In life, it can be easy to fall into the trap of seeing only the big picture. But the truth is, we are the things we do. That’s why cultivating healthy daily habits is so important. If you’ve been wondering about which life skills are most important to pass down to your kids, here’s a list of 45 daily habits that will set them up for success.
1. Wake Up Early
It’s easy to get into the bad habit of going to bed late and waking up late. Making it a priority to rise early and start your day on the right foot can help you stay more productive and efficient within your daily routine.
2. Exercise Regularly
The body and mind both benefit tremendously from routine physical activity. Just like inertia states: a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Therefore, being intentional about incorporating exercise into one’s normal schedule is crucial.
3. Meditate or Practice Mindfulness
The hustle and bustle of our daily schedules can be overwhelming. It’s a good idea to re-center the mind by taking time to practice some quiet, contemplative meditation from time to time. Journaling or walking can also be powerful mindfulness practices.
4. Eat a Balanced Breakfast
As the name suggests, breakfast is the meal that helps our body “break” the “fast” that we endured all night long. Therefore, the first food we ingest should be nutritious and full of energy our bodies can put to use.
5. Plan Your Day
Without a structured plan in place, it can be easy to squander the hours away by scrolling on our phones or watching TV. A rigid structure is not necessary for success, but planning out a few activities and responsibilities to take care of within the day can help you stay on track.
6. Prioritize Your Tasks
If left to our own devices, we will often do the fun things first and procrastinate on the important responsibilities we know need to get done. By getting these big tasks out of the way first, we can cut down on stress and ensure that we aren’t falling behind on key obligations.
7. Stay Hydrated
Water is crucial for so many daily processes our bodies carry out. It can be easy to forget to replenish our water levels by regularly rehydrating ourselves, but by keeping a dedicated water bottle filled and close by, we can remind ourselves to keep sipping throughout the day.
8. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is not about making yourself feel guilty because you know other people have it worse than you. Instead, real gratitude comes from a genuine appreciation for the blessings life has bestowed upon you and the peace that comes with that realization.
9. Read or Learn Something New
No matter how old we get, it is best to always remain a student of life. Even if you lived for 1000 years, you couldn’t possibly learn a fraction of the knowledge the world has to offer.
10. Spend Quality Time With Loved Ones
We often get so caught up in our daily responsibilities that we let our connections with friends and family sit on the back burner. However, let us remember the reasons why we work in the first place: to provide a better future for ourselves and our loved ones.
11. Stay Organized
Teaching children to stay organized is investing in their futures. Not only is it important to keep one’s personal space clean and tidy for mental well-being, but organization skills will also help them in academic and business settings.
12. Limit Screen Time
Nobody’s perfect: we all like to scroll or binge-watch every now and then. However, by teaching kids the joy of spending time outside or learning new skills that aren’t tied to their phones, you can nurture a healthy love in them for the things in life that don’t come on screens.
13. Practice Good Posture
Bad posture is one of the hardest habits to break after you’ve been standing the wrong way for years. Help your children stay healthy by teaching them the proper way to stand, walk, and sit when they’re young.
14. Take Short Breaks
If children think that they have to complete tasks all in one sitting, then obligations such as chores and homework can quickly start to seem overwhelming. Teaching kids to take short breaks helps them enjoy a mental reset and work more efficiently when they get back on task.
15. Declutter Your Space
One of the easiest ways to teach kids this skill is to fill them in on the power of picking up as they go. If they took something out of the cabinet, they should put it back before leaving the room. Simple rules like this can make a huge difference in their ability to declutter.
16. Set Goals
Without goals to strive towards, life can start to feel flat and directionless. Teach your children to set both big and small goals for the best results.
17. Focus On One Task at a Time
Humans aren’t nearly as good at multitasking as we’d like to believe. As the old saying goes: if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
18. Stay Positive
There are many things in life that can easily make us sad, mad, or frustrated. Teaching children to have a positive outlook on life can completely change the mental headspace that they exist in. Be sure to emphasize that, while you can’t change the things life throws at you, you can change your attitude.
19. Maintain a Daily To-Do List
We’ve all had those days where we can’t remember getting a single important task done in the 24 hours we had. By practicing the skill of making to-do lists, children can get in the rhythm of making a plan and following through on it.
20. Review Your Finances
The older you get, the more money management skills will come into play. As children grow into teenagers, it’s important to teach them financial skills such as budgeting, saving, and perhaps even investing.
21. Express Love and Appreciation
Many people who look back on their lives from old age regret that they didn’t take every chance to spread all the love and positivity that they could have. Expressing appreciation is a muscle that must be intentionally flexed if this skill is to grow.
22. Practice Deep Breathing
Breathing is a subconscious activity we partake in every moment of each day, but how often do we take the time to stop and practice intentional breathing? Deep, patient breathing exercises can do wonders for the spirit and soul.
23. Stretch or Do Yoga
Flexibility exercises such as yoga are extremely beneficial because they make a positive impact on both the mind and body. It’s always a good idea to keep one’s body limber and agile no matter how old you are.
