52 Habits To Literally Change Your Life [Free Printable]


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Habits are so important to making the most of every day. We want to make as many good habits as possible, while limiting the bad. Here are 52 brilliant habits that could change your life – all good of course! – so let’s get started straight away…

52 Habits To Change Your Life

Why Create New Habits?

Life can be hard – rushing around all the time and never feeling like you actually get anything you really want done…

Habits can help. They’ve helped me to get more organised and find more time in my day – and I’m sure they can do the same for you.

Quote - Alongside Great Systems and Routines...

After I read the amazing book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg (which I would really recommend if you want to understand about why and how we create habits – it’s fascinating…), I was struck by how powerful habits really are.

Habits are things that become part of your life without you even thinking about them, and because they don’t take up any brain space they tend to give you more time without you even realising it.

Let me ask you a quick question… – when you brush your teeth each day, do you think about not doing it at all, or do you just get on with it?

You will more than likely have thought that a strange question – after all, we all brush our teeth every morning and evening – it takes a few minutes and then is done. We don’t talk ourselves out of doing it as we know it needs to be done, and we know what time and when in our day we should do it. It has become so simple to do that we just do it.

It’s become a habit.

If we can make lots of positive things in our life a habit like this, things that after a while become second nature, then we can help ourselves and our lives will run more smoothly each and every day.

52 Habits – 1 For Each Week of the Year

In this post I have written down some of the best habits to try out in your own day – 52 in total!

Having a new habit each week for a year means that over the next year you can set up a day to day life that really works for you – giving you a less stressful and easier life.

Of course, you may already be doing some of these – and some may not suit the way you live (or who you live with etc…), so feel free to make a list of your own – let this be your inspiration and a guide to get you started.

Make It Easy To Get Motivated…

I’ve made things even easier for you as well, by listing not only all the habits, but also a benefit for each one.

This is because knowing the “WHY” will motivate you to do it.

Related: The 5 Biggest Motivation Killers – And How To Overcome Them

If you clean your teeth, you won’t need as much dental work, you’ll have fresh breath, and your teeth will stay in good condition.

We began to clean our teeth knowing all these facts, and when we were little that is what we were told each day to make sure they were cleaned. Once it became habit we still new the benefits, but they mattered less as they were now instilled in us.

The benefit will be the motivation you can use to keep doing something until it becomes that habit.

Cup of coffee on wooden surface

Splitting Habits Into Categories

52 habits is a lot, I know – and so I’ve split the habits up to make them a little more organised (I can’t help myself!):

  • Habits for your morning routine
  • Habits for your evening routine
  • Habits for your time management 
  • Habits to get your paperwork under control
  • Habits for your money
  • Habits to help with housekeeping
  • Habits for your health and fitness
  • Habits for your life in general
Free printable - 52 Habits To Change Your Life

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You can take a look at any of the categories that you’re particularly struggling with at the moment, or try them all – totally up to you!

So, let’s get started, and what better way than with your morning routine

Morning Routine Habits

If you’re like me and struggle with mornings, why not try to get all these habits into the start of your day?

I know it will help me get more done and be calmer…

#1 – Make the bed each morning

Ideally let it air while you are in the bathroom and getting ready. It’s known that leaving it to air is healthier – so leave as long as you can but always make the bed at the end of your morning routine.

BENEFIT: As the bed is the largest area in your room, usually, making it neat and tidy makes a HUGE difference to the perceived state of the rest of the room. It automatically makes your bedroom feel clean and tidy and gives you a sense of order.

Lady in jeans making a bed

#2 – Take any medication you need at the same time each day

I have meds I have to take every morning, and so I do this before I get out of bed so I don’t forget. I keep them by my water so I can see them for a visual reminder as well.

BENEFIT: This will stop stress when you realise halfway through the day that you haven’t taken it – use a medicine storage box to make it easy to make sure you’ve taken them (it splits it up into days).

Medicine tablets

#3 – Always have breakfast

This is a tough one for me, as I don’t like eating early. I DO have breakfast, but a little later in the morning – so my advice would be to find a time that works for you, as you’re more likely to stick to it.

BENEFIT: Sets you up for the day – and it’s said that you tend to snack less on unhealthy foods if you eat at the start of the day.

Breakfast of pancakes and blueberries - with a cup of coffee

#4 – Unload the dishwasher each morning

If you’re really organised, this may be a job that you do in the evening – however, some people like to set the dishwasher overnight and then wake up to everything being clean.

BENEFIT: You always start the day with all the items of your kitchen clean and ready to use .

Lady unloading a dishwasher

#5 – Leave the house as you’d like to find it when you come home

Put things away, straighten things up, and have a general scan of each room so you can be sure that things are as you’d want to find them later…

BENEFIT: It makes you feel fantastic to walk in to a clean and tidy home without anything HAVING to be done before you can relax.

