I have discovered that actively pursuing healthy habits has helped me to reduce my negative habits. Instead of trying to stop doing certain habitual activities, simply pursue the good ones and the negative habits start to disappear. For instance, I have developed a leaner body by drinking tons of mixed blender drinks with healthy food in them – I don’t starve myself or resist bad foods, I simply stay full with good healthy food so I don’t have hunger cravings for bad stuff. Building good healthy habits for life is crucial to living well.
Below are my 5 healthy habits for a happy life:
- Destroy bad habits by replacing them with healthy habits. Identify the bad habits in your life you would like to get rid of. Alcohol, smoking, caffeine, certain bad people, television or food can all be stopped by creating new healthy habits to replace them. For example, if you are a heavy drinker, calculate how much money you spend per month on alcohol & drinks at bars. Then take that money and reapply it elsewhere to something fun so that when Friday and Saturday night roll around you have good alternative options to going to the bar… perhaps camping, or on a trip, or board games, or another fun activity that catches your interest.
- Engage in physical activity every day. Studies have conclusively shown that exercise is one of the most powerful mood enhancers available. Try to set up a fun physical activity you can do with other people to keep your motivation up. I suggest going on a walk each morning with a friend, going rock climbing 3x a week with another enthusiast, or joining Crossfit / another group exercise class where you can make friends. You can feed off the motivation of others!
- Stuff your refrigerator with healthy food and throw out the bad stuff. If you keep your house full of healthy food you are less likely to go out to eat or eat bad things. Use your natural lazy tendencies for something good! I find that whatever food I have around the house, I will end up eating. If I keep my fridge and cabinets stocked with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, poultry and fish I will eat it when I get hungry.
- Systematically try new things. Create a spreadsheet or a note on your refrigerator with a list of new things you want to try. Add everything you can think of to it… sort of a bucket list with around 100 or more items. Then do at least one per week. If you can’t think of anything to do, just google “my location + activities”… you should find a big list of museums, parks, fun activities and more.
- Get enough sleep EVERY night. Lack of sleep and stress have been shown to be a very strong negative influence on your mood, productivity and ability to develop healthy new habits. Set a bedtime for yourself and turn off all electronic devices and put down your books and go lay down… even if you don’t feel tired. Practice habits that will help you go to sleep faster, such as focusing on your breathing while laying down. Get 8 hours of sleep per day… I also highly recommend taking a nap after noon if at all possible – it will refresh your brain and allow you to be far more productive in the second half of the day.