Everyday Hacks to More Sapien

Too tired to work out. Too busy to cook dinner. Too short on time to walk instead of drive. Life is a very busy place and making real lifestyle change is difficult. But with some small changes here and there, you can begin to build a foundation upon which you can implement that elusive change. Those changes are repetitions. The more repetitions you do, the stronger and better you become. Over time, new habits will emerge and things will change. In a study in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally and her team at the University College London found that it takes on average slightly more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic. The most important part in forming a new habit though? Just doing it. No more BS. The following are some suggestions broken down to different areas of life where you can start.

Fitness
  • Stairs over escalators
    We spend more time sitting than in any previous historical period. We also used to run from lions on a daily basis. Stairs ain’t so bad.
  • Stretch / light calisthenics while watching TV
    Want to watch 4 hours of TV? Fine. Do sit ups, push ups, hold a plank, etc.., when the commercials come on. And if it’s DVR, aim for every 20 minutes.
  • 5 push ups every time you walk into a new room in your home
    5 push ups, 15 lunges, 10 squats, etc.., whatever you’re comfortable with, pick one and every time you move from i.e. the kitchen to your bedroom, do a set.
  • Walk and talk
    When having that business meeting or coffee, take a stroll.
Nutrition
  • Drink water
    Over tea or other “healthy” drinks like juice – sugar is in virtually everything. Avoid it when you can.
  • Meal prep
    Cook once, get 4 meals out of it. Or 10. Find healthy foods you like, cook once, store once, eat for days.
  • Don’t shop hungry
    Grocery shopping when you’re staaaaarving is almost guaranteed to lead to at least a partial basket of unhealthy choices. Make a list, stick to it, don’t go hungry and you’ll reach checkout feeling like a champion.
  • Eat slower
    There are no doubt times when we’re all starving and it can’t go down fast enough, BUT eating slower and being present while eating helps prevent overeating.
Mental
  • Read something.
    Whether it’s a few news articles or a book in bed, use that brain! Reading improves your concentration, expands your vocabulary, makes you more interesting along with a host of other benefits.
  • Meal prep
    Cook once, get 4 meals out of it. Or 10. Find healthy foods you like, cook once, store once, eat for days.
  • Quiet the monkey brain by meditating for 1 minute a day
    That’s it, start with ONE minute. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and concentrate on slowly breathing in and out of your nose for one minute. Do that everyday – ideally when first awakening – and before you know it, you’ll be up to 10 minutes.
  • Go outside
    Sunlight exposure has a ton of benefits, but beyond that just being outside for as little as 15 minutes has been linked to better mental health
Emotional
  • Smile because it’s healthy
    Even fake smiling will get the job done and yield benefits. Improved mood, reduced stress, increased productivity are just a few of the benefits.
  • Be Positive
    The glass should always be half full. Negative energy spent worrying is literally draining and inhibits performance. Be nice to yourself too. Don’t be too hard on yourself or call yourself names.
  • Quiet the monkey brain by meditating for 1 minute a day
    That’s it, start with ONE minute. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and concentrate on slowly breathing in and out of your nose for one minute. Do that everyday – ideally when first awakening – and before you know it, you’ll be up to 10 minutes.
  • Call/visit a loved one
    A relative, a close friend, a partner, whomever. Don’t text, visiting can be tough to do regularly, but you can squeeze in a 5 minute call. Humans are social animals by nature, be social.
  • Say, think and write “Thank you”
    Whether it’s the love of a partner, a good work situation or a great workout, reflecting on the positive and expressing gratitude in some form is great for your disposition and mental state. Write down 3 things everyday that you’re grateful for.
Some ideas to help facilitate
  • Set alarms
    Pick a time each day, say, 11:00 AM, where you dedicate a few moments to appreciating the good in your life.
  • Tell friends and family
    In doing so, you’re making yourself accountable. Encourage them to stay on top of you.
  • Seek out support
    Want to run more? Find a running club. Actively seek out friends, groups, organizations, etc. to create structure.

What do you think? Got any ideas? Leave some comments below!

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