8 New Habits You Need To Improve Your Life

1. Gratitude

The simple act of giving thanks or being thankful for what you have can transform your life! Multiple scientific studies link gratitude to improved psychological health and overall well being. Imagine sleeping better, being happier and experiencing less aches and pains all from simply being thankful. So how does one practice gratitude? It’s as easy as starting with saying “thank you” to others and showing appreciation to those around you. Starting a gratitude journal is another great way to manifest a sense of appreciation in your life. Take a few minutes in the morning or before bed to write down what your grateful for. Remember that these things don’t have to be big. Appreciation can come in the form of a beautiful day or a great meal with friends. Most important is to recognize that this practice is daily, even during our worst moments in life it is important to gain perspective on what we still have to be thankful for because there is always something. This practice will increase mental strength, decrease stress and create a sense of resilience. Gratitude is a way to create happiness despite life’s imperfections…so go ahead and improve your life by getting your gratitude on!

2. Hydrate

Our bodies are composed mostly of water (60%) so you can imagine that staying properly hydrated is an important component of overall health.  Studies show that hydration has a major effect on energy levels, brain function, physical performance and digestion not to mention it can help with weight loss by increasing satiety while helping to cleanse our bodies inside and out. Need any more reasons to drink up? Now how much we should drink varies according to physical activities, climate etc. The general guideline is about 8, 8oz. glasses of water daily but that number can increase with physical exercise or if your pregnant or breastfeeding. Try aiming for those 8 glasses and listen to your body. It will let you know if your dehydtared. Make sure the water your drinking is clean and pure. City tap water is often full of chemicals like chlorine or fluoride. My family uses a Berkey water filter and we love it!! If water is just too boring for you, try adding slices of lime, lemon or fruit. My favorite water infusion is adding mint, lemon and cucumber to a liter jug of water and letting it cool in the fridge. It’s refreshing and easy to drink!

3. Eat More Greens

Don’t worry! I’m not telling you that you have to become a vegetarian.

However, adding vegetables to every meal is proven to increase health by providing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which can help prevent cancer and heart disease - especially those green leafy vegetables. Try to buy whatever is in season for your area and buy local if possible (think farmers market). Studies show that produce that hasn’t been shipped large distances usually contains higher quality nutrients. If dinner can seem like a daunting task because everyone eats differently, don’t worry. You’re not alone! My husband is a vegetarian, I eat meat when I feel like it but I have mostly a plant based diet with meat on the side, my oldest son is an adventurous eater and loves vegetables and my youngest boy needs to be bribed for every veggie that he eats. So yes, meals can be a challenge! Daily green smoothies & green bowls have become a great way for me to sneak greens into my youngest sons diet. His two favorite smoothies are the coconut, banana & spinach smoothie and my raw cacao, banana and avocado smoothie (You can find the recipes in my recipe section of my blog along with an avocado chocolate popsicle recipe). He drinks these up and I feel better knowing he’s at least getting a serving of veggies in. Another great way to interest kids in vegetables is starting a garden or garden pots. Kids are more likely to eat a vegetable they grew and picked themselves. I’m not much of a green thumb but we are starting our own patio vegetable pots. Wish me luck! Another great trick is to put out raw veggies and dip (my kids love organic ranch dressing) when they are starving right before dinner. My kids are so hungry they will eat almost any veggie I put out and then I follow it up with dinner. Good Luck mamas!

4. Sweat Everyday

This is a big one for me. Sweating daily helps me feel uplifted, almost like I’ve hit a reset button on life. The great news is that there are a ton of health benefits to sweating. So first off, ditch the antiperspirant. Yep - get rid of it. Antiperspirants block your bodies ability to sweat and can contain dangerous heavy metals. Instead try natural deodorants and simply shower more often. Next, try to sweat daily wether it’s through exercise or even a sauna. Both will provide benefits like helping to detox heavy metals, BPA’s and PCB’s from your body, create healthy glowing skin, boosting mood and your “feel good” endorphins, fighting colds and other illnesses and lowering the risk of kidney stones to name a few. 

5. Inspiration

Feeling inspired is a vital key to staying motivated. So how do we create a sense of inspiration in our daily lives? Many of us have a daily rhythm that if we are not careful can become monotonous or boring unless we put a conscious effort into creating inspiration. Yes, inspiration is something we can purposefully create, we don’t have to just wait for it to accidentally strike us. We are each unique beings and therefore, inspiration will be different for all of us. However, we all share the ability to have dreams or goals and moving towards a goal is very inspirational. Try creating a vision board where you cut, draw and paste pictures or quotes of things you personally find motivating. Hang this vision board in a place where you see it every day and gain a sense of direction and inspiration from it. Spending time in nature, exercising, writing, drawing and listening to music are all great ways to create inspiration. My personal favorite is an impromptu solo dance party… :-)

6. Say “YES!”

Step out of your comfort zone by saying “Yes” more often. Trying something new is good for you. It forces you to grow and requires courage.  A new experience can be as simple as trying a new restaurant or food or as big as saying yes to a new career or traveling. However big or small, saying “yes” will always open new doors, keep life exciting and at the very least teach us knew things.

7. Read Everyday

Studies show that successful people read. That’s right, read everyday.

Reading is like a workout for your brain. It’s mentally stimulating and just like a muscle, the brain needs to be worked. Reading stimulates your brain in ways that have shown to possibly help prevent or slow the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Reading also reduces stress, increases knowledge, expands your vocabulary, improves focus and memory all while being entertaining. So go out and buy a book and get one for your kids while your at it. Goodbye i pad!  

8. Be Proactive

Being Proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. In Dr. Stephen R. Convey’s book “The 7 Habits of highly effective people” a proactive approach to life is to acknowledge our mistakes, take responsibility for our behavior and choose to correct and learn from it. According to Dr. Stephen our greatest power lies in how we CHOOSE to respond to stimuli or situations in our life. For example, regardless of external circumstances a proactive person will choose to do their best and uses proactive language, “I can, I will” etc. So next time your ready to blame others, STOP, don’t be reactive, instead choose your power and be PROACTIVE!