10 Tiny Habits to Always Choose Yourself No Matter What

The present moment is all you’ve got.

10 Tiny Habits to Always Choose Yourself No Matter What
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The present moment is all you’ve got.

Of late, I’ve been pondering a lot over the futility of life.

No matter what you do or how hard you work, something somewhere might happen that might make all your efforts pointless.

So much of what happens in the world is not in our control, that our attempts to strictly monitor our present for a better future seems futile.

How will you feel if you slog through your present for a future that never comes?

The only thing we truly can control is the present moment. How we’re living now, at this very instant is the only thing we can be certain of. Everything else is a quagmire of uncertainty, and pondering over what might happen in the future makes no sense.

The Stoics have a word for it- Memento Mori.

"You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think." - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.

Keeping this in mind and to make sure my thoughts don’t turn too morbid after reading too much philosophy, I’ve carefully cultivated ten tiny habits that I practice every day. These keep me sane and also set the foundation for a healthier tomorrow (if anything of that sort exists).

I’m listing these tiny habits in this article, along with science-backed explanations of why you should adopt them and how they can make your life better. I hope you find something of value in these ten tiny habits you can practice every day to always choose yourself, no matter what.

1. Re-tune your natural body clock

We spend one-fourth of our lives sleeping. The least we can do is ensure we have quality rest every night. Research suggests one of the best ways to do that is by going to bed every night at a fixed time.

You can do this by building a sleep routine and sticking to it daily, even on the weekends.

This will help you:

  • adjust to your body’s natural circadian rhythm,
  • get better sleep every night, and
  • be full of energy during the day.

This was one of the hardest habits to build, and small changes kept throwing me off my schedule. I had to be really strict with myself to let my body adjust to its natural circadian rhythm.

I’ve kept alarms on my phone at 11 PM and 12 AM every night to remind me that it’s time to unwind for the day.

This is a small step, for sure, but it goes a long way in reminding you that no matter how important your work might be, it’s not worth compromising your sleep over.

M daily alarms to hold myself accountable to my new sleep cycle (Image by the author.)

2. Move your body enough

Since I have a pet, walking 8–10k steps every day has become a daily habit for me. It’s incredible how much my mood improves after coming home from a walk around my residential community.

If you feel 10k steps daily is too much, remember that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body.

Don’t sit in front of a laptop all day long. Go outside and get some screen-free time.

Walking in nature will give you:

  • clarity of thought,
  • new ideas from your environment, and
  • stretch your muscles.
"A large cohort study of runners and walkers found that after 6 years of follow-up, when expending an equal amount of energy, moderate-intensity offered similar benefits as higher-intensity running in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes." - The Nutrition Source

3. Water before coffee in the mornings

Until a few months ago, I never felt truly awake until I had my morning coffee. As someone who’s always motivated to make myself better than yesterday, getting addicted to caffeine didn’t feel right.

And so, in January 2023, I took a conscious decision to replace my morning coffee with plain old water. There’s research that proves having a glass of water first thing in the morning helps in —

4. Feed your brain new ideas every morning

How? Simply by reading a book for 30 minutes right after you wake up.

Now, you might argue you never have time to read in the morning. But tell me honestly, what’s the first thing you reach for right after you wake up?

If your answer is “My phone,” then you’ll probably know that you spend the next half an hour or so opening every social media app and scrolling mindlessly or checking the news.

What if you replaced your phone with an alarm clock? That way, you won’t expose yourself to the information overwhelm of social media the first thing after waking up. As a bonus, you’ll also have time to read.

The more you read, the more you learn from the perspectives of different authors, and the smarter you become.

Reading for 30 minutes every day is the simplest way to gain valuable lessons that will be useful for a lifetime.

“The way you get good ideas is to do two things: 1) Read two hours a day. 2) Write ten ideas a day. By the end of a year, you will have read for almost one thousand hours and written down 3,600 ideas. One of these ideas will be a home run.” — James Altucher.

5. Be more connected with what you put in your body

There was a time when I hated cooking. I’d either order food or get somebody else to cook for me.

But the pandemic-induced lockdown forced me to get my hands dirty (quite literally) and learn to cook my meals. Since then, I’ve realized cooking can be an incredibly spiritual experience.

You wash and cut the ingredients yourself and know what you’re putting into your body. You feel grateful for every bite and can reap the health benefits of home-cooked food.

How can you apply this in your life?

Simple. Cook at least one meal for yourself every day.

It’s a great expression of self-love.

Cooking helps you appreciate the food and become mindful about:

  • eating healthy, and
  • avoiding processed foods.

6. Open a journal before your computer

If you’re a highly-motivated person like me, you’ll likely start working the moment you get to your workstation.

I was in the same boat, but I’ve now realized that keeping aside a few minutes every day for planning and ideation before you start your work can immensely boost your productivity.

The takeaway? When you reach your office or home work set-up, don’t dive straight into work.


  • open your journal,
  • ideate on your long-term goals,
  • decide the small steps you must take today, and
  • time-block your calendar.

This ensures you take intentional steps toward your goals every day.

"It's not always easy to keep track of everything you need to do, so start each morning by writing down your goals for the day." - Matt D'Angelo, Business News Daily

7. Floss after brushing your teeth

My friend’s dentist told her, “Not flossing after brushing is like wiping your butt cheeks and not your butt after pooping.”

I think that says enough.

But if you’re looking for the science behind flossing, here’s what researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago have to say 

“Benefits of flossing -
Helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line where your toothbrush can’t quite reach.
Better removal of bad breath-causing bacteria than brushing alone.
Removal of plaque from below the gumline, which can erode tooth enamel and develop into tartar.”

8. When you’re bored, be bored

Don’t pull out your phone every time you’re bored.

Instead, embrace the boredom.

Studies have shown ‘sparks of creativity’ happen when you let your mind wander.

Here’s a great video by Veritasium on the science behind embracing boredom:


9. Fill your day with micro-workouts

Before I started working out every day, I used to think of exercise as a chore — something you have to take out time for and be in the right frame of mind.

But of late, I’ve incorporated micro-workouts into my routine. They energize me during work breaks and help me feel great throughout the day. There’s science to show that micro-workouts help blood circulation and keeps your body active throughout the day.

"Micro workouts done the right way can produce the results you want while building your endurance in the process." - Dr. Robin B, Pharm D., NASM-CPT.

If you’re looking for some forms of micro-workouts to include in your day, you can —

  • do 20 pushups every 2 hrs
  • do 10 squats before you sit
  • walk-up stairs instead of elevators
  • choose the farthest parking space.

10. Wash your face after waking up

This will:

• clear up overnight oil buildup, and

• help you feel refreshed and ready for the day.

Bonus: Follow up with moisturizer and sunscreen for an ‘easy’ skincare routine. This can quickly become a part of your morning routine along with reading for 30 minutes in bed. Morning routines are powerful grounding techniques for better productivity and mental health.

Final words: 10 tiny habits to always choose yourself no matter what

Changing your life doesn’t have to mean taking huge steps.

Sometimes, small steps can compound over time to give life-changing results.

Summing up, here are the ten mini-habits you can practice every day to choose yourself, no matter what —

  1. Go to bed at a fixed time every day
  2. Walk 8–10k steps every day
  3. Water before coffee in the mornings
  4. Read for 30 mins every day
  5. Cook at least one meal for yourself
  6. Open a journal before your computer
  7. Floss after brushing your teeth
  8. When you’re bored, BE BORED
  9. Fill your day with micro-workouts
  10. Wash your face after waking up

How many of these habits do you already follow? Do share your perspective and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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