In honor of Valentine’s Day weekend, and appropriate every day, this list of daily habits from pillow to pillow can make an enormous difference in your satisfaction and happiness. Did you know one passive way to weight management and optimal energy is joy?
1. Wake naturally.
If you’ve done your homework and know your sleep needs you know when to turn out the lights so that setting the alarm is just for insurance. This is a good indication that you’re getting shut eye your body needs for your best everything today.
2. Drink a BIG glass of lemon water first thing.
Setting your internal environment up for success is but one reason to do this. A second is the message you send yourself by doing a consistently good thing for you first thing before you take care of anyone else.
3. Enjoy time to yourself before someone else takes charge of your day.
Whether it’s a half hour, 10 minutes, or an hour, getting up a little earlier to guarantee your life isn’t off to the races first thing can be the best thing you do all day.
4. Start with gratitude.
Out loud, with prayer, silently, or through reading meditations, it matters not how you do this but that you do. Counting your blessings every day brings more of them to you.
5. Do some kind of exercise before your schedule is full.
Do your intervals, your yoga, your walking or your weights. Do something even if you’re a late day exerciser by preference. First, early exercise is most commonly helpful for hormone balancing. Second, it “sets” the tone of your day to, “I did this good habit, and I’ll continue all day with other healthful habits.”
6. Eat a high protein breakfast (35 grams of protein).
From Obesity, Sept 2015, a new study among other growing support for higher protein in older adults and those seeking weight management showed breakfast of 35 grams of protein reduced voluntary intake the rest of the day by 400 calories on average in addition to preventing fat weight gain.
7. When you shower and prepare for the day, don’t put anything on your body that would be hazardous if you ate it (fragrance, parabens, etc).
Toxins that cross your skin on a daily basis have a major impact on health. Especially for those vulnerable to autoimmune disease, with weakened immune systems this small change can have a mighty affect on your body’s optimal function.
8. Work in 90-120 minute cycles and break.
For years we’ve known our sleep cycles through 90 minute phases at night. Our day cycles mimic our night cycles. Your attention span will drift and creativity will wain if you try to power through hours without a break.
9. Make sure your most creative work time is spend doing creative tasks (a meeting is not creative).
For most of us, though not all, creative time peaks in the morning. Make the most of this by doing your highest priority creative work during this time. No meetings, edits, mundane tasks. Do the thoughtful, mindful creative work when it will be highest quality.
10. Clear the clutter from your view to clear it from your mind.
Take the one acute pain of getting this done and setting up an easy way to make it simple to keep up with.
11. Make it personal: your workspace should include photos of people or places you love, flowers or plants, and color you love.
Love where you’re at no matter if that’s work or home.
12. During 10-15 minute breaks between work cycles get up, walk, move, stretch, breath deeply.
Get a change of scenery, and of position. You’ll open your mind up to new possibilities by opening up your body.
13. Drink at least half cup of water each hour and a cup before lunch, dinner, and bedtime. For added pH balancing, add lemon to it.
Dehydration puts your body under stress. In that status you can’t burn fat, think optimally, feel your best, or think well.
14. When you walk somewhere walk with purpose and energy.
Motion drives emotion. Check your posture. If you don’t like your current mood, change your posture.
15. Make it your job to make someone else’s day.
Karma matters. You’ll be the one most rewarded. Do this without a need to tell someone or gain recognition.
16. If there’s been a misunderstanding clear it up as soon as possible and think the best about anyone else involved.
Make note if you have a tendency to think less than the best of someone. Even if they’ve earned a history, give the benefit of the doubt to them. It’s about you and not about them when you make this choice.
17. At lunch have food in quiet without the computer or phone for company.
Try to shut off the world for a few minutes and be mindful about your food. Especially if it’s been a busy or stressful morning this is important.
18. Take the edge off with lunch, don’t “over-fill” beyond comfortable.
All you need is enough. You don’t need more. Put any extra away and have it if you get hungry.
19. Plan something stimulating to work on in the afternoon and this is a good time for meetings that don’t require as much creativity.
Stay engaged even if in a different mode than the creative one in which you start the day.
20. Transition from work to dinner with 20 minutes of yoga, a walk with the dog, or core exercises (while dinner is cooking).
Find a bridge between your day and your evening so you get back in touch with you. Beware of temptations to tune out instead: television, news, noise, handling multiple tasks at one time.
21. Cue relaxation time with a bath, shower, and or change into lounge clothes.
Message yourself that it’s OK to let down and let go of the day.
22. Plan something that you look forward to every day.
However small it might be, make it not about food or external rewards. Keep this around experiences.
23. Read something positive every night before you go to bed. If you can’t find it write it yourself.
Ending your day on a positive note plants seeds for a positive sleep.
24. Take three or four deep breaths once you shut of the lights. Breath fully in and exhale completely out thinking about how very fortunate you are to have had another beautiful opportunity today.
Allow each breath to release the muscles in your neck, shoulders, face and the rest of your body. Be at peace with yourself and enter sleep ready for renewal.