What are your best daily, tiny habits?
March 8, 2018 7:42 AM   Subscribe

What good can you do in less than 5 minutes a day? I'm reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. He challenges readers to adopt six tiny, daily good habits. What things do you do daily that take very little time, and have provided significant life improvements?

While Hardy conflates geometric growth and exponential growth, I really like his idea of small daily habits that over time (anything from a month to a year or more) lead to significant life improvements. The key is that they have to be completely, easily, and quickly doable.

Over the past few months, I've been doing 30 body-weight only squats every morning and writing three things I'm grateful for every day. These aren't having a quick payoff but I believe they will be beneficial in the long run. I'm looking for four other daily habits I could do that would take no more than a few minutes each day, but would provide observable improvements over time. Health and fitness related are fine. So are improvements in any other area. Which ones have you benefitted from?
posted by angiep to Grab Bag (52 answers total) 173 users marked this as a favorite
Making the bed every day makes me feel in control of my life and helps me fall asleep faster at night. For me the benefit is disproportionately higher than the amount of effort it takes.
posted by Kriesa at 7:48 AM on March 8 [31 favorites]

I have a rule: I'm not permitted to leave for work without dropping a piece of fruit in my purse (or a Ziploc full of strawberries or what have you). That way, even if I make shitty food choices that day, I at least had one healthy piece of food, which is better than zero.
posted by holborne at 7:52 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]

Taking a minute to check my calendar before I go to bed so I know what to expect the next day. This helps me know when I need to be up, what clothes to wear, and what to mentally prepare for.
posted by BeHereNow at 7:54 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]

I pre-stage my pre-work morning the night before. I pack a work breakfast/lunch/water bottle and stick it in the fridge, pick the work clothes/shoes, prep the coffee making process, and dish out the dry part of the dog food with any meds. That way I can stagger my way through my morning tasks and get out the door with a minimum of fuss.
posted by answergrape at 7:57 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]

Filling a bottle of water and setting it by my computer when I sit down in the morning. I don't always finish drinking it, but it prevents me from drinking nothing but coffee before 4 pm.
posted by platitudipus at 7:58 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]

I started flossing in the morning. I've gone from zero flossing to flossing about 6 times a week (sometimes I'm in a rush). I didn't think it would make a difference, but the dental hygienist complimented my flossing instead of the usual "hey you should floss." And I swear my gums are a rosier pink because if it.
posted by kimberussell at 8:01 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]

Totally agree that flossing is worth it; it's good for your dental health and it helps keep your breath fresh!

I fill up a big water bottle before I leave for work and challenge myself to finish it during my train ride; makes me feel less guilty if I overindulge in tea and Diet Coke for the rest of the day.
posted by neushoorn at 8:12 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]

I spent my first 27 years actively promoting the “blanket nest” approach to bed making (IE, not making my bed at all). Around age 28 I started making my bed as inspired by Unfuck Your Habitat and it is transformative. I now take pains to make my bed every day, and I enjoy it every night. It’s worth the 1-minute outlay in the morning.
posted by samthemander at 8:17 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]

Another vote for always making the bed. I do it as soon as I'm out of it now out of habit. It's ridiculous how often I feel more at peace just because the bed has been made.

I take 5-minute mindfulness / meditation / breathing breaks once or twice during the day and always before bed. It makes a profound difference in my peace of mind. Sometimes I use the Calm app, other times I freestyle it. :-)
posted by machinecraig at 8:18 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]

I have a spreadsheet where I track my daily spending. I take like.. 2 minutes every morning to update it. It keeps me on track and I keep my spending way down just through the simple awareness! Related to this, I also take about 30 minutes on the 1st of each month to tally up a larger view of my financial picture for the month and set my goals/planning.
posted by cakebatter at 8:22 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]

Another daily habit I have is washing my face every night and every morning and applying moisturizer and sun screen. As a result, I have the kind of skin that makes bartenders do a double take when they card me and people think I'm the college intern at work (I'm in my 30's).
posted by cakebatter at 8:24 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]

I take breakfast to work every day (just Greek yogurt with some fruit and homemade granola), and also have a large water bottle at my desk. That way guaranteed one meal is high protein, includes fresh produce and whole grains, plus I usually polish off a couple liters of water daily. I go to the gym early, because I realized that I can get up just slightly earlier and stop by the gym near work, and then whatever else happens, I've done that for the day. Prepping my lunch for work the night before is helpful, too, so I can grab and go in the am.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 8:25 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

Another vote here for making the bed. And another vote for washing my face and doing moisturizer twice daily. (And sunscreen in the morning!)