24. Enjoy Nature or Fresh Air
These days, many activities that we partake in take place indoors. From school to work and even extracurricular activities, we are often cooped up inside. Getting outdoors and basking in the beauty of nature is a great way to reconnect with the earth and enjoy a mental reset.
25. Listen Actively
Listening is a skill that one must actively work on. Everybody likes to talk about themselves, but how many people can say that they are genuinely attentive when it comes to listening?
26. Limit Processed Foods
There’s no shame in enjoying a delicious bag of potato chips or a can of bubbly soda from time to time, but if your children can get in the habit of enjoying healthy, nutritious foods at a young age, it will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
27. Reflect on Your Day
Life moves fast, and it can be easy to feel pressured to keep moving forward without ever taking the opportunity to pause. Reflection and introspection can help us become the best versions of ourselves, so it never hurts to look back on one’s day.
28. Limit Caffeine Intake
Many people quickly become addicted to their morning cup of coffee as they grow up. If you can teach your kids to enjoy an occasional coffee without venturing into the territory of excessive caffeine intake, you can help them develop a healthy relationship with this popular substance.
29. Avoid Negative Self-Talk
The inner monologue that happens within our heads can have a huge impact on our quality of life. Teach kids to talk to themselves as they would speak to a friend: with patience, understanding, and grace.
30. Manage Stress
Just like money management is a skill we all need to work on, stress management is also an acquired talent. By helping children develop stress management strategies that help them decompress during tough times, we can set them up to be balanced and stable adults.
31. Plan Healthy Meals
Without meal prepping or planning meals ahead, it can be easy to be tempted by convenient options like fast food. The skill of planning healthy meals and securing the ingredients to make a wide variety of dishes is an important one to have.
32. Foster a Growth Mindset
Once somebody gets the idea in their head that they can’t improve anymore, they will be doomed to stagnate forever. One of the most valuable mindsets someone can bestow upon their child is the belief that growth is always possible.
33. Avoid Multitasking
How many times does multitasking actually turn out in our best favor? There’s a reason why we shouldn’t text and drive, or watch TV while we’re trying to get work done. Teaching our youth to give their full focus to the task at hand is key to their success.
34. Connect With Friends
You can’t choose your family, but you do choose the friends who you surround yourself with. However, it takes conscious effort to upkeep the quality of a friendship, which means reaching out, checking in, and scheduling plans.
35. Show Kindness to Others
The most important quality one can have is being compassionate. Let us teach our children to be kind, understanding, and empathetic to both their friends and strangers no matter what the status of those people may be.
36. Create a Bedtime Routine
Nailing down a consistent bedtime routine can help nurture a healthy sleep schedule. A good bedtime routine should include brushing one’s teeth, washing the face, and anything else that helps the individual wind down.
37. Practice Time Management
Time management skills are essential from a very young age. They help kids keep track of their chores, they help students stay on top of their assignments, and you can’t succeed in the workforce without them.
38. Tackle Challenging Tasks First
Often, the challenges that intimidate us and cause us to procrastinate are not nearly as bad as we imagine them to be. If kids learn to get the big responsibilities out of the way first, they’ll be better equipped to handle life’s challenges in an efficient and effective manner.
39. Stay On Top of Hygiene
Hygiene may seem like a basic skill to teach, but if children aren’t taught how to properly wash and groom themselves, it can have a negative impact on the rest of their lives. Be sure to emphasize the importance of daily habits such as regular bathing and the frequent use of deodorant as a good start to this skill.
40. Be Punctual
Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and even the best of us can’t be perfectly punctual 24/7. However, it’s not a good idea to make a habit of being tardy. If taught the correct time management skills, children should be able to develop a reputation for being punctual.
41. Practice Good Communication
So many conflicts in life happen because of failures in interpersonal communication. To avoid raising a child who becomes aggressive or completely shuts down during arguments later in life, teach them healthy ways to explain their feelings.
42. Embrace Simplicity
Frequently in life, it isn’t the big and fancy things that truly make us happy. A simple life in which one contributes to their community and relies upon a small but tight group of loved ones is often the most fulfilling existence.
43. Celebrate Small Wins
When kids adopt the belief that nothing they ever accomplish is good enough unless they get first place, their self-esteem can take a huge dive. It’s important to teach children how to celebrate each small victory they accomplish, no matter how insignificant it may seem in the grand scheme of things.
44. Prioritize Self-Care
It’s easy to get caught up in taking care of the people around us. Sometimes it’s harder to take a step back and look at our own needs. Self-care is a skill that one should never feel guilty or selfish for practicing.
45. Wind Down Before Bed
Using bright screens right before bedtime can be detrimental to a healthy sleep cycle. Winding down by meditating or reading a good book can be an effective way to calm the body and mind as one prepares for slumber.
Positive Daily Habits
The positive daily habits included in this list serve as a great starting point for your child’s education. In fact, people of any age can benefit from the wisdom of these rules. You don’t have to teach your child all 45 in a single day, but sprinkle these habits throughout their upbringing and you won’t regret it once you see these daily habits pay off.