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Make These 17 Health Goals Into Daily Habits for Better Overall Wellness

Make These 17 Health Goals Into Daily Habits for Better Overall Wellness

Every day, we set goals to improve our overall wellness. But what if you could take those health goals you’re setting and transcend them into daily habits?

If you’ve envisioned yourself happier, healthier, and more energized, I’ve put together concrete steps you can take to get there.

The Importance of Setting Health Goals

Goals vary between big and small, achievable and maybe far-fetched. When setting goals, it’s important to do so in such a way that allows you to obtain them and naturally weave them into your daily life.

To create new habits, it can take up to sixty days to make them stick. I’ve noticed that when I try to accomplish huge goals, my efforts to turn them into daily rituals or routines doesn’t manifest the way I’d hoped.

Wellness takes practice. It means different things to different people. Being healthy means being peaceful, serene and joyful in your thoughts and mind–how you respond to events in this wacky world we live in and in your life.

Optimal health should always be your desired outcome. However, life can get in the way of making your health goals habitual.

Recently, I’d endured a major loss in my family and I definitely felt my health slip throughout these stages of grief. I found it a challenge to function day-to-day, finish tasks, and wound up isolating myself more. The work that I love doing became not so enjoyable because I couldn’t give myself the chance to grieve or process the loss. I kept piling on work to avoid feeling and couldn’t keep up with eating well, exercising and lost nights of sleep.

I am somebody who can’t afford to lose sleep nor am I somebody who can over-jam my schedule. I am someone who needs to keep up with those good habits for the sake of my heart, mind, and physical health. I believe this is relative for everybody.

When you’re stressed or emotionally distressed, your heart is one of the first organs in your body that will feel the pain and react.

Life will throw those unexpected curve balls at you, so it’s critical to sustain those habits. Turn your quest for balance and good health into actionable steps that slowly become routines.

17 Health Goals That Will Transform Your Life

Don’t attempt to force habits. It’s OK if it takes a while to really get in the groove and adjust. So, here are the seventeen health goals that you can make into habits to become your healthiest self.

1. Develop Your Morning Routine

How you start your day matters tremendously. The way you greet a morning determines what mood you’ll be in that entire day.

If you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, rush to get dressed, shove something in your mouth and hustle to work, you’ll most likely feel rattled.

A morning routine will help you ease into your day and start off on the right foot. If you’ve had a health goal to have more time in the mornings, start in fifteen minute increments. Wake up a fifteen minutes earlier each day until you’re happy with the time.

More time in the mornings means more time and attention to work obligations and people you care most about.

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Here’re 30 Morning Routines to Help You Start Afresh.

2. Develop Your Evening Routine

An evening routine can consist of reading, Yoga, cleaning and organizing, or doing an exercise.

Winding down is critical for mental health management. Come 7:00 or 7:30 P.M., that’s when you might want to start allowing your brain and mind to relax.

Your evening routine can entail anything that promotes peace and serenity. If something relaxes you and gets you prepared for bed, do that.

To make a health goal into a habit, set a time to stop working. The time I quit working is at 5:30 P.M. I cook dinner and after, my evening routine begins.

Need a little more advice? This guide can help:

The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

3. Walk for Thirty Minutes a Day

At a recent medical conference I’d attended, I learned about meditative walking. The sound of your shoes hitting the ground intervenes in troublesome thoughts. Feeling planted on the pavement anchors your mental and emotional state, keeps you stable.

I walk a couple times a day for my heart health–in the early afternoon and evening to activate my heart rate.

Inactivity is dangerous for anyone, with or without heart disease. A regular routine of walking will decrease stress and increase a peace in the mind.

4. Incorporate More Greens on Your Plate

Over the last couple of years, I created a rule for my plate:

Always have something green included.

Greens, especially dark leafy greens, have a broad array of benefits from healthier skin, vision, and energy to stronger kidneys and organs.

I’d noticed significant improvement in my overall well-being when I incorporated something green even in my breakfast.

Clean eating will lessen all kinds of aggravating symptoms. This is something you’ll want to do over time.

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Start off slow by adding greens to your dinner or lunch plate. Any kind of dietary change takes time, some effort and planning. But it’s all worthwhile.

5. Use Aroma Therapy for Stress Management

Essential oils truly are essential to wellness. In times of stress, I will dip a cotton ball into lavender oil, chamomile or eucalyptus and tie it in a tea bag.

Throughout the day, when I’m feeling flustered or rushed, I slow down and breathe in the oils. I’d feel drastic changes to my mental and emotional state and refreshed.

Aroma therapy has been used for thousands of years as tools for healing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try different ways of using essential oils throughout the day or at night.

6. Engage in Nature Therapy

There are a variety of nature therapies you can do to lower your stress and anxiety. I recently learned about tree therapy from an international blogger. I tried it over the summer and am still doing it.

It’s originally a Japanese practice called, ‘Forest Bathing’ and it’s radically improved health in people. All you do is surround yourself with trees. The concept is to be free from obligations, effort, and doing.

Don’t hike or count your steps. Just be present. Focus on all five of your senses. It’s revitalizing and energy restoring. Try doing this for ten minutes a day and see how you feel.

