Now more than ever, we all need to realize the power of health and wellness. Much of the way we feel is in our control and our health can be improved by building simple habits.
Below is a comprehensive list of healthy habits that can easily be added into your day.
The list is structured by category: Morning Routine, Evening Routine, Eating, Drinking, Workout, Recover, Work, Mindset, and Sleep.
Adding a few of these healthy habits to your day can drastically improve your life.
I recommend picking 3-5 of these healthy habits total and trying to add them in over the next month!
Morning Routine (Healthy Habits)
1. Drink Water Immediately Upon Waking
Upon Waking Your body has just gone 7-8 hours without any hydration, so make up for lost time by drinking 8-12 ounces of water immediately after waking up.
2. 60 seconds movement (push-up, air squats, etc)
Help naturally wake you body up by getting some basic movement in after waking up. Nothing intense needed, you can: Do pushups, air squats, jump in place, etc
4. Practice GratitudeStart the day by getting your mind in the right place by thinking of 3-5 things that you are thankful for. It can be anything from something basic (hot coffee) to larger scale ideas (being alive).
5. Contemplate Mortality
Remind yourself that no matter what happens, you will die one day. While it sounds morbid, it reminds you that you need to enjoy the day and not take things too seriously.
6. Get a Workout In
Mornings are one of the best times to get a great workout in. Before life gets in the way, prioritize yourself and get a workout in.
7. Spend 10 Minutes Outside & Get Sun Exposure
Walk outside and get sun exposure in the morning to help reset your circadian rhythm
8. Listen to a Mindset Podcast or Audiobook
Feed your brain with something positive. Listen to a Podcast (Recommendations: Lewis Howes, One Shot) or Audiobook.
9. Set designated bedtime
Go to bed at the same time each night and ensure you are getting enough sleep. Count back 7-8 hours from when you have to wake up and set a bedtime alarm.
10. Identify Top 3-5 Actions for the Next Day
Spend a few minutes and think through the highest leverage 3-5 actions for you to accomplish the next day. Write them down on a notecard or in a note on your phone.
11. Wear Blue Light Glasses
Prepare for bedtime by wearing a pair of Blue Light blocking glasses. Put them on 1-2 hours prior to bed.
12. Dim or Turn Off Lights 60 Minutes Prior to Bed
As the night winds down, turn off primary lights in your house. The goal should be to have your house get progressively darker prior to bedtime. Smart Lights can have this automated.
13. Read Physical Book
Spend 10-20 minutes in bed reading a physical book, preferably a fiction book. Read until you are ready to go to sleep.
14. Practice Gratitude
Just as you thought through a few things you were grateful for in the morning, bookend your day by thinking of 3-5 great things that happened to you that day.
15. Learn to Cook
One of the most important skills you can learn if you are attempting to be a healthier person is learning how to cook. Luckily it is not rocket science. If you can follow basic directions, you can cook.
16. Meal Prep Sunday
Spend 1-2 hours on Sunday cooking your lunches and dinners for the week. This can easily be batched on a Sunday afternoon. If the healthy meals are cooked, you will eat them during the week rather than making poor decisions.
17. Healthy Snacks Available for the Afternoon
It is easy to derail your health goals with mid-afternoon snacking. Be proactive and prepare for this by identifying a few healthy snacks and keep them at your house or work.
18. Count Macros w/ MyFitnessPal
Spend a few weeks learning exactly how much you are eating by tracking Macros (Protein, Carbs, and Fat) on the MyFitnessPal app. Odds are you are eating more or less than you think.
19. Weigh Your Foods w/ a Kitchen Scale
Use a basic kitchen scale to weigh your foods. This makes MyFitnessPal even more effective as you can track exactly the Macros you are eating each day.
20. Eat Enough Protein
Prioritize protein and ensure you are eating between 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Weighing your protein with the kitchen scale will make this super easy.
21. Remove Bad Food from the House
Don’t rely on willpower. Instead, remove junk food from your house. If it isn’t an option to eat, you will not eat it.
22. Remove Alcohol from the House
Just like with food, remove alcohol completely from the house. This will make casual/unplanned drinking impossible without going to the store.
23. Drink a Morning Smoothie Loaded with Fruits/Vegetables
Start the day with a win by having a healthy smoothie with fruits and vegetables. You can easily get half of your daily fruits/vegetables in a smoothie.
