The first 2 weeks of the coronavirus shut down my life resembled Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in the movie Step Brothers. I was watching tv all day long, eating frozen pizzas and wings, and glued to news, Facebook, and Netflix. Then, I realized if I was going to survive the quarantine, however long it lasts, I needed to structure my day with good habits and routines. These are the habits I’ve developed over the last several weeks that have helped me not only survive, but thrive.
1. Waking Up At The Same Time Everyday
I’ll save you from reading numerous self-help books. All the smart people, psychologists, and doctors agree that waking up at the same time everyday is absolutely essential for being happy and productive, regardless of what time you go to bed. 6AM, 7AM, 8AM, 9AM…it doesn’t matter as long as it’s the same time everyday.
2. Drink 5 Bottles of Water Everyday
Every morning I take 5 bottles of water out of my refrigerator and set them on the kitchen counter. I know I need to drink all of them by the end of the day. It’s a simple visual way to make sure I’m drinking more than enough water everyday. The problem with measuring water intake is that most doctors, nutritionists, or websites recommend numbers that don’t mean anything to a normal person – no one knows what 125 ounces of water looks like. Keep it simple.
3. Walk 1 Mile Everyday (without your phone)
I was really bummed when my gym closed, but the silver lining was that I got back into the habit of walking outside. There are dozens of benefits from going for walks. I believe the 2 most important benefits of walking right now are:
- Walking gives you time to think and process emotions. The smartest and wisest people from history went on daily walks. This is a crazy time, and being able to process your thoughts and emotions is mega important.
- Walking improves your mood. Getting away from the 24-hour news cycle, going outside, breathing fresh air, and seeing the sunshine will make you happy. In turn, you’ll be feel better and be more productive.
4. Make 1 Phone Call Everyday
I have made it a daily habit to call at least one person everyday, and it’s been incredible. I have reconnected with old college roommates, cousins, and co-workers. This is a great time to reconnect with family and friends. It used to be weird to actually call someone, and now it is welcomed. You’ll make someone’s day and you’ll get to have a meaningful conversation with a real human.
5. Purge 1 Thing Everyday
I’ve accumulated a wide assortment of junk through the years that has cluttered every square inch of my living space and completely filled my closets and garage. I have already cleaned and organized my living space multiple times during quarantine, but that’s not enough. I want to live a simplified life, and that means owning less stuff. My new habit it throwing away at least 1 thing everyday. It’s turned into a fun daily activity of looking around for one thing to toss.
6. Eat 1 Vegetable Everyday
The one thing that every diet and that all dietitians and nutritionists can agree on is that vegetables are good for you. It’s a miracle that there’s something we can all agree on when it comes to food. This simple habit has slowly transformed my diet…from eating only processed junk to more and more natural foods that make me feel better. If you’re like me, one veggie a day will lead to lots of veggies everyday.
7. Read 1 Thing Everyday
I have 8 screens in my home. It’s a barrage of texts, news, press conferences, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and endless notifications. I have a stack of books that I’ve been meaning to read for years. I also get the Wall Street Journal everyday. I’ve started the habit of reading one thing for a few minutes everyday…quit often a few minutes turns into 30 minutes or an hour.
Make Your Own Atomic Habits!
I’m a huge James Clear fan. His new book Atomic Habits is THE book on developing great habits. Here’s a video of him explaining more about the importance of building habits into your life: