When I got up this morning, I ran through my “routine”. I brushed my teeth, took a shower, picked out clothes, said good morning to my wife and kids, and probably did dozens of other little things that I do every morning. I did most of these things without really thinking about them. They are just habits.

Many of these tasks are important habits that make a difference throughout my day. Brushing my teeth, for example, not only improves my health, but also removes a potential barrier as I talk to communicate with people throughout the day.

Hitting the “snooze” button increases the variation in my morning wake up routine, creating poor sleeping habits and increasing the chance of making myself late to my first appointments.

These habits extend throughout our lives in every situation we are in. What do you do when you first get to work? I turn on my computer and start checking emails. I do this because it is what I’ve done for the past 15 years, but is it really the best way to start my work day? If I really think outside the box, is it even a good idea to start the work day in my office?

As the new year begins, I challenge you to think about the things in your life that you are doing that you may not even realize you’ve been doing. Are these healthy actions or choices? Are they helping or hurting you and your productivity and life? Decide if you’d like to change some of these habits. Then, instead of thinking of the big changes, think about the little habits you can work to change throughout the day. The common question or phrase for this is, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” These small changes will help you accomplish your bigger goals.