20 Things To Start Doing Today

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

Feel like you're in a funk? Lack of motivation? Having trouble reaching goals? Believe it or not, it's actually pretty easy to see big results in your overall health, quality of life and mental well-being by taking small steps and setting a routine.

We've compiled a list of 20 things you can start doing NOW to help improve your life. They're simple steps, they cost little to no money and with these steps, you'll be creating healthy and powerful habits to living a happier, healthier and more logical life!


We've all been told the importance of staying hydrated but what makes drinking water first thing in the morning so crucial? According to Livestrong, drinking water first thing in the morning can be incredibly beneficial to your health. In addition to keeping us hydrated, water can help with stomach issues, weight loss and regular bowel movements.

Our favorite water bottle for daily water intake is the BuildLife Water Bottle. Not only does it have markers on the bottle to help you drink throughout the day, it is motivational, BPA-Free, comes in a variety of colors, easy to carry and easy to clean!

References & Resources: "Eat This and Live"; Donald Colbert, M.D.; 2008Clemson University: Fluid Needs"Physiology"; Linda Consanzo, Ph.D.; 2009"The Family Medicine Handbook"; Mark A. Graber, M.D.; 2006


We know, you're letting out a big sigh and rolling your eyes like, "Ok Mom!" But seriously, making your bed every morning is motivating and it starts your day off a productive routine. Check out this video of a US Navy Seal and why he believes this simple task is so incredibly important.

References: Be Better Than Average YouTube Channel.


According the American Council on Exercise, stretching daily is essential to our overall well-being. As we age, we lose flexibility and this can cause stress, stiffness, injury, decreased range of motion, and more. So it makes sense to add stretching to our daily routine, to help improve our overall health. Learn more about the benefits of stretching HERE!

References: American Council on Exercise.


You may be asking yourself, "What the heck is a daily affirmation?" Our first thought was SNL's Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley! In all seriousness, adding daily affirmations to your routine can help with positive thinking, anxiety, depression, goal setting and gratitude. Basically, you are what you think. A daily affirmation is a short, inspirational statement to yourself that is designed to overcome self-doubt and replace it with positivity and goal-setting.

An example affirmation would be something like, "I accept what I cannot change and I learn from my mistakes." Need help with your affirmations? Try these FREE apps available on both iPhone and Android devices:

Want something physical? We love Affirmators! 50 Affirmation Cards to Help You Help Yourself - without the Self-Helpy-Ness!

Even pessimists like a little positivity, so comedian Suzi Barrett created these inspirational-but-not-cheesy affirmation cards. Providing the fun of a horoscope with a little less woo-woo, and full of positive affirmations, this whimsical box will help you help yourself, no shamanistic consult required!Cheer up gift for anyone seeking a little self-help (without the self-helpy-ness)3.75 x 5 inches; 50 cards, plus instruction card.

Another favorite of ours is The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day. THE SIMPLEST WAY TO START YOUR DAY HAPPY - Using the science of positive psychology to improve happiness, The Five Minute Journal focuses your attention on the good in your life. Improve your mental well-being and feel better every day. COMPLAIN LESS, APPRECIATE MORE - The Five Minute Journal helps you cultivate gratitude. It changes how you feel, alters the actions you take, and therefore the results you will create...negativity be gone! FINALLY KEEP A JOURNAL - With a simple structured format that takes just 5 minutes, The Five Minute Journal is simple, quick, and effective. Whatever your excuse for not keeping a journal is, this journal will eliminate them.


Breakfast: The most important meal of the day! We're not nutritionists or doctors, so we can't confirm that breakfast is the 'most important meal of the day' but it's definitely important enough that most health professionals will agree we shouldn't skip it! According to WebMD, breakfast helps kick-start our metabolism, maintain our blood sugar levels and helps lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease and being overweight.

Need easy, health breakfast ideas? Check out GREATIST: 39 Healthy Breakfasts for Busy Mornings!

References: WebMD, GREATIST, Dolly and Oatmeal

6) Acknowledge Someone.

