1. Make small weekly changes to eat healthier
When people tell me it’s to hard to eat healthy or to change their diet I usually tell them one thing. It took me 5 years to get to eating the way I do now… And the one tip I give them: make one small change by adding in something healthy rather than by trying to take anything out. For me the first thing I started doing was just changing my breakfast. From toast and bagels to a green smoothie daily. Once I had my green smoothie I just continued on with my day as I had always done. A month later I started feeling so much better just by making that one small change that I wanted to keep going… If there’s one thing I would tell you it’s try and eat the same healthy thing for breakfast every day, wether it’s a green smoothie, a cup of oatmeal and berries or whatever you fancy. A month later add something else in and just keep on going… I promise not only will you feel a lot better but your taste buds will change dramatically to the point of not even wanting to touch that french fry on your dinner plate.
2. Work out in the morning before you do anything else
I’m a big believer in starting off the day on the right foot (so to say). That’s why I recommend changing breakfast first and then making incremental changes during the day. The same goes for exercise. If you don’t get your workout in in the morning, it’s going to be a struggle to get it in later in the day when things get busy. Every day it’s the same routine for me. Wake up, get ready, get kids off to school, workout. Then the rest of my day starts. If you set a timeline in the morning wether it’s before work or after drop-off your much more likely to exercise on a regular basis. (And yes, people, by regular basis I mean 6-7 days a week). Taking just 30-45 minutes for yourself makes a huge impact on how you feel throughout the rest of the day and the rest of the week. Exercise releases dopamine, fights insomnia, eases stress, energizes you, boosts your confidence, increases your immunity, makes you sweaty, and ultimately increases your happiness. Take time for yourself, it will pay off.
3. Meal prep on the weekends
I’ll just say it. If you come home from work at 6pm, are starving and don’t have the time or energy to cook dinner you’re going to eat crap. It’s true people, and I’m just as guilty! Two bowls of cereal, and a a piece of cake later you look back and say, man, I just shouldn’t have eaten that. Meal prepping will help you never to do that again. Just start doing it and you’ll find out what works best for you – but I’ll give you some tips to start. I peel garlic and chop onions and place them in tightly sealed containers. I always make sure I have fresh and frozen veggies, cans of beans in the pantry, sweet potatoes, and corn tortillas in the fridge. Many times I make several cups of rice and pop them in the fridge. It costs about 2 dollars and I might just end up throwing it out but I know on days I just don’t have time to cook it will take me 5 minutes to throw together a quick, easy, healthy, warm, and filling meal with just a dash of soy, smashed avocados and sea salt or enchilada sauce.
4. Wash and fold one load of laundry every day
Laundry just piles up and then you’re spending all day doing it just to catch up. With a family of 4 busy people there is always a full load that can be thrown into the wash. After working out, before I shower one load goes in and one load goes up. It takes 5 minutes to fold and I’m all caught up. A simple hack? I have 4 pop-up laundry baskets all lined up. Whites, colors, darks and special wash. That way there is no sorting ever to do and I can just throw a whole load straight into the wash.
5. Put your phone away when your working
I am so bad at conforming with this one. But it’s on my 37th birthday resolution list! So I’m trying really hard. If you can turn your phone on silent and stash it away somewhere out of sight you’ll be so much more productive then you ever imagined. I can get 4 hours of work done in half the time when there are no distractions, and I feel so much more accomplished. Just put it away friends, just put it away… I promise the world will not end during the 2 hours you sat in silence.
6. Set time aside for facebook, instagram, snapchat, pinterest, and the rest
Okay, this one follows right along with number 5. How much time do we spend on social media? According to google, the average person has five social media accounts and spends 1 hour and 40 minutes mindlessly browsing on various sites throughout the day. Really? wow. I’ve found that I’m really guilty of wasting time throughout the day, so now I’ve been limiting my social media time to evenings, after dinner, and just a few minutes each day. I try not to even go on Facebook, Instagram and the like unless its to post a blog or a related picture during the work day. Again, productivity increased, daily dose of social media satisfaction still maintained. It’s a win win people.
7. Give, serve, donate, share yourself in some way
This is a big one. It took me years to realize how important this is but now I know. When you give back, you feel good. Period. It’s important to give, serve, donate, share yourself in some way. I set aside time two days a week to giving back to my children’s school community and it makes me feel great. It’s important not to get anything in return, otherwise you won’t get that same happiness and fulfillment out of giving back. Volunteering your time (or money, but that’s definitely not necessary) connects you to other people and broadens your life’s footprints. It gives you a sense of purpose, increases your self confidence, and makes you happy. Even if you have one hour a week to give back schedule some time for it. Find a cause or place you love and be present in the time you spend there.
8. Pursue you passion and nurture your creativity
If there is nothing else you decide to hack let this one be it. Spend some time every single day pursuing you passion. This could be anything. Find something you love and do it, study it, make it. Start by reading, blogging, building, composing, playing, producing, creating it. Then nurture it. Let it grow and see where it goes. Don’t limit it. If your having trouble identifying it, ask yourself this question: If money were no object, what would I spend every single day doing? Focus on the things you both enjoy and do well. Once you find it, pursue it. Do it for the love of doing it, not to gain anything out of it. Find your passion and in any way that feels right to you spend time just doing it. Pursuing your passion will lead to a feeling of personal freedom, self-confidence, expansion, an increase in self-confidence and fulfillment by being a part of something bigger than yourself. 5 years down the road you will feel like you filled a sense of purpose.
With love and gratitude,