Hello written on a door mat

#6 – Try and get up at the same time each day

Whatever time works best for your specific needs and wants, make this the time you get up every day.

It’s always best to make sure this is a time that allows you (on an average day) to get it all done without rushing, but that gives you the sleep you need.

BENEFIT: Lie ins at the weekend can do more harm than good, making you feel sluggish for the rest of the day. Balancing your body clock will have a huge effect on your day! (If you struggle to get up, an alarm clock that wakes you with a sunrise type light may well help make the habit easier)

But what about the rest of the day – evenings are the next place to tackle…

Lady opening curtains to let light in

Evening Routine Habits

#7 – Wash dishes and/or set the dishwasher straight after tea

This is a similar thread to #4 – it really depends on how you prefer to work in your home as to which of these you do.

BENEFIT: You can have the dishes washed before bed time and ready in the dishwasher for the following morning. Waking up to clean plates and a clean kitchen is so much nicer! – and it takes less time to clean pans when they are newly dirty rather than leaving food on them to harden overnight.

Lady doing washing up

#8 – Tidy the house each evening

10 mins is plenty to make all the difference. Set a timer and make it a game with the family. Go round and tidy/straighten everything so you sort of reset it each evening. Great to do before bed or before your evening meal.

BENEFIT: Waking up to a tidy house is so much better a way to start the day and you won’t end up with loads of tidying to do at the weekend!

Lady arranging a shelf with accessories

#9 – Set the table for breakfast the night before

I’m not talking about getting all the best crockery out and making it a big deal – but there are lots of benefits from simply getting out what you need for the first meal of the day.

BENEFIT: Save time each morning. Even just a couple of minutes saved can be huge at this time!

Toaster with toast popping out of the top

#10 – Hang out Tomorrows clothes

Taking time to work out what you want to wear tomorrow is a great habit to get into, as you’ll be ready to go much easier the following morning.

One tip is to look at the weather forecast so you can hopefully dress appropriately, and if you need extra accessories (different bag, coat, umbrella etc…) then you can sort it out before going to bed.

BENEFIT: You don’t have to rush in the morning, or find too late that something is in the wash or needs ironing.

wall hooks

#11 – Check your diary for the next day

…and ensure you have everything you need ready to go. This works for kids with their school work (so they have time to get their homework done), and for you for things like appointments and checking with others that they are ready for a meeting etc..

BENEFIT: Much less stress in the morning! (you can also check the time you need to get up if it’s different to usual for any reason).

Lady writing in planner

#12 – Try and go to bed at the same time each night

A great way to get into the habit of a good evening routine is to get to bed at the same time.

It will make everything work backwards in terms of knowing what time to do each thing before getting into bed (shower, bath, dinner etc…) so you can feel more in control.

BENEFIT: As with getting up at the same time each morning (#6), this will help to regulate your body and help you feel much better each day.

Lady sleeping in bed with black eye mask on

#13 – Put your phone on charge every night overnight

Whether it’s in the hall ready to grab before you leave the house, or by your bedside – it’s definitely worth making sure you wake up with a full battery!

BENEFIT: You should never run out of battery during the day and have to find a charger, a power source, or miss an important call.

Mobile phone next to tulips
Free printable - 52 Habits To Change Your Life

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#14 – Review your day Last thing at night

I totally love reviewing my day at the end of the day as I tend to forget all the little things that have happened, and how much I’ve achieved, even when I don’t think I have. I think #14 is therefore one of my favourite habits of all!

I love to think of 3 good things in the day, which also works well for my daughter when we’re talking about the day.

BENEFIT: You go to bed feeling accomplished, and positive.

Time Management Habits

#15 – Keep on top of your diary

Make sure you schedule in all events, TO DO’s etc… so you know exactly what you’re doing.

BENEFIT: This will keep you a step ahead, and help you to organise your day much better when you can see what’s required and whether there are any clashes etc…

Writing in a book

#16 – Book in appointments ASAP

Ideally do this as soon as you have had your last appointment, while you’re still there.

BENEFIT: You save time and don’t have to add to your TO DO list. You’ll also be able to get an appointment time that works best for you rather than having to have whatever’s left at the last minute.

A diary - week to view

#17 – Check all birthdays and events you need to buy presents/cards for each week

You can get everything in one go and save time and energy. Not only that, but…

BENEFIT:  Looking ahead all the time means you’re much less likely to forget or miss a Birthday.

Cake with lots of gold candles on top

#18 – Always add time to tasks in your diary

Add in contingency time, travel time and time for the actual task into your diary – not just the task itself.

BENEFIT: You’ll then be able to see exactly how much of day will be taken up, and not overbook yourself. It’s much more realistic way of doing things as a lot of people simply write in a start time and forget about all the surrounding time required.

