So here’s a new idea – how about using your birthdays and other big dates on the calendar to do a once-over in your life? Take stock of what you’re doing, where you’re going and what you can do better.
You can have more to show for your birthday than cake crumbs and burnt candles. Let each annual celebration serve as a trigger to develop habits that contribute to a longer and healthier life. Take a look at these suggestions to help you get started.
Simple Habit Tweaks to Enhance Your Mental Health
1. Let go of expectations. While many events may be beyond your control, you can decide how to respond to them. Welcome whatever comes your way and use your experiences to learn and grow.
2. Give generously. Focusing on others brings more happiness into your life. Share your time, expertise, and possessions.
3. Practice forgiveness. Take a load off your mind by giving up any grudges or resentments. Wish others well even when you disagree with their actions. Show compassion for yourself as well.
4. Develop a hobby. Put your leisure time to good use. Learn how to play a musical instrument or speak a foreign language.
5. Communicate directly. Express your true thoughts openly and tactfully. Offer constructive feedback. Ask for what you want and need. Your courage will help others to do the same.
6. Deepen your relationships. Concentrate on the quality of your relationships. Make time for family dinners and meaningful conversations with old friends. Pick one acquaintance you want to know better and invite them to lunch.
7. Look on the bright side. List the things you are grateful for, and start each day by giving thanks for your blessings. When you’re feeling challenged, think of what you have to gain.
8. Meditate and pray. Take care of your spiritual side. Follow your faith tradition or invent rituals that are meaningful for you.
Simple Habit Tweaks That Lead to A Better Body
1. Exercise regularly. Keep your body strong and limber. Aim to work out for at least a half hour three days a week. Find a variety of activities you enjoy so you’ll stay motivated.
2. Move around. Build more physical activity into common tasks. Stand up when you talk on the phone. Climb the stairs instead of riding the elevator.
3. Sit up straight. Good posture requires no extra time out of your busy schedule. Straighten your back, lift your head, and lower your shoulders. You’ll instantly feel more alert, and protect yourself from back pain.
4. Sleep well. Your body needs good quality sleep and rest to keep running efficiently. Go to bed and wake up on a consistent schedule.
5. Eat a balanced diet. Stock up on nourishing whole foods. Fill your plate with fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Cut back on processed foods that are full of sugar and empty calories.
6. Apply sunscreen. Put on your sunscreen year round instead of saving it just for summer. Reapply it if you’ve been sweating or swimming.
7. See your doctor. Ask your physician what lifestyle changes would have the greatest impact for you. Maybe you want to quit smoking or lose weight. Maybe you want to manage your diabetes or reduce your risk for osteoporosis.
8. Manage stress. Stress affects our bodies as well as our emotions. Chronic stress can lead to inflammation which is associated with many conditions, from headaches to heart disease. Find effective ways to relax, like listening to classical music or playing with your dog.
Look forward to growing older. Stop counting your grey hairs and start counting how many positive changes you can make to your daily routines. Turn each birthday into an opportunity to enhance your mental and physical well-being.
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” ~Brian Tracy
What do you think when you read that quote? Do you feel like you’re one of the successful people? If not, why not? You’ve got to change your mind if you ever want to change your life!
You can start by “hacking your life” with a few simple tweaks to your daily routine.
See, a life hack is pretty simple stuff. It’s defined as “a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way,” according to a quick Google search, and many times, that equates to simple habits.
We have far more habits than we realize. It’s been said that successful people merely have successful habits. Success takes time, and habits repeat themselves over time. Your individual habits each serve to move you closer to success or make success more challenging.
There are only 24 hours in a day, so it’s not possible to have an unlimited number of habits. Choosing the most effective habits is a big responsibility!
8 Powerfully Simple Habits of Highly Successful People
Add these habits to your life and increase your success:
Make a to-do list each night. Start the day with a bang by having carefully chosen your activities and priorities for the following day. You’ll sleep better by having one less thing on your mind. You’ll get more done by not spending your morning trying to plan your day.
Ruthlessly prioritize your activities. No matter what your goal might be, there is one action that is more important than the rest. Determine that action and make it your focus until it is complete. After making your to-do list, chisel it down to the most important activity and start your day there.
While others are focused on doing what’s easiest, you’ll be working on what’s most effective. The difference is considerable – trust me!
Get 7-8 hours of sleep. Many claim to do just fine on 4-6 hours of sleep, but recent studies have shown that no one is as effective with 6 hours of sleep as they are with 7. If you’re getting less than 7 hours each night, you’re under-performing.
Meditate or pray each day. Getting in touch with your spirituality is important to your creativity and the overall balance in your life. Fifteen minutes a day provides a nice break and the opportunity to regroup. Even just sitting quietly can help – or if you’re like me, a nice, quiet walk will do the trick.
Review your goals at least once per day. Continue to remind yourself of your objectives. Your brain is wonderful at finding solutions, so keep reminding it of the primary challenge in your life. Reviewing your goals creates and maintains a target.
Review your day each night.Imagine how much easier life would be if you avoided making the same mistakes. Reviewing your day and acknowledging your successes and failures is an effective way to avoid making the same errors over and over. Start with the morning and work sequentially through your day.
Ask yourself, “What could I have done better?” Establish a more effective alternative for the next time.
Also be sure to review your successes. Labeling them as such will increase the likelihood of them happening again.
Exercise daily. Exercise not only strengthens your health, but it also improves your alertness and self-esteem. The vast majority of successful people report exercising each day, rain or shine. It doesn’t matter when you exercise, but most high-achievers make time in the morning.
Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is all the rage today, but the idea has been around for at least 2500 years. Mindfulness is detached awareness of your surroundings and thoughts. It helps with keeping your mind on the task at hand. Avoid worrying about the future or regretting the past. Your day will be more productive and enjoyable.
Take control of your habits.Your habits are behaviors that are repeated over and over without requiring willpower. You likely brush your teeth every night without any mental turmoil. The same ease can be accomplished with other tasks, like exercise.
Start small and with only a single habit. Build and expand as each activity becomes ingrained.
Consider your current habits. Are they bringing you closer to success or making success less likely? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or join us on Facebook to continue the discussion.
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5.0 out of 5 starsWhere was this book?, March 1, 2015
Heal Broken Relationships With This 4-Step Process to Increase Dialogue
Zap Stress With These 5 Tips to Increase Your Patience
Conquer Social Anxiety With These 5 Tips to Increase Your Courage
Become a Better Leader: 4 Steps to Boost Your E.Q.
8 Habits That Guarantee Success
7 Tricks to Boost Your Memory
4 Key Attitudes for a Happy Life
The Top 5 Ways to Nurture a Healthy Body Image
Get Off the Diet Roller Coaster: 6 Tips for Making Your Weight Loss Last
Top 10 Tips for Enhancing Your Emotional and Mental Health
18 Ways to be Happier
14 Intrinsic Motivation Secrets for Making Everything Better
7 Steps to Having a Great Day
Top 10 Strategies to Overcome Anger and Gain Peace
9 More Life Lessons You Weren’t Taught in School
5 Indicators of a True Friendship
6 Tips for Getting Through the Hard Times
This book is exactly what you’ve been looking for if you’re at a point in your life where you know you’re ready for some serious changes, but you’re not exactly sure where to start. It offers powerful and simple secrets, tricks and baby steps that will help take your life from not-so-great to over the moon.
“Believe in yourself, not only in swimming, but in life itself. You always have to have fun. You have to have an open mind. If you’re not enjoying it, don’t do it. Life’s too short.” ~Debbie Meyer
Whether it’s about losing weight, increasing fitness and endurance or just finding something to keep up busy during our spare time, we all have a reason to exercise and it is something that should be important to us.
Whatever your reason, you probably already know the many benefits for exercising, with the obvious weight loss and fitness being at the top of the list.
But the benefits are certainly not limited to physical well-being–mental and emotional health can also benefit from regular exercise. Swimming in particular has a whole host of benefits for the body, inside and out.
Those who struggle to lose weight for any reason may find that swimming is a great alternative to some forms of exercise, particularly if the reason you have trouble losing weight is related to joint pain, heart or lung problems or even just that you are intimidated by the thought of exercise methods such as running and swimming.
Swimming allows you to do more with less, the water takes the stress off your joints by supporting your weight, and swimming also uses your whole body, which means that you get a more equal, full body workout rather than just concentrating on one area of the body.
Compared with most other aerobic exercises, swimming is probably the most effective way of increasing the strength of your muscles and toning them.
Of course this won’t build your muscles the way weight lifting or resistance training might, but it will steadily and comfortably increase the strength of your muscles and joints to tone your muscles more subtly.
