Developing strong personal habits can assist you in your self-development and personal growth journey in such a positive way. Actually, I believe having strong personal habits in place is a BIG part of living your best life.
Of course, like anything worth while, developing habits can take some effort, commitment, and persistence. The key when forming a new habit, is to stay consistent and focused, and to make a time commitment or some measure of accountability. One strategy I use personally is to create a 30 day challenge related to my new habit. I do this to stay accountable, but I also find having an end date helps. For example, if I want to start running, I would make it into a 30 day challenge where I would commit to running 20+ minutes everyday, it’s easier because I know I only have to do this task for 30 days. But it is proven that it takes approximately 21 days to change an activity into a habit, so by day 30, this task should no longer be so difficult and tiring, but instead just another part of my day, and hopefully I would WANT to continure.
I wanted to compile a list of the top habits I believe we should focus on mastering for life improvement, that are easy and can be incorporated into our lives instantly. When choosing my list I looked at habits that would benefit my health, my mind, my overall personal growth and development, and basically that would just make my life better in a positive way.
I came up with 10 habits.
HABIT #1 | Plan for the Week Ahead
The best thing I have ever done is get in the habit of using a planner. My life is much more organized, I no longer forget important things or feel like a scatter brain, and I am able to prioritize my tasks. Every Sunday or Monday, get into the habit of planning out your week in a planner.
HABIT #2 | Wake up Earlier
I was always the type of person to sleep in when I didn’t have class or work, but in my late twenties, I started getting up earlier, and I realized how much more I can accomplish by not snoozing until 11 AM on my days off. It really is such a great habit to form in regards to increasing productivity. I started to really enjoy my quiet weekend mornings and felt a lot better about getting up at 9 and getting some things done. Now I have a 6 month old, so both sleeping and productivity are basically non-existent.
HABIT #3 | Drinking More Water
Did anyone else’s mom constantly tell them to drink more water ALL THE TIME. Well, apparently it works. I can instantly tell when I have not drunk enough water through out my day. I am more tired, have less energy, and feel bloated. Buy a refillable water bottle and just keep it with you all the time. This is a super easy habit to accomplish!
HABIT #4 | Tidy While You Cook
You guys. This saves SO MUCH TIME. I have always done this, but my boyfriend does not. It drives me nuts! He will cook a meal and leave everything to clean up until after we eat. Obviously some things such as the pots and dishes have to be cleaned after, but if you chop up veggies, or pour cans of whatever into your meal, you can toss the remains and garbage along the way!!! I always aim to keep my counters clear as I cook, and then it is just the pots/pans and the dishes to be cleaned at the end of the meal.
HABIT #5 | Save 10% of Your Paycheck
This is one I need to work on, mainly because I am trying to chuck any extra money I currently have toward student loan debt. But, I really do want to start saving more money, and I think this is a great habit to get into early on in your twenties. I spent my early twenties spending allllll the money I had and then money I didn’t have (damn you credit cards!), and one of my only regrets is my lack of financial knowledge I had in my early twenties. Start this habit RIGHT NOW!
HABIT #6 | Stop Multi Tasking and Start Focusing 100% on one Task
Okay, I know this is not always possible, I actually multi task A LOT, but it makes me super scatter brained and I end up not getting some things done OR I do them half ass. One thing I noticed recently, was that I tend to be on my phone while watching television, then 15 minutes into a new show, I realize I didn’t pay attention to anything that was happening and I have to rewind the show. The best part is 15 minutes later I realize I did the exact same thing again, and I have to rewind it AGAIN. So now, I put my phone away if I am watching something I actually want to watch. I also tend to multi task while cooking, and I ruin my food a lot. So this is a habit I need to work on obviously.. because who wants to eat burnt food?
HABIT #7 | Read a Few Pages Everyday
Do your brain a favor, get off your phone and read a book. I have always enjoyed reading and I have read some really inspirational books over the past few years, but it is not always easy to find the time! I find committing to a few pages before bed every night (even 5-10 pages) helps me maintain my reading habit.
HABIT #8 | Prepare for Your Day the Night Before
I can tell you from experience, when I prep my lunch and pick my outfit out for work the night before, my whole morning goes significantly smoother. Plus if I don’t have to make and pack a lunch, or spend 20 minutes picking out an outfit, I totally get to sleep longer! WIN.
HABIT #9 | Make a Grocery List
It seems so obvious right? But I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to the grocery store thinking I knew exactly what I needed, and leaving with a bunch of random things I did not need, and forgetting a main ingredient to the meal I planned on making that evening. Now I plan out a few days worth of meals and I make a list.
HABIT #10 | Do Some Form of Exercise Every Day
I know, I know, who wants to exercise? But stick to it for 21 days and it will feel less like a pain in the butt and more like an enjoyable activity that makes you feel good and relieves stress. Even going for a quick walk everyday is great! This is something I have reallllly been trying to get back into since having a baby. I just bought an elliptical, so right now I am committed to getting on that for at least 20 minutes a day.
So there you have it, those are my top 10 Habits that I believe are beneficial to develop in your twenties! To make habit-forming a little bit easier for you, I included a free Habit Tracker and a Cheat Sheet to help you form new habits in 8 easy steps. Download your copies below!
What habits do you think are most beneficial? What do you do to develop and track your habits? Let me know in the comments!