In this post, we will talk about 100 simple habits you can implement to improve your life this year.
I don’t know about you, but I am the kind of person who always actively looks for ways to have a better life.
2021 has been again a challenging year for all of us. Taking care of ourselves is key to living a healthy life in such stressful times.
As I want this year to be your best year, I have gathered 100 simple habits you can implement today to live your best life.
Because this list is quite long, I have divided it into 8 sections. These sections are taken from my version of the Wheel of Life. The Wheel of Life is a well-known tool to do life audits.
Thousands of different versions exist, each with slight differences in the dimensions used.
In this version of the Wheel of Life, I have decided to include the dimensions “Physical Appearance” and “Environment and organization” because these factors can significantly impact our life satisfaction.
Our Wheel of Life includes the following dimensions :
- Business and Career
- Family and Friends
- Physical Appearance
- Personal Growth
- Social Life
- Environment and Organization
If you are interested in making this year your best year, keep reading! This list will show you small habits that, when repeated daily, can significantly improve your life.
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Business and Career
1. Develop new skills
Having a development plan is so important for so many reasons. First of all, you should aim to do a job you love and are passionate about.
You might not be there yet, but it doesn’t mean you never will. All it takes is a good plan, developing new skills, and being consistent.
2. Ask for a raise
There is nothing worst than feeling devaluated at work.
Money should not be your only reason to take a job. Still, there are absolutely no reasons for you to accept a long-term low salary when you deserve better.
When was the last time you got a raise? If you are not able to remember it, it is a solid indicator you are underpaid.
As explained in this post about career tips everyone should know, you need a little preparation before asking for a raise. If you plan to o it, check the average salary for your position and experience.
If you live in the U.S, you can find this information here.
3. Improve work-life balance
Are you the kind of person who always brings work home? If so, you should definitely work on your work-life balance this year.
To do so, set boundaries. Have a fixed schedule, close your laptop when it’s time, and do not read your professional emails on your personal devices.
Balance is key to your mental health, and mental health has a massive impact on our long-term success.
4. Have a plan
We already talked about having a plan, and you might think you already have one.
If I had asked you, would you be able to tell me right away what you want your life to look like in 2, 5, or 10 years?
If you cannot answer that question within a few seconds, you need to think about it and work on your professional and financial plan.
5. Take small breaks
Taking small breaks at work is key to staying focused. Breaks are also an excellent opportunity to be active.
Breaks are also the perfect opportunity to go outside for a few minutes and breathe fresh air.
Taking short breaks during the day will help you be more efficient and focused.
6. Start networking
Networking is key to evolving in your career.
Meeting other people at work will help you draw a broader picture of your company and understand everyone’s challenges.
It might also help you get a new job outside the company if you feel it is time to leave.
Understanding the challenges other departments and subsidiaries were facing and looking for ways to help them made me irreplaceable. And that helped me get promoted twice before graduating from College!
7. Start a business
Another great way to improve your professional life is to start your own business.
Creating a business might not be for everyone, but if you are anything like me and don’t mind working long hours when you love what you do, you should create something for yourself.
Working hard is rewarding, but it is even more when you mind your own business and create something from scratch.
If you have to work long hours each day for years, let it be for you!
8. Give positive and constructive feedback
Have you ever realized the impact of positive feedback? I have and can tell you that, ever since then, I have tried to give positive and constructive feedback.
Giving positive and constructive feedback is a great habit because it benefits you and the person receiving the feedback.
9. Learn from others
Listening and learning from others will bring you a lot in your career. It is the easiest way to improve your life at work, especially as a young professional.
Learn from others’ positive and, most importantly, negative experiences. We are constantly told we should learn from our mistakes. Well, we should also learn from other’s mistakes.
Being a good listener and asking questions will also show that you are interested and willing to progress, which we all know, is an excellent asset in one’s career.
10. Ask for new responsibilities
Another simple yet effective habit to improve your life at work is to ask for new responsibilities.
It is a great way to learn new things regularly and broaden your company’s vision. Asking for new responsibilities and projects is also a great way to ensure what you’re doing is the right job for you.
It will help you develop new skills and might help you realize that there is something better for you!
11. Be more organized
Being organized is key to productivity. This is true in your personal and professional life. This habit is directly linked to having a plan.
You should have a plan and know what you want your life to look like in 2, 5, or 10 years but you should also plan your days.
