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8 Habits You Can Cultivate to Make Your Life Easier

woman writing in her kitlife planner
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I’ve got a theory: The “wrong side of the bed” is merely a state of awareness. It’s waking up with the realization that we’ve got lunches to pack, children to corral, hair and makeup to do, meetings to attend, deadlines to meet, and our feet haven’t even touched the ground yet. Waking up with this type of stress is a day changer (and not in a good way.) If angst and negativity are the very first emotions you feel in the morning it’s likely to be all downhill from there! And no one, I mean no one, wants to feel “behind” before they’ve even had their first cup-o-joe.

If you ever feel like you aren’t getting enough accomplished in the day, that the wrong side of the bed is the only side you’re waking up on, and that you’ve got a mile-long list of chores that you can’t get ahead of, building a set of specific habits into your day may be your ticket to paradise. Cultivating the right habits not only allows us to get more done in our days, but it and can also make us feel like we’ve really got our ‘ish together.

It's Never Too Late to Get Your Ish Together

If you ask me, I’d say habits have been given a bad rap.  Often, we relate the idea of habits to the bad ones we host. Some of us may even think that habits (or the act of breaking them) require an enormous amount of self-discipline. But I’ve learned that one of the incredible powers of cultivating good habits is that once they’re in motion, they require very little effort at all.

Get Yourself Started

I’m the kind of person that feels that anything is achievable once I have a plan. If I have enough spirit to write my ideas down – it’s very likely I’m going to accomplish them. (Surprise, surprise – I’m one of the creators of the kitlife planner – writing things down is what we do!). So, don’t be taken aback when I say the start to positive change is to find a table, spread out some supplies (including this Free Printable for Building Habits) and get to work on crafting a plan.

Woman with Supplies gathered working on a plan for habits

What Habits Will Work For You?

Here’s the funny thing about habits… The most valuable thing I can tell you is that you need them – and you’re just going to have to believe me on that one. I can even provide a framework (don’t worry – I’m about to) that I’m confident will lead to success, but, I simply cannot tell you which specific habits you need.  This, my friend, is entirely up to you. And after all, you know you better than anyone else. So, you do you.

So why do you need habits? Benefits aplenty… but one of the best? Increasing happiness as a result of resolving our pain-points.

I’d like to recommend that you ask yourself a few questions, and of course, write down your responses. You may even discover pain-points you didn’t even realize existed.

  1. What times of the day are you the most frustrated? Can you determine why?
  2. What tasks do you dislike the most?
  3. What do you find yourself constantly complaining about?

Now, the problem solving comes into play. What can you do to resolve these pain-points? A little reverse engineering can go a long way.

  • If you dread that transition time after your kids get out of school – can you prepare after-school snacks in advance to make things easier on yourself?
  • If cooking puts you in a negative tizzy, could you prepare crock pot meals several times a week to relieve that responsibility?
  • If you cringe at the site of a sink full of dishes when you wake up in the morning, can you take just 5 minutes before bed to tidy the kitchen?

A fair caution – habits can only resolve the pain-points that are within our control. A new set of habits may not make your boss nicer – and surely a new set of habits won’t pay your cell phone bill. But perhaps choosing the right habits WILL put you in such a good mood that your boss, and AT&T bill, will be a bit more bearable.

If you’re anything like me, fitting in additional tasks can seem like an impossible chore. Many of us already feel maxed out and the last thing we want to do is cut into our beloved leisure time. But, allotting just 10-15 minutes in the morning and at night will allow you to feel more balanced, more accomplished and will have you waking up on the “right side of the bed” each and errryy day. We like to call this method Head Start Habits and we’ve been perfecting, evaluating, reevaluating, and loving ours for years.

The idea with Head Start Habits is to sandwich your day with a set of intentional tasks that allow the middle of the day (the bulk of course) to go a bit smoother. If you can wrap up your day, close-up shop, spend a few moments resolving those pain-points we talked about –  you’ll sleep knowing you’ve already got a head start for the day ahead.

Woman holding coffee in a travel mug

Give These Habits a Try

You’ll find that even the smallest of tasks have a noticeable ripple effect. Here are a few samples of Head Start Habits we love:

  • Prep the Coffee: Because, priorities.
  • Pack Lunches and Prepare Snacks: Choosing to put the food we want into our bodies can give us more energy and focus throughout each day.
  • Layout your Outfit: No use choosing an outfit in the dark. Feeling good on the outside allows us to feel good on the inside, too.
  • Pack your Gym Bag: Having your gym bag packed and ready to go gives you one less excuse to avoid workin’ on your fitness.
  • Tidy the House: Wipe the counters, empty the sink and put those shoes away. As Gretchen Rubin says; “Outer order equals inner calm.
  • Empty the Dishwasher: Nothing like going to put your breakfast plate away to be greeted by a load of dirty dishes…if you can, run and empty that dishwasher before your head hits the pillow.
  • Review Daily Accomplishments: Pat yourself on the back for the tasks you’ve accomplished and move all open tasks into the days to come in your planner.
  • Outline the Day Ahead: Review existing appointments, assess your agenda, add any new items and then build your outline for a productive tomorrow.

Imagine what it will feel like to be greeted with a piping hot pot of coffee already brewing, an outfit already laid out, lunches already packed and your day already pre-planned in your Daily Planner.  I bet you’ll find the sky more blue, the grass more green – and the birds happily chirping. And in no time at all you’ll be finding that the right side of the bed is the only side for you!

All images courtesy of KitLife

Last modified on March 26th, 2018

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