13 Healthy Habits that Make You Stronger

7:02:00 AM

You may have read elsewhere on the Internet that healthy habits are the key to personal & professional success.
After adopting the habit of drinking green tea changed my life in 2007, I’m inclined to agree.
Modern wisdom suggests that the best way to beat a bad habit is to replace it with a better one.
So, what are some healthy habits one might want to have in their lives? Below, I list 14 healthy habits.

A few things to note before we begin

  • Once made, habits are very difficult to break. This is why bad habits are such a scourge of an otherwise-happy life.
  • Once you have a healthy habit, it gives you more energy than it takes to maintain. (In other words: it’s a good return on investment.)
  • Most people only have the mental capacity & willpower to tackle on habit replacement/addition at a time. Slow & steady wins the race. If you want to build your willpower, that is a different topic, but I can recommend to you a very good book on that subject as well.

The 14 Healthy Habits

  1. Physical activity. Do 10 sit-ups or push-ups. Go outside and jog around the block 3 times. The trick here is to start small: you can gradually increase volume & intensity.
  2. Sit quietly and watch your breath for 5 minutes (or more). Gradually increase. Now you have a meditation habit. (Among other benefits, people who meditate spend 11% less on medical costs per year.)
  3. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Write a thank-you note, even if it’s just via e-mail. Follow up on emails that you still haven’t replied to (this is my personal weakness). Voila, now you’re a person who follows good communication etiquette.
  4. Go to a farmer’s market and buy yourself some local foods; then find a recipe that will make them delicious. Voila, now you’re a person who can prepare a tasty meal.
  5. Replace all the liquids your drink with either water, green or white tea (with lemon for added absorption of the nutrients) or fair-trade coffee. (If you drink more coffee than you’d like currently, substitute green or white tea instead.) There are many health benefits associated with both tea and coffee, and you can easily maximize by drinking both. Most people are pretty good at this habit already. Notice what’s missing here? All forms of sugar water, and all alcohol. 
  6. Dial in your sleep schedule. (Sleep must be considered in conjunction with diet, exercise, stress & a host of other factors to get an accurate read.)
  7. Hug more. Cuddle more if possible. Because oxytocin makes you more resistant to disease (among other things.)
  8. Do one thing you love each week that feeds your soul and your passion, whether it be making music, cooking, writing, reading, photography, blogging, programming, or other.
  9. Journal. It can help clear out old negativity.
  10. Read inspiring spiritual or wisdom texts, from the tradition of your choice, each day. Pair this with your daily meditation for best results.
  11. Look at your financial situation and really consider if you are living a life of economy & frugality. (This is different from austerity.) Consider also how you can make more money by giving more of your gift to the world. Are you just throwing money away on unused subscriptions & casual entertainments? Money is to be used to further your purpose and dreams in the world, so consider if you could be retiring debt more quickly, saving for future goals, and otherwise being more economical. Nature rewards those who use economy.
  12. Examine & begin to evolve your media consumption: remember, garbage in, garbage out. How much negativity do you put into your system each day through reading news outlets, random browsing, and violent & provocative movies? Consider cleaning up your influences so they add energy to your system, rather than & taking energy away (which eventually depresses you.)
  13. Practicing for life using visualization. Elite athletes know the power of visualization & use it to continue dominating their sport or activity. There’s no reason us corporate or entrepreneur-athletes can’t use the same power. Mentally rehearse an upcoming meeting, negotiation, annual review, interview, or any other important meeting. I achieved great success in the corporate world just visualizing my humdrum daily status meetings. They went better.
If you are looking for a theme to the above list, here it is: cleansing from your life all influences that tend to depress or drain away your energy, and adding to your life all influences that will generate more energy.

If there is a message I want to leave you with it is this: watch carefully what you put into your body, through all mediums, and be even more deliberate about what you set yourself out to do, and where you send your energy and attention. Do you allow it to be fractured into meaningless minutiae of the distraction-machine Internet or television, or do you concentrate it through meditation, prayer, and study, so that you gain deeper access to your own insight, and thereby come to an ability to make better & better decisions & positive impact in the world?

It’s a question we must each answer for ourselves.

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