Stop doing what everyone else does. If you don’t know where to start, here are 15 healthy habits for fun self improvement. This is the sequel to the first list of 15 unusual and creative habits for a better life.
1. THE SUNDAY RESET
Take one day a week and reset your entire life so you can dominate the next seven days. Put in a load of laundry, then shower and shave, cut your nails… Groom. Switch your laundry, then clean your house. Put in a second load, then cook and package some meals or go grocery shopping. Sit down and make a list of weekly goals and tasks so you can stay focused. Here is a free Sunday reset worksheet to print out.
2. 5×5 EXERCISE
Do you hate going to the gym but want to be stronger? The popular 5×5 method is your answer, for ladies and men. There are three big lifts: squad, deadlift, bench. Do only one exercise every gym session. Start with extremely low weight, and do just five sets of five reps. The next time, increase the weight by only five pounds. Then, go home! As the weight gets heavier, you will make massive progress just by focusing on mastering the big three.
If you currently struggle to eat healthily, focus on going 80% of the way instead of trying to stick to the perfect diet. Get microwavable low-fat egg and sausage sandwiches for breakfast, steamed vegetable bags and pre-cooked chicken strips for lunch, and pre-packaged fit-meals for dinner. Effortless. Here’s the cheapest and easiest meal plan ever for peak nutrition.
4. KIT LIVING
Build “kits” for every aspect of your life: always-packed bags for work, fitness, travel, grooming, nutrition, and anything else you do consistently. Keep these bags replenished and put them in the same place every night. Grab-and-go makes your routines easy and stress-free. Here is a full list of kits and the items you might place inside them.
5. TWO MINUTES TO NIRVANA
A powerful meditation practice can drastically reduce stress, but it takes time. In order to start getting immediate benefits, take just two-minutes a few times a day. Close your eyes, belly-breathe in as slowly and deeply as you possibly can through your nose, and exhale completely through your mouth. Do this just ten times without focusing on any thoughts, and you will feel an immediate sense of peace and relaxation.
6. ADULT PIGGY BANK
Use an app like Qapital to set up saving rules. For instance, you can round up every transaction to the next dollar, and the app will put the extra money into a savings account. You will never notice the difference, and in a year you may have $1,000 or more waiting for you. Up your rules to an extra dollar or two every transaction and watch your savings skyrocket. Here’s the full guide to saving, investing, and budgeting on autopilot.
7. FILL THE SQUAD
If you struggle making friends or connecting at parties or networking events, try this challenge. As soon as you walk in the door, look for another person hanging out by themselves. Approach them, stick out your hand, and say, “Hello, I’m X. What’s up?” This person, who is struggling with the same thing you are, could be your new buddy for the entire event.
8. STOKE YOUR FIRE
Everyone needs to keep their spirits up. Each morning, take just five minutes to read a secular or religious devotional on how to live happily and healthily. Then, take a moment for whatever “prayer” means to you. Ask for strength, give gratitude, think about others, and plan the vision for your day. You’ll leave the house with a glow instead of a grumpy attitude. Here is some studies done on the incredible benefits of gratitude.
9. THE CEO OF YOUR LIFE
Treat your life like your own business, and you’re the boss. Separate it into departments like finances, HR (relationships), operations (organization, lifestyle), and development or sales (work). Check in with each department constantly, and improve what is lacking. The best tool in the world to do this is our Base Camp Journal, which has sections to manage and improve every aspect of your life. Explore it here.
10. LUNCH AND LEARN
15 minutes of learning a day adds up fast. During your lunch break, read a chapter of your educational or self-help book, watch a TED Talk, or practice a language. Take notes in your phone so you can remember what you have learned.
11. SHIP IT
If you’re in a romantic relationship, you know that it takes hard work and dedication to keep it strong. Check in each week with your partner for just 15 minutes. Ask what you can do better, share your own needs, and work through all of those silly conflicts you keep to yourself and let fester.
12. “I KNOW KUNG FU”
Remember when Neo from The Matrix “downloads” years worth of martial arts training and general knowledge in 10 seconds? The closest you can get to that is gym sessions while listening to educational podcasts. There’s no faster or more efficient way to train your body and mind at the same time.
13. STEADY FLOSSIN’
Such a simple hack: If you’re like 100% of everyone ever, you don’t floss regularly. Buy the pre-strung floss toothpicks, and keep a few in your car in a highly-visible place. Every time you are driving you will instinctively floss! This means much more flossing than keeping a spool in your bathroom to be ignored.
14. KAIZEN EVERYTHING
Kaizen is the art of making small, near-effortless changes that lead to drastic results over time. If you have trouble getting started with something, give yourself a task so minuscule that it is unavoidable. You may end up doing much more, because it’s easier for an object in motion to stay in motion. Pick up one dirty shirt and put it in the hamper. Open up the word doc and type a single sentence. Open up just one website for a job application. Just take action.
15. THE RUBBER BAND CHALLENGE
Train yourself like Pavlov trained his dog. Put a rubber band on your wrist and snap it (hard) every time you’re about to do a bad habit, complain, or say something negative about yourself. Soon, your brain will associate those habits with pain and encourage you to avoid them. You can read about the science behind this powerful tool here.
COMING SOON: HELM
A FREE SERIES OF EMAILED ADVENTURES TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR MENTAL FITNESS.
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