I guess that all of us sometimes think that our lives and our health could need some improvement. But once you take a look around and read through different books on this topic, you’ll soon be overwhelmed by the amount of advice, programs, and theories out there.
We don’t want you to fall into analysis paralysis or to feel like drowning in a sea of “shoulds” and “must nots”. Changing any kind of habit is work and depending on how long or often you’ve been doing these things, it can be harder or easier to implement new ways of living.
For today, simply take one or two of our tips from the list below and commit yourself to do this every day or every second day – depending on how much energy and time you have. Simply be consistent, a little goes a long way. Once you stepped up your game by just one tiny habit, you’ll be rewarded with feeling better and therefore be even more open towards change! Now, let’s take a look at all these wonderful options to get motivated.
When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no ‘I’ll start tomorrow.’ Tomorrow is disease.
Make a smoothie out of random fruits you find in your kitchen – extra points if you throw in some green leafy vegetables as well. A good base is always bananas and frozen fruit can add a nice texture. Don’t get too crazy with the ingredients and if you’re new to this, stay on the sweeter side. Sit back and enjoy!
Pre-cook a whole bunch of rice (or any starch of your choice) and some veggies or beans for your next few evenings so you’ll have a satisfying and nutritious dinner in no time. The easiest way to do this is by using an Instant Pot of course! When you’re done, just put all of the food in separate containers into your fridge.
Read a few pages in any of your favorite self-improvement books. If you don’t currently have one, we recommend “Peace is in every step” by Thich Nhat Hanh, “The Desire Map” by Danielle Laporte and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey.
Write down a list of things you like about yourself and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Repeat these things to yourself whenever you see them until you feel invincible! Even better when you add things about your soul, your person, something that won't change over time or could be taken away.
Swap your morning coffee for some jumping jacks followed by a nice tea or fresh juice/smoothie. Your adrenals will be eternally grateful and you don't need that kind of bitterness in your life. Take this chance to nourish and soothe your body and soul!
Eat more starches like potatoes, rice, beans, or even a piece of plain bread to give you sustainable energy while at the same time keeping you from loading up on dessert or craving animal-based food. In the end, these carbs are what our cells thrive on!
Yes, this is a classic but effective one: Have some fruit as a snack instead of a chocolate bar. Nature's candy will give you a nice amount of essential nutrients and hydrate your cells at the same time. The fructose is also able to deal your with sugar cravings!
Take a 30 minute walk, either listening to nature’s sounds, a guided meditation or to an inspiring podcast like Food For Thought, Rich Roll or The Mindset Zone. This down-time can give you some much needed relaxation and inspiration to go on with the rest of your day.
Interact with people around you. Smile at strangers, make your colleagues laugh, help someone out. Surrounding yourself with positive energy will prevent you from being stressed and helps you make better decisions for yourself.
Swap your dairy products for dairy-free versions if you haven’t already done this. Since we were not made to consume the secretions of another species, it won’t do your body any good – and you’re even likely to have a slight intolerance anyway. Next time you’re at the grocery store, get some different types of plant-based milk and find the one you like the most!
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Put on your favorite music and dance around, even jump if you can. Remember the time you were going crazy on a rebounder as a child? That’s not just great for your mood but also for your arteries, lymphatic system, and waistline! Feel free to join in and sing if you feel that calling.
Set an alarm in the evening and unplug all your devices at a certain time. This will allow you to unwind before going to bed at a decent time and get some beauty sleep in. I know it's tough but try to be pretty strict about it and view it as quality time!
Don’t sit down for more than 1 hour at a time if you can because this can significantly lower your life expectancy. Get up regularly, release any build-up tension, stretch, grab some water or take some deep breaths by the window - no matter if it's at work or while watching Netflix.
While we’re at it: get away from your screens from time to time, don’t go on a 7-8 hours marathon of working, watching videos, writing emails, and scrolling through social media. Unplug yourself from the virtual world for a little and slow down. If you have 30 minutes to linger on Facebook, you have 10 minutes (or more) for some meditation, yoga or even a short workout.
