10 Simple Daily Lifestyle Habits That Make a Difference

These days, it feels as though our entire world is on-demand—information is instantly accessible online, shows are available to stream whenever we want, packages can be ordered and delivered on the same day, and we can summon food to our doorsteps in less than an hour. 

Unfortunately, our health and wellness don’t work that way. We can’t just order a healthier body or have a more peaceful mind delivered. What we can do is use small, intentional, and consistent lifestyle habits to improve our overall well-being.

In this deep dive, we’ll explore 10 potent yet realistic habits you can pick up to have the most significant positive impact on your life in the long term.


Understanding the Power of Habit and Change

Healthy daily habits can help restore mental and physical balance when life gets hectic. When days become unpredictable, managing our stress, time, and energy can be more challenging than we anticipate. This is why small, gradual change through habit formation is often more successful than drastic lifestyle changes.

Habits are automatic actions we perform in response to contextual clues, like putting on your seatbelt every time you enter a car. According to one study, habits are successful because they are cognitively efficient. This means once the initiation of the healthy action transfers to an external cue, it doesn’t require the same internal motivation or conscious effort to persist. 

Put simply, you’re performing actions without thinking about them. 

Missing a day here or there doesn’t largely impact your habit formation. In fact, studies show automaticity gains can quickly resume after one missed activity performance. It’s also worth pointing out that automaticity strength peaks quicker for small, simple actions than more elaborate ones—for example, drinking a glass of water versus performing 50 sit-ups. 

Fortunately, the actions below are simple enough to make habitual, and in doing so, you can create a more balanced, healthy lifestyle. Let’s dive in!

1. Waking Early: The Impact of a Morning Routine

All of those testaments about the early bird getting the worm aren’t for nothing, but waking up earlier doesn’t just empower you to get more done. There are many mental benefits to rising earlier and following a healthy morning routine.

For instance, with more time in the morning, you can treat yourself to an activity that relaxes you and prepares you to face the day ahead, like slowly enjoying a cup of coffee or practicing a morning meditation. You also have more time to prepare a more nutritious breakfast, giving you more energy and leaving you less prone to junk food cravings throughout the day.

Plus, according to Harvard Health, waking up one hour earlier while sleeping the same amount may reduce your risk of major depression.


2. Hydration Habits: Drinking Water Throughout the Day

Staying hydrated throughout the day isn’t always easy. Sometimes, a demanding task captures our focus, and we forget we need water. Or, we reach for an alternative like coffee, soda, or alcohol instead.

But proper hydration is key for maintaining your overall health and keeping you at your best all day. Some of the many benefits of drinking enough water throughout the day are: 

  • Improved mental performance
  • Smoother digestion
  • More energy

The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that women drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of water daily and men drink 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) daily.


3. Mindful Movement: Incorporating Daily Exercise

If your job or lifestyle has you sedentary for long periods throughout the day, now is the perfect time to form habits that inject regular movement into your schedule.

Sitting for long periods can slow your metabolism, hurting your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and break down body fat. There are also strong links between inactive lifestyles and type 2 diabetes, overweightness and obesity, and some forms of cancer.

To easily incorporate more movement, try getting up from your chair regularly throughout the day to stretch your legs. You can even set a reminder on your computer or phone if you have to. Better yet, enjoy the benefits of being outside by taking daily walks to increase your physical health and stimulate your mind with nature. For an excellently balanced walking shoe that combines support, comfort, and style, check out the 23Walk Classic Sneaker and Walk Max Lace Up Sneaker from Vionic.


4. Nutritious Choices: Improving Diet with Small Changes

While eating healthy is important, “dieting” is often ineffective for overall health and wellness in the long term. Sometimes, the restrictive parameters that define fad diets are unsustainable and can even be unhealthy. Other times, the foods within a restrictive diet are too unappealing to truly enjoy over a long period of time.

Fortunately, by using the science of habit formation, you can improve your health by making small, routine adjustments to your diet rather than adopting a whole new regime entirely. You’ll know you’re on the right path when you can start making healthy food choices automatically and still enjoy what you’re eating. 

Not sure how to start? Try replacing one regular snack you enjoy with a lower-calorie version, or reducing the portion size of your snack. You can also swap sides on the meals you enjoy for healthier alternatives, like choosing a side salad instead of fries to go with your burger.


