Taking the time to fill your cup first is not just beneficial for you, but for everyone in your life who needs you.
By taking care of yourself before everyone and everything else, you will increase your chances of overall success.
It’s the same concept as putting your air mask on first when flying before helping your child. If you lose oxygen, how will you help anyone else?
A successful life, to me, means finding success in all areas that are of value to you: relationships, family, money, health, fitness, where you live, who you choose to spend time with, and how you uplift your community.
Success means you are enjoying your days and using your minutes to reach your desired goals. Real success is giving attention to many areas that you hold near and dear.
Here are ten habits I’ve practiced for the last three decades to guarantee success in the areas that are important to me.
I give to myself first, so I have something to offer others.
1. Leave your phone in another room while you sleep
Unless you are an OBGYN and someone might need you at 2:00 am to help them get a human out their body, you don’t need to sleep with your phone in your bedroom.
The quality of my sleep has improved since my phone now sleeps three rooms away. I’m not nearly as anxious, and I don’t check it until I’m up and ready the following day.
When your phone is right next to you, studies have shown that the thought of looking at it or the feeling of needing to check it, is more immediate than when your phone is out of sight.
2. Drink water
I carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go — in the car, to a coffee shop, to the gym. I sleep with a full water bottle next to me.
Except for my once a day espresso and the occasional glass of wine, I only drink water.
Staying hydrated boosts your energy, regulates body temperature, aids in digestion, and flushes waste, and these are just some of the benefits of drinking a lot of water.
I find if I’m not drinking water throughout the day, I get sluggish and tired. Drink up.
3. Get at least 8 hours of sleep
This is key. Everyone needs 8 or more hours of sleep, some need more. So often, people don’t realize how affected they are from lack of sleep.
I have a friend who gets 3 to 4 hours of sleep per night; this drives me crazy. He swears he isn’t affected by the lack of sleep, and I always respond, “How do you know what your day would feel like if you got 8 hours of sleep?” He’s still never tried it.
The appropriate amount of sleep allows us to feel more positive, more productive, and better able to handle the day with calm and presence. Not only that, eight-plus hours of sleep maintains a healthy immune system, assists memory function, and manages hunger levels. These are just a few of the benefits from a sound sleep, there are plenty more.
4. Talk a walk
Walking does wonders for me even if it’s around the block with the dogs. I look up, I notice things; the trees, the houses, the people on the street. It’s rhythmic and meditative. I try to leave my phone at home.
If you are a writer or an entrepreneur who spends a lot of time looking down at a bright, white screen, a walk will do your mind and body some good. You get a new perspective from a walk and you get to breath in some fresh air.
5. Don’t eat after 7:00 pm
OK, here’s the thing, it is harder to fall asleep and stay asleep when you are digesting.
Not only is it better for weight maintenance to stop eating by 7:00 pm, but eating right before bed interferes with the circadian rhythm, and you will have a less restful sleep.
I implement fasting into my diet every day. I stop eating by 7:00 pm, and I don’t eat another meal until 9:00 or 10:00 am the next day. You get used to feeling hungry every once in a while.
The body is supposed to feel hunger. It is not healthy to never feel hungry and always be full. Since I have implemented a period of daily fasting into my routine, I have so much more energy, and my sleep is more sound.
6. Break a sweat
I break a sweat every day. It’s usually at the gym or a class, but if I can’t get to one of those, I’ll go outside and hike, walk or run — all free. You don’t need money to work out. Not only does exercise increase longevity but it increases focus and energy.
7. Always carry a book
I take a small book with me everywhere I go, hidden in my bag for when I need something of value to occupy my mind. I have one or ten books always by my nightstand — books I want to get to or books I love to reread.
Often, I need a break from reading a screen. I prefer holding a book in my hand as opposed to reading one on a screen. If I’m waiting for my daughter or I’m in a waiting room for an appointment, I would rather read a book I like, then have to look at the mindless magazines in the waiting room or look at my phone.
8. Always have a pen and paper
I keep a pen and a notebook in my purse and on my bedside table.
I’m a writer. I always find inspiration throughout my day that I want to dive into, figure out, and eventually write into a longer story or an idea.
Sometimes I will think of a sentence I want to remember or think of a better way to say something for an article I’m working on. So I have pen and paper at the ready when for when I need them. And I will need them.
9. Talk to one friend
Recently, I’m making an effort to reach out to my friends and family by phone, not text, sometimes even using FaceTime.
It is nice to hear their voices. It is a break from my writing and a break from being in my head. I like hearing about their lives and what they are up to.
10. Silence in the morning is golden
Whether it’s writing morning pages, meditation, or getting ready for the day ahead, have silence in the morning if you can.
A quiet morning with no sound is a way to center and ground yourself for the day ahead. It gives you a chance to gather your thoughts or make your essential things list.
These are the habits that give me a more positive and peaceful
mind, giving me a higher chance of tackling what lies ahead for the day.
Taking care of yourself throughout your day gives you more energy to take on those goals you most care about achieving.
Be mindful of your mind, so you can decide, with the right mindset, that it’s going to be a good day.
Jessica is a writer, an online entrepreneur, and a recovering type-A personality. She lives in Los Angeles with her extrovert daughter, two dogs, and two cats.