While we learn to practice saying daily affirmations to help motivate ourselves and keep a positive mindset, it is also important to take time and acknowledge the people in your life, whether they be a family member, friend or even stranger. A person's financial success, possessions, popularity, etc. does not necessarily determine their worth. People want to know they matter, that they have made some sort of impact on another being in this world.

Something I learned in college during my communication courses was to begin or end sentences with "you". When doing this, you are connecting with the person in conversation, acknowledging them. See them. Hear them. Listen to them. Examples of acknowledging someone would be any of the following statements:

  • I really enjoyed seeing you today.

  • I appreciate you.

  • Thank you for everything you do.

  • I couldn't have done it without you.

  • You made my day.

Remember this:

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." - Jackie Robinson.


Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to start out an exercise regimen at 60-minutes. According to WebMD and "a study published by The Lancet shows that if inactive people increased their physical activity by just 15 minutes per day, they could reduce their risk of death by 14% and increase their life expectancy by three years."

Check out our 15-Minute Fitness suggestions below!

15 Minutes to Fit: The Simple 30-Day Guide to Total Fitness, 15 Minutes At A Time

YouTube workout video star Zuzka Light presents her long-awaited debut fitness book, with a 30-day fitness regime of powerful, effective 15-minute workouts.

15-Minute HIIT 1.0 Workout

No Equipment Needed. Tip:Do Series 1.0 for 4+ weeks before moving onto Series 2.0. This workout is designed to burn mega-calories and improve fitness and muscle tone through high intensity interval training. Great for all fitness levels. Weekly Workout Schedule: Mon: 15-min Full Body Burn. Tues: 15-min Upper Body Sculpt. Wed: 15-min HIIT. Thurs: 15-min Lower Body Chisel. Fri: 15-min Core Challenge


This one goes along with #6 for acknowledging someone. It just takes it to the next level. You never know when someone is having a crummy day and a simple compliment could make their week. It's as easy as just a few words, whether to a friend, family member or stranger. Here are a few easy examples:

  • I love your nail color!

  • Thank you for helping load the groceries!

  • You have a great smile!

  • Thank you for being such a good listener!

  • You are really great at your job!


When was the last time you called your Mother, your best friend, your Sister or Brother, Father, college buddy? #9 also goes along with #8 and #6. Actions that positively affect others. That one phone call could again, make their day, week, month, year. And all it takes is maybe 15-30 minutes of your day. Need some topics to talk about? Here are a few conversation starters:

  • Job or hobby

  • Family

  • Past experiences

  • Plans for this year

  • Common acquaintances


Here's another "Ok, Mom!" Because we've all been told since birth to make sure we "Eat all your fruits and vegetables!" In this case, Mom was right! According to a new study published on cbsnews.com by Imperial College, "eating more than five servings of fruits and veggies per day can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death." Yup, that's enough results to convince me to eat more fruits and veggies. Read the full CBSNews the full article HERE.

Here are some easy ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet:

Fruit and Vegetable Cookbook: Essential Vegetable

Kindle Version. FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

Do you love fruits and vegetables? Do you want to add more vegetables to your diet?  This cookbook is for you.  In this collection of over 100 pages of recipes, you’ll find a different vegetable dish for daily use. All of these recipes have texture, and flavor.  Many of the recipes are in color to guide you as you cook. 

The Healthy Smoothie Bible: Lose Weight, Detoxify, Fight Disease, and Live Long

START YOUR BLENDERS! Whatever your fitness regimen, health goals, or daily routine, this massive book of 100+ recipes has the perfect smoothies for every occasion, including:

In this comprehensive resource about every aspect of the wonderful world of healthy smoothies, author and healthy drink expert Farnoosh Brock shares her knowledge, discoveries, useful tips, and lessons learned from years of making smoothies and getting healthier from the powerhouse of nutrition from these drinks.


Life gets busy and sometimes it's hard to respond, especially if you know it's going to be a long text conversation or end up with a phone call you might not want to take, but you should always respond. By ignoring a text message, you are essentially telling that person that their message is not important to you.

Think of it from your side of the sending a text. In a day where most of society is glued to their smartphone, waiting for someone to respond to your text but then doesn't, can sometimes be quite the diss.

