5 (Completely Free) Habits to Build a Better Life Today

Move over, New Year, New Me. We endorse (read: highly encourage) a mid-year refresh. In fact, there’s no better time to take small, impactful steps toward a healthier, happier you. After all, today’s habits are tomorrow’s health. And good news! These habits are as budget-friendly (or free) as they come. With that in mind, we’re exploring five practical yet essential practices that will transform your life. If you’ve ever wondered how to have a good day—consistently—hit scroll. 

P.S. Circumstances will never be perfect. Rather than wait for that golden moment to change your habits, just choose something (small or significant!) to implement today. Before you know it, you’ll have transformed your well-being. Cheers to seizing July’s momentum.

Edie Horstman

Edie Horstman

Edie is the founder of nutrition coaching business, Wellness with Edie. With her background and expertise, she specializes in women’s health, including fertility, hormone balance, and postpartum wellness.

The Power of Habit

At Camille Styles, we love our daily habits. There’s no denying their profound impact on our lives. They’ve calmed our minds, improved our creative flow, made us more resilient, and helped us pause in the midst of our busy schedules. But what is it about habits that make them so powerful? For starters, our daily habits/rituals shape our future. They create a foundation for long-term well-being and success. Plus, by consistently practicing positive behaviors, we train our minds and bodies to operate more efficiently and effectively.

Lauren Ireland meditating

A Positive Ripple Effect

These habits—be it regular exercise, mindful eating, or consistent sleep patterns—have an incredible ripple effect. They translate into everything from improved physical health to mental clarity and emotional stability. Eventually, these consistent, daily actions lead to dramatic transformations. Moreover, the discipline and structure provided by healthy habits help us navigate challenges with resilience. Without a doubt, they enhance our overall quality of life. And the research proves it. 

Woman reading on couch.

How to Get Back Into a Routine

We all know good habits reap countless rewards. But if you’ve veered off track, committing (back) to them can feel like climbing Mount Everest. We get it. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of getting into routine—or for that matter, starting a new one—here’s where to begin.

  1. Assess your current circumstances. Identify what aspects of your routine need improvement and what changes you want to make. Be realistic!
  2. Set clear goals. Define specific, achievable objectives for your new routine to give yourself direction and motivation. Take a peek at our steps to make your goals actually happen.
  3. Start small. Introduce one or two small changes to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to ensure consistency. For example, go for a five-minute walk after you eat lunch and commit to that for one week.
  4. Create a schedule. Plan your day with designated slots for your new habits, ensuring they fit seamlessly into your daily life. Pop them into your calendar to hold yourself accountable.
  5. Stay accountable. Speaking of accountability, track your progress and consider sharing your goals with a friend. You can also use a habit tracker for added accountability.
  6. Be patient and flexible. Allow yourself an adjustment period, and be open to tweaking your routine as needed! Perfectionism isn’t the goal here. Progress is.
Woman wearing loungewear drinking coffee.

All About Habit Stacking

When it comes to getting back into routine, one of the most effective ways to do this is via habit stacking. It’s a game-changer. Habit stacking is a powerful technique where you build new habits by linking them to existing ones. In turn, creating a chain of positive actions. This method leverages the momentum of your established routines. And this helps you integrate new behaviors more seamlessly. For instance, if you already have a habit of brewing coffee every morning, you can stack a new habit, like breathwork, with it. Or before you take your first bite of dinner, express gratitude for one thing that happened earlier that day.

Why does habit stacking work?

If you’re skeptical, hear us out. Habit stacking works because it makes it easier to adopt new behaviors. In essence, it reduces the mental effort required to build new habits—which, as mentioned, can feel taxing. However, by associating new habits with familiar cues, habit stacking requires less cognitive strain. It’s easier to remember whatever new habit you’re implementing! As you consistently perform these actions, positive change is inevitable.

Woman drinking smoothie on balcony.

Reality Check: Ditch These Habits

Before we dive into habits that support your well-being, what habits aren’t serving you? Of course, this looks different for all of us (we each have our vices). But generally speaking, habits to ditch include the following:

  • Procrastination: Delaying tasks increases stress and reduces productivity. Fortunately, we have the cure.
  • Negative self-talk: This undermines your confidence and mental well-being. Constantly comparing yourself to others does this too!
  • Overeating junk food: This doesn’t do your physical health, energy levels, hormones, or digestion any favors. Use the notion of “crowding out” these foods and replacing them with more nourishing ones.
  • Excessive screen time: If you know, you know—this reduces productivity and affects sleep quality. Consider a dopamine detox by swapping your phone for a page-turning book.
  • Skipping exercise: This negatively impacts everything from sleep to blood sugar balance. It’s so important to find movement you enjoy.
  • Impulsive spending: This is leads to financial stress and insecurity. If you currently subscribe to a slew of retailer newsletters, hit unsubscribe. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Neglecting sleep: Affects mood, cognitive function, and overall health.
  • Multitasking: For most of us, this decreases efficiency and increases errors. Time batch, baby.
  • Holding grudges: This doesn’t do you (or your family, friends, or coworkers) any favors.
Sanne Vloet journaling.