24. Drink a Greens Power
A Greens Powder supplement like Athletic Greens can be used as an insurance policy to ensure you are getting the correct amount of nutrients in your diet. This is especially effective while traveling.
25. Hire a Coach to Track Fitness
There are unlimited options online for virtual coaches that will program workouts for you. You can follow their standard programming or get custom workouts based on the equipment available to you. Hiring a coach also creates accountability and increases the likelihood that you will do the workouts.
26. Supplement or Take Vitamins
Make hitting your macros easier by supplementing with Protein. Vitamins such as Vitamin D, C, etc can also be taken to make up for deficiencies
27. Pack Lunches for Work
Avoid the temptation to go out to eat for lunch and pack something healthy. If you proactively prepared a healthy meal, the more likely you are to turn down the offer for fast food lunch.
28. Avoid Eating Out (1x Week Max)
The harsh reality is, it is nearly impossible to eat as healthy as you should while going out to eat. Reserve eating out for special occasions and try to limit eating out to 1-2x per week.
29. Try Intermittent Fasting
An easy way to control calorie intake is by practicing intermittent fasting. Start out with the 16-8 method and see if this works for you.
30. Choose a Style of Eating
Test what works for you by selecting one of the many eating styles (Paleo, Whole30 Keto) and see what works. Trial and error is key here.
31. Drink Enough Water (50 Ounces to 1 Gallon)
Stay hydrated and drink water throughout the day. Start as soon as you get up and drink primarily water. Shoot for a minimum of 50 ounces, but try to drink a gallon per day.
32. No Caffeine 8 Hours Prior to Sleep
Break the dependency on caffeine and try to consume the bulk of your caffeine in the AM.
33. Minimize Alcohol
While alcohol has a time and a place for most people, it is clear that it should be limited as much as possible. There are no positive benefits from alcohol and the downside is obvious. Limit drinking as much as you possibly can.
34. For Beer Lovers, Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer
In recent years, non-alcoholic beer has gained some momentum and there are many different craft NA brews that taste great. Check out Athletic Brewing for the best I have tried.
35. Don’t Drink Calories When Possible
Limit all drinking to water and coffee (ideally black) if possible. The easiest way to cut back overall calorie intake is by limiting what you drink (Alcohol, Soda, etc)
36. Stop Drinking Water 60 Min Prior to Bed
Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep and stop drinking water about an hour before you go to bed. This will prevent any unnecessary bathroom breaks in the middle of the night.
37. Buy a Large Water Bottle to Track Water Consumption
The easiest way to keep track of how much water you are drinking is by buying a larger water bottle and carrying it around with you for the day. I have a 40oz bottle that I know I need to drink 3x to hit my daily goal.
38. Proactively Schedule Workouts on Sunday
On Sunday, spend time thinking through the upcoming week and plan out how many workouts you are going to get in and also when they will be completed. Add them to your calendar so there is no excuse to miss the workouts.
39. Make Working Out Easier with a Home Gym
Building a home gym has been the single most impactful decision I have made in regards to improving my health. Any obstacle that I had previously (sitting in traffic waiting to get to the gym, etc) has now been removed and I have no excuse to miss a workout.
39. For Home Gyms, Start with the Basics
When COVID hit in March 2020, I went all in on the idea of a home gym and spent thousands of dollars. While I love my home gym, the reality is you DON’T need to spend a ton up front to get started. A few kettlebells, dumbbells, and a bench can get the job done.
40. Try to Workout Outdoors
An unexpected and unintentional impact of creating a home gym for me was the power of working out outside. Most mornings I watch the sun rise as I am working out and naturally it puts me in a great mood. We can all benefit from spending more time outside, so why not do this while also getting your daily workout in?
41. Find a Workout You Enjoy Doing (Trail Running, Hiking, Lifting etc)
The more you like doing something, the easier it is going to be to do. Why hate your life on an elliptical if you find out you LOVE playing basketball? Experiment with different things and you are bound to find something you look forward to doing.
42. Variety is Key (Running, Lifting, Swimming, Classes, etc)
Variety is the spice of life and also the key to getting fit. I try to work 4-5 different workout styles into my week so there is a high amount of variety. This includes Running, Lifting, Crossfit, Rucking, Trail Running, etc.
