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Productivity tips, calendar hacks, & product updates from the Reclaim team.

How to Create Healthy Habits + 25 Inspiring Examples
August 29, 2022

So you promised yourself a trip to the gym this week, starting a more productive morning routine, and making sure to take a midday lunch break everyday. But then Monday rolls around with all the work you didn’t get to last week, along with 12 new tasks in your inbox you weren’t expecting, and you’re looking at another workweek full of meetings that could be emails. Next thing you know, it’s Friday, and your good intentions got trumped by the busyness of the week (again). Rinse and repeat the following week. 

Sound familiar? No shame here. 78.7% of professionals already report feeling stressed with how much they have on their plate and the lack of time to get it all done every week. And beyond just being stretched thin every day with increasing task loads and more meetings – a shocking 92% of knowledge workers admit to regularly working evenings and weekends to catch up. 

Healthy habits - like exercising regularly, eating a nutritious diet, practicing mindfulness, and getting enough sleep - are all attributed to a longer and happier life. But actually finding the time for these habits in our jam-packed weeks isn’t as easy as we’d think. In this post, we’re going to take a look at 5 steps to creating healthy habits in your life and how to stick with them for long-term success. 

Why healthy habits matter

Everyone is always talking about them – but exactly what are healthy habits, and why are they so important? Healthy habits are regular practices and routines that promote your health and wellness. And they aren’t limited to just eating your greens or drinking more water! There are countless examples of healthy habits that can improve all aspects of your life including spending more time in nature, maintaining fulfilling relationships, sticking to your financial budget, practicing meditation, or getting regular medical check-ups (more inspiring examples later in this post!). And the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle with habits like these are stunning.

Top benefits of healthy habits:

  • Reduce risk of disease
  • Improve life expectancy
  • Have more energy
  • Boost your mood
  • Better your job performance
  • Calm stress and anxiety

The thing is, most of us know that healthy habits are key to our wellbeing. So why do simple essentials like rest, nutrition, and exercise so often fall through the cracks of our busy weeks? 

Even though 77% of people say they want to do more to stay healthy in the future – motivation isn’t always enough to make healthy habits stick (as many of us have experienced firsthand). Let’s dive into how you can implement regular healthy habits in your routine for best success and actually stick to them every week so you can reap the benefits.

How to create & stick to healthy habits

1. Determine your priorities

The first step in making time for your healthy habits is actually figuring out what habits you want to implement in your life. Get clear on your goals and prioritize them by order of importance. Are you hoping to become more active? Improve your diet? Reduce stress and anxiety? Get more quality rest? Spend more time in nature? Make sure that your goals feel genuinely important to you so there’s some existing motivation to fuel that drive

From there, you can determine a realistic habit that will help you towards that personal goal. Maybe that looks like taking a daily 15-minute walk to get some fresh air and sunshine, or preparing a healthy lunch the night before your next busy workday so you don’t end up in the drive through again. Check out our list below for lots of habit examples for inspiration!

2. Plan out small steps

Remember, you only have 24 hours in a day and habits are best introduced slowly. Many people try to change too many things at once, which - while very ambitious - simply isn’t sustainable in the long run. The idea behind successfully starting a habit is to keep it as simple and realistic as possible so it doesn’t overwhelm you. By starting with small daily goals you can develop a routine that’s hard to fail, and build off of that in the future.

So while realistically, you’re probably not going to go from a sedentary lifestyle to lifting heavy weights 6 days a week overnight – you could make a habit to go to a beginners gym class twice a week, or commit to a 10-minute at-home workout every other day. Pick a few important habits to introduce at a time, like 1-4 mini habits, or just 1 bigger habit, to start working towards your long-term healthy priorities.

Be honest and compassionate with yourself as you create a plan for what you’re going to do, and when. You can expand these habits down the line, but when the objective is to start a healthy habit that you’ll stick to – easy does it for now!

3. Schedule your habits

Now that you’ve planned your habits, how do you actually make time for them in your busy week? Scheduling your habits in your calendar - like any other important to-do - is how you actually make them a priority and get them done for a healthier work-life balance

Not only does it reduce decision paralysis by marking exactly when you’re going to do your habits, it also creates transparency around your availability to your coworkers, clients, and family. You’re never going to make that 4:00pm yoga class on Wednesdays if you’re constantly getting double booked with a 3:45pm meeting because that time wasn’t defended on your schedule - how was your coworker to know! 

A smart calendar app like Reclaim.ai can actually automate this process by scheduling - and defending - your routines in your calendar. The Habits feature allows you to build out habits with preferred days, times, and durations and auto-schedules them around your changing availability every week. With time defense settings, you can even tell Reclaim how aggressively you want your Habits to be defended from conflicts so you always have time for your priorities (even during the craziest weeks).

