Let’s take a few minutes to talk about habits. When you think of habits, are you thinking about the ones you just can’t stick to? Like working out, drinking all your water, going to bed at a decent hour, etc.?
I have a list of daily habits that, if done, add up to a pretty good day. But if I even complete 80% of my habits, I’m doing well.
I like to view habits as a way to take care of myself, when the habits are benefitting me and pushing me towards my goals, of course.
Being a mom is difficult. It’s easy to get caught up in your family, and put your needs and wants to the side.
However, by incorporating small habits on a daily basis, you can start putting the focus back on yourself.
I’m sharing fourteen daily habits that will improve motherhood for you.
There’s a beautiful Habit Tracker that you can download for free once you’re ready to tackle your habits.
*This post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through one of my links. If you do, thank you for supporting our little family!*
What Are Habits?
I’m not the dictionary, but I define habits as an act, practice, or task, that’s incorporated into my life because I think it will make my life better in some way.
Habits are also a good way to give your brain a rest. For example, I’m assuming that you brush your teeth at least daily. When it’s time to brush your teeth, you don’t have to stop and think about how to do it, how long to do it, or even if you are going to do it? You’ve brushed your teeth so much that your brain goes into autopilot and you work through the motions.
When you do something so consistently that it becomes a habit, you lessen the mental energy expanded to do it.
And if there’s one thing I’m all for, it’s calming my brain down a bit.
14 Habits That Improve Motherhood
Habit #1: Do Something You Enjoy
Spend 15-30 minutes a day, doing something YOU enjoy.
When my kids were little, I missed reading (to myself) so much. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, but when I became a mom, reading took a back seat.
I realized that I wanted to incorporate reading back into my life, so I set out to read for 30 minutes a day. Sometimes, the 30 minutes was all in one sitting, and at other times, I spent a few minutes spread out through the day.
However, just creating that small daily habit for myself made me happy and greatly improved my reading life. Not to mention, I had something to look forward to. Because, let’s face it, when you are taking care of others needs every day, it can feel a bit unfulfilling.
What’s one thing you really miss doing? Maybe it’s connecting with friends, watching your favorite TV show, or scrapbooking.
Set a goal for yourself to spend a small amount of time doing that thing daily.
Habit #2: Put Your Shoes On
When my son was young, and I was spending hours on the couch nursing, I realized that I would get up and move around more frequently if I had my shoes on.
I made it a habit to put my sneakers on every day, even if I never left the house. The simple act of putting shoes on boosted my productivity for the day.
Even thought my kids are a little bit older, and I don’t spend as much time sitting around, I still have a pair of sneakers that I only wear in the house.
If you want to boost your productivity, and feel a little bit more human, make a habit of putting your shoes on everday.
Habit #3: Drink Water
I’m sure you know all the benefits of drinking water, but it really does do wonders for your health! I know when I haven’t had enough water because I feel lethargic, and I constantly feel hungry. Once I get my water in, I feel energized and have less cravings.
Do you find it challenging to drink all the water you need to thrive? I love having the abitlity to measure out and track how much water I drink. This is actually one of the habits I track on a daily basis – I aim to drink a gallon of water a day. I bought this awesome gallon water bottle six months ago and I use it everyday.
While you are packing up the diaper bag, make sure to add your water bottle.
You can also set a timer on your phone to remind you through out the day to drink water.
Habit #4: Plan Ahead For The Next Day
Want to feel organized and in control when you wake up in the morning? Then take a few minutes the day before to put a plan together. It can be as detailed or as loose as you want. But starting your day with some sort of structure in place does wonders for your mind.
Putting the plan together the night before is like a gift to your future self.
Of course you will have times when your child wakes up sick, or is having a tough day, and you may need to throw your plan out the window. That’s just life and it doesn’t mean that your whole day has to be ruined. But planning ahead can really set you up for success.
