Daily Habits to Adopt Before the Summer Ends
By Samra Ashe, Press & Written Media Team
One of the great things about the summer is that it opens our schedules up to whatever we want to do beyond schoolwork, whether that be extra time to make money, take on resume-enhancing internships or focus on personal development. For me, every summer gives me the chance to work on improving myself by building better habits. The general consensus is that it takes 21 days to establish a habit, so if you get started now, these habits could be well ingrained into your daily life by the time the school year rolls around! Below are some suggestions for some habits you can start right now.
1. Stay up to date with current events. As difficult as it can be to read the news these days, it’s important to have at least a general understanding of what’s going on in the world. One reputable news source that makes this very easy is the New York Times. I am signed up for the New York Times free The Morning Newsletter. Signing up is as simple as submitting your email. From there — every morning Monday through Friday, plus a weekend edition on Sundays — you’ll receive an email that concisely summarizes important news.
For a slightly more in-depth but still easily digestible alternative, the New York Times also has a podcast called The Daily, hosted by Michael Barbaro. It summarizes important current issues you should know about. Each episode is only twenty minutes, and the episodes come out five days a week, making it a great option to listen to on your daily commute or as you get ready in the morning.
2. Try weekly meal prepping. The benefits to meal prepping are numerous. For one, it makes eating healthy more manageable. I know that when left to my own devices, I often default to quick, easy and unfortunately unhealthy options. Not to mention that once the school year starts, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos of schoolwork, clubs and socializing, so you may end up losing track of when to eat.
Meal prepping helps to avoid all those issues. It comes in different forms, but essentially, the goal is to plan and prepare what you’re going to be eating everyday each week. It helps to choose recipes that are quick, easy and most importantly, healthy. How you prepare beyond that is up to you. Some people only go as far as buying the ingredients they’ll need. Others will fully prepare and pack all the meals that need to be cooked on Sunday, making lunch as simple as pulling it from the fridge. You could also prepare a large weekly batch of food, such as a soup or pasta dish, and freeze it. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to prepare, but at the very least, I think planning meals during the weekend for the work week ahead is an effective way to ensure that you eat three healthy meals a day with no fuss.
3. Set monthly, weekly and daily goals. We all know the importance of setting goals, but too often, it only goes as far as declaring a handful of vague resolutions on New Year’s Eve like “get healthier” or “stop procrastinating”, and giving up mid-January. An effective way to sidestep this all-too-common pitfall is by breaking down your vast, ambitious yearly goals into monthly, weekly and daily goals. The biggest reason people don’t follow through with improving themselves the way they want to is because it’s hard to tackle such an intimidating task if you don’t have a smart, realistic and clear plan for achieving it. For example, a general goal such as “run a marathon” could be broken down into a monthly goal to run two miles under 20 minutes, which could in turn be divided into improving your time by a certain amount per week, which could further be divided into the daily goal of practicing for an hour.
4. Clean your room every night. Oftentimes during the summer, the lack of stress leads to laziness and the neglection of important chores such as maintaining a clean environment. And once the school year starts, the overwhelming amount of responsibilities means that we put aside cleaning our rooms until the mess is unbearable. However, setting aside 10 to 15 minutes at the end of the day to tidy up your desk, pick clutter off the floor and generally clean up any mess that accumulates during the day means that you never have to get to the point where the clean-up is so bad that it takes hours. Furthermore, the state of our rooms influences our mood and productivity, and a clean space makes us feel more inspired, motivated and organized than when our surroundings are dirty and cluttered.
Finally, track your habits using a habit tracker. You can make your own, as many bullet journalers like to do, or you can use one of the many free templates online, such as this one.
We are what we do, so if you don’t like your life or the person you are right now, reflect on what you want to improve and the habits you need to implement in order to get there.
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