Small thing that I've been doing lately is writing down what I actually did at work that was productive. I tend to move my own goalposts and wind up feeling like I didn't get anything done in a day--but taking the time to actually WRITE DOWN what it is that I got done at work has helped me realize that I'm not just dicking around on Mefi for 8 hours a day.
posted by sperose at 8:34 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]

My two best habits I've added lately are: learning to brush my teeth in a 100% methodical way so that I know i've got every surface of every tooth possible and sorting out my posture. The second one is more about noticing when you slump and bringing it back to correct posture - so really it's 2 seconds whenever you notice, the key is noticing! This has done more for my mental health than anything else I've tried - a slumped chest is depressive (at least according to my yoga teacher).
posted by london explorer girl at 8:36 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

This must be dental hygiene day at AskMetafilter.

At the suggestion of a periodontist, I started using a proxabrush, both as part of my teeth cleaning routine every morning and to fill time while on hold before a conference call starts, waiting for a webpage to load, etc. In less than six months, the dental hygienist went from grumbling while cleaning my teeth to asking me about the secret to my success.
posted by DrGail at 8:44 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]

Some of these are older habits, some I started doing this year. Bear in mind I am very much a morning person who springs out of bed and essentially runs out of gas by 3pm.

* Get up, make the bed, put on running shoes. I sleep in exercise clothes.
* Sunday meal prep for weekday lunches and snacks: 5 lettuce containers, one vat of chopped veg and beans in balsamic vinaigrette , baggies of berries, carrots, etc. Every morning I grab lunch, easy.
* I preset the coffee maker in the morning after I've finished the pot. There's something very satisfying knowing I don't have to think about coffee at night.
* I force myself to run, lift weights, exercise or do yoga 5 mornings a week. Some days are only a 5 minute HIIT but I really feel better knowing I did something. Then after work anything more is a bonus but I know at least I got some exercise in.
* I grab my keys then chug a liter of water. That way, I know I've gotten at least one liter in me.
* I plan out weekly outfits-essentially a rotating uniform of the same 7 options--and do not allow myself to change my mind. Getting over the door hangers with 7 hooks makes it really easy to loop outfits on a hook and just forget about it.
* I keep earrings and scarves by the front door so I can make myself fancy in seconds.
* When I get home from work, I force myself to do 5 minutes of meditation.
* I never check email after 6 pm because I need hours to unwind.
* I prep a week's worth of frozen dog Kongs and stuffed treats so every morning I just toss one on the floor before I leave Detective Kima.
* I load the dishwasher and clear the kitchen counters before I go to work. Even if it makes me 5 minutes later for work, it's totally worth coming home to a relatively clean kitchen.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 8:48 AM on March 8 [38 favorites]

When I bring home produce from the grocery store, I try to prep it _right then_ so it's very easy to use later, when I'm hungry and in a hurry. This applies to lettuce (fill sink with water, immerse and let crisp, separate leaves and cut into small salad bits), carrots (put in sink of water, peel, cut ends off, cut into sticks), celery (cut ends off, separate, soak, cut into smaller pieces to store), green beans (immerse, cut ends off, store ready to be put into a pot and cooked in about 6 minutes), and so forth.

I've found that this _dramatically_ increases the amount of vegetables I eat. It's really no additional time, just a choice of when I put in that time.
posted by amtho at 8:57 AM on March 8 [15 favorites]

Always go to bed with an empty sink. It sucks to be doing dishes at midnight but... it's so much worse to do them the next day when they're all hard and congealed and disgusting.
posted by silverstatue at 9:03 AM on March 8 [12 favorites]

GMTA! I clean the sink/load the dishwasher pretty much every night. Make bed every day. I also vacuum the living room pretty often. It's the one chore that I really like. It delivers instant results and makes the room look good.

