Making changes to our routine can feel overwhelming at the best of times. I am going to share my top 10 life hacks for health and happiness. Sometimes it’s the small little changes that are the most profound. These seemingly simple hacks will be more transformative than you might think! Have a read and give the ones that resonate a go.
1. Drink More Water
Never underestimate the power of hydration! Our body depends on water for survival. Every cell and organ requires it. Our brain is made up of 75% water and even mild dehydration has cognitive effects. Essentially, dehydration very quickly affects how we think and feel. It is easy to incorporate a big drink of water when we wake up (add lemon or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to give it a bit of a sing). Further, it is even easier to carry a water bottle around during the day and drink between meals. Keep a quality and lightweight water bottle close throughout the day.
2. Morning and Evening Routine
Guys, seriously, I am addicted to my morning routine. I truly can’t continue my day without doing it. It sets me up for a successful and intentional day.
This is what I do every morning:
- Breathing exercise
- Three things I am grateful for (BTW, this alone can rewire your brain, it’s powerful.)
- Visualising 10 dreams as they have already happened
- My current 90 days goals
- One goal that I am currently working on
- Write down in my journal: what I am grateful for, the 10 dreams, 90 days goals and the current main goal.
- three times a week HIIT training and 2 times a week 40 minutes walk
During my walks, I would listen to a podcast, a video or an audiobook.
Decide what resonates with you and commit to it. Even if you just start with gratitude and do that every morning for 5 minutes. It might also be a workout, listening to a podcast or a meditation. Tony Robbins jumps into a freezing cold plunge pool. Do this if this resonates 😉 And you don’t have to do it for long, but as long as you DO it. Even if it is just 1 minute to start, you will soon realise how energising and worthwhile it is. Before long it will feel blissful rather than a chore (I promise, I am the walking proof).
Moreover, evening routines are underestimated in nurturing health and happiness. I suggest finding the one thing that works for you. Reading a few pages of an inspiring or interesting book, write down in your journal. Create a plan for your next day. Apply some essential oils after a relaxing bath/shower. What about a skincare routine for self-love?
3. Unplugged Moments
This trick is particularly helpful for those of us who are easily distracted by social media notifications. Why is it that as soon as the morning alarm goes off, and with half-closed eyes, we reach for our phone? We take away any possibility to gather thoughts and feelings, or set intentions for the day. I find having my phone on airplane mode at night and keeping it on until my morning routine is complete. Then, and only then, do I check my social media or emails. This way, I am much more present and grounded with engaging and responding to emails or messages. Plus, I did not sacrifice my morning routine. It’s win-win!
The cost of unfiltered information as soon as we wake up (or just before we sleep) has more ramifications than we realise! Try this and let me know how it works for you. There are many benefits to not checking our phone before bed, especially around sleep.
I loooove journaling and can easily say that it has kept me sane in most difficult moments in my life. It’s powerful, easy and it’s free. So I wanted to include it. Journaling has been scientifically proven to improve peoples’ health and happiness. The simple process of journaling or “writing therapy” can help with anxiety, depression, relieve stress and heighten self-awareness and even help the immune system! Basically, when we journal we activate the analytical or rational side of our brain. This lets our right/creative side of the brain to expand and have more freedom, which positively affects our wellbeing.
Journaling is most effective if we do at least 20 minutes daily. Ignore spell-checking or punctuation; just write without censoring. You can pick a theme for the day, or not. There are no rules to this. Over time you will notice benefits, and it is the most affordable therapy session you will find.
Set your alarm for 20 minutes, maybe turn relaxing or inspiring music on and just start writing. You can prompt yourself with certain questions or just write what comes to your mind. You can start with things you are grateful for, the achievements of the day, your challenges of the day, etc.
5. Re-evaluate Commitments
To say ‘yes’ to the new, we must say ‘no’ to the old. We all know about goal setting. But I am also a firm believer in letting go of things that no longer serve us. It provides mental space to focus on the goals or activities that truly serve us. Become honest about what activities in your life bring you joy and which ones deplete your energy and kill your spirit.
Like we have a to do list, take some time to create a No-Longer-To-Do-List.
Ask yourself the following:
- What expands me?
- What energises me?
- What depletes me?
- Am I doing something out of fear of letting someone down?
Sometimes we need to let go to grow. Make a list of commitments and activities, then decide what you will outsource or let go completely.
6. Who Do You Surround Yourself With?
If there is one thing you can do right now that will drastically improve your health and happiness, then it is changing your environment! Who you surround yourself with is literally who you become. This doesn’t mean you have to never see your closest friends again. But going to events, gatherings, a gym, or a meetup with people all on the same mission and path can drastically improve our health, happiness and results.
Use your journal for this exercise:
What kind of people do I want to have in my close circle?
How, who and where do I need to be to attract these people into my life?
7. Do yearly, quarterly and weekly reviews
I am quite a nerd when it comes to this. I write down at the beginning of the year what needs to happen during the year to make it the best year yet. Then, based on that, I check in quarterly and weekly where I am at. I decide what I need to do more or less to be in alignment with my goals.
When have you reviewed your life the last time?
This truly allows us to be very conscious of our decisions and be accountable for our actions. So we can stop doing what doesn’t serve us such as drinking too much, eating too much or even working too much. At the same time, it allows us to do more of the things that bring us joy and meaning: spending time with friends who bring the best in us, move your body in a fun way, write a book, do an interesting paper at the university.
It’s amazing what you can realize when you sit and identify what you want out of your life.
8. Make a List of a Go-To Grocery List and Menu
OK, this one is so awesome. Make a list of 4-5 healthy meals you find relatively easy to prepare and you love to eat. Then make a grocery list for these (in advance). Stick it on the fridge. Take this next shopping trip. This means in times of stress and overwhelm we don’t need to pick up the take away menus, we are prepared! We have a fridge full of yummy and nourishing food that we enjoy. This will also help prevent food cravings getting out of control, as well as possible emotional eating.
9. Practice Gratitude
A study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology concluded that consciously focusing our blessings (practicing gratitude) have emotional and interpersonal benefits. Practicing gratitude daily gives you a constant reminder of the beautiful things in your life that are right in front of you. Sometimes we can get so caught up with achieving the next thing that we forget to take a step back and appreciate the beautiful life we have already created.
Furthermore, this process of creating the emotion of gratitude can actually generate the emotional signature to attract more of the same. So we literally attract more goodness in our life. Dr. Joe Dispenza discusses the inner workings of this process. Check out his blog post called the “Gratitude Challenge”
Reading any literature in the personal development space will always include this in the key principles of success. All of the greatest leaders and success stories in human history highlight the need to include giving back as apart of their success. Not just once you reach a certain status of wealth, but from the very beginning. Factor it into everything that you do…not just with money, but in time, energy, and thought. Give to those with less as a way to not only serve humanity but to gain a consistent perspective while you are moving forward toward bigger and greater dreams.
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Sustainable success takes consistency!
We all know what to do, we all know how to eat healthy, but actually sticking to new habits long term is hard.
We might listen to some YouTube Videos, Podcasts and read books, but we don’t implement what we learn.
That’s why I have created the Mindfoodness Members’ Club!
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