This comes about as a result of pulling your body through water, rather than air, which is of course a much denser substances and thus forces the body to work much harder to accomplish the movement.
It is also shown that muscle strength is not the only thing improved, swimming can help you to improve your bone strength too.
Do you have sore joints, or occasional pains in your joints when performing normal actions? Do you want to improve the flexibility of your joints and body?
Swimming helps with this a great deal, the water supports your weight during the exercises, which allows your joints to strengthen the way they do during your regular exercises, but without having the pressure on them that causes pain and increases the chance of injury.
Swimming also puts your body into a variety of positions and uses a range of motions that allow your joints and muscles to stay flexible.
There are plenty of swimmers and swimming coaches, who have throughout history acknowledged the happiness and positivity of a swimmer in the water. William Wilson was among the first noted to do so, in 1883, he wrong in his book ‘the experienced swimmer, when in the water, may be classed among the happiest of mortals in the happiest of moods, and in the most complete enjoyment of the happiest of exercises’.
In a way, all exercise accomplishes this, however swimming is a little more advanced; the body releases endorphins when we exercise, these can be considered to be “feel-good chemicals” and cause a sort of natural high.
Swimming is more specifically considered a meditative exercise, the body constantly being stretched then relaxed and the concentration on very slow, steady and deep breathing are all similar to those seen in other meditative activities such as yoga.
The concentration on these activities can be very helpful in aiding you to drown out your surroundings and forget about the things that you find stressful.
Research has also indicated that swimming can change your brain; a processes known as hippocampal neurogenesis replaces the brain cells that are lost because of stress.
In general it is very good for the brain; boosting brainpower and reducing cognitive decline that can lead to problems like Alcheimer’s later in life, it can even help you to control addictions by giving you that exercise high with endorphins and dopamine and even sharpen your memory.
About the Author
Kate Critchlow is a freelance writer with a strong interest in keeping fit and healthy despite a very busy work schedule. As a result she is passionate about a number of activities from Martial Arts to Scuba Diving.
After that, I wanted to get six-pack abs. That’s also a dumb goal. First of all, most people are not genetically programmed to have those kinds of abs. Second, even the supermodels and male models that have six-packs don’t have them all the time. Usually they have a little fat, and then burn it off in the weeks before a photo shoot.
So my goal now is to have a flat stomach. It really should be to get down to an acceptable body fat percentage, but I don’t have an easy way of measuring that. A flat stomach can be measured in the mirror or by my wife. I don’t need to have defined abs, but just lose some of my stomach fat and get it to be flatter. To me, that will look good, feel good, and be healthier.
I’ve done my research, and by learning what’s working so far for me, here’s the three steps to a flat stomach:
1. Cardio, cardio, cardio. Doing all the abs exercises in the world will do nothing if you have a layer of fat covering it. Doing strength training, or lifting weights, would help, but not as much as aerobic exercise. So my plan is to continue my running, and add in swimming and biking. I plan to do at least 30 minutes of cardio 6 days a week. On some days I’ll do more — 45 minutes, an hour, two hours, even more on long days. I’ll start out short for the bike and swim, like I did with running, until I build up my endurance. A quick note: interval training is also great, and I will add that in after my endurance is better. If you want to add some ab exercises in after the cardio, that’s great, but be sure to work your whole torso, not just the upper abs — that includes the lower abs, lower back and the muscles that wrap around your sides.
2. Less Fat and Sugar. It’s that simple. The American diet is typically filled with fat and sugar, and you’ll never get a flat stomach on that recipe. Cut out meat, if you can, and even better, cut out dairy and eggs. But if you can’t, at least eat lean meats (low-fat turkey, skinless chicken breast, lean beef, fish), and stay away from fried food and too many sugary desserts. That doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself — if you’re eating healthy, you can actually eat a lot — or deprive yourself too much, but only eat the bad stuff in moderation. Vegan diet is the best, especially if it’s balanced, rich in vegetable protein and calcium and minerals, full of fresh fruits and veggies, and high in fiber.
3. Give it Time. If you want to have a flat stomach in 3 weeks, or two months, forget it. Losing fat takes time, and it’s unhealthy to lose too much weight too fast. Aim for 1-2 lbs. a week. Gradual weight loss is healthier, and more likely to be sustained over time. Go for a lifestyle change, something you can live with for the rest of your life, or you will just yo-yo. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.