Hey, I'm not perfect either. I'm guilty of not seeing a text for a good 6 hours after it was sent to me. Or seeing a text and thinking, "Ok, I'll respond after I finish...." and then I forget to respond. Or worse, "Aigh...I don't really want to respond to this person right now, I'll figure out a response later." Then I forget to respond again. No matter how much time has passed, I know, I should always respond and so should you. Whether it's your parent, boss, best friend or someone you might not want to speak to, their time is just as important and valuable as yours, so you should respond. Period.

In fact, most smartphones have automatic replies for when you cannot pick-up a call. Use some of those for when you either don't know what to text back or need to are in the middle of something. Here are some examples:

  • I'm with a client at the moment, can I call/text you later?

  • I'm driving, can I call/text you later?

  • I'll get back to you later today, is that ok?

  • Got your text, I'll message you back in a bit.

This is so much about #6, don't be rude, acknowledge that person.


Technology is a lot to blame for this one! How many times have you been watching a TV show, browsing the internet, playing a game and then suddenly your activity is interrupted by someone saying, "Did you hear anything I just said?"

All. The. Time.

Our lives are consumed by so much going on around us. Needing to be a part of something at all times. Being engulfed in work emails, responding to texts (because we have to now, LOL), not wanting to miss whatever episode is on TV or reading a long, heated thread on social media. All these things CAN be put on hold for that brief moment when someone needs your attention for usually less than a few minutes. Yet, once again, we put our own interests and activities above that other person. We are putting more value on technology than on the human being sitting next to us. Pretty sad, right?

Once again, put yourself on the other side. How does it feel when you're trying to get someone's attention and it's like you're talking through them? It sucks!

According to Mindtools.com, there are five key listening techniques to help you be a better listener:

  • Pay attention

  • Show that you're listening

  • Provide feedback

  • Defer judgement

  • Respond appropriately

Listening is one of the most valuable skills you can have. How well you listen can impact your relationships, your job and your health. Here are a few audio books/kindle books we recommend if you would like to learn more about active listening:

The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships

This thoughtful, witty, and empathic book has already helped over 100,000 people break through conflicts and transform their personal and professional relationships. Experienced therapist Michael P. Nichols, PhD, provides vivid examples, easy-to-learn techniques, and practical exercises for becoming a better listener and making yourself heard and understood, even in difficult situations.

The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction

Rebecca Shafir assures us we can transform every aspect of our lives, simply by relearning how to listen. The Zen of Listening is grounded in the Zen concept of mindfulness, a simple yet profound way of learning how to filter our distractions and be totally in the present. Rather than a list of tricks, this audiobook is an all-encompassing approach allowing you to transform your life.

References: Mindtools.com


Many people have the misconception about meditation. They might picture yogis zoning out in a room filled with incense and Zen music while practicing Pranayama breathing. While that might be the case for some, that's not the definition of Meditation or to Meditate.

Merriam-webster Meditate definition:


verbmed·​i·​tate | \ ˈme-də-ˌtāt \meditated; meditating

Definition of meditate

intransitive verb

1: to engage in contemplation or reflectionHe meditated long and hard before announcing his decision.2: to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness

transitive verb

1: to focus one's thoughts on : reflect on or ponder overHe was meditating his past achievements.2: to plan or project in the mind : INTEND, PURPOSEHe was meditating revenge.

Mental exercise, spiritual awareness, focus on one's thoughts, to plan or project. Those are all things we can do. That is meditation. The act of meditating can help with depression, goals, insomnia, memory and so much more.

There are several types of meditation, but a few easy steps for simple meditation would be as follows:

  • Sit or lie in a comfortable position.

  • Close your eyes.

  • Breathe naturally

  • Focus on how your body moves and reacts as you breathe.

  • If your mind wanders, focus back to your breathing.

  • Try for 2-3 minutes to start.

  • Once you master this simple process, you can incorporate different focal points other than your breathing.

Here are a few of our recommendations for Meditation for beginners:

Meditation For Beginners: A 22 Day How To Meditate Course

This super-easy and fun meditation book allows you to get started immediately on learning the basics of meditation on the breath. You can start where you are - at work, on vacation, anywhere. Meditation need not be complicated. It's a very simple process, but so many teachers complicate it with new vocabulary, dozens of rules to follow, many books to read, etc.

