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New Tools for the New Year: Lifestyle

New Tools for the New Year: Lifestyle

    With the new year fast approaching, there’s no better time than to tweak what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. So far in our New Tools for the New Year series, we have explored some new tools for the new year that can help you level up your communication and management skills, and have looked at technology for you to dive into as well. Today we’re going to broaden out the scope and talk about an awfully big category: Lifestyle.

    The thing about this category is that it doesn’t just have an impact on your life outside of work; it impacts your style of life – that includes your work and your life outside of work. In a time where we seem to dive deeper into work and less into life outside of it (as the two seem to be coming more and more intertwined), these tools are meant to connect you with your overall “lifestyle”. That includes health, wellness, food, leisure time and how to live outside of the zone we call “work” when it is called for.

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    Time

    Time is one of – if not the – most valuable resources we all have. No one has more of it in a day than anyone else. It’s how we spend it that can be the difference-maker in our lives. Lifehacks can help you really make the most of your time – but they can also serve to steal it if you’re not careful.

    It’s important to manage your time in a way that allows you to be both efficient and effective in all areas of your life. That may mean using a tool like RescueTime to monitor your computer habits or lessening the amount of information you absorb on a daily basis through curation so that you can keep up with the times without losing any of the time you’ve got.

    Time is most certainly a tool; and you get new time every time a new day dawns, let alone every time a new year begins. Spend it and invest it wisely and you’ll find that you’ll have an improved lifestyle as a result.

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    Energy

    Without this, you’re not going to be able to live much of a life. Things like eating right and implementing a fitness routine are crucial in setting yourself up for a tremendous lifestyle. The best – and worst – part of the quest for energy is the choices we’re faced with along the way.

    There are numerous diet and fitness plans out there, such as adopting the Paleo Diet and through resources like NerdFitness. Spending time looking into them is part of the equation, but it’s one of the most important parts. Think about adopting these routines as being similar to the making of a movie.

    When making a movie, most of the time is spent preparing the movie and after the movie has been shot. Pre-productiion and post-production take up the most time, while shooting the film takes up the least (in general). The same goes with these healthy lifestyle routines. Figuring out which ones to go with involves research and sticking with them through the long haul takes up even more time. Yet starting them is easy, especially at the start of a new year.

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    In order to live a better life on all fronts, you need energy. What routines you use to help you get that energy is up to you. Just don’t use up all of your time figuring that out. Spend more time gaining the energy as a result of the routines, not spending it while searching for them.

    Journaling

    Journaling is one of the best ways to capture your thoughts and connect you with the life you want to live. By creating a record of the thoughts, events and moments that happen in your life – at work and outside of it (such as moments directly related to the areas mentioned above) – you can better reflect on the life you’re living. In a world where everything is moving faster and faster, taking the time to journal slows it down enough for you to reflect and connect with the person you are and also helps you direct your energy into the person you want to be.

    It doesn’t matter whether you use a paper-based journal or a journaling application such as Day One, LifeJournal or even the cross-platform app Evernote (as Brett Kelly does in chronicling his life); it’s the act of writing it out that will give you something to look back on and see how you’ve crafted the life you’re leading and how to shape the one you want to be leading.

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    Conclusion

    The beginning of a year is a time where we look at the type of lifestyle we’ve been leading and decide to make changes to improve it. These tools don’t just help you do that right away, but they’ll help you keep doing it for years to come.

    (Photo credit: Carefree Outstretched Arms via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

    Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero 4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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