Need more help with organizing your time? Check out these blog posts to help you get started:
- Easy Weekly Planning Routine
- How to Time Block Your Schedule as a Stay-at-Home Mom
- How To Plan Your Week for Productivity
Habit #5: Move Your Body
You don’t have to commit to a full exercise program to gain the benefits of moving your body. Just frequent movement through out your day can do the trick.
As I was writing this, my Fitbit vibrated to remind me that I haven’t completed my 250 steps this hour. I got up and walked around the house until I met that goal. One of my daily habits is to take 10,000 steps. And a lot of times I can acheive this by taking a short 10 minute walk, and then making sure I’m not sitting for too long through out the day.
There are some days when I ignore the Fitbit reminders, and on those days I am always reminded that an object in motion stays in motion…because once I become too sedantary, the less I want to move.
My whole body feels better, and I am able to enjoy more time with my kids – kicking the soccer ball, or speed-walking while they are riding their bikes, because I stay active.
Habit #6: Plan Dinner The Night Before
I don’t love late afternoon/dinner time. Everyone is usually tired, complaining about school work, or in a rush to get out the door to practice.
Knowing ahead of time what is on the menu for dinner makes one less thing you have to deal with. Plus, when you make a dinner plan the night before, you avoid the frustration of realizing something needs to defrost an hour before supper.
I’m a huge believer in doing as much prepping as possible the day before. Similar to planning out your day the night before, having a plan for the following night’s dinner is a gift to your future self.
Habit #7: Spend 30 Minutes Phone Free
Almost a year ago, I made the choice to leave social media. One of the main reasons was the habit I created of picking up my phone non-stop. I would set my phone down, and 5 minutes later pick it up again to check the same apps without even realizing I had just looked at the same thing minutes before.
By taking social media off the table, I used my phone less through out the day. My mind started to calm down, and I was more present with my kids or whatever activity I was doing.
Chances are, you already have a whole lot of mind clutter/overwhelm going on. Give yourself a daily break for 30 minutes by putting your phone down.
You could even hit two habits with one stone (haha), by putting down your phone for 30 minutes and using the time for habit #1!
Habit #8: Take Your Vitamins
I used to struggle big time with this one. I would be on a streak of being consistent with my vitamins, and then I would finish them and not buy a replacement and fall out of the habit.
In order to take vitamins on a long-term consistent basis, I used Gretchen Rubin‘s trick called habit stacking. For example, as part of my morning routine, I empty the dishwasher and make the kids breakfast and lunch. Because these habits are so automatic, I stacked on the habit of taking my vitamins. This habit fell into my morning routine.
Now I take my vitamins everyday. When I run out of a vitamin, I won’t throw out the bottle until I’ve placed the vitamin on my weekly shopping list.
Stack the habit of taking your vitamins on top of another habit, like brushing your teeth. This way, it will be easier to stick to.
Habit #9: Do One Load Of Laundry A Day
I used to intentionally ignore the laundry basket exploding with dirty clothes. It felt too overwhelming to tackle, until it got to a crisis point – no clean underwear.
I eventually got smart and decided to do laundry every day.
Everyone in my family has their own laundry basket. We have a basket for towels, and I rotate washing bedsheets.
Each morning, I put in a load of laundry (depending on whose laundry day it is), and by the end of the day it’s been washed and dryed. Most of the time I fold clothes while I’m watching TV. My kids put their own clean clothes away – I started this habit with them at 5 years old.
Make your life easier and avoid laundry overwhelm by breaking down the laundry into smaller parts and doing it daily. This habit is a life (and time) saver!
Habit #10: Give Yourself A Bedtime And Stick To It
It took me a few years to learn this, but the only way I could have a consistent morning routine was to abide by a self-imposed bedtime.
I used to stay up at night scrolling on my phone, or zoned out in front of the TV. Once 9pm passed, I felt too tired to get up off the couch and go to bed. Then I wouldn’t be able to wake up before my kids in the morning.