Having a plan before arriving at work is the best way to get things done.
12. Have a budget
Having a clear and realistic budget is the first step to improving your finances. Creating a budget can be overwhelming at first, but it can be fun with the right advice.
The hardest part will be living by it. If you cannot stick to your budget, this post will help you review it.
13. Attack debt
Getting out of debt is one of the best things you can do to improve your life. Can you imagine the freedom given by a debt-free life?
If paying off debt as fast as possible is part of your goals for next year, this post about the mistakes to avoid to pay off debt fast will help you get there!
14. Start an emergency fund
If the debt-free life seems unrealistic to you now, this habit of saving money towards an emergency fund is a great place to start.
Anyone willing to improve his finances and get out of debt should have an emergency fund. This fund will be like a cushion helping you to cope with unexpected expenses and avoid further debt.
Start your emergency fund today with my free personal finance sheets!
15. Have a no-spend month
Having a no-spend month is a great way to save money and reflect on your spending habits.
A no-spend month is a challenge during which you are not allowed to spend any money except for necessities such as food (which does not include lattes!), essential bills, gas, and insurance.
Tracking your expenses during the challenge can give your great insight into your spending and help you change your money mindset.
16. Pay yourself first
This is a habit we should all develop. Paying ourselves first is key to ensuring healthy finances because it helps us save more money.
The idea is to pay yourself right after receiving your salary to avoid overspending during the month.
Doing so will save more money than if you saved what was left at the end of the month.
17. Resell things you don’t need
Reselling things you don’t need or use anymore is a great way to declutter, give a second life to your belongings, and make extra money.
I actually made thousands this year selling clothing and accessories I didn’t use anymore. This is definitely a habit you should consider. A circular economy makes everyone happy!
18. Start Investing
This one is part of my top goals for the year to come. Investing and having an additional income stream is a great way to improve your finances.
If you aim to become financially independent, starting to invest early should be one of your priorities.
If you are interested in financial independence, this post will help you understand the basics.
19. Increase your financial literacy
Financial literacy is so important that it should be everyone’s priority. Poor financial literacy is what keeps most people poor.
Having a high salary does not guarantee wealth. Making money can be easy, but making it work for you with no financial literacy will be impossible.
Reading books is a great place to start if you are willing to improve your financial literacy.
Here is a quick list of 7 books you can read to change your money mindset:
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Quit like a millionaire by Kristy Shen
- The 4-hour work-week by Timothy Ferriss
- You’re a badass at making money by Jen Sincero
- Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman
- The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco
- The automatic millionaire by David Bach
20. Automate your payments
Automating your payments is a simple way to improve your life. Automating payments has considerably decreased the time I spend paying bills.
It will also help you save money on late fees. The average American pays $577 per year in late fees and overdrafts. That’s a lot of money, and you can indeed find a better use for it!
21. Start side-hustling
Side-hustling, just as selling things you don’t use anymore, is a great way to bring in extra cash. With the internet, making money on the side is now easier than ever.
Looking for inspiration? This post from Indeed will definitely help!
22. Use a budgeting app
Using an app to budget is a great way to keep an eye on your finances and make forecasts.
If you haven’t read it yet, my post about budgeting will give you an overview of the most user-friendly apps on the market.
23. Use a cash-back app
Using a cash-back app is a great way to save money while buying what you need.
Once your order is validated and the return period is over, you will receive your cashback in your bank account.
24. Start investing for retirement
Investing for retirement is such an essential aspect of personal finance.
If you haven’t started saving for retirement, 2022 is definitely the right time to take action!
Find out how much you need to save for retirement using a calculator such as this one.
25. Start exercising
It goes without saying that working out is important for your health.
Exercising regularly is necessary to improve your life. It is even more important if you work sitten at a desk. One application has helped me work out more, it’s called FitOn.
If you are looking for a motivating app to do any kind of sport (yoga, pilates, HIIT, dance), this app can give you the motivation to get started and stick to your plan!
26. Improve your diet
Improving your diet is also a step you should consider if you are willing to improve your life in 2022.
Diet has a huge impact on our health and well-being. I have considerably improved my health thanks to minor changes to my diet.
If improving your diet is part of your goals for the year to come, Lifesum can help. This is an app I have been using several times per day for 8 years now!
27. Sleep better
If you have sleep issues, you know how poor sleep quality can negatively impact your life.