43. Hire a Coach
Hiring a coach is extremely accessible to most people and is actually not that expensive all things considered. You can hire a coach online that will build custom workouts for you and also hold you accountable.
44. Try a Gym with a Community
If you struggle to workout because of accountability, try looking into local gyms that have workout classes with groups. Many of these gyms (ex: Crossfit) have passionate members and much of the focus is on community.
45. Prioritize Sleep
The #1 way to recover is to prioritize sleep (both quality and quantity). You should do everything in your power to get at least 7 hours of sleep. The more you sleep, the better you will perform in all aspects of your life and the higher output you will get.
46. Buy a Foam Roller, Lacrosse Ball, and Stretching Rope/Band
There are a ton of mobility and recovery products on the market, but it does not have to be complicated. Just like outfitting your home gym, start with the basics. Buy a simple foam roller, a lacrosse ball, and a stretching rope (a towel can also be substituted for this).
47. Try Mobility App (GoWOD, The Ready State)
Mobility has been a big issue for me, so I have focused on improving my flexibility/mobility. I have used both GoWOD and The Ready State in the past and both are great options. I would say that GoWOD is probably more suited for the average person where The Ready State is more focused on performance for athletes.
48. Do Yoga
Yoga is a great alternative workout that can be done on off days or low impact workout days. There are unlimited options for Yoga classes on YouTube or you can go to a local yoga studio.
49. Wear Whoop Band or Oura Ring
Performance tech is a huge trend and one of the leading use cases is monitoring recovery and wellness. Both Whoop and Oura track several key metrics (Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability, Sleep) 24/7 while also tracking workouts. This data is aggregated and you get performance feedback as well as recommendations on recovery.
Heat Therapy is one of the best ways to recover and studies show that the sauna can have profound impacts on your health. Many gyms offer saunas as part of their membership and there are also dedicated sauna studios that you can join.
51. Cold Exposure
Going hand in hand with heat therapy, cold therapy can also positively impact your wellbeing as well as recovery. While not everyone has access to a cold plunge, you can get started for free by taking a cold shower. Depending on where you live this may only work in winter, but take your normal shower and end with 30-60 seconds with the water as cold as it will go.
52. Dedicate a Day to Recovery
If all of the recovery habits seem like too much to take on in your busy life, why not schedule a day of the week specifically for recovery. As an example, Sunday could be used to do a mobility workout, go to the sauna, foam roll, and take a cold shower.
53. Lunch Break Walk Outside
If you are anything like me, you get sucked into work early in the morning and before you know it, it is nighttime. Try proactively scheduling breaks in your day and going for a quick walk outside. This can be easily done on lunch break or even try taking a work call while going on a walk.
54. Minimize Email Before/After Work
Instead of obsessively checking your email 24/7, create rules in your life in which you will not check email before/after a certain time. For most of the work year, I try to not check email before 7am and after 7pm,
55. Minimize Meetings When Possible
The corporate world completely revolves around non-stop meetings, many of which are not adding any value. Can you eliminate certain meetings and get the same result by sending an email? While you cannot control all meetings, you can control the ones that you are scheduling.
56. Use a Standing Desk
Studies show the harm of sitting and have compared it to smoking cigarettes. While we spend most of the day sitting at work, is it possible to get a standing desk? If so, try to dedicate at least an hour of standing instead of sitting.
57. 5 Minute Mobility Session (Forearms, Triceps)
Just like it is great to take a break and walk outside, can you take 5 minutes for yourself and do basic mobility movements? Try to focus on muscles that are especially impacted when sitting at a desk all day (forearms, neck, triceps, etc).
58. Journal in the Morning
One of the best ways to clear your mind is by getting your thoughts on paper. No need to structure or attempt to write the next great novel. Instead, use the paper to get out all of your thoughts and concerns. Always end the journaling session with identifying a few options you have to fix the problem that is currently stressing you.
59. Spend Time Outdoors (Trail running, hiking, etc)
The idea of spending time outdoors has been covered in some of the other sections (Workout outside, walk outside on lunch breaks), but should be something that is prioritized. One idea is to spend 1-2 hours on weekend mornings either going for a trail run or for a hike. Ideally do this without headphones and instead focus on the task at hand and being in nature.
