Daily Habits That Changed My Life: How to Live the Best Life

If you are feeling like you want to achieve more in life but are stuck where you are, you might need to change your daily habits. I listed ten daily habits that will change your life if you master them.

Man Writing with a Pen on a Notebook

Your attitude and daily habits are way more important than you might think. “Succesful people don’t just drift off to the top. Getting there requires focused action, personal discipline, and lots of energy every day to make things happen,” – words of American author and entrepreneur Jack Canfield.

I couldn’t agree more with him. Ask any successful people. They will all tell you that in order to be successful, you need to do your daily habits well. Many believe that success is about the big things, while in reality, to get to the grand achievements, you need to do the small things right.

To-Do Lists

I was 18 when I first started using a to-do list. Until then, I lived my life under the motto: “if nothing is certain, anything can happen” – yeah, anything, including nothing. When I turned 18 and wanted to achieve more things in life, I felt like nothing happened as I wanted to. I started reading self-improvement books, and there was one thing that was common for all successful people – to start using to-do lists. I tried it, and it changed my life.

To-Do List with a Pen on Top of it
Daily Habits, To-Do List captured by Thomas Bormans

I started to break down my goals into daily tasks and accomplished them one by one – and guess what happened. After a couple of weeks or months, I achieved my goals. If you haven’t used a To-Do list before – this is the right time. Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone – you can use your default notes app or Reminder app if you are using iPhone. No matter what you use for the task, it matters only to get started.

Track your spendings

Tracking my spending was something I started doing at an early age, and I am super thankful for it. Ever since I started working, I’ve been tracking my income and expenses – so I can look back and see what I’ve spent my money on and manage my money better each month. It is also great to see how my hourly wage has changed over the last few years. Start to track your income and expense in your notes app or an Excel sheet and see how much you will save at the end of the month.

Person in Black Suit Jacket Holding a White Tablet and Doing Finances
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya

Make your bed first thing in the morning

As Admiral McRaven said in his Commencement Address Speech at the University of Texas in 2014 – if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. Basically, with this point, you are tricking your brain. First thing in the morning, you are achieving a small task that is snowballing the whole day.

Black Table Lamp on a Nightstand Next to a Made Bed
Photo by Christopher Jolly

After you made your bed, it will encourage you to do another task and then another. The more small achievement you have pushes your brain towards bigger and better goals – and it all starts with a small action such as making your bed. And in the end, at least if you return home after a bad day, you return to a made bed.

Drinking more water

It’s worth knowing that consuming too much of something is bad for you – even if that thing is water. Generally speaking, it’s not the case here since many of us don’t consume enough water. The human body comprises around 60% water that we need to maintain to feel healthy and full of energy. Often the best medicine is a glass of water and some fresh air. Staying hydrated is not only beneficial for headaches but can significantly improve your mental and physical performance. The NHS recommends drinking 6–8 glasses of water per day – the key is to start drinking in the morning and continue throughout the day.

Man in White Crew Neck T-Shirt Drinking Water
Photo by Nigel Msipa

Start exercising

Starting to exercise was another thing that changed my life completely. It is not only healthy for your body but your mind as well. Although feeling good in your body starts with your mind, it continues by shaping your body to your liking. Find a sport that you like to do and is great for building the shape you want to achieve. For example, if you want to put on weight and build muscle, running won’t be the right sport for you. On the other hand, if you want to train your heart and lose weight, then running is the right sport.

Man Doing Exercise with Dumbbell
Photo by Anastase Maragos

Break down your goals

If you have set goals before and have not seen any results, this is a sign of changing your current routine. As mentioned before – by breaking down your goals into small steps, you are tricking your brain into working on them more. Find out where you are standing with your goals, break them down, and set fixed deadlines for them. The deadlines will motivate you to accomplish your tasks.

Three Pens on White Paper Containing Goals
Photo by Isaac Smith

Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, led a study on goal-setting with nearly 270 participants. The results? You are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. There is no question as to why project managers use this method worldwide.

Create a morning routine

If you are someone who is always running late, this point is just for you. By creating a morning routine, you are giving your life a structure that you can align to, so you will always be able to be on time. Eat the same thing, prepare your clothes the night before and do things in the same order, so there won’t be any surprise in the morning.

Man Holding Black Phone in the Morning
Photo by Manuel Del Moral

Try the 80/20 rule

The Pareto’s Principle or the 80/20 rule means that in any situation, 20% of the tasks generate 80% of the results. So you can maximize productivity by investing most of your time and energy on those specific tasks that will create the most significant impact. Once you’ve finished those tasks, you can focus on other activities that are on your to-do list.

If it is hard to picture, let me show you some examples – 20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes. 20% of drivers cause 80% of all traffic accidents. 80% of the pollution originates from 20% of all factories. 

Surround yourself with the right people

The people you choose to surround yourself with will eventually shape the way you think, behave, and feel on a daily basis. Surrounding yourself with people who motivate you, lend you knowledge, and help you learn from mistakes will eventually raise your standards to become a better person in the long run. There’s the famous quote by Andy Stanley – “Your friends will determine the quality and direction of your life”.

A Group of People Having A Great Time at the Table
Photo by Redd on Unsplash

Invest in self-care

I saw this point in an article years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. Taking some time off to unwind can do wonders for your mood, mental health, and self-esteem. Do at least one thing every day that makes you feel good – whether it is listening to music, learning a new skill, taking a long bubble bath, or preparing a nice meal. Whatever floats your boat!

Keep on reading: A Gentleman’s Guide for the Best Morning Routine