4. Track your habits

Of course, there’s only so far planning and scheduling will take you when you’re creating new healthy habits. In the end, when the time to start comes up on your calendar, motivation and discipline need to come through to get it done. And don’t get discouraged if you miss a day of your plan – keep trying for progress over perfection! This can be challenging in the beginning, but with time and practice, habits become routines and require less effort to complete.

By time blocking healthy habits in your calendar you also have the added benefit of being able to look back and actually track your habits. A weekly or monthly calendar audit can help give quantitative insight as to how your habit plans are working for you so you can measure your progress towards your goals and improve your approach as you go.

5. Build off your routines

While the idea that it takes 21 days to create a habit has been more or less discredited, the more realistic 21/90 rule can be helpful as a guide. Beyond the first three weeks, or 21 days,  of committing to a new habit, sticking to it for another 90-days puts you closer to a routine.

If you find yourself missing a habit frequently, or are struggling to stick with it for 21 days or longer – consider reworking your plan to a smaller goal or moving it to a more convenient time in your week. On the other hand, if a habit has become a routine part of your week (congrats!) – perhaps it could be expanded on to provide even more value, or ‘habit stacked’ with a new healthy habit you’ve been meaning to try. Try to review your healthy habits when you review your personal goals to create a system that supports you as you grow.

25 examples of healthy habits to start:

Need some ideas to help get you started with healthier habits? Here is a list of healthy habit examples you can add to your weeks for inspiration!

Examples of fitness habits

  1. Do 60 jumping jacks (or 3 sets of 20) before you start your workday.
  2. Start your morning with a 10-minute online yoga flow.
  3. 15-minute daily walk during your lunch break.
  4. Mid-afternoon 5-minute stretch session at your desk (like this one!).
  5. Bring your workout gear to work with you (or organize in the morning if you work from home) so you can quickly change and go to the gym right after work. Remember – even a little bit of time for exercise is better than nothing!

Examples of healthy eating habits

  1. Defend time for a daily lunch break to refuel.
  2. Make a nutrient-packed smoothie for breakfast (some recipes to try!).
  3. Stock healthy snacks at your workspace. 
  4. Schedule time to plan a healthy grocery list before you shop.
  5. Drink a glass of water every hour (use an app to remind you).

Examples of mindfulness habits

  1. Make time to meditate before checking your phone in the morning (check out an app like Calm for guided meditations of all lengths!). 
  2. Finish your morning shower with a blast of cold water. Cold exposure helps to regulate the nervous system and reduce cortisol – the stress-inducing hormone.
  3. Schedule breathing exercises to ground yourself during the stress of the day.
  4. Take a few minutes to hum and/or sing during the day to calm anxiety when things get overwhelming.
  5. Spend some time journaling in the evening (try noting things you’re grateful for, exploring challenges you’re currently facing, or just reflecting on your day). 

Examples of healthy sleep habits

  1. Put away electronics 1 hour before bedtime.
  2. Avoid big meals, exercise, and caffeine 3 hours before bedtime.
  3. Cut back on alcohol before bed (consider not drinking during the week, or having a non-alcoholic alternative to your usual nightcaps). 
  4. Set a consistent time to go to sleep and try to stick with it, even on the weekends.
  5. Create a relaxing evening routine that sets you up for a restful night (try a relaxing bath, cozying up with a book, meditation to unwind, or journaling).

Examples of self-development habits

  1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier.
  2. Schedule time to read every day (even if it’s just 15 minutes!).
  3. Make a habit to learn a new hobby or skill you’ve been meaning to take up.
  4. Set intentional time to connect with your partner, a friend, or family every day (just a text or phone call works on busy days) to maintain relationships which improve your health, happiness, and productivity. 
  5. Consider attending regular therapy or counseling sessions to work through more complex issues that might be holding you back.

Healthy habits are for life ❤️

Making time for healthy habits goes beyond being more productive every week. Prioritizing routines to support your wellness is a long-term investment in a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life in every aspect.

While creating new habits isn’t always easy, committing to consistency over perfection ensures that you’re making regular progress towards your health goals. And for the best success with new healthy habits, remember – smaller steps get you further than trying to change everything at once!

How do you make time for healthy habits during your week? Any tips we missed for being consistent? Tweet us @reclaimai to contribute to the conversation! 