Add some greens to your lunch or dinner for some nutritional boosting and crunchiness. Get creative, make wraps, put it into sauces or casseroles, steam them or prepare a quick green smoothie. You could also make some kale chips for the next movie night if that sounds like you!
Read More: 10 Free Smoothie Recipes
Don’t grab your lunch at some nearby store, make an effort to prepare it yourself at home. It can even be left-overs from last night or a whole grain sandwich with some nuts and grapes. The bulk-preparing comes in handy here as well.
Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and practice some yoga in bed, maybe listen to soothing music while doing this. It doesn’t have to be exhausting or perfect, it’s rather a matter of waking up gradually and connecting with your body.
Drink a big glass of warm (or cold, however you like it) water with freshly squeezed lemon juice in the morning. After hours of dehydration, your body will be more than pleased – plus the lemon juice has an alkaline effect on your body, gently waking up your cells and digestion.
Listen to some affirmations while you're doing your chores, drive in your car, or even while napping. The powerful, uplifting phrases can shift your mindset towards being more positive, gentle, productive, and clear. Try to get used to a more positive voice!
Use your lunch break to go outside and step away from what you’re doing for 8 hours a day. A change of scenery can help you to return with more energy and motivation. Extra points for eating your self-made lunch in the sun.
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Make a green vegetable juice (either fresh or with some wheatgrass powder) when you feel sluggish in the afternoon or evening to refresh your cells. If that's not your thing, you can also opt for some freshly squeezed oranges - skip the coffee or wine.
Read More: Best Juicers on the Market
Whenever you feel stuck and unhappy, think of at least 5 things you are grateful for right now. This makes you realize that you would be perfectly okay if nothing changed in your life and takes the pressure off to help you think straight. This can be turned in a daily ritual or gratitude journaling which is like a prevention for an overall bad mood.
Try to cook your meals without oil, get some non-stick cookware and steam your veggies in water instead of frying them. There’s even a way to prepare oil-free hash browns! This will keep your arteries healthier and waistline slimmer.
Stick to the whole-food version of everything you eat. Have rye bread instead of white, get whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole grain crackers etc. It will give you more nutrients and the fiber keeps you full for a longer amount of time.
Call a loved one, meet them somewhere and have a relaxing, inspiring conversation. Plus points for hugging it out, since this is extra good for your hormones (that goes for cuddling animals as well). We all need loving connections.
Get a medium to
Take a hot bath and put some Epsom salt in your water! It prevents blood clots, relieves pain, treats congestion, and helps muscles function. Plus, it can do amazing things for your skin! This bitter, salt-like substance is also a nice detoxifier and alkalizer.
Try to eat your dinner early enough so you’re basically fasting for 14 hours. For example if you eat breakfast around 7 am, have your last meal at 5 pm. This doesn’t mean restricting your calories, but rather redistributing.
Come up with a list of what it is you truly want and visualize your goals and successes every day. It will both make you happy and want to work for it harder, meaning it’s a lot more likely to become reality. You can even create a vision board with pictures of what you'd like to achieve and hang it on the wall for some visual motivation.
Sleep for at least 8 hours a night and try to be in bed before midnight to regulate your hormones. If you’re still tired in the morning, go to bed half an hour earlier until you found the right amount of sleep you need in order to feel restored and energized.
Cut back on salt and sugar since they overstimulate your taste buds and make you eat more than your body needs – plus they will make an apple or carrot seem very blunt and boring. Stick to unflavored, natural food more often.
Look into some methods of physical relaxation. You can either get a professional massage, ask your partner to give you one or even do it yourself! Reflexology is a method of applying pressure to your feet and hands using a specific technique in order to support physical functions or changes in the body.
Go outside and get some sunshine for 10-20 minutes, depending on the season. This can calm you down, increase happiness and gets you a nice dose of vitamin D. Whether you like to walk, run, play, or just lay down - nothing better than taking a sweet break on a stressful day!