When it's a work day the next day: I prep breakfast; I package up food for the next day's lunch; I get my Keurig all ready (set out a K-cup, put my mug on the little shelf).

In general, things that make me feel prepared are the best thing I can do for myself. Not just in home-type stuff; but overall, I recognize that it's a personality trait that the more prepared I am, and the fewer variables I have in any given situation, the calmer and more focused I am across the board. So anything I can do to support planning and preparation, is a good thing. I look for ways to do that, so I can come at daily life in the best possible mindset. So when the unexpected happens, I'm in the optimal mental place to handle it.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:32 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]

Moisturizer morning and night. I just use plain argan oil - a few drops on my palms, rubbed on my face. My skin is much less dry and flaky, especially in winter, and less acne-prone. Plus, I rarely wear makeup, but when I do, I REALLY notice a difference when I've been using moisturizer. Foundation just sits better/more smoothly.

I plan out weekly outfits-essentially a rotating uniform of the same 7 options--and do not allow myself to change my mind. Getting over the door hangers with 7 hooks makes it really easy to loop outfits on a hook and just forget about it.

Recently I knew I had a few stressful days ahead of me, so I laid out four days of outfits, with the socks and bras and earrings and everything. It was AMAZING. I've been considering doing it more often, so it's nice to know other real-life people actually do this.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:33 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]

Every morning I open Facebook, click on the "On This Day" feature, and delete just about everything there. I should be getting pretty close to having 95% of everything I ever posted to my FB wall deleted, as I think I'm pretty close to one year of doing this.

I have noticed though that FB doesn't even show you all of your own stuff in that feature. I usually have to reload the page after finishing twice to make sure I got it all.
posted by COD at 9:42 AM on March 8 [15 favorites]

I find I sleep better if I floss before.
posted by Seeking Direction at 10:23 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]

I am a night owl and certainly not a morning personal, so I've tried to take advantage of this. At night I always make my coffee for the next morning and keep my vitamins next to the coffee so I remember to take them (I don't feel well if I take on an empty stomach so I used to always forget if I tried to take take them in the morning since I often skip breakfast). I fill two Hydroflasks (18 oz) and keep one next to my bed and one in the bathroom at night. This way when I wake up it's the first thing I go for and typically I've gone through both before leaving in the morning. If you have a fitbit I've started tracking my water intake and since I always use my Hydroflasks it's so easy to just hit the medium water bottle to keep track.
I also keep a half growler in the refrigerator that I fill with any extra coffee. Yes it's not the best coffee but I'm not throwing it away and if I'm lazy the night before and didn't program my coffee maker I don't have to suffer the consequences.
I never wear pajamas to bed. I like to wear workout clothes so that way I'll either go right into some sort if activity in the morning or take it off and wear that for my workout later in the day.
posted by Bossypants at 10:32 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

I brush my teeth while standing on one foot, which I believe helps me with my balance. Right food, bottom teeth, one minute. Left foot, top teeth, one minute. Sometimes I wave the free leg around to amuse myself and see what sort of fancy positions I can get into or try to do one-legged squats.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:38 AM on March 8 [16 favorites]

The yard waste goes to the outside bin, and the litter box gets scooped, every night before we settle in for TV time. (I don't usually do them myself but if they people whose chores they are aren't home, I do it.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:39 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

Writing a short highlights of my day in my bullet journal so I get out the things emotionally hit me that day
Putting very basic/quick makeup on that makes me feel more "put together" at work
Not sitting down when I get home until I put any dishes that are out in the dishwasher
Doing sheet pan dinners that are mostly veggies w/ olive oil, salt, and lemon pepper
Putting on my LUSH coffee mask in the shower for face health
Prepping all my things for the next day in the evening
I sometimes go out and jump rope for a couple minutes

And - my most important one:
Taking a few minutes in between clients to breathe and regulate my nervous system
Laying upside down on a yoga ball at home to regulate myself
posted by fairlynearlyready at 10:56 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]

drink 4L water daily
make bed
taking 7000mg Vit D all winter
taking omega-3
headspace meditation app, any length of time

doing these 6 things every day has made an immeasurable difference in the qualities of my mood, hence the quality of my days, hence the qualities of my relationships (what matters to me most).
posted by crawfo at 11:13 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

I (try to) do a hundred pushups every day, scattered throughout the day. I work from home, so it's easier, but, for instance, every time I go into the kitchen to get a drink I try to do a few. It started out with just a few at a time and a lot of separate sets, now it's more aggressive number per set, but I still limit my overall because every once in a while I have shoulder problems.

