We are in the second full week of January, and that means a large chunk of your friends have already given up on their New Year’s Resolutions. As discussed in prior posts, a huge reason for this is the lack of process-based goal setting. Another huge reason this happens? Many of you simply don’t know how to live healthy every day.
Setting big goals is sexy, and fun. It gives you a feel good rush of dopamine as you start to envision yourself after you’ve achieved this goal. The problem? The actual day to day grind of change is hard.
With that in mind, here are three easy strategies you can take to live healthy every day (if you’re into that sort of thing).
How to live healthy every day
These strategies are not revolutionary – if they were, everyone would be on board and we’d all be living healthier, happier lives. They are, however, extremely effective and very simple to implement. Done over a period of time consistently, these strategies will help you to live healthy every day.
Strategy 1: Get the low hanging fruit
Two places many people make simple mistakes are in hydration and in their snacking habits. This may seem trivial as snacks account for significantly less calories than meals, and water is just, well, water.
However, imagine your mid-morning snack is a granola bar, and your afternoon snack is a handful of M&M’s as you walk past your co-worker’s desk. Those snacks add up to 200-300 (at least) very empty calories. Let’s grab that low hanging fruit. Replace your mid-morning granola bar with some baby carrots and a cheese stick, or a serving of nuts for those who cannot stomach dairy. Replace your afternoon snack with a serving of Greek yogurt (or plant-based protein shake) and an apple.
You’ll have more energy, you will have more micronutrients (here’s why that’s important) and the increased protein will be welcomed by those muscles you’re going to work later at the gym.
Strategy 2: Get control of your schedule
It is nearly impossible to live healthy every day if you are not in control of your schedule. For many of you, you have a job which you need to focus on for eight to ten hours every day. That eats up a lot of your day, but you should still be able to prioritize 30 minutes to do something just good for YOU.
This 30 minutes is a non-negotiable. During this time you’re going to move your body in some way. That can be going for a walk with your dogs. It can be doing yoga at home or a gym, or doing body weight movements in your home. If you can extend that 30 minutes to an hour, hit up a CrossFit box, or another local gym.
You’ll burn calories, get a clarity of mind which is vitally important for functioning at your best, and show up better for the people you care about most.
Strategy 3: Find Silence & give gratitude
So much of your every day life is go, go, go. Wake up, get the kids out to the bus, run to work, eat at your desk, work hard, go to the gym, go home, make dinner, etc. The list goes on and on.
You need to find time to decompress, bring those stress levels down, and regroup. Giving yourself a mandatory time of silence is the key to making this happen.
You’ll be tempted to spend those ten minutes scrolling through your phone, reading a magazine or book, or starting that next Netflix show. Try to fight this urge. Silence allows you to really get some introspection and to reflect on all that happened in your day prior.
The second step to this is to start to express gratitude in some way. Perhaps you are religious, and you can use this ten minutes to spend time in prayer, and expressing thanks for the wonderful things going on in your life. If you enjoy writing, grab a notebook, and list 3-5 things you are thankful for from the day. The goal is to not repeat what you write down!
Living healthy is more than just physical.
As you may have noticed above, our examples are not solely physical. The point in choosing baby carrots over candy, and making time for exercise is not just for your physical well being. It is also for your mental healthy.
When you begin to make these choices, you see that you’re able to do things the way you believe you should be. You build this belief over time, and it shows up in other areas of your life, such as with your spouse and kids.
Taking the time to express gratitude, whether out loud, written, or simply thought, gives you perspective which allows you to enjoy your life more. A more enjoyable life leads to a happier person, and a happier you impacts your community in a much more positive way.
At the end of the day, living a healthy life every day is not just about you. It is about showing up in every area of your life as your best you. Make the three strategies above part of your every day, and see if they help you level up your life!