If you find yourself in this situation, improving your sleep should be your number one priority for the year to come.
To do so, consider decluttering your bedroom, avoiding screen time at least one hour before going to bed, and listening to sleep casts.
Meditation has completely transformed my life and cured my generalized anxiety disorder in the span of a couple of months.
I actually started meditating thanks to the Netflix series Headspace. I was so impressed by the impacts of meditation on my daily life that I downloaded the app and used it daily ever since.
Meditation and the Headspace series on Netflix are also great ways to fall asleep faster.
29. Take the stairs
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a simple way to move more during the day. It is also the perfect opportunity to do some quick breathing exercises!
30. Take a break from alcohol
This habit is so obvious. Do we need to dwell on it?
Decreasing your alcohol intake is a great way to take care of your health and lose weight, as alcohol contains a lot of sugar!
That’s definitely a habit you should commit to this year!
31. Stretch more
Stretching more is a simple way to avoid back pain and stay inactive for too long.
Stretching is also a great way to improve focus.
32. Quit smoking
If you are still smoking, you should definitely try to quit this year.
According to an important study available on the PubMed website, Tobacco’s direct or indirect consumption has been a leading cause of death since 1980 in developed countries.
Tobacco has such a negative impact on life expectancy. If you want to improve your life, you should stop smoking and make it a priority.
33. Wake up earlier
Waking up earlier is such a great way to improve your life easily.
Implementing early morning routines will allow you to get more things done and achieve your goals much faster.
Implementing a productive morning routine is my favorite tip to get more things done and reach goals.
34. Weigh yourself regularly
Nobody likes to be weighed regularly. Really.
If you want to take care of your health and gain/lose weight, you must be brave enough to face the facts.
Burying our heads in the sand has never been an effective way to deal with a problem.
So pluck up the courage to weigh yourself regularly!
This is the first step to solving your weight problem.
35. Implement a night routine
Night routines are perfect for adding self-care rituals to your daily schedule.
Implementing a relaxing night routine is a simple but effective way to improve sleep quality and reflect.
If you are interested in the night routine I follow to unwind and stay motivated, here is a quick post about it!
36. Drink more water
Staying hydrated is essential to focus, improve your health, and give you glowing skin.
Plus, drinking more water is also a great way to eat less and control weight.
37. Eat less sugar
Talking about weight control … If you are willing to lose weight, you will have to eat less sugar.
Sugar can also negatively impact skin quality, which is another great reason to be mindful of your sugar intake.
38. Look for natural alternatives
This tip is probably one of my favorites for improving health.
There are so many natural alternatives for skincare, haircare, and medicine.
Looking for natural alternatives is a simple way to avoid allergens and improve your health day after day.
39. Move more
The last habit to improve your health is simply to be more active.
Walking and staying active have, of course, significant impacts on our physical and mental health.
Moving more and being more conscious about our environment (going outside, taking fresh air…) definitely have a calming effect.
If you struggle with finding motivation, going for a walk in nature will help you unwind and focus.
Family and Friends
40. Stay in touch
Staying in touch with your family and friends is now more important than ever due to the health crisis we have been dealing with for 2 years now.
In bad times, staying in touch with our loved ones is a great way to let them know they matter and can significantly impact their well-being.
41. Have family dinners
Organizing a family dinner from time to time is another simple way to check up on everyone and know what they are up to.
42. Organize a family trip
Depending on how close you are to your relatives, you can also organize a family trip to celebrate a special occasion.
Family trips are an excellent opportunity to share experiences and create memories, but they are just… not for everyone.
43. Cook dinner with your partner and kids
Cooking dinner with your partner and kids once a week is amazing to develop their curiosity and teach them the importance of healthy living.
It is also a great opportunity to teach them that cooking and cleaning are not just a woman’s responsibilities.
44. Meet with friends once a week
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t spent that much time with my friends since the pandemic hit.
We spent a lot of time talking on social apps but didn’t see each other much.
A simple habit to improve your life is to spend quality time with people again. And quality time means seeing them again in “real life”.
45. Listen actively
Active listening trains our empathy, and empathy is necessary to maintain good social relationships.
Listening also allows us to learn from the mistakes of others and encourages reflection.
Empathy can have reassuring and comforting effects on the person being listened to.
So while you may have a lot to say, always take the time to listen first.
This simple habit will have beneficial effects.
46. Celebrate achievements
We have certainly lost a habit of celebrating small victories since the first lockdowns.
