Want improved physical, financial, and emotional health? Who doesn't? I've integrated these easy habits and tips into my daily/weekly/monthly routine and am very happy with the results. If you even succeed in completing half this list I'm sure your life will improve too!
1. Put a glass of water by your bed and drink it as soon as you wake up. Make sure you have it before you eat or drink anything else and try to wait 15 minutes before eating. It's great for digestion, gives you more energy, clears up your complexion, prevents headaches, and more.
2. Eat breakfast! You've heard this before. But seriously, just start doing it! I like oatmeal with flax seeds, sliced almonds, berries, and fresh fruit.
3. Eat an apple the next time you crave a sugary sweet. Wait 20 minutes. If you find the craving has subsided, you were probably just hungry.
4. Speaking of sugar, buy floss and use it at least twice a day before you brush. Seriously, you can stop reading the list if you just do this one thing. Unhealthy gums are gross and eventually, they will be very expensive!
5. Exercise for at least 10 minutes a day using your own body weight - no need for a gym, expensive equipment, or special work out gear. There are so many great 10 minute videos on You tube you can use. Like, over 42 million. (I checked.)
6. Read at least one page of a quality book every day. As long as it is non-fiction or proper literature, it counts. You will improve your vocabulary, grammar and concentration. I usually enjoy my morning coffee while I read.
7. Call someone you like today instead of texting them. Ask them how they are and attentively listen to them. Don’t talk about yourself. Be there for them.
8. Every week buy yourself some flowers. They smell great, look beautiful and give your home an inviting touch.
9. Listen to 5 minutes of classical music, preferably Mozart, Bach or Handel. (Again, this is widely available on Youtube!) Check out this article for reasons why.
10. Turn off your phone, computer, TV, and every thing else that causes distraction. Stay unplugged for 5 minutes and see how hard it is. Shudder at your dependence on screens. Then try it for 10 minutes tomorrow and repeat until you can do it for a full 30 minutes every day.
11. Buy a giant bag of tea lights from IKEA and burn them every night before you go to bed instead of playing with your smart phone to create a relaxing atmosphere.
12. Make your bed every day and wash your bed linens every week. You will feel organized and adult-like. (And prevent allergies and other yucky things.)
13. Eat healthy fats everyday. Your body needs 60 grams of fat a day for optimal brain function. (My favorite sources are almonds, avocados, salmon, and dark chocolate.) Fat improves your nervous system, (so you'll feel less anxious), and will improve your bones/skin/nails/hair too. So we feel better AND we look better.
14. Buy brighter lightbulbs for your workspace. Better for your mood and productivity.
15. Go through your closet and organize everything by color, regardless of function. It's free, it looks polished and it is a fun way to discover new outfits in your existing closet. Then when you get bored, find another creative way to reorganize your clothes, say by type - all pants together, all jackets together etc. You will be shocked at just how many outfits you have and will never utter "I have nothing to wear" again!
16. Buy a quality moisturizer and use it on your hands, elbows and feet every day. This is my number one trick for making a manicure or pedicure last.
17. Find a charity you care about and set up an automatic payment to them every month for the next year. Even if it’s just $5 a month. It's really important to give back no matter how small the contribution.
18. Make a list of 5 things that you are grateful for. Say them out loud every day until you have the list memorized. Then start a new list and repeat. You can even share them with a friend to motivate each other.
19. Start saving 10% of your paycheck right now. Automate your finances to effortlessly feed the account(s) every month. You'll still be able to travel, buy shoes, go to restaurants and do all the other things you like and you won't even notice the money is gone because it's automated. LIKE MAGIC.
And since you've succeeded in completing the list thus far, you deserve a little treat so here's my last luxurious tip for total life improvement:
20. Add creme fraiche to your scrambled eggs and slowly fold in a butter-coated pan. Top with fleur de sel and fresh herbs. Bask in your general awesomeness at completing this list.
I hope these tips help you have your best year yet. Now I have to know your tips and tricks for building good habits and improving your life! I can't wait to try them!