The Oxford dictionary definition of a habit is: “A settled tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” With that definition in mind, it makes sense that we work on making our daily habits as beneficial as possible. When something is habitual it becomes part of your existence. You don’t go a day without doing it and it can either have a very positive or very negative affect on your life. That’s why you should build better habits starting now.

Building better habits isn’t as easy as it may seem. Depending on the habit you want to create (think: drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up vs. practicing meditation every night before bed), it will take a different length of time. When something is habitual, it becomes automatic. You don’t even have to think before you do it, you just do it.

Good habits are something you need to start creating on a daily basis. Habits of successful people include reading, gratitude and goal setting, so forming healthy habits needs to be at the top of your list. Click through to read about 7 ways to build better habits and the best productivity tips that come along with the tips!

And it’s not just creating good habits, it’s breaking bad habits, too. One bad habit I’m looking to kick is my procrastination/social media addiction. Seriously! I’ve wasted so much time scrolling Instagram and my Facebook feed instead of doing productive work, so I’ve been determined to find a system to help my break this bad habit.

Before I get into the tips on how to build better habits, I want to share a few habits of highly successful people.

Habits of Successful People

They wake up and go to bed early

They prioritize their health (mental & physical)

They continuously read and learn

They have self-control

They practice gratitude

They take time to reflect

They surround themselves with successful, inspiring people

They work on their craft daily (even on weekends)

They have a support system

They take initiative

They’re good listeners and communicators

They set goals

They have an action plan to meet their goals

They diversify their income streams

Related Post: 6 Habits of Successful Online Entrepreneurs

All of these habits are ones I strive to do every day. Are you with me? Here are 7 things you can do to build better habits, and simultaneously become happier, more productive and more fulfilled.

1. Acknowledge bad habits you want to change

how to build better habits

The first step to making better habits is acknowledging habits you want to change. Do you go to bed super late? Do you, like me, find yourself constantly distracted by social media? Are your go-to meals fast food and take out over home cooked eats? Do some self-reflecting to figure out the habits you need to change to make room for better ones.

2. Start with simple habits you can’t say no to

There are simple things you can change/do on a daily basis that will bring so much value to your life. For instance, whenever you have to commute, instead of listening to music, listen to a podcast that feeds you with knowledge. It can be on whatever topic you’re interested in, but it’s such an easy switch to make that can benefit you tenfold. If you’re prone to eating out every day, make it a habit to make one home cooked meal per week to start. The goal is to stay consistent, so if you can start with these simple things, it will become easier and easier to make them automatic.

3. Read 20-30 minutes a day

This is one of the best habits you can make. Reading helps so much with education and self-improvement. I’ve started waking up earlier each day so I can get half an hour of reading in. If you want to be well-informed and do better at your craft (whatever it may be), reading is a non-negotiable. And I don’t mean reading for entertainment (reading gossip articles on your favourite celebs doesn’t count). I mean books, articles and novels that can enhance your life, boost your career and serve life lessons. Don’t know where to start? Here are 7 books every creative should read!

4. Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day

how to build better habits

Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day prepares you for a more productive, fulfilling day. You’ll feel more awake and energized throughout the day and you’ll also fall asleep easier and sleep better at night. Most importantly, a consistent sleep schedule creates routine. If you have a set time to go to bed, you know when you have to start your nighttime regimen (face mask, reading, meditation, journaling, writing tomorrow’s to-do list etc.). Otherwise you could spend your time scrolling through social media or watching TV until you get so tired you can’t keep you eyes open. Which option sounds more fulfilling?

5. Start Time blocking

If you have issues with productivity, try time blocking to build better habits throughout the day. Time blocking is organizing your day into time slots. I started doing this at the beginning of this week, and it’s a habit I plan to carry on. The first thing you do is take out a calendar (it could do your iCal, Google calendar, or whatever you like to use). Plug in your non-negotiables first. What time will you wake up? How long do you need for your morning routine (Showering, getting ready, reading, breakfast, etc.)? What time will you go to the gym? What time do you eat lunch? What time will you block out for meetings? You get the idea.

how to build better habits

Then, devote time slots each day to different tasks and goals you have. In order to do this, you have to create goals for yourself. I like to set 1 personal goal and 2-3 business goals per month. Once you know what your goals are, you can create time slots around them. Schedule work for your most important goals first and then devote other time slots to work you need to get done, but it’s not as crucial. Instead of having a million things floating around in your mind of what you need to do, time blocking creates a system that helps you get your work done efficiently.

6. Use a Planner

If you’re a regular reader around here, you know how much I loveee using a planner. Specifically my Day Designer. I pretty much can’t function without it- it keeps me organized and on track, and ensures I don’t forget important commitments. Using a planner is a great habit to get into. The reason I love the Day Designer so much (other than its gorgeous design of course), is that it covers it ALL. A lot of planners out there have sections for each day that you can write your schedule in, but each day of The Day Designer has a space for your to-do list, plus it separates the day by hour so you can plan out what you’ll do when (kind of like time blocking!).

It also has a place to write down things that are due, your top 3 of the day (your time block goals), a space for gratitude and a space for notes. Not only is scheduling your days in your planner a good habit to make, it also creates good habits. Knowing what you have to do and writing down time slots to do it in will help you build better habits.

7. If you can’t change the people around you, change the people around you

how to build better habits

This is one of my favourite quotes. The people you surround yourself with have the power to raise you up or cut you down. Be VERY careful who you spend your time with, because they have a lot to do with the habits you make. Whether it’s the food you eat, the topics you talk about, or the activities you do, ask yourself if the time you’re spending with them is creating better or worse habits for you. If it’s the latter, then you may want to think about changing the people you spend your time with.

Related Post: 4 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude on a Daily Basis

Do you think you can incorporate these 7 things into your daily life to build better habits? What’s one habit you’d like to kick? Let me know in the comments and we can hold each other accountable!


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Good habits are something you need to start creating on a daily basis. Habits of successful people include reading, gratitude and goal setting, so forming healthy habits needs to be at the top of your list. Click through to read about 7 ways to build better habits and the best productivity tips that come along with the tips!

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6 thoughts on “How to Build Better Habits (& Boost Your Productivity)

  1. I love these tips! I’ve been focusing on building good habits this year after reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before. I completely agree that as you start building a habit, it gets easier and easier!

    Posted on September 29, 2017 at 4:14 pm
    1. Thanks Kate! I’ll have to add that book to my list! Can’t wait to read it <3

      Posted on September 30, 2017 at 10:45 am
  2. very useful post!! I personally have such a hard time with cutting ‘negative’ people out. which is bad, because I noticed over the holidays that I am not really a complainer, but after spending more time with these people, I know that I complain about everything they complain. And that just brings you (and others) in a bad and slacking mood :/ x

    Posted on September 30, 2017 at 9:31 am
    1. Hi Bronx! It’s so true, it can be tough to cut negative people out, especially if they’re people who are close to you, but sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and evaluate friendships, as tough as it may be. Try your best to spend time with as many positive people as possible! <3

      Posted on September 30, 2017 at 10:44 am
  3. Love this post! Going to bed and waking up at the same tie is something I need to work on because I definitely believe it boosts productivity and overall, it just makes me feel more energetic! Your last tip about changing the people around you is so true!

    Mia | http://www.verymuchmia.com

    Posted on October 1, 2017 at 11:24 am
    1. Thanks Mia! I so agree, I really need to make going to bed and getting up at the same time a habit! I think having a nighttime routine really helps with this <3 thanks for stopping by!

      Posted on October 1, 2017 at 4:55 pm