everyone’s reach - it’s just a matter of attitude and choice.

Now it’s your turn. What habits are you starting today?

Contact me and I'll help you to get started.


Andrea Arcusa
Psychologist and Life Coach