It’s a simple way to encourage our loved ones to excel and spend quality time together.
Getting into the habit of celebrating achievements is a fantastic way to strengthen bonds!
47. Create new traditions
This habit is probably my favorite in this category. Creating new traditions is such a great way to make friendships last!
My best friend and I have known each other since 1995. We were 2 years old at the time.
Although we rarely see each other, we share several traditions that keep us close.
For instance, from November to Christmas eve, we are used to rewatching all Harry Potter movies because we grew up with them and watched them together in the first place.
Another tradition we share is to have dinner together on her birthday and go shopping on the 26th of December when winter sales start!
These small habits are so important to us that we call them traditions. No matter what happens in our lives, we never skip them, and this is what has kept us close for over 25 years now!
48. Organize a family activity once a month
Organizing a family activity once a month is a simple way to share quality time with your relatives and keep up with what’s happening in their lives.
It is also a great way to let them know they matter.
49. Organize a night out once a month
A night out is the perfect opportunity to unwind from work and have a fun time with friends.
If you make it a habit, it will become a moment you look forward to during the month.
50. Prioritize quality time
We tend to underestimate the power of spending quality time with our beloved ones.
Spending time face to face with family and friends is much more cheerful than connecting through social media.
These simple interactions can bring so much to our lives!
51. Smile more
You never get a second chance to make an excellent first impression. This is a reason to smile more. But did you know that smiling has an impact on your health?
When someone smiles at you, your brain’s reward center is activated, releasing dopamine, which makes you feel better.
When you are smiling, it sends a signal to your brain that releases neuropeptides. These tiny molecules have the ability to lower stress.
These are 2 additional reasons to smile more! 🙂
52. Get toned
Toning up and developing muscle mass will get you a harmonious body shape, but it will also help you fight against chronic back pain.
Working out 3 times a week for about 30 minutes is enough to start seeing results!
In addition to that, during and after a workout, your brain releases dopamine, making you feel much better.
53. Lose weight
If you are willing to improve your life and health, you might have to consider losing weight.
According to a study conducted by the WHO, in 2016, 39% of adults were overweight, and 13% were considered obese.
To lose weight, one needs to :
- Decrease energy intake from fats and sugars;
- Eat more fruit and vegetables, as well as whole grains and nuts; and
- Engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes per day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults).
54. Start a new skincare routine
Starting a new skincare routine is an easy way to improve your physical appearance. Make sure you use products that suit your skin type.
Also, keep in mind that in winter, your skincare routine should be different than in the summer because your skin has different needs throughout the year.
55. Match your accessories
Accessories can transform an outfit. If you are anything like me, you probably like to look well put together all the time.
To do so, matching your accessories is a must.
The easiest way to do it is to prepare them the night before when preparing your outfit.
56. Beware of your gesture
Your gesture is so important. This is something I learned at work. If you want to be more careful about your physical appearance, you need to consider your gesture.
Keep your head up, your back straight, and make eye contact with people. These simple actions will boost your confidence.
57. Rethink your style
When was the last time you emptied your wardrobe and went through everything in it?
If you want to work on your physical appearance and declutter your space, this is a task you should plan.
Doing so will allow you to make sure the items in your wardrobe match the image you want to reflect.
58. Wear the right clothes
Wearing the right clothes is important too.
That T-shirt might be cute, but you probably shouldn’t wear it at work. The easiest way to ensure you wear the right clothes on the right occasions is to split your wardrobe.
You can, for instance, imagine separating your work clothes from your more casual outfits. It is also a great way to save time when looking for the right outfit in the morning.
59. Get a new haircut
You should trim your hair at least every 3 months to ensure it stays healthy.
Your haircut can transform your face. Hence, if you haven’t changed your haircut or color in a while, asking for professional advice is a good investment to improve your physical appearance.
60. Take care of your hands
Taking care of your hands and nails is also essential to your general look. You can get a manicure and pedicure once a week, and you can do it yourself at home!
Remember that you should always leave your nails undone at least once a month to let them breathe and absorb care.
61. Take care of yourself
This habit is a general one, but taking care of yourself will have an impact on your physical appearance and how people see you.
Most importantly, taking care of yourself will improve your well-being and mental health. Self-care is important in all circumstances.
No matter your goals for this year, take a few minutes every day to take care of yourself and unwind. You will be even more successful in the long run.