Eat mindfully and slowly, chew your food 20 times and really pay attention to the texture, smell and flavor of your food. Make an effort to be undistracted, don’t watch any videos or discuss hot topics while eating.
Ride your bike to work if you can. You might also combine it with taking a train if it’s too far away. It won’t feel like working out but rather as a means to get around in an environmentally friendly, cheap and healthy way.
Go to local farmers markets, interact with people and buy fresh produce which wasn’t treated with any pesticides. This counts for taking a nice walk outside, smiling at strangers, supporting small businesses, and making healthier food choices!
Make an effort to take a look at what’s really in your food that you’re about to buy at the grocery store. Read the labels and aim for short ingredient lists on which you recognize every single word. Try to look for chemicals instead of calories.
Give your scale away. This little guy can screw with you on a daily basis, making your worth depend on a number, which can affect your mood and your actions throughout the day. Ever gotten into some chips or chocolates because your weight was higher or lower than expected? Free yourself from this unimportant measurement and strive to consistently make healthy choices.
Start stretching your whole body while watching your favorite TV series and discover how much more flexible and strong you become after a while. It’s good to unwind and keep yourself from bad posture too.
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Stay connected with yourself. You have your unique set of talents and needs, following these will make your life much easier and better. Listen to your inner voice and truth, don’t push yourself too hard and go at your own pace – no matter what you think is expected.
Be aware of your hunger cues. Are you really in physical need of some food or just thirsty, tired, bored? Make sure to take a nap and drink some water or tea in order to treat your body well, and get a hobby that’s in alignment with your passion or talent to get your mind off of snacking.
Get a body brush and use it every morning to activate your lymphatic system. It’s a wonderful act of self-care and makes your skin incredibly soft while gently supporting your body’s detoxification. A great combination is coconut oil, which you can apply afterwards.
Buy almost exclusively foods that are healthy and which you feel good about eating. When the moment comes that you’re at home and really hungry, you will make a good food choice - because you cannot eat what you don’t have at home.
For a great quick method to reduce stress, try grounding or earthing. We are surrounded by electronics and radiation all day, both of which can have questionable health risks. By walking on the earth barefoot, you can balance some of the free radicals out, meaning you “de-charge” yourself.
Stay away from soda and diet coke. This is nothing new, but if these beverages still find their way into your belly, it’s time to make it a habit of cutting them out. And it doesn’t even matter if it’s regular or diet soda – they are a serious threat to your health and waistline! Try some fruit/herb infused water, tea or juice instead if regular plain water is too boring for you.
Bake or prepare some healthy sweet or savory snacks so you don’t feel like missing out if you don’t buy unhealthy crackers or muffins at the store. You can prepare mostly anything using just a few clean whole food ingredients. Also, watch your hunger signals and avoid getting too hungry so you’re able to make conscious food choices.
Try a new healthy food every time you go grocery shopping. It can be an exotic fruit, a scary looking vegetable or an interesting mix of spices. Also, don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry - make a list and stick to it.
In order to honor your true self, start being very honest with people and say no when you feel like it. Get to know your boundaries and let others know about them, too! This will soon show you who really cares about you and your wellbeing – a perfect chance to get rid of toxic relationships.
Make juice or soups out of leftover fruits and veggies before they turn bad. You can freeze them if you’re not in the mood for consuming anything right now and have some quick, healthy food options. Plus, you will save money and require
Make your meals with love and make them look appetizing. This means cooking at home and adding more colors to your meals like steaming up some veggies, putting on fresh herbs, and getting a nice variety of nutrients – all without artificial colors or flavors of course.
Now, get started!
After you have chosen the habits you want to bring into your daily life, make sure to keep track. Connect them with something that you already do and maybe even make a checklist
Your list can also hold you accountable and you can share it with family or friends to inspire them. Who knows, maybe they’ll even join in, making it even easier and more enjoyable! Writing your successes down helps you to focus on the positive and build up your motivation to take on some bigger projects.
Which one of these do healthy habits are already part of your life? And which new one do you want to try out first? Let us know in the comments below!
About the Author
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.
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