10 Life Hacks and Small Behaviors That Can Improve Your Life

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We all want to live our best lives, but sometimes it can feel like we’re stuck in a rut. Fortunately, there are many simple life hacks and small behavior changes that can make a big difference in your daily experience. Here are 10 tips to upgrade your routine and enhance your wellbeing.

1. Make Your Bed Every Morning

Starting your day by making your bed may seem trivial, but it sets a tone of accomplishment and order first thing in the morning. Naval Admiral William McRaven famously said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” It’s a small win that can give you momentum for the rest of your day.

The Power of a Tidy Space

A made bed and tidy room can boost your mood and lower your stress levels. Clutter has been shown to increase cortisol, the stress hormone. By taking a few minutes each morning to make your bed and straighten up, you’re giving yourself a more peaceful environment.

Extra Tip: Simplify Your Bedding

To make this morning habit even easier, consider simplifying your bedding. Ditch the top sheet and extra pillows. Stick with a duvet and a couple shams for a bed that looks neat and inviting with minimal effort.

2. Drink a Glass of Water First Thing

Before you reach for the coffee, drink 8-16 ounces of water. We often wake up dehydrated after a night of sleep. Drinking water first thing helps rehydrate your body, fires up your metabolism, and aids your body in flushing out toxins.

The Benefits of Proper Hydration

Staying hydrated is crucial for many bodily functions, including regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, delivering nutrients to cells, and keeping organs functioning properly. Aim to drink water throughout the day, not just in the morning.

3. Practice Gratitude Daily

Take time each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for, big and small. Studies have found that regularly expressing gratitude can significantly increase your happiness and even have physical health benefits.

Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude

Keeping a gratitude journal is a popular method. Spend a few minutes jotting down three to five things you’re thankful for each day. You could also share your gratitude with others, either by telling them directly or writing thank-you notes.

4. Develop a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, even on weekends. A consistent sleep schedule regulates your body’s clock and can help you fall asleep and wake up more easily.

Creating an Optimal Sleep Environment

For the best sleep, keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. Avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime, as the blue light can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Consider investing in a comfortable mattress, pillows, and bedding to make your sleep space inviting.

5. Take Regular Breaks from Sitting

If you spend much of your day sitting, whether at work or at home, make an effort to stand up and move around regularly. Prolonged sitting has been linked with a host of health issues, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels.

Tips for Moving More

Set a reminder to stand up every 30 minutes. Take a brief walk, do some stretches, or try some desk exercises. If possible, consider investing in a standing desk or treadmill desk to break up your sitting time.

6. Practice the One-Minute Rule

The one-minute rule states that if a task will take you one minute or less, you should do it immediately. This could be hanging up your coat, putting a dish in the dishwasher, or sorting the mail. Tackling these small tasks right away prevents them from piling up and feeling overwhelming.

The Power of Micro-Tasks

Accomplishing these micro-tasks throughout the day can give you a sense of achievement and control. It’s satisfying to check things off your mental to-do list, even if they’re small. Plus, keeping on top of the little things frees up mental space for bigger priorities.

7. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule for Eye Health

To reduce eye strain from staring at screens, employ the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a much-needed break and can help prevent headaches and blurred vision.

Other Ways to Protect Your Eyes

In addition to the 20-20-20 rule, you can adjust your screen’s brightness and contrast for comfort, and position your screen so you’re gazing slightly downward. Blinking often and using artificial tears can help combat dry eyes from extended screen time.

8. Learn to Say No

Don’t overcommit yourself out of obligation or FOMO (fear of missing out). Assess your priorities and be selective about what you agree to. Saying no to things that don’t serve you leaves room for what’s truly important.

Ways to Say No Gracefully

Saying no doesn’t have to be harsh. Try phrases like, “Thank you for thinking of me, but I have to pass this time,” or “I appreciate the invite, but that won’t work for me right now.” Remember, saying no to others is saying yes to yourself.

9. Embrace Imperfection

Perfectionism can be paralyzing. Instead of aiming for perfection, strive for progress and continuous improvement. Embrace the concept of “good enough” and focus on getting things done rather than getting them flawless.

The Problem with Perfectionism

Perfectionism often leads to procrastination, missed opportunities, and unnecessary stress. Accept that mistakes and imperfections are part of the human experience. As Salvador Dali said, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”

10. Practice Active Listening

In conversations, focus on truly listening to the other person rather than thinking about what you’ll say next. Give them your full attention, make eye contact, and ask clarifying questions. Active listening builds trust and connection.

Benefits of Active Listening

Practicing active listening can improve your relationships, both personal and professional. It helps avoid misunderstandings, shows respect, and allows for more meaningful dialogues. Plus, you may learn something new by fully engaging with the other person’s thoughts and ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long does it take for a new habit to stick?
    Studies suggest it takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to become automatic. However, this can vary widely from person to person and habit to habit. Some simple habits may take just a few weeks, while more complex behaviors could take several months. Consistency is key.
  2. What if I don’t have time for these life hacks?
    Many of these tips, like drinking water, making your bed, and the one-minute rule, take very little time but can have a big impact. Start small and focus on one or two changes at a time. As they become habits, you can gradually add more. Remember, even small improvements can lead to significant changes over time.
  3. Can these tips really make me happier and healthier?
    While no single tip is a magic solution, incorporating these habits into your life can definitely boost your overall wellbeing. They help reduce stress, improve physical health, increase productivity, and promote a positive mindset. Combined, these small changes can lead to a happier, healthier life.


Improving your life doesn’t always require grand, sweeping changes. Often, it’s the small, daily habits and behaviors that have the greatest impact. By incorporating these 10 life hacks into your routine, you can boost your physical and mental wellbeing, increase your productivity, and find more joy in your everyday life. Remember, progress is more important than perfection. Start small, be consistent, and enjoy the journey of continuous self-improvement.

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