Take it From a Healthy Habits Fanatic.

3 Tiny Changes That Will Keep You In The Present.

As I’ve been settling into a daily cadence, my well-being has become an effortless endeavor. Okay, that’s not entirely true, but it is becoming intentional!

In my last article, I shared five tactics for anchoring moments of mental rejuvenation into your day. These strategic seconds serve as invitations to the brain to return to the present and maximize mental energy. I urge you to play around and incorporate these 5 mindset practices. They take no extra time, but simply the effort to remember. Your reward: you’ll strengthen your focus at work and prime yourself for life.

I can hear your groan. “Ughhhh! More stuff to remember?!” And “Do these tiny changes really make a difference?” An understandable initial reaction.

But the fact is, the brain is lazy. It wants to choose the path of least resistance in its thinking patterns. Did you know that 95% of the thoughts you have today are repeats from yesterday? And of those, 80% are negative! The brain so easily loops and toggles between the past and the future (which are rabbit holes of negativity) that it’s tough to stay in the present. Mindfulness and a plan allow you to steer that brain to be present, allowing for ultimate creativity, focus and fulfillment.

This is why I’m a habit and practice fanatic. The intentions and cadence I’m creating allow me to embrace and interact with my daily life. So now the question becomes, “How do I set myself up to feel my best, so I’ll want to live in the present?” I, like many, had been hitting some of life’s potholes lately. And now that spring is on its way and Covid is easing, I’m choosing to focus on giving my life a Vitamin B injection.

You get to choose, too. Here are three cadence ideas for your consideration, to add to the 5 speedbumps of your day and live a healthier lifestyle:

Treat Yourself Like a Racehorse!

Are you being strategic about your diet? We can compose (or throw together) an infinite array of combinations and permutations to consume our daily calories. Gerry Sweetman’s article challenging you to consider whether you’re a workhorse or a racehorse may resonate and inspire you to make a few tweaks to your intentions. If you don’t know where to begin, consider these:

Consume more vegetables! It can be tricky to sneak in the recommended 5-to-9 daily portions. Our favorite two-portion solution is the Dirty Virgin. Be strategic and make this drink your midafternoon pick-me-up. Double points if you couple it with a portion of hummus and abundant carrots, celery and cucumber sticks. That’s three portions of vegetables, spanning the rainbow!

Drink enough water! This is the easiest and simplest change you can commit to daily to yield the greatest outcome.

Incorporate herbs with health benefits into your diet. Add some turmeric right to our daily dirty virgin to naturally relieve inflammation. Turmeric also adds dimension to soups, stews and curries. It even adds color to your kids’ mac and cheese!

Humans Need Connection.

If there’s one thing that’s been sorely lacking lately, it’s human connection. Why not intentionally reach out to someone weekly or even daily to connect? An email, phone call or text message will make you feel spiritually richer. And when you consider the recipient, it’s a twofer. If you always mean to call Aunt Edna but never quite get to it, may I suggest:

-Start with a smile: Make a quick list of maybe a dozen people in work and in life that bring a smile to your face. Consider how often you’d like to connect with these people. Every week? Every month? Once a quarter?

-Now comes strategy: Anchor connection to an activity or a time of day or a day of the week in which you can enjoy reaching out to these folks. It could be a Sunday morning indulgence or every time you’re waiting for your child on the bus line or after you’ve done your morning journal entry. The time or event serves as a Pavlovian reminder to reach out and touch someone’s life.

-Let it Grow: Continue to add to your list, keeping a record in your calendar of who you call. Review after a quarter and feel your spirit soar!

And Speaking of Spiritual Energy.

The first thing that goes out the window when life gets in the way is permission to take part in the activities you most enjoy. Relaxation and hobbies seem decadent and self-indulgent to some. Yet, they can be a total game changer. I challenged a client drowning in kids, work and family drama to give herself 15 minutes per day of “play”, doing something each evening just for herself. She came up with a fantastic list of ideas. Her favorite was to extend her shower time by 15 minutes and convert shower to bath. At first it was an effort, but now that she’s got her routine in order, it serves as a daily mini-vacation.

Which of these tiny changes would you consider making in your life? Or what would you add to this list? The DRIVEN community of professionals would love to hear from you.


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