How to Have a Good Day: 5 Essential Habits to Practice

Once you recognize behaviors that aren’t serving you, you can begin breaking unhealthy patterns (by replacing them with feel-good habits). Elevate your well-being with the following daily practices. Spoiler alert: these all reduce inflammation, fuel proper digestion, improve your self-worth, and so much more. 

1. Sunlight

If you’re like me, you love the sensation of warm sun on your skin. I crave it—particularly in the middle of a Colorado winter. 

The Benefits: Sunlight is a powerful, natural source of energy and vitality. We need it! Spending time in the sun is a mood-booster, enhances vitamin D levels, balances blood sugar, and regulates your circadian rhythm. It’s key for feeling more alert during the day and encouraging better sleep at night.

How to Implement: Aim to spend at least 15-30 minutes outside each day, preferably in the morning. Whether it’s a walk in the park, sitting on your balcony, or simply opening a window to let the light in, finding small ways to embrace sunlight can make a big difference.

2. Movement

Movement is essential for maintaining physical health, hormone balance, and stable blood sugar levels. To keep your body active and engaged, incorporate more standing and walking into your daily routine!

The Benefits: Frequent movement improves posture, increases energy levels, and enhances your overall physical well-being. It also supports mental clarity and reduces the risk of chronic diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Plus, it’s the secret sauce to mitigating the afternoon slump.

How to Implement: Set a reminder to stand up and move every hour. Take short walks during breaks, use a standing desk (or better yet, a treadmill desk!), or have a post-dinner dance party in your living room. 

3. Quality Sleep

Quality sleep is the foundation of a good day. Practicing good sleep hygiene—such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a restful environment, and avoiding stimulants before bed—can drastically improve your sleep quality.

The Benefits: Good sleep enhances cognitive function, mood, and overall physical health. It allows your body to repair and rejuvenate, leading to more energy and productivity during the day.

How to Implement: Establish a consistent bedtime routine. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and create a relaxing pre-sleep ritual, such as reading a book or practicing meditation, to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down.

4. Minimally-Processed Foods

It’s not secret that consuming whole, natural foods nourishes your body with essential nutrients and helps maintain optimal health. In essence, minimally processed foods are those that are as close to their natural state as possible. These include avocados, sweet potatoes, eggs, almonds, herbs, beans, etc.

The Benefits: Eating natural and organic foods improves everything from digestion to longevity. It’s also the catalyst for maintaining a healthy weight, reducing inflammation, and providing the nutrients your body needs to function optimally. Aim to choose organic options when your budget allows.

How to Implement: First and foremost, stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. That’s where you’ll find fewer processed foods (and more produce). Second, read labels. If you do buy packaged items, look for products with a short list of recognizable ingredients. Ultimately, simple swaps, like opting for fresh produce (a banana and a handful of walnuts) over processed snacks, can make a big difference.

Pro tip: as you transition to eating more whole ingredients and fewer ultra-processed foods, make sure to salt your meals appropriately! Your new meals may taste bland(er) because your palate is used to high sodium in most processed foods.

5. Mental Health

Last but not least (but an easy one to neglect): your mental health. It’s crucial for a balanced, happy life. Fortunately, a few minutes go a long way. Practices like meditation, breathwork, and listening to empowering podcasts help manage stress, improve focus, and foster a positive mindset. 

The Benefits: Prioritizing mental health enhances emotional resilience, reduces anxiety, and promotes a sense of inner peace. All things we love! Additionally, these practices can improve your overall mental clarity and help you navigate daily challenges with greater ease.

How to Implement: Dedicate a few minutes each day to mental health practices. Start your morning with a brief meditation session, incorporate deep breathing exercises before you hop onto a Zoom call, or listen to a motivational podcast during your commute. Find what works best for you and make it a daily habit.

Camille Styles wearing activewear.

Start Today for a Better Tomorrow

Implementing these five habits will transform your day-to-day life. Trust. They’ll help you feel more energized, focused, and balanced. With habit stacking in mind, start with one practice and gradually incorporate the others. Remember, consistency is key. By making these habits a part of your daily routine, you’ll set the foundation for a healthier and happier you. 

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