Tag Archives: daily routine

8 Ways to Fit Healthy Habits Into Your Hectic Life

time-1128278-mDoes it ever seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to do? Lately, that seems like every day for me.

How can I fit in healthy habits when I don’t have any time? Then, I just feel more stressed and out-of-sorts because I didn’t fit everything in.

Decide what you truly want to accomplish and prioritize your life around your goals. When you make the time for healthy habits, you’ll have more energy, lower your stress levels and achieve more life balance.

Here are 8 ways you can fit healthy habits into your hectic daily routine:

Track your time
For a day or two, write down everything you do and what time you do it. Then, take a look at your routine. Does anything stick out to you? You may be watching more TV than you realized, or playing games on your phone. You might be able to break that time down and fit in your healthy habits.

Ask yourself: What tasks take longer than they should? Do I need to change my priorities to cut out things that are less important than more healthy options? What can I say no to?

Cut your to-do list
Highly successful people often have very short to-do lists. You may be overestimating what’s realistic to get done in a day. Cut your planned to-do list down by 25% to take into account all those things that can come up and derail your plans. Then, you can keep from overloading yourself. Make sure your healthy goals are at the top of the list!

Drink more water
Be sure you’re drinking water throughout the day. Water is an all-purpose, healthy drink. It helps your digestion, circulation, aids in weight loss, improves your skin and more. If you feel fatigued during the day, it could be because you aren’t properly hydrated. Water can also help you feel full and keep colds at bay.

Stock up on healthy snacks
One of the quickest ways to derail your eating habits is to grab an unhealthy snack when you’re hungry and on the go. When you go grocery shopping, pick up portable, healthy snacks. For instance, baby carrots, string cheese, fresh fruit, nuts, and single-serve packs of yogurt, applesauce, crackers, etc.

Buy frozen, healthy ingredients
One of the biggest deterrents to sticking to your healthy eating habits can be making time to prepare nutritious food. Purchase frozen, ready-to-cook ingredients. Frozen fruits and vegetables still have a high vitamin and mineral content. You can also buy frozen boneless chicken breasts and a variety of frozen seafood in single-serve packages. These are great options for quick, healthy meals.

Try interval training
A busy schedule means your workout may get left out. You can fit in a great workout in 20 minutes. Short bursts of high-intensity exercise can actually be more effective.

Walk it out
The average job means sitting at a desk in front of a computer for a big part of the day. Then, consider your commute to work, eating lunch and dinner, and then relaxing on the couch at the end of the day. You may find that you spend as much as 80% of your day sitting down. Sneak in some extra exercise by running errands on foot, taking the stairs, and parking at the end of the parking lot. All those extra steps you take add up!

Give yourself some slack
Are you trying to create a 4-course meal every night for dinner? Obsessing about creating the perfect presentation for work? Worrying about whether your kids’ favorite outfits are washed? Focus on getting tasks done, not striving for perfection. You can have leftovers or a quick, healthy meal for dinner. The presentation will be fine, and the kids have plenty of clothes to wear.

Go to bed
Sleep is one thing you can’t cut to get more done. When you don’t get enough sleep, you will be less efficient during the day, your energy level suffers, and your cognitive function is reduced. Lack of sleep can also make you more susceptible to getting sick. By getting enough sleep, you are more likely to have the energy to get more done during the day.

Making healthier choices may be a matter of making more time. Decide what you truly want to accomplish to create a more balanced life. Then, use these tips to fit your healthy habits into your daily routine!

14 habits that will make you happier

Habits that will make you happierAs I’ve gotten older, I have come to realize that I am in charge of my own happiness. I decide how I react to the people and events in my life.

You can choose to be positive and focus on the things in life that bring you joy. You can also create habits that will make you happier in general. Even a few minor changes to your daily routine can make a major difference in your life.

Here are 14 small changes you can make in your daily routine that can help increase your overall happiness:

Make lists
At the beginning of each day, go over your goals for that day as well as long-term goals you may have for the week, the month or even the year. I know from experience that lists can be intimidating. However, having a to-do list for the day will actually help you get more done and feel more satisfied at the end of the day. Just be realistic about your goals so you will be more likely to accomplish them. And, you may have something unexpected come up that derails your plans. That’s okay. Simply set new goals for the next day.

Try something new
Sometimes your routine can become, well, routine. Mix it up every once in a while. If you feel like you’re in a rut, try something new. Take a class. Experiment with a new hobby. You may find a new passion and meet new people. It’s good to keep learning and growing as a person.

Value your friends
Take time for your friends. We have written before about the 7 reasons we need friends. Our friends help us relieve stress, try new things and simply give life more meaning. Make sure you are spending time with positive friends rather than friends who tend to be negative, needy or dramatic. Over time, they may wear on your mood and your happiness.

Take a nap
As we have mentioned in past blogs, naps are good for your mind and body. They can help improve your concentration and lift your mood. Taking a 10 – 20 minute nap in the middle of the day can give you all the boost you need to enjoy the day.

Plan for vacations
Give yourself time to plan for vacations. Half the fun of taking a vacation is planning where you’re going and what you’re going to do. Studies have shown that taking a vacation – rather than buying expensive material items – can give you a greater sense of happiness.

Savor your food
It’s unavoidable that some days you will be eating in a hurry or on the go to the next meeting or errand. When you have a chance to sit down and share a meal with friends or family, enjoy your food. Take time to savor the tastes and the time you spend with others. Of course, do your best to eat healthy foods as well.