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More Calendar Control for Meetings! Reclaim Free & Busy
September 28, 2021

More Calendar Control for Meetings! Reclaim Free & Busy

Add more productivity and control to your smart calendar with advanced Reclaim free and busy event hashtags. Block time for no-meeting days, focus time, meeting times, and clock-out of task scheduling
Top 7 Time Management Tools (for Busy People)
September 23, 2021

Top 7 Time Management Tools (for Busy People)

82% of people don’t have a time management system, but there are hundreds of apps available to improve productivity for every working style. Find your best fit in the top 7 time management tools list.
Job Burnout: How to Fix at Your Workplace
September 21, 2021

Job Burnout: How to Fix at Your Workplace

Over two-thirds of employees have experienced job burnout recently, and more than 50% of all annual turnover results from burnout. See which signs to look for and how to prevent them at your company.
Top 5 Work Habits to Boost Productivity
September 14, 2021

Top 5 Work Habits to Boost Productivity

See the top 5 work habits to try to boost your productivity. If you’re seeking a promotion, trying to pivot your career, or just simply looking to step your game up in the workplace, this is for you.
Calendar Heroes: Chris Hunt, Staff Site Reliability Engineer at Stack Overflow
September 10, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Chris Hunt, Staff Site Reliability Engineer at Stack Overflow

Working on a team that is spread across 10 different time zones and our Calendar Hero, Chris Hunt lets us in on how he is able to do it. Check it out!
Durable Identity: Employee-Friendly SaaS for Life Changes
September 7, 2021

Durable Identity: Employee-Friendly SaaS for Life Changes

The average person changes jobs every 4.1 years, but you shouldn't have to re-sign up for every SaaS app that often. The future of work will be more durable - your identity will survive life changes.
Weekly Status Reports: 3 Steps to Reduce Meetings & Boost Productivity
August 31, 2021

Weekly Status Reports: 3 Steps to Reduce Meetings & Boost Productivity

"This meeting could’ve been an email.” We're all thinking it. Even 71% of senior managers feel their meetings are unproductive. Reduce meetings and boost productivity with weekly status reports.
The Best Time to Meditate? Prioritize Self-Care
August 26, 2021

The Best Time to Meditate? Prioritize Self-Care

The best time to meditate depends on your intention and your schedule. But no matter when you meditate, you can reap the benefits. The important thing is that you make time for this healthy habit.
Top 6 ADHD Organization Tools
August 24, 2021

Top 6 ADHD Organization Tools

Staying organized can feel like a constant battle for people with ADHD before you find your ideal rhythm and workflow. Here are the top ADHD organization tools to help you become more productive.
No-Meeting Days: Top 4 Advantages & How to Start at Your Company
August 19, 2021

No-Meeting Days: Top 4 Advantages & How to Start at Your Company

Are meetings consuming your workweek? 78% of people feel their meeting schedule is out of control - see how one no-meeting day a week can improve your productivity, team morale and prevent burnout.
Calendar Heroes: Ben Hutton, JSON Schema Specification Lead at Postman
August 17, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Ben Hutton, JSON Schema Specification Lead at Postman

Working as JSON Schema Specification Lead at Postman, Ben shares how he balances priorities while developing the JSON Schema strategy and it's tooling, and supports the open-source community.
Calendar Heroes: Shay Kingsbury, Program Manager | Go To Market at Hootsuite
August 11, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Shay Kingsbury, Program Manager | Go To Market at Hootsuite

Shay Kingsbury at Hootsuite shares how she balances priorities while leading merger and acquisition integration and Go To Market for Sparkcentral at the social media marketing and management platform.
Using Slack ‘Scheduled Send’ + Reclaim.ai to Schedule Messages
August 10, 2021

Using Slack ‘Scheduled Send’ + Reclaim.ai to Schedule Messages

Slack released a much-anticipated feature in June of 2021: scheduled sends for Slack messages. This, paired with some awesome Status syncing capabilities from Reclaim, can help you become a rockstar Slack communicator and role model for your team.
Calendar Heroes: Michele Wiedemer, Manager of Customer Education at Snyk
August 9, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Michele Wiedemer, Manager of Customer Education at Snyk

Michele Wiedemer at Synk shares how she balances priorities while developing the education training program for security champions and developers at the open source security platform.
Best Time to Exercise? Morning, Afternoon or Whenever
August 4, 2021

Best Time to Exercise? Morning, Afternoon or Whenever

Exercising for as little as 15 minutes a day can increase your lifespan by as much as 3 years, and you’ll sleep better and feel less stressed too. Here's how to optimize your workouts for the best time of day.
Make Time to Read: 5 Practical Tips for Busy People
July 28, 2021

