Who doesn’t want to live a happier and healthier life?
On some level, it seems, we all do. But, activities, events and things we may not be ecstatic about or even vaguely want to do - like school, work, or those daily nuisances - like getting a flat tire or having your computer crash - seem to always prevent you from achieving the goal of health and happiness.
The thing is, by doing these 12 simple habits daily you can finally lead that lifestyle that you've been dreaming of.
1. Set your own goals.
It’s easy to compare yourself when living in a world where we see our friends doing exciting things on Facebook or Instagram. But comparing yourself to others isn’t going to make your life happier. Instead, peering in to a purely public persona seems to cause a life full of jealousy and regret.
Stop chasing the success of others and set goals that you want to achieve. For example, if you want to learn how to speak Japanese, take the steps everyday to learn this new language. Whether the step you take is taking a class or saving-up for a month-long trip to Japan, these are goals that you’ve set for yourself to make you a better, stronger, and happier individual, a more complete you.
2. Be more appreciative.
It’s no secret that appreciation leads to happiness. Gratitude has been studied a lot these days. By showing your appreciation daily you can gain a new perspective of your life. Every day you should list at least three things that you’re thankful for. You’d be surprised at how that can turn your mood around.
For example, if your business is on the verge of bankruptcy, you could show appreciation that you have a spouse who will emotionally support you, you learned the mistakes that lead to the failure, and you still have your health. Even though it’s still painful, showing appreciation provides value in your life - no matter what else is going-on.
3. Eat healthy, but still enjoy your favorite foods.
It’s vital that you have a healthy diet that contains lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, and lean meats like salmon. To make eating healthier easier, replace those bags of chips with bags of grapes. When eating dinner, keep your plate colorful with lots of green, red, orange, and yellow foods.
At the same time, don’t completely cut out the foods that you love. If you love pizza, then have a slice or two with your salad. Neglecting your favorite foods can lead to overeating. Eating more healthy takes a little thought and preparedness. Take the time to give yourself this gift.
4. Have a solid morning routine.
Having a morning routine can help you feel more centered, energized, and ready to tackle the day. It's no wonder the most successful people in the world have morning rituals that include waking up early, reading, exercising, and spending time with their families.
5. Keep your home clean and organized.
I understand that sometimes it’s difficult to keep your home clean and organized. However, a messy and unorganized home can create stress. In fact, a survey conducted by the Huffington Post found that “Eighty-four percent of recently stressed Americans say they worry that their home isn’t clean or organized enough, and within that group, 55 percent called it out as a source of recent stress.”
6. Exercise daily.
There’s probably no better way to lead a healthier and happier life that exercise. Science has found time and time again that physical activity controls your weight, can improve your mood, reduces stress, helps you sleep better, and combat health conditions and diseases like stroke and type 2 diabetes. Okay - you already know this. Have you done an exercise today? You don't have to picture yourself running 4.625 miles daily for the rest of your life. Do like AA suggests and just try doing your exercises "one day at a time."
Whether your routine is to exercise first thing in the morning, going for a 10 minute walk during your lunch break, or doing some quick exercises in your office, you have to make it a daily habit get your heart pumping.
7. Focus on one thing at a time.
We’re not programmed to multitask. Multitasking actually decreases productivity, leads to more errors, and eats up more time. If you have a deadline, those "must do's" can all add-up to cause unnecessary stress. Instead, focus on one task at a time. Not only are we capable of attending to one task at a time, it ensures that we stay productive and maintain a stress-free lifestyle.
8. Surround yourself with positive people.
This shouldn’t be breaking news. If you’re surrounded by people who are always down-in-the-dumps and aren’t positive, then expect to feel the same way. Attitudes are contagious. So, surround yourself with people who are positive and push you to get out of your comfort zone. Ask for help in making a change to the positive if you are having trouble with one.
9. Read each and every time.
It’s been said that reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Besides enhancing your knowledge, reading can also stimulate your brain, reduce stress, and improves everything from your memory to concentration to analytical thinking skills. Even listening to a motivational speaker or listening to a "book on tape" (iBook) and the like, on the way to work or as you run errands can give you a vast amount of knowledge and stimulation.
10. Make time to play.
Life isn’t just about working and handling responsibilities. It’s also about enjoying yourself and getting the most of it. Find at least fifteen a day to do something that you truly enjoy doing.
Sounds simply, but it works. Smiling changes our brains so that we feel happier and less-stressed. Best of all? Even when you’re not in the best mood, a smile can trick your brain to think that you’re actually happy.
12. Slow down and recharge.
Ferris Bueller famously said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” Believe it or not, there’s a whole of truth to that.
Living in such a fast-paced world, we need to take the time to step away from social media, work, and materialistic things. Spend time with your family and friends. Get outside and enjoy nature. It's these small things that can keep you healthier and happier.