5 Habits for Success
It takes around 2 months to form a habit, good or bad. So pick one of these healthy habits and commit to it for a couple of months to see where it takes you.
If you want to be a success make your health a priority, after all you can’t enjoy your successes without your health. In fact, if all you have is your health, consider yourself a success.
So, make some time for exercise, it can be a great way to set up your day but whether morning, noon or night (sometimes your other commitments will dictate), make the time to exercise.
20-30 minutes of cardio daily will dramatically improve your health and well-being. It gets the blood flowing, which helps your brain as well as your body. It improves your fitness which ensures your normal daily stresses and strains are coped with more easily. As you get older everything becomes that much more of a struggle. It’s the little things, like bending to pick something up or carrying your child. You’ll start to notice yourself groaning as you stretch or exhaling loudly as you propel yourself out of a chair. You’re unfit… sort it out.
With exercise like most things, the hardest bit is starting. So rip the plaster off quick, make a plan and stick to it. Make it part of your routine and force yourself to keep it up for a couple of months. Before you know it you will have a new habit, a really good habit. Your body shape will begin to improve as will your confidence. The benefits of regular exercise compound positively.
If you take one thing away from this blog, make exercise a part of your routine. You don’t have to go hard at first just make it consistent, you will be surprised how much you soon begin to enjoy it.
In this age of technology and marketing you are never far from a ‘grass is greener’ image. Big businesses spend millions on making you feel like something is missing. Making you feel inadequate, like you need their product in your life.
Battering your self-esteem, sells. It is a sad fact but from perfume to cars, holidays to the latest property course, people exploit your natural tendency to look for external gratification rather than sourcing it internally. People show you a quick fix and tell you that if you pay for that product you will be happier, more attractive, more revered. Actually, you will normally get a tiny bit of pleasure which is quick to wear off, before you start looking for your next kick.
Before you reach your potential, you need to appreciate what you have already. Your family, your friends, the food in your cupboards, the roof over your head and not least all those achievements you have made so far and the steps you are taking toward your ultimate goal. Appreciate the journey, appreciate the moment, it is all that is guaranteed. If you do not appreciate this and now, you will struggle to ever be truly happy, no matter how much money you have or all the holidays you go on.
You probably already have 99% of what you truly want and need in your life. If you have the ability to read this then you have access to the internet, you have time, you have education and with all that I can almost guarantee you have a support network of friends, family, colleagues or peers. Appreciate them, appreciate yourself, appreciate life- warts and all. The chance of you being here are infinitesimally small, are already a miracle, appreciate you.
3. Be Mindful
Mental health is just as important as physical health, unfortunately there is far less of a rule book when it comes to mental health. So how to keep you head in the right place?
Give yourself a break- do not put unnecessary pressure on yourself. There are plenty of pressures in your normal life, without burdening yourself with even more. Let yourself off. You are human and you will have bad days, you will make less than perfect decisions, don’t dwell on them. Do not send yourself into an unproductive cycle of frustration and self-blame, take 5, reflect and relax. The day goes on, soon enough you’ll have another decision to make or a chance to improve on your last effort. Learn and move on.
Get off your phone!!! Social media, screens advertising fake, false, perfect projections of life can be damaging to your mental health. These devices are designed to hook you, to keep you scrolling and staring. Whilst giving you the illusion of hanging out with your friends, you are actually isolating yourself. Have you ever typed a social media post and then read it back, just before you press ‘post’ you make a quick edit? No problem right…? WRONG! Everybody is doing this. Tweaking their image, tweaking the projection of their life. Even if done with positive intentions it is not real and it is not natural. This type of tech has not been around long enough to see the true long term damage but there is plenty of evidence that spending too much time on your phone and particularly on social media can be damaging to your mental health and general well-being. The tiny hits of dopamine you receive when a new notification pops up or somebody comments on your picture is actually addictive and addiction is bad news. Put your phone in the other room, leave it in the car when you go for a coffee, give your self some space from that fakery and the shiny life it projects. Use your phone to call people, listen to the intonations in their speech, the pauses between thoughts, have proper, natural conversations. Feed your soul not your techy habit.
4. Eat Right
This is not about perfection, it is about consistency and balance. Food is fuel, it powers your body and your mind. It gives you energy and can affect your emotions.
Don’t power yourself with rubbish or you will run inefficiently. You will have peaks and troughs in your energy and your mood, and could find it difficult to concentrate and stay on task. You will also put on weight if you eat too much of the wrong food which will make everything that much more of a struggle, not to mention the loss of confidence.
So think fresh, think fruit and veg and think low sugar. If you have plenty of veg with your meals you will get lots of vitamins and plenty of fibre, you’ll feel fuller for longer and complex carbohydrates will break down slowly releasing energy gradually. If you need sweetness, choose fruit rather than the refined sugar that you find in confectionery. It will help to stop the spikes in energy and ultimately the hunger and cravings that follow after a sugar high.
Stay away from the freezer section in the supermarket. If it’s processed so that you can just chuck it in an oven and be done with it, a lot of the nutritional value will have been lost in the processing. It will probably be full of carbs which make you feel full but only for a short period of time as your body then breaks the carbs done into simpler sugars which then act like confectionery. And ultimately you don’t know what is in processed food, or the quality of the original ingredients. Surely you want to know what you are putting into yourself?!
BUT- Give yourself a treat now and then. It’s often beneficial to have a cheat window, 3 hours a week where you can eat or drink ANYTHING you like. If you manage to eat clean for most of the week, you will have something to look forward to. AND if you do it properly, you will probably feel so full and sick by the end of your cheat window, you’ll find it easy to get back onto the healthy diet. WIN WIN.
5. Educate Yourself
Learn something every day. Read an article relevant to your business or your hobby. Digest a few pages of a book, listen to a podcast or watch a documentary. Absorb relevant information every day.
With the abundance of free information there is no excuse not to learn something every day. Just make sure you get it from a reputable source and can find a way of fact checking if it is something you read online . Also, share that information. If you tell a friend or colleague what you have learned it will help to cement that knowledge in your mind and you’ll be helping your fellow human. This also includes recognising when you are wrong and ensuring you learn from your mistakes. There is nothing wrong with being incorrect if you improve your knowledge our outlook in the process. In fact you often learn more from being wrong than you do from being right.