5. Prioritizing Rest: Enhancing Sleep Quality Each Night

Just as vital as grasping how to stay consistent with working out is establishing structure in your sleep routine. A good night’s sleep can prepare you for a great, productive day. Alternatively, a bad night’s sleep can ruin your day, leading you to unhealthy decision-making and a cycle of inadequate rest. 

So, what habits can we train each night to get better and more rejuvenating sleep?

Hand in hand with waking earlier, going to bed earlier allows maximum time for your body and mind to recover through restful sleep. But what if you’re a natural night owl or experience difficulty falling asleep? 

Regular exercise can help tire your body and prepare you for rest. Additionally, removing electronic distractions like phones, laptops, and televisions from the bedroom can help you fall asleep faster and more reliably. Most importantly, staying consistent with the time you go to bed every night can start to signal to your body when it’s time to sleep. 

Remember: habits form through repetition, not overnight.


6. Gratitude Practice: Cultivating Thankfulness Daily

Studies in positive psychology tell us that honing our daily sense of gratitude can effortlessly improve our mental health. In one experiment over ten weeks, participants wrote a few sentences per day about things they were grateful for. The opposite group wrote about things that irritated them.

At the end of the study, the psychologists found that the grateful-writing group was more optimistic and felt better about their lives than the opposing group. 

So, consider making a daily habit of giving thanks and actively appreciating the things you’re grateful for. Whether it’s through journaling or mindful thinking, this is an easy habit to pick up, and it can make you happier in the long run. 


7. Digital Detox: Balancing Screen Time for Well-Being

Screens have the power to suck us in, distracting us from the tasks or activities that keep us happy, healthy, and organized. It’s no coincidence that screen time in bed is often associated with poorer sleep quality.

If you feel like you have a harmful dependency on technology, try enabling better screen time habits by setting boundaries you can abide by. For example, many apps on your phone can monitor your screen time and give you a nudge to disengage when you’ve met your daily time allowance.   


8. Mindfulness Breaks: Embracing Moments of Calm

When asked “what is well-being,” does mindfulness come to mind? Mindfulness is a concept rooted in Buddhist meditation that involves being present in the moment and paying careful attention to your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. 

While it may sound strange initially, taking time every day to sit with your thoughts in a quiet, peaceful setting can do more for your health than you might think. Mindfulness encourages you to examine your thoughts in a judgment-free manner, and continuous practice can make individuals more confident, resilient, and focused.


9. Active Listening: Strengthening Relationships Daily

Active listening can improve your relationships and help you find more fulfillment in social situations, even if you’re naturally shy.

To actively listen to someone, you must hear what they say and pay attention to their thoughts and feelings. Here are some tips to help you develop an active listening habit: 

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Let the other person finish their thoughts before speaking
  • Minimize distractions (like phones) so that you can stay focused 

Active listening doesn’t just make the speaker feel heard and understood; it also allows you to listen mindfully, analyzing your thoughts in the moment so that you can respond thoughtfully and appropriately.


10. Reflective Journaling: Nurturing Personal Growth

Similar to a gratitude practice, reflective journaling allows us to take stock of emotions to better learn and grow from them. Like mindfulness and active listening, reflective journaling encourages us to dig below the surface of the daily grind to form a deeper understanding and appreciation of our lives.

Try carving out a time each day to record some of the thoughts and feelings you’d otherwise ignore or bury under tasks and stress. Interestingly, reflective journaling has the power to help reduce anxiety, regulate emotions, and foster awareness to form new perceptions of difficult situations.


Empower Your Healthier Lifestyle with Vionic

When you embark on your journey toward a more balanced and healthy lifestyle, take our 10 habits with you—after all, the better equipped you are to meet your goals, the more successful your outcomes.

Whether your journey is a single step or a marathon, Vionic is ready to help you nurture healthy habits with walking sneakers with arch support and podiatrist-designed footbeds, exceptional orthotic insoles, supportive recovery shoes like the Rejuvenate Recovery Sandal, and more. 

Make exceptional health automatic with healthy daily habits powered by Vionic.



National Library of Medicine. Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice.

Harvard Health Publishing. Waking up one hour earlier than usual may reduce depression risk.

National Council On Aging. 10 Reasons Why Hydration is Important.

Mayo Clinic. Water: How much should you drink every day?

NHS. Why we should sit less.

Harvard Health Publishing. Giving thanks can make you happier.

Greater Good Magazine. What Is Mindfulness?

WebMD. Mental Health Benefits of Journaling.

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