It helps clear my head and that little extra upper body strength is noticeable.
posted by straw at 11:25 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

Before leaving work, I write down three actionable & achievable things to do tomorrow.
posted by squorch at 11:44 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]

I've added habits that are fencing drills. So I hit a target 25 times a day, do 10 lunges hitting a target, do a few minutes of footwork. It all adds up to less than ten minutes total, but has definitely resulted in some improvement. Yes, it would be better if I were doing more, but this is where I am right now. I bring up this example not because many people here are going to want to do fencing drills - but because daily habits can be very specific to your goals.
posted by FencingGal at 12:08 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]

-Wipe bathroom and kitchen counters every day after dishes, takes a minute, never have to deal with gross counters
-Retin-a at night, vitamin c serum in the morning
-Take trash to garbage chute after dishes
-Immediately sort/ shred/recycle mail
-Squats while brushing teeth, making calls, etc.
-Sonicare toothbrush and Waterpik-- such a big payoff (never been a committed flosser but I actually look forward to the Waterpik ritual)
-Go through work email and delete or archive anything not requiring action/label everything requiring follow-up
-Take short breaks to walk outside or even around the office, or if I can't leave my desk, take a break to just breathe
posted by kapers at 12:09 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]

These are all wonderful and exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. The only reason only a few things are marked as best answers is that I already do many of them (bed making, dental hygiene, facial care, kitchen tidy, weekly and daily prep for the work week). I'm going to immediately start tracking spending, balancing while brushing my teeth, and action-planning.

Please feel free to add lots more tiny life habits!
posted by angiep at 12:29 PM on March 8

@FencingGal - Do you have a plastic golf ball hanging from your ceiling as a target? (My son fences...)
posted by COD at 12:46 PM on March 8

The three-minute pickup! I do this before I leave for work in the morning, and actually set a timer for it--three minutes only, and in that time I pick up and put away as much strewn clutter as I can. I've made many past attempts to turn myself into that person who puts things away in their proper place as soon as I'm done using them, and it never "took," but this approach enables me to keep the onslaught of cat toys, dirty socks, used coffee cups, random papers, library books, magazines, etc. at least somewhat under control, and it means I come home to a house that's not a complete disaster.
posted by Kat Allison at 1:10 PM on March 8 [8 favorites]

Pretty much every day I check my bank balance online and see what bills have cleared that day and then update my monthly spreadsheet as things clear. This keeps me aware of how much more money I owe that month and roughly which paycheck each transaction should match up with.

I’m in the process of paying down some debt and it’s very satisfying to watch it shrink every month and even to make up new budgets for the months after various debts are eliminated.
posted by bendy at 1:19 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]

In the months leading up to a trip I started using Mango languages (free through the library) to practice speaking Spanish every morning while drinking my coffee and waking up. It was a good replacement for mindless social media scrolling. Since that trip has come and gone I am prepping for my next (Italian). It's enough of a habit that I feel like I could try out some more challenging languages too.
posted by lolibrarian at 1:51 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]

Take the last few minutes of your work day to set up for the next morning. Organize your work space, clear completed emails, and make a list of any pending tasks. (This has also helped me stress less about work on the off hours.)
posted by gennessee at 1:55 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]

@FencingGal - Do you have a plastic golf ball hanging from your ceiling as a target? (My son fences...)

