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Published on October 17, 2018

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 and Motivational Public Speaker

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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