It is always the right time to seek a healthier lifestyle, adopt new habits, make changes that can have a significant impact on your life, and improve your long-term health.
It is true that setting out to change your lifestyle and breaking bad habits can be challenging and, at times, even discouraging. Nonetheless, adopting new habits to improve your wellbeing can have an immense impact on your life and promote healthier living in the long run.
Changing ingrained habits can require time, significant efforts, and sacrifices. The process can also involve some setbacks which can seem painful and intimidating in the moment, but the process can also be inspiring and motivational, allowing you to achieve the goal of leading a healthier life.
Lifestyle changes involve making day-to-day choices to enhance your quality of life in order to live longer and with more energy, motivation, focus, and happiness. Fortunately, obtaining this goal is not impossible. Gradually, step-by-step, working towards change makes it easier to understand exactly what makes your life enjoyable, healthier, and more balanced.
These choices start from the moment you wake up in the morning and last until the moment you go to bed. Pursuing healthier living does not mean you have to completely change your life overnight. These are eight tips to help you figure out where to start and how to improve your health in the long run.
Make to-do lists / plan everything
Whether it is a trip to Marrakech or running an errand at the grocery store, make plans and to-do lists for all of your activities. Making a plan helps you stay focused on what exactly you need to do or where you need to go. It also helps avoid wasting time, especially when you have a busy schedule.
Checking off things from your to-do list throughout the day gives you a sense of productivity and accomplishment, which will help keep you motivated in the long run no matter how difficult your days may be.
Additionally, this habit helps you handle inevitable setbacks: You set your top priorities, so even if you do not accomplish everything you hoped to do during a given day, you will have fulfilled the most important tasks. The ones that remain can be transferred to the next day’s to-do list.
Spend 15 minutes daily tidying up
Leaving cleaning and tidying up until “later” can be hectic and time-consuming, which is why tidying up for 15 minutes every day can be easier and more productive than you think.
A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. Being surrounded by a mess will distract you and keep you from concentrating on your day-to-day tasks, most likely slowing you down.
It is important to take 15 minutes from your day to take care of any mess that you know needs attention, like cleaning the dishes, vacuuming, doing your laundry, and wiping down counters. If you follow this guideline, you will notice, day by day, that you do not have too much clutter to deal with, which will make the messes that inevitably pop up easier to handle.
Get out for a walk
Humans are active beings. We need to move to support better health, improve circulation, and stay more energetic throughout the day, so strap on your comfortable walking shoes and go for a walk.
Physical activity to improve your health does not necessarily translate to long and intense hours of exercise. Walking has a significant impact on your health and is easy and free. Walking can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
You do not have to overthink this. Simple physical activity comes in many forms. Beyond an easy walk, you can also set your alarm 10 minutes early to get in some morning stretches before you start your day.
You can also benefit from a decision as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator; every small change you make in your daily routine can have a big impact on having a healthier lifestyle
Cut non-essential spending
Almost all of us are guilty of spending money and owning “stuff” that is not vital to our life: Just look around your room or closet and you will probably find five items or more that you can easily live without.
Spending needs may differ from one individual to another, which is why figuring out what is essential and non-essential for you is the first important step to cutting non-essential spending.
Always remember Marie Kondo’s first golden rule and ask yourself if an item “sparks joy.” Apply this philosophy whenever you are purchasing something new or decluttering your home. Making lists also is a great method to abstain from buying things you do not really need.
Eating healthier does not necessarily mean following a strict diet. Most of the time when we follow a diet, it restricts us from eating what we love which can be discouraging and put us in a bad mood. Do not let this stigma around weight-loss diets discourage you from healthier eating.
Food is critical in several ways. It not only fuels us, but also helps us feel satisfied both physically and emotionally. In fact, eating healthy can affect our minds and reduce illnesses linked with mental irritation, stress, anger, mood swings, insomnia, and other mental and physical disorders.
Try including enough fruits and vegetables in your diet to meet your body’s demands for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. Foods such as fatty fish, salmon and sardines, for example; ground flax; and chia seeds are incredibly beneficial for your diet as they are rich in Omega-3.
Spend some time alone
Constantly spending time socializing can decrease your ability to carve out “alone time,” distracting you from giving your body and mind the rest you need to unwind and reinvigorate.
Spending time alone can spark your productivity, give you time to plan your life with no distractions, and get to know yourself better. This can make decision making much easier, letting you focus, without the influence of others, on what is best for you.
In addition, time alone can help you be more productive and accomplish more than you would when surrounded by people. It also gives you the freedom to prioritize the activities that make your heart sing.
It is easy to become so distracted with work and other activities throughout the day that you might forget to drink enough water. Not drinking enough water can cause dehydration, which is a condition to take seriously.
Dehydration can cause headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, muscle weakness, low blood pressure, and complicate other health conditions.
Next time you are going for your second cup of coffee, try to replace it with a healthy and tasty smoothie of strawberries, peaches, spinach, cucumbers, or avocados to keep you refreshed, hydrated, and healthy.
You can also set a timer to remind you to drink water every hour or so: That way you will avoid worrying about not drinking enough water. To successfully follow this practice, remember to carry with you a water bottle everywhere you go.
Take setbacks as an opportunity to flourish
Each one of us faces failure from time to time. It is normal, it is human, and it is our choice to choose how to react. We can dwell on “failures” for a long time and believe that we, ourselves, are failures or stupid, or we can take them as an opportunity to grow.
Setbacks are just another way of learning what works better for you. They can help you determine which road to take and which one to avoid to achieve your goals and reach for success.
Feeling bad sometimes is not harmful. It is healthy to take a moment after a setback to process all your emotions in order to move forward. After that you make the choice to learn from these setbacks and recognize them as an opportunity to gain wisdom, letting you better handle similar setbacks that might come your way in the future.
It can take some time to develop and adapt new habits, but it will certainly be worth the effort once you start noticing the impact it will have on your life. You can even begin now by starting your “to-do” list and taking notes of these ideas to help guide you through your transformative journey to a healthier lifestyle.