8 Habits to Optimize Health & Productivity
Health, productivity and success do not come overnight. They are built everyday through consistency and good habits. The healthiest and most successful people all know this; they each have their own daily habits to attribute to their success. The journey for you to optimize your own personal health and productivity should begin no different.
Everything you do should be done with a purpose, for a specific reason that ultimately brings you closer to your goal. What begins as an intentional act of doing something positive for your mind and body each day, later turns into a habit that becomes second nature. It doesn’t take long to form a new habit; but if you lose focus, it is easy to fall back into the bad ones. When it comes to becoming happy and healthy, failure should not be an option for anyone.
With that in mind, here are 8 habits that you should do everyday that will help optimize your overall happiness and productivity.
- Create A Mission Statement — Cultivating a positive mindset could be the single most important thing you can do to help achieve success. It puts you on the right path to achieving your ultimate goal. But I like think of it as creating a bigger picture rather than a singular goal; more of a mission statement. Like in business, a mission statement summarizes who you are and provides you with the context that drives you to who you want to become. Take some time today to think; what’s the one thing that is calling you to action right now, the one thing that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning. Whether negative or positive, decisions are a direct result of the repetition of actions and thoughts. By constantly repeating your mission statement, it reminds you of what you believe in, keeping the mind focused on the end result and preparing you for your tasks of the day.
- Set The Framework — In order to create a quality product, you need to have a basic frame work or structure. This can be said for creating a high quality of life as well. In order to get the basic structure of our day, we start by separating our day into two of the most basic parts; activity (being awake) and recovery (being asleep). No doubt that our daily lives are stressful; and to function optimally, adequate recovery time from stress is needed. Although actual sleep time can vary by the individual, the majority of the adult population require 7–9 hours a night.
- Hydrate Upon Waking — Take a minute to imagine not being able to drink anything for 8 full hours. How do you think you would feel? While sleeping, the body uses fluids for many different processes; breathing, circulating blood, repairing damaged tissue, and many more. Since you’re not able to replenish these fluids regularly, your body slowly becomes dehydrated which in turn decreases both physical and mental performance. Replenishing lost fluids first thing in the morning can also help rid the body of toxins and decrease morning hunger.
- Eat Breakfast — Everyone heard at one point in their life that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, and while there may be a valid argument that other meals are just as or more important, breakfast still should not be ignored. A healthy and nutrition breakfast can immediate positive effects on the body, and over time can illicit health benefits such as:
— Improved mood and learning memory
— Improved levels of energy and strength
— Balanced blood sugars, lower cholesterol and body fat
— Regulate bowel movements
— Better food choices later in the day.
- Visualize & Breathe — Seeing is believing; and in order to believe we can succeed it needs to be visualized. Although you’ve just received a full night’s sleep, cortisol (the stress hormone) is typically at its peak levels first thing in the morning. Taking time to extend breathing patterns can help decrease cortisol production and reduce muscle tension. Setting aside just a few minutes first thing in the morning to focus on breathing and collecting your thoughts will prepare the mind and body for upcoming tasks. Each breath should be a inhale to exhale ratio of 1:2, meaning for every second you inhale, exhale for 2 seconds.
- Set an Agenda — The most productive meetings are set with an agenda, so why should a day be any different. If you can see the plan, you’re more likely to stay on track and eliminate the excuse of an important task “slipping” your mind. Keeping a list can also help free up the mind so it’s more open and creative. Rather than remembering everything you need to do throughout the day, you just need to remember where you kept your list.
- Write Your Gratitude — Psychologists recommend that to increase overall happiness, make a conscious effort to savor all the beauty and pleasures in your life. One way this can be done is by creating a gratitude journal. Focusing on the positive aspects of your life can make your viewpoints more optimistically. Try and write down 3 things that you are grateful for each day.
- Check in with Your Accountability Partner — Some days you feel awesome and on top of the world. You get everything you need to get done for the day and you’re super productive. Other days, not so much; you’re under the weather, not particularly motivated and just feel like you need to lay low. While that is okay on occasion, you don’t want to do so constantly and form bad habits. Have someone that keeps you accountable for the things you know you struggle with; exercise, nutrition, getting tasks finished, remembering things, etc. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so find someone that helps balance your life so that it’s not a constant juggling act.
The biggest problem when attempting to leave behind an unhealthy, and for lack of a better term, lazy lifestyle, is the tendency for people to ditch every bad habit while trying to adopt all the healthy ones all at once. This often leads to frustration, resulting in giving up and reverting back to old ways. When it comes to becoming happy and healthy, failure should not be an option for anyone.
Check out the full list of 24 habits originally posted here.