Make exercise a priority
Exercise should be a non-negotiable habit. Trust me, I know how hard it is to get into and maintain an exercise routine. I struggle with it every day. However, exercising regularly may be the single most important habit to your overall well-being. Exercising helps you control your weight, fight disease and simply increase your happiness. So, get moving and keep moving.

Assume the best of people
We don’t really know why people do or say the things they do. For example, a coworker snaps at you when you ask a question. You may assume they are mad at you for some reason, and then you’re in a bad mood. In reality, maybe the boss just reprimanded them. Maybe they found out a family member is very ill. You should assume the best of people and try not to internalize someone else’s mood or actions.

Turn off the electronics
Take a break from the TV, smartphone, tablet, MP3 player, etc. Go outside and enjoy the sunshine. Talk to a friend. Spend some time on a hobby you love. While our electronic devices serve a purpose, they can also suck away our time and leave us feeling a little sad and dissatisfied.

Take a mental break from time to time. It can be as simple as going for a walk or listening to music. You can also use some relaxation techniques to help you unwind. The important thing is just to allow yourself some time to relax. You will feel more refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on your daily routine.

Stop comparing
It’s human nature to make comparisons. We compare ourselves with others. We think about what we have and don’t have. Happy people are happy with what they have and where they are in life. Of course, you need to have goals to continue growing and improving, but remember to appreciate what you have right now.

Let loose
Sometimes you need to just let loose and be silly. That may mean dancing along with the radio, or trying out your moves on the Wii. Run through the sprinkler with the kids. Blow bubbles or draw with sidewalk chalk. Being carefree and simply living in the moment is a great way to inspire happiness.

Do what you love
I find that I spend all of my time working and taking care of my house, my husband and my kids. I spend very little time doing what I want to do. Figure out what you love doing and make time to do it. I used to enjoy sewing quilts and scrapbooking. I simply stopped making time for those things and made my family’s needs a priority. Yet, to be happy – and be a better wife and mom – I need to take time for myself, too.

Share the happiness
Happiness can be contagious. Greet people with a smile – even strangers. Give a friend or coworker a compliment. Hug your family. Cheer others on and encourage them. You will find that sharing your happiness with others will not only make them happy but lift your mood as well.

Get motivated to exercise in 2013

getting exerciseOne of my goals for 2013 is to get into a regular exercise routine. I seem to exercise in fits and starts. I do really good for a week or two and then something happens and I lose ambition. I might get a cold and not feel like exercising. Or work gets hectic and I bump exercising to meet deadlines.

And sometimes I’m just lazy. I don’t think I will ever be one of those people who looks forward to exercising. For me, it’s something I feel I should be doing but don’t really want to do – like going to the dentist and washing laundry.

After I exercise, I feel great. I am so proud of myself for doing it. It’s the making myself do it part that I struggle with. So, I am putting together a list of ways to get motivated – and hopefully stay motivated – to exercise in 2013. Maybe some of them will inspire you, too!

Set Goals
Start with simple short-term goals to keep you motivated. You can set weekly and monthly goals. By setting exercise goals, you can track your progress and have a sense of accomplishment. Make sure your goals are reasonable and will keep you interested in exercising. For instance, you can set a goal to get your heart rate up with 30 minutes of cardio exercise three times a week. Depending on how active you have been, you can walk briskly or jog. See how far you can run or walk in 30 minutes. Challenge yourself to increase the distance over weeks and months.

Maybe you want to run a 5K. Set goals to help you increase your speed and endurance as you train for the race. Maybe you want to fit into an old pair of jeans or look better in your swim suit. Set goals to help you get there.

Make It Fun
I have a mental block against planned exercise. I have a really hard time making myself get on the treadmill or put in an aerobics DVD. I would much rather exercise accidentally. I play volleyball once a week with friends from high school. We reminisce about the good old days, talk smack about our playing abilities, and have a great time. It definitely gets the blood pumping, and I use muscles that don’t get used on a daily basis. I also go bike riding with my family, play basketball with my son, and jump on the trampoline with my girls. Adding some variety to your exercise routine can also help keep you interested and motivated.

Find an Exercise Buddy
If you make plans with a friend to go to the gym, walk on the local track, or play tennis, then you feel obligated to follow through. It’s easier to get motivated when you know someone else is counting on you. It’s also more fun to exercise with someone. You can push each other to work harder and get in some social time, too.

Schedule Your Workouts
Write it down. Seeing your exercise times written on your schedule will help you view it as a real commitment. Think of it as an important meeting and mentally prepare that you are going to do it. If you workout at the same time on the same days of the week, you can turn exercising into a habit. Once you make exercise part of your daily routine, you will be that much more likely to stick with it.

Reward Yourself
I often bribe myself to exercise. I will plan my time on the treadmill to coincide with one of my favorite TV shows. I get to watch a great show, and I get in my exercise. I also reward myself for reaching my goals. For instance, if I workout 3 or 4 times a week for a month, I can spend $50 on new clothes.

Be Flexible
Try not to be too hard on yourself. There will be times when you don’t reach your goals. Maybe you need to reevaluate your plans and set new goals. Even if you only have time to walk for 20 minutes instead of 30, do it anyway. Any exercise is better than none at all. You may have a cold or the flu and miss a week’s worth of exercise. You may feel like you’ve failed and want to quit altogether. Give yourself a break. Exercise is a lifelong journey. You will fall off the workout wagon. The important thing is that you get back into your exercise routine with renewed enthusiasm.

We know we need to exercise. Exercise benefits the mind, body and soul. So, why is it so hard to workout regularly? Share your exercise tips with us. How do you get motivated to exercise?