7. Inhale Fresh Air Fifteen Minutes a Day

Fresh air opens the lungs, the heart and the mind. It’s a collaborative process with yourself and nature.

Sometimes I’ll sit with my eyes closed in a safe place and breathe in the pine-scented air. I made this a daily habit now because being outside is emotionally and mentally healing.

A benefit of breathing in fresh air is it sharpens your mind and restores your energy, digestive system, and improves blood flow.

8. Try This Simple Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique for Anxiety

A diaphragmatic breathing technique I learned has allowed me to tackle anxiety the second it comes on, thus aiding in cognitive functioning.

If you’re anxious or overly stressed all the time, your system will operate as if you’re always in fight or flight. Deep breathing slows all the systems in your body down. It clears your mind of troubled or worrisome thoughts.

Try this:

Inhale through your nose four times and exhale, making a sound as you breathe out. Repeat it four times and be wowed by the results. You’ll feel much calmer.

9. Devote 10 Minutes of Stretching in Your Day

Stretching is needed to strengthen, repair, and grow muscles. Every day, I use the Styrofoam roller which you can buy on Amazon or even eBay. I’d never thought Styrofoam would cost so much but it’s worth every penny.

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Before and after I work out, I use it and then stretch. I do a fifteen-minute routine right at home on my living room floor.

As someone with chronic pain, I’ve noticed drastic improvement when I focus on increasing flexibility.

Stretching also fosters movement. A long day at work calls for time to decompress and release the stress of your day.

You can also try these simple stretches to relax your body and mind.

10. Take Naps

Within the last couple of years, managers of corporations and other companies have been allowing their employees to take naps in the middle of the day.

A nap will revitalize your physical energy and mind; and refresh your eyes and focus.

Since I’ve added naps to my daily regimen, my productivity increased by seventy percent. Naps are a great way to give yourself the break it needs.

11. Organize Your Home or Work Space for 15 Minutes

Fifteen minutes of cleaning will save you so much time.

Did your old routine used to consist of abandoning those chores during the week only to be slammed with them come Saturday and Sunday? Have you found yourself canceling plans with friends because life feels like such a mess in your home? It’s not a good place to be.

Fifteen minutes of cleaning a night (or morning, whichever works best) will add time to your life. Your home should be your oasis. A clean place is vital for stress management.

12. Morning Pages

You can really do this in the morning or night. Dump your thoughts on paper before you start a work day.

After I’d read the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I tried her morning pages activity. It’s a form of letting go of that added weight that life gives us: career, hobbies, kids, family, worries, burdens, you name it. This technique of free-writing your thoughts should move you away from fear and back to your creative or hard-working self, the one who is fearless in their pursuits.

After I did the morning pages, I wrote a novel in a month and felt extremely accomplished. This type of writing is freeing and will release you from the burdens you feel holds you back.

13. Schedule Moments of Silence

Just ten minutes of silence can have profound impacts on your mental health.

I used to be somebody who needed something to make me happy, something to make me feel OK another day. I basically needed things in my life to be happening or I’d feel insecure.

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When I started penciling in moments of silence, I got to the root cause of why that got so out of control, the need and desire to always be seeking something. These moments of silence should give your mind pause, a break from tedious thoughts.

For me, doing this has improved my depression and anxiety astoundingly.

14. Include Writing in Your Morning or Evening Routine

I know this relates to the morning pages but not exactly. This you can do in three to five minutes. I’d been talking about this method of writing for years and it’s finally catching on (yes, I started this).

Try logging what you accomplished each day and what you need to do the next. Create a comprehensive outline showcasing how much you’ve achieved and what else needs attention. You’ll be amazed when you realize how much you’ve done in a day and hopefully will stop being so hard on yourself.

I am very hard on myself, unnecessarily so, and it’s unhealthy for the heart and mind. This approach to writing saved me in a lot of ways.

15. Wake up at a Set Time Each Morning

If you wake up at 7:00 in the morning, always wake up at 7:00 in the morning. A set sleep schedule will keep your circadian rhythm the same, which you want. Then, you’ll be able to predict those dips and rises in alertness each day.

If you have dietary restrictions or want to start eating healthy, keeping your sleep pattern steady and the same will make healthy eating easier.

16. Establish an Invigorating Skin-Care Routine

Whether you’re a man or a woman, have some kind of skin-care routine or time to wash those impurities away.

A regimen promotes anti-aging and will make you feel and look good. Morning and night, try something simple and effective to help you either wind down or wake up.

17. Dry Brushing

The benefits of dry brushing are amazing. If you struggle with anxiety and stress chronically, dry brushing is the way to relax. It’s perfect for increasing circulation, blood flow, and positive energy.

Recent studies show that dry brushing is also beneficial for the nerves. The action of dry brushing eliminates dead skin cells and promotes healing.

Bottom Line

A lot is in that list but bottom line: incorporating even the smallest goals and making them habits will transform your health in some way. You can pick and choose which best suit your needs but I do just about all of these daily now. If you’ve fallen off the wellness wagon, try doing a few of these regularly. Turning health goals into habits will transform your well-being in ways you’d never imagined and you’ll feel unstoppable.

Featured photo credit: morgan sarkissian via unsplash.com

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Tessa Koller

Author, Motivational Public Speaker and Artist

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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