In my search for self improvement I have come across so many great suggestions. I’ve sifted through all the notes I’ve made and have come up with the following habits I want to develop. I know if I did, my life would… HA! I started that sentence and can’t finish it. Making these changes would do what? Give me better health? Make me happier and less stressed? Maybe so but the problem is… I’m pretty set in my ways. Change isn’t easy, am I too lazy or not inspired enough? I know this about myself, I can change, the degree of change depends on what I’m changing and how bad I want the change. Change means growing and the day you stop growing is the day you die.
This I also know, I’m less than pleased in some areas of my life. Some of it is my own fault, some due to circumstances beyond my control. So, ladies and gents… it’s time I did something about it. Some of this I’ve written about before, some is new. It just makes sense to me to keep at it. If I incorporate all this stuff into my daily life, some of it is bound to stick. So buckle those seat belts and let the games begin.
1. Kick-start your morning – Stop hitting the snooze button. Get out of bed, do some yoga, stretches or exercises. Do something to get your blood flowing. Seven minutes of sun salutation works wonders. Here’s an excellent link to help you with the moves. http://yoga.about.com/od/yogasequences/ss/sunsalutesteps.htm
2. Get organized – Develop organization techniques that work for you. Something as simple as deciding on one place to put your purse every day will save minutes in your routine. Instead of running around the house looking for it each morning, you walk into your closet and there it is. Make a grocery list and hang it on the fridge. This isn’t rocket science folks, just plain and simple common sense. You just have to commit to doing it.
3. Reinvent your diet – How many times have you vowed to start that diet, lose those 10 pounds, start a new exercise routine? Have you done it yet? Heck no, it’s too intimidating to do it all at once. “OMG, counting calories, reading ingredients, how many reps. It’s too much stress, I can’t do it. It’s too hard.” Yeah, I’ve said it all one time or another. So start easy, one thing a week or one thing a month. Cut out sodas, then cut out sugars, etc. Seems to me that if you take it one thing at a time, chances for success increase because you aren’t stressed about doing it all. Just my humble opinion.
4. Sing along – Seriously, studies have shown that the simple act of singing can be beneficial (and I love this part), especially as we age. So on the way to and from work, turn the music on and turn it up, let your rock star out and start the head banging. It’s been proven to improve your mood, behavior and even cognitive function for hours and even days. Plus it’s so much fun to have people in the car next to you point and laugh at you. Just smile, sing louder and add some air guitar at the next light. Yeah, us “old folks” know how to rock.
5. Hit up the spice rack – Check out these spice superstars. Cinnamon can decrease blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. Rosemary has been shown to improve learning. Ginger can decrease blood pressure, alleviate arthritis pain and reduce risk of cancer. Paprika and cayenne pepper can help fight high blood pressure. Get busy and do some research on more kick butt spices. How easy is it to improve your health when you’re eating something good?
6. Have more S.E.X. – Yes… Yes… Yes… ! You got to love this! A study produced by Duke University said, and I quote, “if you have more than 200 orgasms a year (that’s 2 to 3 times a week), you can reduce your physiological age by six years.” And in addition to all that, having sex with someone you care deeply for is one way we can achieve the Zen experience we all crave as human beings. And think of all the spiritual benefits of consummating your love. Bring on the Zen!
7. Enjoy your friends – Make time to socialize. Being in good company releases oxytocin, a chemical that can help combat stress hormones and lower your blood pressure. To achieve that balance between home, family and work. give yourself time with your friends to unwind and energize. It’s also a great way to reduce stress so get connected now!
8. Get your home in order – Do you walk in your house and smile? Your home is your haven, the cocoon that embraces you so make it something you love. Clean it up, brighten it, hang the pictures that are sitting in the closet. Do whatever you can to make it your happy place. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or you can spend whatever you want. Just make it “yours” and make it smile worthy!
9. Read a book – Most people like to read a good book. If you aren’t, maybe you just haven’t found that book yet. All it takes is just one to get hooked. Do you have a favorite movie? Try reading the book. Reading is the easiest way to travel and leave your worries behind. Try this, find a book you want to read, get in the most comfortable spot you can find and lose yourself. You have no idea how good this is for your soul.
10. Connect – Almost everyone has a partner, either it’s a spouse, lover, good friend or just someone you can count on. Start a conversation, look into that person’s eyes, listen with your entire being, “see” that person. Step outside of yourself and concentrate on just them. Listen to what they have to say, share their hopes and dreams. Be selfless. Put them ahead of yourself just for a bit. Both of you will walk away with a deeper appreciation for the other. Make this a daily habit and the rewards your reap are countless.
Sounds pretty easy doesn’t it. Then why don’t we commit to these small changes? Or maybe you already do it and you’re ahead in the ballgame of life. There is one other habit that I want to mention. One that my daughter suggested to me when I was going through a “time” in my life. While I’ve always prayed, it was unorganized, a quick one to touch base. Even if you aren’t a religious person, a shout out to a higher being goes a long way. Make a daily prayer list, hang it on the fridge. Takes 30 seconds to recognize a spiritual need or to give thanks for what you have. I promise someone is listening. If that doesn’t work for you, give me a holler, I’ll listen.
So here’s to change and growth, big or little, doesn’t matter, just do it!!!