WELLNESS
Centr Team

15 micro habits to help you get your $#!% together

Centr Team

What if you opened up Centr tomorrow to find “eat a frog” in your meal plan, all your cool-downs replaced with cold showers, and your daily meditations simply asked “What would Da Rulk do?”

Thankfully, you don’t have to go that far. Micro habits are a way to start taking small steps toward your bigger, overall goal. As these simple behaviors add up, they can have a huge impact on your life and well-being.

We’ve lined up 15 micro habits that can spark big changes, from boosting your mood to making you more productive.

The best part? You don’t have to try everything on this list to start seeing changes – just pick 1 or 2 that appeal to you and the life you lead, and implement them.

Let’s kick off with a micro habit Chris is already well across…

1. Chill out

Have a cold shower in the morning, or, if the weather permits, take a snow bath like Chris!

Science is still attempting to pinpoint exactly why cold water immersion is good for you, but it does appear to have health benefits like reducing self-reported sickness and improving mental clarity.

Your morning shower doesn’t have to be entirely freezing. Even a 30-second blast can give you a buzz, which researchers think might be due to the blast of noradrenaline released when your body senses the ‘stress’ of the cold temperature.

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Chris is ahead of the game with his first micro habit for the year: snow baths.

2. Learning is the best revenge

Staying up late because you feel like you don’t have enough time for yourself during the workday? There’s a name for that: revenge bedtime procrastination.

This kind of self-sabotage often takes the form of scrolling through your social feed or watching “just one more episode” of your latest TV binge. But we think there’s a better alternative: put down the digital device and pick up a physical book for some revenge learning. Not only does this cut out the blue light that messes with sleep, reading naturally helps you to drift off and you’re far more likely to retain the information that you take in.

3. Reset your room

No, we don’t mean painting your yellow feature wall lilac. Resetting your room is all about putting everything back in place after one task, so it is ready for the next task. It can apply to literal rooms in your house – e.g. making your bed in the morning, so it is ready for sleep in the evening – or mental rooms – e.g. organizing digital files so you can find what you need when you boot up your computer in the morning.

4. But first, have a glass of water

You’re a busy person, with lots of important things to do every morning… but first, have a glass of water. Your body can become dehydrated overnight, and this is a good way to increase your water intake overall.

Starting your day by doing something that is good for you can boost your mental well-being and get you on a roll for the rest of the day.

5. Eat that frog!

Mark Twain once said: “If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.”

This quote inspired a productivity method that author Brian Tracy dubbed ‘Eat that frog!’ You can implement it in 3 steps:
a) Identify your ‘frog’ (the hardest and most important thing you have to do each day).
b) Eat the frog (do that important thing first, don’t put it off).
c) Repeat daily!

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Luke and Dan demonstrate correct “eat that frog” technique. Note: does not require literally eating frogs.

6. Stack those habits high

Remember habit stacking, where you add a new habit onto an existing habit? It’s time to habit stack your way to healthier snacks. For instance, tell yourself: “When I get up to make a cup of tea (existing habit), I will cut some veggies while the kettle boils (new habit).” Voila, suddenly you've got nutritious snacks ready to go when hunger strikes.

7. Build a memory palace

In the Google age, challenging yourself to memorize things can be powerful. The most enjoyable way to do this? Try to build one memory palace each day.

To do this, you connect the information to a mental image, and place it into a ‘memory palace’ constructed in your mind, which you can then visit to retrieve this information. Think of it as an energizing brain workout – it’s good for your brain’s neural plasticity.

You could start by memorizing the most important number in your phone, so you know how to get in touch if you lose it or the battery goes flat. Or begin building a memory palace full of general knowledge to slay the next trivia night at your local bar!

8. Turn a ritual into a routine

Want to be more consistent with your workouts? Introduce a pre-workout ritual. By starting every workout with the same easy ritual – it could be putting on a particular song or getting your ingredients ready for a post-workout smoothie – you can create a powerful link in your brain. Eventually, you’ll get to the point where simply completing that ritual leads straight into doing your workout, no effort required.

9. Review your day like Da Rulk

Da Rulk’s must-do daily habit is just as no-nonsense as his training style. Our functional training expert spends a few minutes at the end of each day reviewing his performance as a parent, educator and human: “In the evening, I take inventory of my day: how good of a father I was to my boys [and] how much energy I devoted to those I love and care about.”

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Could you spend a few minutes each evening reviewing your life like Da Rulk?

10. Help one person

Look for one person you can meaningfully help each day, just one! Assisting others can have numerous scientifically-backed benefits, like decreasing blood pressure and increasing positive emotions.

It doesn’t have to be huge, it could be taking out the trash for an elderly neighbor, helping a new starter get the lay of the job site, or making extra soup for a friend who’s feeling under the weather.

11. Take a break from work

No, don’t “just finish this first”. Take that little break, as it can reboot your brain. If you’re consistently not taking breaks in your workday, you should take our job health quiz, pronto.

12. Follow the 20-20-20 rule

If you work (or play) on computers all day, this one’s for you. The rule is that for every 20 minutes spent staring at a screen, you should look at something that is 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds to prevent eye strain. (For those who use the metric system, it’s the 20-6m-20 rule, which is not quite as catchy.)

13. Stretch out your sore bits

Always feeling sore somewhere? Small pain points can be tiring, frustrating and demotivating. Committing to a daily stretching session that helps your pain point – like Tahl’s short flow for shoulder release – will help you to avoid future hassle and keep your training on track. By habit stacking or doing it at the same time each day, you’re more likely to keep it up.

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Hands up who’s feeling sore? Stretch it out like Ashley, every day.

14. Unsubscribe!

Take 10 minutes to unsubscribe from promotional emails that are clogging up your inbox. Keep the important and valuable stuff, of course, but save your future self the time it takes to delete the pointless ones and all the money you spend on things you don’t need.

15. Build a bridge

It may sound like we’re being impolite, but if you struggle with negativity or harmful thought patterns, you need a tool that can help you move past it. If negative self-talk is your problem, pumping yourself up can be unhelpful – when you feel unattractive, looking in a mirror and telling yourself ‘You’re beautiful’ might not work, because it’s too big a leap from how you truly feel.

So when that negativity arises, try interrupting it with bridging statements instead. For instance, “I suck…” could become, “Is it possible I don’t actually suck that much?” Changing the narrative can help you get out of that rut.

Be sure to tell us how these micro habits work out for you, and share your favorite small but powerful life hacks in the Centr community

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