A list of feel-good mindfulness excercises and mindful habits to track on your bullet journal.
“We are what we repeatedly do.”
You may have heard this habit quote from Aristotle. But you may still be surprised to find out that 40% of our daily activities are actually habits. That means, if we form a good habit of eating healthy, it becomes a second instinct even when we stop counting calories. Sounds great, right?
So how to build new habits?
Habits are formed in three weeks, or so to speak, 21 days.
Whether it’s as radical as changing your lifestyle entirely or simple as drinking a glass of water at 3 pm, it will take a consistent 21-days of effort for a habit to form.
And that’s the most challenging part of making a new habit.
Just think about one thing you do every day that is not a work obligation or a habit inherited from childhood.
That’s why I love tracking new habits with bullet journal. And here are the reasons why:
- By making the process visible, we are more clear of how far we’ve gone;
- It’s fun and visually rewarding;
Our brain is wired to seeking pleasure. While the benefit of forming a new healthy habit may take some time to show, checking the box on our habit tracker every day instantly rewards our brain with a sense of accomplishment.
- It keeps the process going;
Forming a new habit is a process that takes time and consistency. Don’t blame yourself if you miss a day or two. With a habit tracker, you can shrug your shoulder and focus on the next empty slots.
Mindful habits to track in your bullet journal
1. Brain dump
If your brain is stuffed with unfinished to-do lists, emails to reply and chores to do, there is very little room left for peace and mindfulness. You won’t go far carrying a load of emotional baggage. That’s why we all need to empty our minds regularly, and that’s what a brain dump is.
All you need for a brain dump is a couple of minutes a day, a piece of paper, and a pen.
Start by writing down things that are bothering you, big or small. Pour them onto the paper, so they are out of your mind for good.
Next, start filtering the items that are REALLY important and mark the time they should be done.
To get you started, here is a free brain dump template I created and used to clear my mind. Feel free to print it out and stick it to your bujo.
2. Declutter your living space
Research shows that people with a tidy work area achieve more productivity than those with a cluttered area.
So take 5 minutes each day to clear out some clutter in your life. Maybe your desk, your pantry or your car.
When decluttering becomes a daily habit, you’ll naturally opt for a simpler lifestyle, quit buying things you don’t need, and eventually, save more for yourself and our environment.
3. Plan your day ahead
My life was once a constant jiggle from having too much to do and not knowing what to do next. If you are like me, waking up and wondering how to schedule your day, a little bit of planning is going to help big time.
Depending on your schedule, pick a time to sit down and list things you must do tomorrow and make it one of the mindful habits to stick to.
This way, it ensures that your time won’t pass without hitting your daily goals. And you’ll also be able to enjoy a stress-free morning knowing that your day is planned out.
4. Review your day
Are you feeling energized today?
Have you finished what you promise to do today? If not, what’s stopping you?
How is your mood? Do you feel happy, motivated, or sad?
What progress are you making today?
We learn about how to live the days to come by reflecting. It’s the moment to tune in with yourself and find out what’s working and what’s not. Be 100% honest with yourself, and self-exploratory will be one of the most rewarding mindful habits.
5. Meditate for 10 minutes
Meditation is especially great if you find yourself lacking focus you need for work or study. It’s the primary tool to tame the monkey mind.
As a beginner of meditation, you can start by sitting on the bed and focus on your breath for 10 minutes a day. Try to empty your mind and rewire your brain from distractions.
Alternatively, try follow guided meditation videos. The Honest Guys channel is my go-to. They have the super short 10 to 20 minutes practices that are perfect for beginners or a busy day.
6. Practice gratitude
Look around your world every day and find at least one thing to be thankful for each day. Write it down in a journal and review your journal regularly to help you remember the good things in your life.
7. Random acts of kindness
Help others whenever you can. Try to perform a small act of kindness like holding the door open for someone or cheer up a frustrated coworker. Their pleasure and appreciation will increase your happiness as well.
8. Fake a smile
There is a reason why we feel better when we smile and no doubt it’s a reason we love to laugh. When we smile, our brain releases a hormone that makes us feel good “endorphins.”
This immediately lifts our spirit and makes us feel more optimistic. Smiling soon becomes contagious, and as we smile at people, so more people smile back at us, which encourages us to keep smiling.
9. Read (at least) a chapter
Reading one book a month is one of the New Year resolutions I never managed to complete. And I don’t blame myself for that. After all, it takes time and consistency to finish a whole book. That’s why I make reading a chapter as one of the mindful habits.
Instead of reading the entire book, a single chapter is less intimidating and more achievable.
It doesn’t matter if it takes 20 or 30 days to finish the entire book. As long as you keep the process going, reading will soon become an auto-pilot self-improvement activity.
10. Do one thing that scares you
Challenge your mental strength and step out of your comfort zone one day at a time.
If you are terrified of height, don’t aim for skydiving on day one. Instead, try something more positive and doable like watching the sunset on a rooftop.
11. Go for a walk
Take 5 minutes to go for a walk and find something beautiful in your world you haven’t seen before.
It will open up a way to count the other blessings in your life that often stay hidden from view as we are often too busy to enjoy them.
12. A quick workout
Or yoga, or jogging, or anything. Exercising can help release the “happy hormones” and boost your mood for the rest of the day.
However, not everyone is a gym-goer, and you don’t have to be to attain your health goals. Find the exercise that suits your schedule and lifestyle.
13. Wake up at __
Fill in the time that works for you and wake up every day at the same time. Not everyone is Dwayne Johnson, so let’s not push ourselves to all wake up at 4 am.
But it’s important to set a fixed time to get out of bed and jumpstart your morning routine. Once you fulfill the first promise of the day, trust me, you’ll feel powerful to tackle whatever comes at you.
14. Say “I love you”
How long has it been since you express love and care for a friend or a family member? Appreciation is crucial in any relationship. And being in a healthy and supportive social circle plays a big part in our mental wellbeing.
So take some time each day and tell a loved one how much you care about them. If you are not a verbal person (like me), you can give them a hug, a rub on the back to express your affection. Here are seven things you can do every day to show love and care.
Do you feel down, unmotivated or sad during a specific time in a day? I do. It’s around 3 pm each day when I feel reluctant to do anything. That’s what I call my “downtime“.
Instead of wasting each minute doing nothing and feeling guilty, I make it my daily time-out section.
I use it as a chance to stop whatever I’m doing. Take a few deep breaths. Drink my coffee and stretch my body.
We can’t go 100 miles per hour all day. Give yourself the time you need to rest and recharge.
Read also: 9 Bullet journal spread ideas for self-care
16. Practice affirmation
Visualize, visualize, and realize.
Affirmations are short, positive statements of goals and beliefs.
They are powerful when it comes to “tricking your brain” and unlock your full potential.
Do you have a goal in work, study, or your relationship? Write it down as if it’s the reality. Repeat 3 to 5 times a day to tap it into your subconsciousness.
You have the power to do anything, but you and your brain have to believe in it first.
Here is a list of affirmations for your inspiration.
17. Do one thing at a time
Multi-tasking is one of the biggest lies in work and productivity.
In fact, our brain needs time to warm up for each task. Switching from one thing to another can dramatically increase the time we need for our brain to “get into the situation”.
Embracing mono-tasking, or in other words, doing one thing at a time, has helped me to boost my productivity. Most importantly, it keeps me grounded and focused on each task.
Make it a mindful habit of your own and start tracking how you do each day. Believe me. It’ll be so worth it.
It’s your turn
What mindful habits have you been tracking on your bullet journal? How is it going so far? Share with me in the comment!
If you find these mindful habits helpful, feel free to share with your friends or someone you need.