Meditation: Meditation for Beginners - How to Relieve Stress, Anxiety and Depression and Return to a State of Inner Peace and Happiness

A 'meditation for beginners' guide that will give you life-long peace and happiness.

A regular meditation habit can make you healthier, happier and more successful than ever! This book will teach you exactly how to calm your mind, release tension and “let go” in a way that will change your life forever!


This goes back to #1 and the benefits of water! According to Livestrong, drinking water first thing in the morning can be incredibly beneficial to your health. In addition to keeping us hydrated, water can help with stomach issues, weight loss and regular bowel movements.

Our favorite water bottle for daily water intake is the BuildLife Water Bottle. Not only does it have markers on the bottle to help you drink throughout the day, it is motivational, BPA-Free, comes in a variety of colors, easy to carry and easy to clean!

References & Resources: "Eat This and Live"; Donald Colbert, M.D.; 2008Clemson University: Fluid Needs"Physiology"; Linda Consanzo, Ph.D.; 2009"The Family Medicine Handbook"; Mark A. Graber, M.D.; 2006


"Things could be worse." Yup, we've all heard that saying. Especially when our lives get turned upside down. Does it make us feel any better? Usually not. But it's true. We could have 99% of our life going great and 1% is crappy...what do most of us focus on? That crappy 1%. Doesn't make sense, does it? We focus so much on the negativity in our lives that even as small as it may be, it consumes us.

What if we focused all that energy, on a regular basis, on the 99%? What if every day we reminded ourselves of the amazing things in our life which we are grateful for? One would think our mindset would improve, right?

According to Happify.com, ". Research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction."

Here are a few gratitude journals we recommend:

Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude: Gratitude Journal

Good Days Start With Gratitude is a 52 week guide to cultivate an attitude of gratitude! It is a self exploration journal designed to focus on being thankful for what we have, the big things in life, as well as the simple joys. Each well designed weekly spread contains an inspirational quote, space to write 3 things you are thankful for each day of the week, and a weekly checkpoint.

The One-Minute Gratitude Journal

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude yields many benefits: physical, mental and spiritual. In this Journal, you have flexibility to write down the dates of entry and not feel guilty if you miss a day. There are also pages in this journal where you can just draw something beautiful. Every page contains an inspirational quote (non religious).

References: Happyify.com


It's a known fact that de-cluttering your home and work environment can help you to be more productive. But, if you don't believe me, check out this article on lifehack.org. "According to Jennifer Baumgartner Psy.D., in Psychology Today, clutter can also have an immense psychological effect.

“Clutter is not only a container for our memories but can be a distractor for tackling deeper issues.”

Here's our suggestion. If your work space is extremely cluttered, take a weekend day or a day you are not working and dedicate it to organizing. Throw away items that cannot be used. Donate items you have not used within the past 6-12 months. The same goes for rooms in your home. Want more ideas? Check out our recommendations below:

Cluttered Mess to Organized Success Workbook: Declutter and Organize your Home and Life with over 100 Checklists and Worksheets (Plus Free Full Downloads)

Organize your life: Do you dream of getting organized, but have no idea where to start? Cluttered Mess to Organized Success: Declutter and Organize your Home and Life with over 100 Checklists and Worksheets offers you everything you need to organize your home, family and your time. This book not only provides helpful tips and advice, but it is jam packed with over 100 worksheets, forms, labels, schedules and everything else you need to organize your life.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results.


When was the last time you read a book. Like a WHOLE 300+ page book? Many of us probably had to think on that one for awhile! Yes, life always seems to be go, go, go! We tend to make excuses for not sitting down and enjoying a good book. Yet, we find the time to scroll for 2 hours+ on social media, watch 3+ hours of the tube, play a video game at the end of the day, go out after work for drinks. Why not replace only 30 minutes of one of those activities with enjoyment AND brain exercise? It's possible and beneficial! Check out thriveglobal.com's list of 8 benefits of reading:

  • We exercise our brain.