Alarm clock

#19 – Don’t leave things until the last minute

Always do immediately or plan in a time (that allows for contingency as well) to get it done.

BENEFIT: You’ll feel so much less stressed, and not have to rush tasks because of lack of enough time to get it done properly.

Frustrated looking lady with hands on her head

Paperwork Habits

#20 – Handle incoming paperwork once only

Don’t leave in a pile to do later – add them into your paperwork system so they make their way through it and you don’t waste time dealing with things more than once.

BENEFIT: This will ensure that things get done and you don’t mislay anything. It also saves time because as soon as you have to read something again you are duplicating effort for no real reason.

Large pile of paper

#21 – Bin rubbish as soon as it comes into your home

Any Junk Mail, envelopes etc… that come through the door (either in the post or brought in from school/work etc…) need to be ideally recycled as soon as possible so they don’t build up paper piles inside.

BENEFIT: Simply saves time and energy (shred what you can as well for security – anything with your address or personal details is vulnerable if just put into your usual rubbish/recycle bin).

Silver rubbish bin in kitchen

#22 – Open your post when you have time to action items

If you open your post when short on time, you can’t make any necessary phone calls, pay bills, send forms back etc… and this can be really stressful.

BENEFIT: You’ll be able to get things done in one go and not have to make little piles of things to do later.

Hiding a coffee mug that says 'but first coffee'

Money Habits

#23 – Manage Your Receipts

Keep all receipts in your wallet/purse each day and transfer to a file each night/week

BENEFIT: Always know where everything is, great if you need for tax reasons or simply if you need to return something.

Putting cards in a purse

#24 – Have Spare Cash In Wallet / Purse

Always have some cash in your purse/wallet for unexpected things.

BENEFIT: Never get caught out – things like items for your childrens school, shops that only take cash etc… can easily crop up without warning.

Lady putting a note into a white piggy bank

#25 – Have some spare change in your car

Ideal for car parks and toll roads.

For me, habit #25 can be a complete life saver when I’m out and about and have forgotten my purse – or have to change in it. And it’s so easy to do!

BENEFIT: You don’t get caught out and stuck when you don’t have your purse with you with cash in.

#26 – check before you buy

When shopping, always ask yourself if you need the item, and whether you can get it cheaper elsewhere

BENEFIT: This makes you question your purchases and therefore save money, and reduce clutter in your home.

Free printable - 52 Habits To Change Your Life

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Housekeeping Habits

#27 – Wipe down the shower / bath after every use

It takes a few seconds to do this habit – so just grab a shower squeegee and get wiping. It’s quite fun too!

BENEFIT: Saves time when it comes to cleaning – no more water marks to scrub off. It also looks much nicer to see a sparkly glass shower door at any time of the day/week!

Bathroom and shower

#28 – Scan The Room When Leaving

Ensure that when you leave a room you scan to see if anything needs to be taken out of it – then do it!

BENEFIT: Will keep you on top of tidying and keep your home ready for guests at any time.

#29 – Keep Laundry Flowing

Do a load of washing daily (or as often as your home requires) to keep on top of the washing and drying system.

BENEFIT: No more wanting items that aren’t available as yet – or needing to grab the iron to do one thing last minute.

Lady carrying a basket of washing

#30 – Always put things back where they should go

Any time you use something, put it back straight away – in the right place. It takes no longer to do this than put it back somewhere else…

BENEFIT: You’ll always find things when you need them.

#31 – Batch Cook

When cooking, cook an extra portion or two and freeze for another day.

BENEFIT: You’ll always have something quick and healthy to eat when there’s no time to cook.

Kitchen with a blackboard in the background

#32 – Manage The Kitchen Mess

When cooking, wash up and keep tidy while you go rather than wait until the end (or after you’ve eaten).

BENEFIT: This is easy to do when you get organised during cooking, and it leaves just the plates and a pot or two to sort out after eating, when you really won’t feel like tackling a kitchen mess.

#33 – Keep Your Shopping List Up To Date

Add items that you use up when you use them up, or just before – straight onto the shopping list.

BENEFIT: You don’t need to remember everything, and then you can grab the list whenever you’re going to the shops, knowing that everything is on there that you need and is up to date.

Making a shopping list with the fridge door open

#34 – Manage Your Petrol

A great habit to get into is to fill your car up with petrol when you pass a petrol station rather than waiting for the need to fill it up because it’s nearly empty.

BENEFIT: You can save money if you pop in and get petrol when you happen to see a decent price when out and about. You also save time as you’re passing anyway, rather than having to make a special trip.

Health And Fitness Habits

#35 – Eat 5 Fruit And Veg a day

…at least!

BENEFIT: A balanced diet can help you be more productive, healthier and so many more benefits. It’s hard not to have this as one of your key habits!