Cat toy (has holes in it so it's easier to hang), but I mostly use a stationary target.
posted by FencingGal at 2:25 PM on March 8

5 minutes of stretching, either after exercising or just sometime during the day. I do a series a chiropractor gave me for low back pain. If I do them I don't have that problem anymore.
These, in case anyone wants to know:
Slow, standing, side to side stretches (making sure to keep my shoulders back) 2 on each side.
Forward bend (flat back, hinge where legs meet your torso try to lay your stomach on your thighs) hold for 30 seconds.
Place foot up on a ledge or chair so your leg is straight out in front of you and forward bend (flat back etc. same as 1st forward bend) hold 30 seconds. Do both legs.
Plus standing quad and hamstring stretches.
These are the ones that work for me ymmv. Seriously though, stretching is a life changer.
posted by BoscosMom at 2:53 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]

We are aiming for more meat free days. Right now we are vegetarian two days a week and will slowly increase this. In my mind, it's better for the planet and for our health. Initially I thought I'd miss it, but I really don't, there's so many great vegetarian recipes out there.

Rosehip oil before bed, sunscreen in the morning, every day, even in winter. The rosehip oil has worked wonders and I've got good skin anyway thanks to parents who slathered me in spf as a child, way before this was a thing.

Squeezing in more walking, as much as I can (I don't do formal exercise so this will have to do.) I have two dogs which is great because when I don't want to do it for me, I have to do it for them. Even if you don't have dogs, taking the stairs or getting off your bus a stop or two earlier helps you move more.

Making a conscious effort to connect with people even if it's just a minute (hard for me as an introvert but very worth it) Could be as simple as having a chat with the barista, your next door neighbour or the mailman.

Olive leaf extract every morning. Apparently it's the new superfood. I can't speak to that but I definitely get less colds, run down etc since I've been taking it.

No tv/devices for meals, we eat around the table. It forces us to appreciate our food and each other and we learn a lot more about our individual days this way.
posted by Jubey at 3:38 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]

My rule is it takes me three times longer to do something in the morning than in the evening. Five minutes spent prepping lunch at night is the equivalent of fifteen minutes after I wake up, which means getting out of bed ten minutes earlier than I absolutely need to. So before going to bed, I support my future self by getting lunch prepped, clothes ready, my bag packed— as much as I can, to reduce decision making when I’m tired.
I also start boiling two eggs as soon as I get up out of bed and am making coffee, so breakfast is ready by the time I am.
posted by roshy at 4:37 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]

Every day ask the question, "What can I do today which means I will feel that I have used the day well at the end of the day?" You can also ask yourself the same question for shorter periods of time, such as your lunch break, or the half hour before an appointment. Remember that things that make you happy are the most productive things. The things that will make you fee good at the end of the day are things that reduce your stress and make you feel that you are on the right path, not simply things you have to do.

Then when you go to bed you have those three things to write down in your journal that you are grateful for but also things that you are pleased with yourself for having done.

Every day do something small for your secret friend. Tuck a pack of nosewipes into her jacket pocket. Get something out and ready for her so she can grab it and go. Write something positive on fb so she will see it. Make a detour to buy her a special treat - grapes, perhaps? - and put them where she will find them later. Who is your secret friend? Future You. People often don't really regard their future self as being a real person. If you think of Future You as your secret friend it is easier to do good things for yourself. I find this works much better than doing good things for myself now because I get the payoff positive emotions twice instead of once. The question is, what one minute thing can I do that will make me happy tomorrow? (next spring, on the weekend, et cetera)
posted by Jane the Brown at 5:55 PM on March 8 [29 favorites]

All these folks advocating bed-making: a fitted sheet (no top sheet) and a duvet with washable cover make that a two-second task. One quick shake and you're done. Yay! I'm also happy with short meditation breaks: even five minutes does wonders to improve your focus at work and reduce stress, cutting down on molar-grinding. I use a phone app to assist with that.
posted by fish tick at 6:20 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]

At the end of each day I get an email sent to me from an online diary service that asks me "what did you do today?" (with this site you can set the question to be whatever, that's just the question I set up). I list out anything I accomplished that day - big things, small things, whatever. Even stuff like "made my own meals" or "updated my planner" or "had this conversation for X project". Some days when it feels like I got nothing done I think back on my day and go "actually no I did get a few things sorted", and it also helps me feel better about days where I legitimately did nothing because it'd usually happen after days or weeks of being busy so the rest day is useful.

