According to a study by European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes about 66 days to ingrain a new habit into your routine. It’s a good idea to start now, so you’ll reap the benefits all year.
Here are nine ideas that’ll lead to a happier, healthy home:
1. Leave Your Blinds Open at Night
Leaving the blinds open (or switching heavier curtain fabrics for sheer curtains) will help you wake up earlier and more naturally.
Why It’s Beneficial: When the sun hits your sleeping body, it causes it to stop producing melatonin and start producing adrenalin, which means you’ll be halfway awake before your alarm goes off.
2. Make Your Bed
Even if you’re just pulling up your comforter and adjusting your pillows, making your bed in the morning sets the intention for your day and gets you in a productive mindset. Plus, there’s an easy way to do it in under five minutes.
Why It’s Beneficial: Making your bed in the morning is considered a keystone habit, meaning it leads to other productive morning behaviors like exercising or making a healthy breakfast. Basically, if you add this habit to your routine, adding any or all of the others will become a lot easier!
3. Eat a Protein-Packed Breakfast
Speaking of breakfasts…let’s start a habit there, too! If you’re trying to lose a little weight, eating a lot of protein in the morning (35 grams or more) may help! Omelets are a good choice, and you can use a muffin pan to prepare small, individual omelets the night before. If you need some specific recipe ideas, check out these choices from Real Simple.
Why It’s Beneficial: According to a study by the University of Missouri, starting the day with protein affects your gastrointestinal hormones and reduces food cravings later in the day (especially at night).
4. Drink More Water
Most people are at least a little dehydrated the entire day. A common daily water-intake recommendation is eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Other studies have shown it’s important to drink small amounts of water throughout the entire day, regardless of whether you’re thirsty or not. Not into boring old water? Throw some lemon slices, strawberries, and mint leaves into a pitcher of water to make it more refreshing.
Why It’s Beneficial: Being well-hydrated affects your body and your mind in major ways! You’ll have more energy, lower blood pressure, clearer skin, better moods and a more youthful glow about you.
5. Clean a Little Bit Every Weekday
Get in the habit of cleaning 20 minutes or so every weekday so that you have the weekends all to yourself.
Why It’s Beneficial: By cleaning in little segments, you’ll avoid that terrible feeling of a house that’s so messy you don’t even know where to begin. You’ll also free up your Sunday to do something fun, instead of feeling sad and depressed about the impending Monday.
6. Start an Indoor Herb Garden
Fresh herbs pack a bigger flavor and nutritional punch than those sad little bottles of dried herbs. Instead of a solely outside garden, plant an indoor herb garden that will keep the fresh greens coming all year long.
Why It’s Beneficial: You’ll save tons of money at the grocery store. As an example, fresh store-bought basil can cost up to $4 a package. One basil plant that provides fresh leaves all year will only cost about $10!
7. Empty the Dishwasher Every Morning
All it takes is skipping one day of dish duty for dishes to start to pile up. Tackle the mountain in the kitchen sink by running your dishwasher every night, and emptying it every morning before you head out to work.
Why It’s Beneficial: This will make your evening routine a little bit simpler, which will help you stay more relaxed as you’re winding down for the night.
8. Never Go to Bed with a Dirty Kitchen
They say never go to bed angry, but “never go to bed with a dirty kitchen” is a more practical proverb. Make a point to always do a quick food cleanup and countertop wipe down before you call it quits.
Why It’s Beneficial: Keeping the most-used room in our home organized will make a huge difference in the overall “put together” feeling of your house. It’ll also make it easier to cook breakfast in the morning!
9. Implement a “Touch It Once” Chore Rule
Whatever you’re cleaning, finish the entire process with “one touch.” That means if you’re gathering trash throughout your house, immediately throw it away and take the trash to the curb. If you do a load of laundry, immediately fold, hang, and put the clothes away. If you’ve finished your meal, rinse, wash, and put the clean plate away.
Why It’s Beneficial: Completing an entire process, rather than just a small piece, will make the chore actually feel done in your mind, which is more satisfying and more productive. Win/win.