Make Time to Read: 5 Practical Tips for Busy People

Reading has amazing benefits, and 35% of people want to do it more. It increases verbal intelligence, makes you a better leader, reduces stress, and fends off Alzheimer’s. Here are 5 tips to try out.
Calendar Heroes: Rohini Pandhi, Product @ Square
July 26, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Rohini Pandhi, Product @ Square

Rohini Pandhi, a Product Lead at Square, shares her style, tools and methodologies for balancing priorities while leading the product efforts for one of the top digital payment companies in the world.
15 Best Slack Apps for the Future of Work
July 22, 2021

15 Best Slack Apps for the Future of Work

Check out the top 15 Slack apps productive teams are using today to build and support the future of work at their organization across calendar management, project management, status updates, HR and team building.
Calendar Heroes: Q&A with Connor MacDonald, CMO at The Ridge
July 19, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Q&A with Connor MacDonald, CMO at The Ridge

Connor MacDonald at The Ridge shares his style, tools and methodologies for balancing priorities while leading the marketing vision for the brand that brought the world the first RFID-blocking wallet.
Clockwise vs. Reclaim.ai: 8 Key Differences in these Smart Calendar Tools
July 7, 2021

Clockwise vs. Reclaim.ai: 8 Key Differences in these Smart Calendar Tools

We get asked almost every day: what's the difference between Reclaim.ai and Clockwise? While we're both in the smart calendar space, there are some key differences to consider.
Naming Calendar Events: 5 Calendar Etiquette Tips
July 2, 2021

Naming Calendar Events: 5 Calendar Etiquette Tips

Need to create better calendar event titles to communicate context to your invitees, colleagues and incoming schedulers? Calendar communication starts with the first thing people see: the event title.
Lunch Breaks: 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity
June 22, 2021

Lunch Breaks: 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

Want to improve your quality of work, energy level, and creativity? In this article, learn 5 ways in which taking a lunch will actually boost your productivity.
Effective Meetings vs. Pointless Meetings: How to Tell the Difference & Prioritize Your Own Time
June 17, 2021

Effective Meetings vs. Pointless Meetings: How to Tell the Difference & Prioritize Your Own Time

Learn the 5 key differences between effective vs. pointless meetings, and 3 tips to avoid unnecessary meetings getting booked on your calendar.
3 Ways to Find Work-Life Balance in the New Normal
June 10, 2021

3 Ways to Find Work-Life Balance in the New Normal

You want work-life balance, but work and life can't separate into equal halves. Forget balance, here are three ways to make work-life harmony a reality.
Reclaim just raised $4.8M in seed funding! 🎉
May 26, 2021

Reclaim just raised $4.8M in seed funding! 🎉

We're excited to announce that Reclaim has raised $4.8M in seed funding led by Index Ventures. Here's what comes next.
Pareto Principle: Using the 80/20 Rule for Priority Management
May 25, 2021

Pareto Principle: Using the 80/20 Rule for Priority Management

How to use the Pareto Principle 80/20 rule to block time for your priorities.
3 Single-Tasking Tips to Improve Your Focus
April 28, 2021

3 Single-Tasking Tips to Improve Your Focus

While you may think multitasking is a skill you can master, only 2.5% of people can do it effectively. Your brain performs best when “single-tasking”, focusing on only one thing at a time.
How to Create a Smart Calendar
April 22, 2021

How to Create a Smart Calendar

A smart calendar can help you simplify calendar management and boost productivity. Here's how to create a smart calendar so you can take control of your busy schedule.
Time Management Advice - Top 3 Problems & How to Solve Them
April 9, 2021

Time Management Advice - Top 3 Problems & How to Solve Them

Most time management advice is out of touch with reality. Here are the top 3 problems with it and how to solve them.
Announcing the Planner Beta: a New Way to Manage Your Workweek
April 5, 2021

Announcing the Planner Beta: a New Way to Manage Your Workweek

We're excited to announce that Planner is now available in public beta for all Reclaim users. Planner lets you prioritize and schedule all your Tasks and Habits exactly the way you want, every week.
4 Time Blocking Planner Approaches to Squeeze More From Busy Schedules
March 25, 2021

4 Time Blocking Planner Approaches to Squeeze More From Busy Schedules

Time blocking is the habit of mindfully scheduling daily and weekly tasks to get everything done as efficiently as possible. A time blocking planner is used to organize your new, efficient schedule.
Context Switching Is Destroying Your Workday: Here's How to Fix It
March 16, 2021

Context Switching Is Destroying Your Workday: Here's How to Fix It

How do you stop context switching from eating into your productive time? We look at tactics to help you reduce task switching and improve your concentration at work.
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