We may not realise just how many habits we perform on a daily basis, that hold us back from achieving our fullest potential. So, it’s about time we do a Spring Clean! It’s out with the old, unhealthy, unmotivating habits that are holding us back, and time we start implementing fresh, new ways of life that are conducive to greater personal and professional growth and productivity!
1) Sleep More
Sleep is highly underestimated, and is one of, if not THE most powerful natural healing agent that every one of us has access to. Statistics show that 33-45% of Australians don’t achieve the adequate duration or quality of sleep each and every night! How insane is that!?
So why should we sleep more?
Adequate sleep helps to regulate our stress hormones, maintaining them at safer levels, meaning we are less likely to feel stressed and become anxious. Sleep also improves memory, as during our resting hours, our brain sorts, stores, and organises information, processing it for later retrieval and use. It also aids the body in repair and recovery, as we produce extra protein molecules, which help fight off infection, and repair damage within the body.
My top tip for improving sleep, is to go to bed earlier. Ensuring you are sleeping 7-8hours per night (or during the hours you are able to sleep if you do shift work) will drastically improve so many aspects in your life, it’ll be as if you’re a changed person! As well as this, sleep professionals recommend putting away all screens 30-45mins before you go to bed, particularly if you are someone who struggles with falling asleep quickly. This means all phones, computers/laptops, TV screens are off at least 30mins before bed. Make sure you’ve set your alarm for the morning, then go and plug your phone into the wall across the room if you have to, so you don’t touch it again! The benefits will definitely out-way the cons with this one.
2) Wake Up Earlier
Now I’ve just told you that you should aim to sleep more…and now I’m telling you to rise earlier…but hear me out.
Jay Shetty says “Imagine this. Imagine $86 400 were deposited into your bank account every single day. What would you do with it? Would you spend it? Would you invest it? At the end of the day though, that $86 400 would disappear, and the next morning you would get another $86 400 in your account. No matter what you did with it, I’m sure you didn’t waste it. This is how life works. Every day, 86 400 seconds are deposited into our life account.”
So, what does this mean? It means we get a new set of time, every single day to change, to grow ourselves, to work on our goals. While some of the most successful people wake up every day between 4-6am, you don’t need to do this to see the results. Try waking up 15-30mins earlier than normal, and see just how much more sh*t you can get done!
My number one tip for implementing this habit into your life is to be prepared. Have your morning set out the night before, so all you have to do is switch off that alarm, and roll out of bed to find your clothes already laid out for the day, a bowl of overnight oats in the fridge for breakfast, and your KeepCup waiting patiently by the kettle. Mornings made easy!
3) Take a Daily Stroll
I say this not necessarily for the physical health benefits, but more so for the mental health aspect. Being able to spend time with yourself, reflecting on your day or planning out what it is you need to complete for the rest of the week – you’ll find you become more relaxed, motivated, and clear on things in life that may have been hazy before.
Walking or even running are great activities to perform to zone-out from the normal motions of each day, and consolidate what it is that you want to achieve, and how you will go about getting there.
I do have to admit that even though I would love to, I personally don’t get a walk in every day. However, I do take at least 20 minutes out of each day, to go outside and just breathe. I’m just there, present in the moment. I allow my mind to wonder, and recalibrate before diving back into what I must get done that day. So, if for whatever circumstance you can’t manage to fit in that walk, I suggest taking that time out from your day, because both activities work in similar ways. If you want to take it that one step further, meditation is also fantastic! If you don’t know where to begin, I recommend the app ‘Headspace’ (on both Apple and Android), as it has something for everyone. Just go explore what works for you!
4) Read More, and Read Widely
Similarly to a daily walk, reading allows your mind to be temporarily separated from the events that may be taking place in your life. It doesn’t matter what you read whether it’s ‘Neuroscience for Dummies’, or the ‘Twilight Saga’, read anything you want! Allowing the mind to focus on something completely foreign, activates different sections of the brain that aren’t normally active during behaviors you perform day in and day out.
Personally, I’m someone who loves non-fiction because I love facts, and I love learning about us as humans! If you’re like me, then here are some of my favourite reads, including ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman; ‘Tools of Titans’ by Tim Ferriss; and ‘The Clever Guts Diet’ by Michael Mosley, just to name a few. But go explore what your passions are! There is so much out there that I can guarantee you’ll find something that captivates you.
If reading isn’t quite your thing however, don’t stress, I completely understand! Another way you can get similar benefits is by listening to audiobooks, or podcasts. I find that sometimes I’m just not in the mood to read, so these are a great option.
More like ‘H2-Ohhhh’! because once you increase your water intake to roughly 2L per day, you’re bound to be saying “Ohhhhh! This is what all the fuss is about!”. Honestly though, hydrating your body is one of the most beneficial things you can possibly do for yourself, and you can genuinely feel and see the benefits within days or even hours.
Adequate hydration relieves fatigue, benefits weight-loss, aids in digestion, helps flush out toxins, improves headaches, increases your ability to think, promotes healthy glowing skin, improves recovery, helps maintain body temperature, and so much more!
To ensure you are consuming enough water throughout each day, I suggest purchasing a water bottle that is either one or two litres, filling it in the morning, and splitting your day in half – so that by noon, you aim to have finished 1L, which leaves the rest to be consumed in the afternoon.
It is also important to remember that depending on what physical activities you are completing throughout the day, you may require more water than the average recommendation. For example, construction workers who are out in the sun for the majority of their shift may need closer to 2.5L or more. The important thing to remember is to listen to your body, so you can provide it with the nourishment that it needs!
I hope these habits can be of assistance to anyone looking to take the next step in creating a healthier life for themselves; and just remember – it takes an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic. So be patient, and consistent, then before you know it, these habits will just be actions that form part of your every day!
Bye for now!