  • Improves reading skills in adults and children.

  • Explains to the children the world in which they live.

  • Improves concentration.

  • Relaxes our body and calms the mind.

  • Good entertainment.

  • Children who read are doing better in school.

  • Improves creative intelligence.

So what do you say? Head on over to the bookstore, Amazon or your local library and make a goal to finish one book in 30 days.


Budgets are usually the most dreaded topic when it comes to relationships and business, because it usually means we need to cut back on spending. I recently just finished the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course and while we are far from being completely debt-free, we are now on the right path to getting there. It's amazing to see the amount of "crap" we spend money on. Creating a budget has allowed us to focus getting debt-free without feeling like we're living paycheck to paycheck. Out of all the products we've recommended in this post, THIS course is by far in my opinion, the best.

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University

Materials include the member workbook, Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money and the envelope system. The workbook follows along with each video lesson, highlighting valuable information and providing space for you to record key takeaways. Best-selling book,Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money provides you with practical answers to the "How?" "What?" and "Why?" questions about money. And finally, the envelope system is Dave's easy-to-use cash management system: Put money in. Take money out. Stay on budget! Financial Peace University now includes: *NEW-One-year access to online video lessons *NEW-One-year subscription to EveryDollar Plus *NEW-Debt snowball tool.


Some say we need 8 hours some say we need 6. I say listen to your body. It's highly unlikely that you can function on 3 hours sleep but it's also highly unlikely that you can function on 8 hours of sleep if you went out boozing the night before. The key is to get GOOD sleep each night. After dealing with insomnia and restless nights for years, I found there were several factors that were contributing to my poor sleep:

Pets in bed


Poor mattress

Poor pillows


Poor air quality

Now I'm not saying every night I experienced poor sleeping conditions due to ALL of these factors at the same time, but I did notice that each of them, sometimes the same night and sometimes separate nights, contributed to my poor sleep. So, the pets are no longer allowed in bed. We limit our alcohol consumption and try to stick to a regular "go to sleep" time. We've invested in good quality Bamboo pillows (mattress next to come, but we love this cooling mattress topper). I've found the app Breethe to be incredibly helpful with anxiety and helping me to fall asleep.

Finally, for air quality, this Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier for Home has been a lifesaver! Definitely worth every penny! This one works for our main room and we are thinking about getting a second one for the upstairs, that's how awesome it is!

Once I pinpointed the things I was doing wrong each night, I realized they were all factors we could change within our home and with our lifestyle.


This should be one of the last things you do each day, preparing for tomorrow. That way when you wake up in the morning, you are all set with your list of "things to do" for the day. If you're on the go throughout the day, keep the list on your smartphone, so you can view it easily. If your day-to-day activities are typically at home or in the workplace, you can also keep the list somewhere that you will see it often throughout the day, such as your refrigerator, personal planner or bulletin board. Marking each item off for the day is such a great feeling and you'll be amazed at how much you have completed. I am a big believer in lists, so here are my recommendations for list apps and physical products:






Panda Planner Pro

GET MORE DONE. FEEL BETTER - Most people struggle to keep up with the demands of modern life, leaving them feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and robbed of their passion. Panda Planner is a scientifically designed daily planner that will empower you to take back control, reclaim your happiness and flourish in every way. SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO PRODUCTIVITY & HAPPINESS - Overwhelmed by the symptoms of Lyme disease, Traumatic Brain Injury and Cancer, our founder turned to the proven research of POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY and NEUROSCIENCE and created a system to get his life back on track.

Clever Fox Planner PRO

GET ORGANIZED & ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS - Clever Fox Planner will help you create a vision for your life, define and breakdown your short and long-term goals in each area of your life, and incorporate these goals into your monthly, weekly, and daily agenda. Many customers tell us that they already become dramatically more productive, organized and stress-free after only 1 week of use of this goal planner. There is no going back. Stop procrastinating and start turning your big dreams into reality! STAY FOCUSED & INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY.

Hope you enjoyed this list and we'd love to hear your feedback. Have you incorporated any of these items into your daily routine? Do you have any products you love? Comment below!


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