I have it sent by email because then if I'm out and about I can always just reply to the email, rather than have to futz around with my browser. It also makes for a good immediate reminder with an easy way to resolve it. (I'm not great with to-do apps usually because while I'd get the things done, I'd never remember to mark them off.)

Also right now I spend 30 mins in the morning 5 days a week learning & practicing magic, but that's probably not quite the sort of habit you're thinking about.

Miracle Morning sounds like the sort of thing you'd be into - it suggests a 5-step daily morning routine.
posted by divabat at 7:56 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]

(Here's a summary of the Miracle Morning routine if you don't feel like getting the book: Silence, Affirmation, Visualisation, Scribing/Journaling, Reading, and Exercise)
posted by divabat at 8:03 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]

You can do more than balance while you're brushing your teeth! I like to do calf raises, but I've also done squats and calf/hamstring/glut stretches at times. I set a timer for 3 minutes and do one leg calf raises alternating every 30 seconds, with the final minute being calf stretches. All while brushing my teeth.

I second (third?) flossing and bed making.

Whenever I leave a room I look for something that needs to be put away and try to do that on my way.

Finally, at the end of the day at work, I check my to do list and make sure I've marked off or noted down everything, so I'm ready to go the next morning. At the end of the week I start a new to do list and transfer anything left across.
posted by eloeth-starr at 9:40 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]

My income is irregular, so I keep a spreadsheet with each day's income, also noting what sources they're from. I do a ton of work on Amazon's Mechanical Turk, Prolific, InboxDollars, UserTesting, and others. If I didn't have the spreadsheet, I'd be so overwhelmed and confused.

I also put my bills on my Google Calendar as soon as they come in. All of them. Even my $1.99 Google Play bill. Except, I put them on the calendar a couple days before they're due. That way I'm more likely to have the money on the actual due date.

One of the most important things to me is knowledge. I used to think that if I knew everything, I could do anything. So I spend 5-10 minutes every day learning something. Duolingo, Jeopardy! World Tour (Google Play Store, Apple), sudoku, crossword puzzle, the books Cultural Literacy and An Incomplete Education (both recommended by Mefites on this post of mine), a random Wikipedia article, anything. (Today I learned about the circulatory systems of arboreal snakes vs those of sea snakes, and about the intelligence of pigs and nationwide problem of feral pigs.)

I use Habitica to keep on top of my to-do lists. Five minutes in the morning, maybe two or three midday, five at night, and I can feel confident that I did All The Things.

I have a lot of physical and psychological health problems, so just plain getting things done sometimes becomes a challenge. I use an egg timer and set it from 5 to 15 minutes depending on what I want to work on, and promise myself I only have to do the thing until the timer goes off. I had a mentor with a ton of insane health problems who once told me, "You can do anything for 15 minutes." I've found that sometimes I can only do 5, but I've given myself permission to forgive me.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 10:50 PM on March 8 [8 favorites]

I live for the woowoo so YMMV but in addition to the bedmaking stuff, my quality of life has improved greatly through:

morning pages journaling from the artist's way, making enough eye contact when meeting someone to make a mindful note of their eye color (did I learn this on here? Probably) and smiling and enjoying people's smiles in return, meditating every morning and also, when things are going well, taking a moment to ask myself ala Kurt Vonnegut: "if this isn't nice, I don't know what is".
posted by athirstforsalt at 7:07 AM on March 9 [9 favorites]

Not daily, but every week I make a meal plan and stick to it. Dinnertime is much less hassle, especially with hungry kids around.
posted by Enid Lareg at 8:39 AM on March 10

I text a friend or my parents or sister to say hi and ask how they are doing.
posted by soakimbo at 10:01 PM on March 10

Came here to also mention The Artist's Way morning pages, three longhand pages of free association as soon as possible upon waking. (In my case, right after feeding the dog and getting coffee.) I've done this for more than a decade and it has made a huge difference to my mood and sense of perspective.
posted by rpfields at 9:47 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]

Since this post is still being read, I wanted to recommend James Clear's new book, Atomic Habits.
posted by angiep at 7:38 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]

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