Following The Habits of Successful People Can Make You Healthy and Happy
My younger son arrived in this world being able to easily create a habits for all parts of his life. When he was two he would come in the house take his shoes off, hang up his coat and put his shoes directly under where his coat hung on “his” peg. I didn’t teach him this, he just did it. He amazed me this past summer as at 15, he fluidly moved through working as a camp counselor almost full time, taking an online line health class, football practice several days a week and piano lessons. He also made his own healthy breakfast and lunch, slept about 8 hours a night and even had fun with friends. It is his habits and his focus that enables him to accomplish more than most adults – and do it in a healthy, low stress way.
You are your habits. Like my son habits, habits are what shape the most successful people and makes them who they are. Arianna Huffington, Tony Robbins, and Michael Phelps are all noted to have habits or rituals that they do every day that help them achieve more.
What is it that my son and successful adults do differently than the rest of us that keep them healthy so they can perform as such a high level?
- Don’t Diet: If you listen to some of the big inspirational speakers out there the one things they all include in their talks is to take care of your body for the long term. Unfortunately, most diets aren’t structured for a lifetime. Six week plans and 30 day detoxes may give you short term results, but they shouldn’t be view as much more than a Band-Aid. To get long term results, understanding and being very clear about what “being healthy” looks like for you and why, will deliver the motivation to make healthy choices consistently.
- Schedule Time: If your intention is to get to the gym or exercise class and “life” keeps getting in the way, put it in your calendar and make that time non-negotiable. If an hour feels like too much, start with scheduling 15 minutes a couple days a week and build from there. Find times that work for you. Getting up at 5am when you are a night person won’t last for long.
- Prioritize Sleep: Sleep is vital to long lasting health and most of us need 7-8 hours every night. More and more research shows that lack of sleep depresses the immune system and increases the risk of everything from the common cold to heart disease. If you want an instant productivity boost get the same amount of sleep every night.
- Eat Junk Food (On Occasion): Even the cleanest eaters eat foods that are “less than healthy” that they love. Food is one of the few things that satisfies all 5 senses, essentially at once. Choose the things you like the most and really enjoy them with no stress.
- Eat Real Food: The easiest and fastest way to clean up your diet is to lose the processed food. Frozen dinners that are precooked and ready to microwave in a plastic bag are not food. Neither are most of the products that come in a box. Most prepared foods are extremely high in sodium and sugar, sometimes more than a whole day’s RDA in one serving. To help transition and if you do nothing else, look for short ingredient lists and ignore all marketing on the front of the package. Your cereal was not meant to have fish oil in it.
- Listen to Your Body: Your body is disconnected from your head. As in you are probably not paying attention to what is going on with your body until you realize you haven’t eaten anything in hours. How often do you eat in your, car, on the run, at your desk, or in front of the TV? Meals have become something that we choke down on the way to something else. Multi-tasking while you eat is an indicator that you may be overeating. Give your body the time and attention it needs and focus, at least for a few minutes, solely on your food. You may find than not only do you lose weight, but food taste better and you feel full longer.
It doesn’t matter if you are managing your heath or managing your time, time management tips, health management tips, or any tips that call for a change in behavior need your to focus on your habits. What habits will help you to achieve your goals? Everybody says they want to get healthier or lose weight. Make it a reality and start with new habit at a time.