Notepad with fresh food around it

#36 – Take a multi vitamin

Or any type of extra boost that you need. I take Vitamin D as I am prone to being low in this vitamin – you do what you need…

BENEFIT: That extra boost can only be a good thing!

#37 – Try a new recipe each week

Have a list of recipes you’d like to try close at hand so you have no excuses!

BENEFIT: Stops boredom setting in! – Most of us stick to a few tried and tested recipes each week, and it can get very dull.

Recipe books open on windowsill

#38 – Do some exercise each day

Whether it be a gym visit, run, walk, playing with your children, a fitness video or some simple sit-ups and press ups – you can always fit in a little each day

BENEFIT: It gives you more energy, and a zest for life!

Ladys legs running along a road

Life Habits

#39 – Create A Life File!

Once you’ve read a magazine, rip out any good articles and add to a personal file for reading specific to you – then recycle the rest immediately. This is the paper version of how Pinterest works!

BENEFIT: No more piles of magazine clutter.

Basket of magazines

#40 – Follow your schedules and routines

When you create brilliant schedules and routines to use, then you need to actually USE them for them to be useful!

Morning routine // Evening routine // Paperwork System // Finances System // Household Jobs Schedule // Time Management (day, week, month, seasonal and annual plans)

#41 – A Place For Everything

When you come through the door always leave your bag, keys and phone in the same place each time.

BENEFIT: Saves wasted time looking for them!

#42 – Write everything down

Anything that you need to do needs to be written on your TO DO list or schedule immediately in your diary AS SOON AS YOU THINK OF THEM

BENEFIT: You can forget about them until you have the time to do them. You also won’t forget about them completely and can free up brain space.

Notepad with a cup of coffee next to it

#43 – Create some me time in your week

Whatever is important to you, and fun, do it!

Even if you only get half an hour – make your ‘me-time’ count!.

Starting a hobby is a great idea for this – something that’s completely for you such as baking, reading, musical instrument, etc… – or why not take a magazine to a coffee shop and have some quiet time.

BENEFIT: You’ll be able to function better when you are doing things for you as well as others, as you will feel more fulfilled.

Lady in yellow tshirt making a heart with her hands

#44 – Carry a notebook around

Use it for any websites, addresses, telephone numbers etc.. you get during the day and transfer them to your home file / diary etc… each evening

BENEFIT: No more little bits of paper crumpled in pockets and at the bottom of your bag – destined to be mislaid!

Cup of coffee with open notepad in the background

#45 – Multi Task When Its Easy

When on the phone you can use the time to exercise (walk), drive (hands free of course), or any job around the house that needs doing (sorting washing etc…)

BENEFIT: Multi tasking here works – I don’t always advocate as its usually better to focus on one thing at a time – but easy jobs can be ticked off your TO DO list so why not!

#46 – Create some relaxing time each day

5 minutes of meditation, deep breathing, stretching etc.. can be all it takes to de-stress

BENEFIT – It’s important to relax!

Reading a book in bed

#47 – Have a date night at least once a month

Time with your loved one is something that needs to be a habit so you make sure you actually do it. It’s all too easy for time to slip by…

BENEFIT: Relationships are vital to your general happiness so its worth making the effort

#48 – Create time for your children each day

If you have more than one child then try and have some 1-1 time every day – even if it’s just a quick chat at bedtime or at breakfast – whatever works for their age and schedule.

BENEFIT: They grow up so fast, and it’s so vital to develop this relationship as much as possible.

#49 – Have a one in, one out policy

For new purchases you should let the old one go before you put the new one into your home (works especially well with clothes and toys!)

BENEFIT: You should never suffer from “Too Much Stuff” syndrome again!

#50 – Answer your phone only when you have time

If its urgent they will leave a message.

BENEFIT: It won’t rule you anymore! or distract you….

Free printable - 52 Habits To Change Your Life

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#51 – Always Know What You Need

When at the shops – no matter what you’re there for and what the time of year is – why not look for possible presents that are on sale.

BENEFIT: Saves LOADS of money and time – add them to your present drawer and then you will always have something to give!

A black present with black and white checked ribbon

#52 – Learn to say NO

We all do things because we think we should – so learning that it’s OK to say no will really make a difference to how you feel every day.

BENEFIT: This will free up so much for you including time, energy and stress. It also gives you more time to say YES to the things that really matter…

QUOTE - You are what you do, not what you say you'll do
52 Habits To Change Your Life

And that’s it! – 52 amazing habits to change your life that you need to try out right now!

Your task – should you choose to accept it, is to write in your diary at the start of each week your chosen habit for that week.

If you have it written down then you’re much more likely to do it – and can refer back to it – see how many you can add into your daily routine and see for yourself how much of a difference they make!

Read Next: Free Monthly Habit Tracker Printable pdf (A4 and Letter)


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This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...


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