Eventually, I realized that having time to myself in the morning was more important to me than zoning out in front of the TV. So I set myself a bedtime and started sticking to it.
If your kids still wake up in the middle of the night (I’ll raise my hand), try to front-load your sleep. For example, if your child usually wakes up around 2 am, try to go to bed by 9pm to get the majority of your sleep in before you’re dream stealer appears.
Habit #11: Wake-Up Before Your Kid
There’s nothing like those first few minutes of the day. When you wake-up before your kids, even if it’s 5-10 minutes, you allow yourself time to breath and get your mind prepared for the day.
If you give yourself more time in the morning, you can spend the time checking off some of the other habits on this list.
It wasn’t always easy to have morning time to myself. My little one is an early riser and light sleeper. The minute he heard my feet hit the ground, I swear, he hopped out of bed himself. I spent time teaching him how to keep himself occupied while I took some time for myself. I talk more about this process, and how to wake-up before your kids, here.
Habit #12: Take a Mental Picture
This sounds weird, I know, but stick with me. Perhaps you remember the episode of The Office when Pam and Jim married in Niagara Falls. In the car on the way to the Falls, Pam shared some advice from a relative. The advice was to take mental pictures of the high points because the day will go by so fast. They took imaginary pictures through out the day as a way to stop and enjoy the moment.
Do this with your kids. When you notice something cute, or totally chaotic, stop and snap a mental photo. Sit for a second with the moment and appreciate what is in front of you. Time does go fast. And eventually the scattered toys, meltdowns, messy cuddles, or peaceful playing, will no longer be around.
Make it a habit to take one mental picture a day as a way to stop and enjoy the moment.
Habit #13: Aim To Get 10,000 Steps a Day
This doesn’t happen every day for me, but I always start out the day with the intention to reach my 10,000 steps. I love having a goal in mind for my overall movement, and it’s fun to see the little celebration that happens in my FitBit when I reach 10,000 steps.
Aiming to get 10,000 steps is the incentive I need for playing baseball with my kids, or having a little dance party. I’m so much more productive, and feel better mentally, when I’m not sitting for extended periods of the day.
Plus, this is another habit that can help you check off habit #5. I really do love two for one habits!
Habit #13: Reach Out To Someone Else
Being a mom can feel isolating at times. It really helps to have another mom, or person to talk to who is in motherhood with you, or has been there before.
Make it a habit to reach out to one person a day, it could even be the same person everyday. But by keeping in contact with others, you will lessen the isolation, and build your support system.
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to burden others, think of it this way: you never know who might be having a hard day and a text/phone call from you would make all the difference.
When my kids were babies, I made an effort to get together with other moms at least once a week. I always looked forward to this time, and it helped break up the day. Now that my kids are in school, I don’t connect in person as much, but I still keep in touch with many of these moms.
Habit #14: Use A Habit Tracker
If you feel a little joy each time you get to cross-something off your to-do list, then you are going to love using a habit tracker. A habit tracker is a fun way to list out all your habits, and then mark off when you have completed them.
I started using a habit tracker a few years ago and haven’t looked back. I find that using the tracker helps me stay accountable to not only my habits, but to my goals also. I’m also more competitive with myself then I am with others so tracking my habits is an easy way to see the progress I’ve made.
I created a free Habit Tracker that you can grab here to track the habits we talked about today.
Use These Habits To Improve Motherhood
If you are looking to enjoy your day, get more done, and reclaim some time for yourself, then implement a few (or all) of these fourteen habits. Use your free Habit Tracker to give yourself credit for each habit you complete!
Let me know in the comments below, what habit will you start working on today? What habits have you found helpful in motherhood? Do you have a system for tracking your habits?
Want to feel less overwhelmed and more in control as a mom? Check these out:
- Get your sanity back with this huge list of mom hacks.
- Find everything from a planning routine to an afternoon routine in this big list of routines.
- Learn what to do when you are feeling stressed out as a mom.