60. Practice Breathwork
The idea of breathwork practice became popular in the last several years primarily because of Wim Hof. These are breathing exercises that challenge you physically and also impact you mentally/emotionally. Outside of Wim Hof, there are several apps such as Breathwrk that can be used for breathwork practices.
61. Delete Social Media or Set Time Limits
At this point, deep down inside I think we all know and understand that social media is probably not always good for us. Intentionally create time limitations on how much time you are allowed to spend on social media or delete it all together.
62. Read a Self Help Book
Feeding your brain with positivity and growth mindset ideas is a great way to take yourself to the next level. Reading self help books can open your mind to new ideas and also show the steps that successful people took before you. Whatever your goal is, there is a self help book that can help you achieve it.
63. Listen to a Self Help Podcast
Just like with the self help books, there is an entire genre of Podcasts that are focused on improving oneself. For some people it is easier to consume through audio, so try listening to a few podcasts that will spark your motivation. I recommend The Tim Ferriss Show, Lewis Howes: The School of Greatness, and The Darren Woodson Show/One Shot.
64. Create a Year Defining Word
The more we can be intentional about where we want to go, the easier it is to achieve goals. One strategy is to identify a word or phrase that defines your entire year. You can fallback on this word when trying to determine what your next steps are and where you are going.
65. Create a Mantra That Motivates You
Are there any mantras or taglines that motivate you? If you are reading self help books or listening to podcasts, you are likely to hear some of these. Focusing on these each morning can be a good reminder of where you are going. For me, I like the idea of “No Zero Days” and “Plan Your Dive, Dive Your Plan”.
66. Take a Cold Shower
Cold therapy was mentioned previously in the health section, but it also certainly needs to be discussed in the mindset section. Let’s face it, getting in cold water is never fun. It is something you can easily avoid if you want to. But there is power in overcoming that mindset and jumping in (literally).
67. Target 7 Hours of Sleep
We all need to prioritize sleep as one of the most important parts of our health/wellness routine. Do everything you can to adjust your life schedule so you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
68. Sleep in a Cold Room
Test out sleeping in colder environments and see if this improves the overall quality of your sleep. This can be done by adjusting your thermostat down a few degrees as you get into bed. If you really want to take this to the next level, you can check out the ChiliPad which is a temperature controlled sleep device driven by water.
69. Use iPhone “Sleep” Alarm for Peaceful Wake Up
The iPhone has a native “Sleep” setting in which you can set your bedtime as well as wake time. If you use this, the alarm clock is extremely soothing and gradually gets louder. Instead of jolting yourself out of bed with your alarm clock, try this.
70. Do Not Disturb on iPhone
Prioritize your sleep by using the “Do Not Disturb” function on your iPhone which will silence all notifications. This is part of the “Sleep” setting referenced in the previous healthy habit. Settings on this can be customized to allow certain notifications or people to break through the “Do Not Disturb”.
71. Use ChiliPad and Whoop to optimize sleep with Tech
Performance Tech has been referenced on other healthy habits through ChiliPad, Whoop, and Oura Ring. These devices use technology to track your wellbeing and also show you which habits have the largest impact on your sleep (positive or negative). If you want to level up your sleep, these devices offer amazing data points for you to adjust habits from.
72. Maintain Circadian Rhythm (Wake up/Sleep at same time)
If you are having issues with always being tired in the morning, you should consider creating a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Your body will adjust to this and it will become your natural rhythm over time. This can be hard to accomplish on the weekends, but it is 100% worth the effort if you are struggling with waking up each day.
73. Make Your Room DARK
Try to strategically setup your bedroom to be as dark as possible at night. Avoid any sort of lights in your room (even clock lights) so that you can peacefully sleep throughout the night. Invest in some blackout blinds or even a sleep mask will help with this.
74. Upgrade Your Sleep Environment
If you are having issues with sleep, upgrading your mattress and sleep environment (sheets, pillow, etc) can help improve overall sleep quality. Consider investing in a better mattress or upgrading your pillow/sheets.
75. Listen to Sleep Sounds
Help yourself fall asleep by listening to sleep or nature sounds while you turn in for the night. Any streaming music service offers plenty of options for spa music or sleep sounds and there are dozens of apps that help with this.
Building Healthy Habits
Building healthy habits is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your life.
My hope is that each person that reads this implements at least one into their daily routines
I will continue to build this list over time and have the best list of powerful habits on the internet!