Habits are an interesting thing. For instance, there are many bad habits, like drinking or lying, that should be avoided like the plague. However, there are many other habits that are not only harmless but actually can have quite positive effects.
In fact, developing healthy daily habits can both help you reach your life goals and increase your quality of life at the same time. Often these habits can be forgettably small in nature, such as making your bed, being polite, or taking care of your car. And yet, these little gems of behavior add up quickly.
The Importance of Good Daily Habits
All your positive, daily habits that you’ve built into a routine actually add up to some serious health benefits. Cyclical in nature, these benefits all feed into each other. The time management you cultivate from your habits can free up time for adding something like exercise into your routine. If it wasn’t there before, the lack of it could have been stressing you out, not just leading to a lack of physical activity.
The stress in turn could lead to poorer sleep. And this in turn could stress you out more. Thus, creating a daily routine of healthy habits improves your entire wellbeing.
Here are a handful of small-yet-powerful daily habits that can help you specifically develop a life-long ability to stay motivated and find purpose in each and every day.
12 Daily Habits That Increase Motivation And Purpose
Make Your Bed
If you make your bed every day, it can literally change your life. Not only does making your bed discourage laziness and help you start the day on a productive note, but studies have also shown that the large majority of those who make their beds consider themselves happy, while a majority of those who don’t feel unhappy.
If you want to feel motivated and purposeful on a daily basis, start with your pillow and sheets.
Get Dressed Every Day
Right along with making your bed, getting dressed is a key element to maintaining a positive, productive, forward-thinking mindset. Those who live in their pajamas never truly leave their beds behind. Mentally they remain sluggish and under committed.
By getting dressed at the start of your day, you commit yourself to that day. This provides a spurt of motivation and encourages you to focus on the daytime activities that lie ahead rather than the nightly comforts that you’ve left behind.
Maintain a Morning Routine
Whether you’re talking about your bed, your clothes, or any other aspect of your morning activities, the way you go about performing them can make or break your day.
This is true in the summer and winter, for young and old, in rain or shine. Even in quarantine, many of the traditional morning routine pursuits are recommended, such as working out, going for a walk, and meditating.
By establishing and then maintaining a solid routine to start your day (even if the specifics of that routine vary over time), you can set your day in motion without even realizing it.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is quite literally one of the most important things that you can consume on a daily basis. While drinking a glass of water is good, though, if you want to develop a healthy daily habit around your H2O consumption, consider aiming for the proper quantity of water, as well.
It’s recommended that the average adult male drink around 15.5 cups of fluid, while adult women should consume around 11.5 cups. Whether you keep a water bottle by your side throughout the day, drink before and after meals, or start and end your day with a tall glass of the cool liquid, increasing your water intake is a great way to keep your body in tip-top condition – a factor that naturally helps you stay motivated and focused.
Think About What You Eat
Right along with drinking, eating is a critical component of your daily schedule. How many other activities do you stop to partake in at least three times a day (and often more than that)? Observing healthy eating habits can have a huge effect on your physical and mental health – and it can also increase your motivation and purpose.
Further, not only does a healthy diet potentially improve your overall quality of life, it can even help protect you against serious medical emergencies such as strokes, especially when combined with regular physical activity. Specifically, according to the CDC, “Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet can also lower your blood pressure. High cholesterol and high blood pressure increase your chances of having a stroke.” With that said, if you’re more prone to suffering from a stroke, it’s important that you recognize the symptoms of strokes in case you ever find yourself facing an emergency situation.
Whether you’re trying to stay healthy through losing weight, portion control, eating vegan, cutting down on carbs, or anything else, investing yourself in your food choices can help you find purpose every time you sit down to grab a bite to eat.
Rather than eating as a reaction to hunger, stress, or depression, your food choices will be dependent on a conscious decision to prioritize your health, your energy, and your long-term future.
Everyone knows that exercise is important. Not only that, but it should be indulged in on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean you need to spend three hours in the gym every morning or run a marathon after work.
However, finding small ways to slip in some exercise is a great habit that can provide some momentous advantages to your focus and motivation. For example, an activity can combat stress by boosting your feel-good endorphins. This, in turn, helps to distract you from worry and relieve built-up stress, both of which can help you find new energy, focus, and motivation.
It doesn’t matter if you’re sprinting on a track, walking the dog, swimming in the pool, biking up a mountain, using a yoga ball at work, or anything else, finding small ways to get exercise throughout the day is a key element to staying motivated.
Technology is incredible. It’s potential is infinite. Nevertheless, its applicability – especially in a positive way – can feel challenging. Social media can be stressful, a constant stream of notifications on your phone can be overwhelming, and fixing a modern, computer-driven car can be expensive.
However, there are still many ways that you can harness the power of tech to develop good habits and improve your day. For instance, a smartwatch or fitness tracker can help keep an eye on your blood pressure, monitor your activity, and control your workouts. Bluetooth speakers and headphones can enable you to listen to music or an audiobook as you exercise.
And of course, as has already been established, tools that can help you exercise can have a direct effect on your mood, motivation, and even your outlook on life.
Don’t Let Tech Use You
Of course, the flip side of the tech coin is knowing when to turn the gadgets off. If you find that you’re tethered to your tech at all times of the day and night, it’s worth integrating a habit of unplugging on a regular basis.
For instance, try putting down the phone, turning off the tablet, and powering down the television an hour or two before you go to bed. Prolonged exposure to blue light before periods of sleep can suppress your melatonin and throw off your circadian rhythm. This can lead to poor quality sleep which, you guessed it, can make it difficult to stay focused, motivated, or purposeful throughout your tired, sleep-deprived days.
Always Be Learning
One of the more subtle yet essential daily habits of a purposeful life revolves around learning. While school is a great place to learn, the truth is, learning should be a lifelong pursuit that takes place at all times and in all circumstances. Teaching yourself the love of learning new things is an excellent habit that can benefit you each and every day.
If you can manage to accumulate a large amount of humble power (i.e. knowledge that you use for good, not to simply maintain a chip on your shoulder), you can go through each day equipped with solutions to life’s problems. It doesn’t matter if you’re accurately diagnosing that someone is having a stroke or you’re just trying to make a souffle. Cultivating a habit of learning can fill you with purpose and help you stay motivated as you tackle life’s adventures and take its challenges head-on.
Get Good Sleep
Food and exercise are important, but sleep is arguably the biggest concern of all. What other activity do you engage in for a third of your life?
With that said, start by developing habits that take the quality of your sleep into consideration. This can consist of activities like using an essential oil diffuser and only using your bedroom as a place to sleep. Then make sure you’re going to bed early enough and waking up late enough to let your body get the rest that it needs. Adults should regularly get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
If you create a daily habit around going to sleep at a good time (and then integrate it with your morning routine, as well), you can keep your mind sharp and your body rested, both of which are necessary for a purposeful, positive, energy-filled lifestyle.
Maintain an Attitude of Gratitude
Finally, remember to always focus on the good things. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude can spur you to action, energize you to do good, and keep you focused on the greater purpose of your existence.
The simple act of being thankful for what you have – rather than griping about what you don’t have – can do wonders in the fight to keep your spirits high and your motivation firing on all cylinders.
Staying Motivated and Finding Purpose Should Be Part of Your Daily Habits
Motivation and purpose can be fleeting things. Especially when they’re left to operate on their own. However, if you actively look for small ways to encourage these attributes within yourself, you’ll quickly find yourself benefitting from their effects.
By continually learning; caring for your body, mind, and soul; and actively pursuing activities that give your days energy and momentum, you can simply and naturally increase both your motivation and your purpose.