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9 Daily Habits to Improve Your Lifestyle
Take just fifteen minutes a day to develop great lifestyle habits
Your blueprint for a better life
Do you have fifteen minutes a day? Ten? That's all you need to make positive and lasting improvements to your lifestyle that will benefit your health, your happiness and your home. I'm certain that everyone can find the time
Some of these tiny exercises can be done when you're in the car, in the shower or at odd moments during the day and I guarantee that they will enhance your life - and that of your family.
We all seem to be busier than ever these days but everyone can devote just a little time on a daily basis to make things just that little bit better.
Do these today, and you'll feel good. Do them for a week and you'll see several benefits. Do them for a month and they'll become healthy habits that you'll do automatically and your life and home will reap the rewards.
All you need to do is remember one word.
A fantastic life
I want my life to be as fantastic as possible
Does anyone have the perfect life? Probably not. Most of us are coping with something; some worry or concern. But that doesn't mean that we can't strive to make our lives as good as they can possibly be, despite the circumstances.
Of course, you might choose a different word. You might have different priorities and concerns. This is a flexible system that works and helps you to get the most out of life. Read on to see how it works for me.
We have life - a wonderful gift. We owe it to ourselves (and our loved ones, of course) to make the best of that most precious of gifts. It's easy.
The first letter reminds me to get fresh air
Be conscious of your breathing
To me the first letter of my special word, F, suggests 'fresh'. That's why every day I make sure to get fresh air. Doesn't everyone? I'm not so sure. Today, it's so easy to leave our temperature-controlled homes and travel to our sealed offices via our cooled or heated cars.
I work at the computer at home all day. On busy days, and most of them are, I wouldn't breathe in any good fresh air if I didn't make a conscious effort to do so. One of the first things I do in the morning is to open a window or two.
I'm not like my old mum, who would take five minutes to sit outside with her morning coffee every day - even when there was snow on the ground. But by taking the few seconds to throw open a couple of windows, I refresh my lungs and my home.
When you work indoors, it's a good idea to take a regular breather - literally - and to step outside to recharge your batteries. Or, if you're driving to work, just roll down the window for a few minutes.
Create extra activity in your daily routine
It was approaching dinnertime and, because it had been such a busy day, I suddenly realised that I hadn't really moved all day. But every day is busy and when I thought about how much activity I did on a daily basis, I was shocked.
Yes, I would make the bed and mooch into the kitchen to make a cheese sandwich for lunch but other than that, I'd spend the entire day being desk-bound. But I had so little time - how could I add physical activity into my working day?
In fact, it's easy. Just like concentrating on your breathing for a few minutes, it's a great idea to be conscious of your movements too. It's so easy to do a few squats when waiting for the kettle to boil. (I'll admit that I used to hang on to the kitchen cabinets when I first started!)
Spend a minute simply stretching. Get up from the desk and touch your toes a few times. Soap yourself more vigorously when you're in the shower. There are so many ways to add just a little extra exercise into your daily routine.
Eat something that's good for you every day
Such a boring word - nutrition. Most of us try to be conscious of what we eat these days and prefer to eat healthily. But do you sometimes find that your hectic life gets in the way? I certainly do.
Resolve to eat at least one fresh and healthy item every day,more if you can, although just one is a good start and is developing a great habit on which to expand.
On busy days, it's easy to grab an apple or banana. These are actually the ultimate convenience foods, coming as they do in their own 'packaging'. If you've a little more time, then starting the day with a homemade smoothie is definitely the way to go.
This is a wonderful routine which grows over time. Start today and in a few weeks,your diet could be completely transformed, improving your wellbeing and your general health.
Set aside enjoyment time
It's an excellent idea to set aside a few minutes every day to do something that you truly enjoy. Revel in every moment of your own special daily treat. It may be something you love to do or it may be a treat food - but be sure to consciously enjoy every moment.
Perhaps you'd like to take a few moments to read your favourite poem. Maybe a stroll through your garden, enjoying the blooms, would uplift your spirits. Close your eyes and play one of your favourite pieces of music with no distractions - take your time to enjoy it.
I'll admit that some days my treat will be a cookie or a piece of chocolate but I truly make it a pleasure. Don't simply grab it and eat at your desk whilst you work - concentrate on your treat and enjoy every moment.
No matter how short your treat time, enjoy every second. Think about the pleasure it's giving you. Don't think about your bank account or your workload - devote yourself to a few moments of pure enjoyment.
Make time for those you love
Apologies for the lapse into French but in order to remember my FANTASTIC daily routine, it's necessary. Plus, don't the French think they are the experts on matters of the heart?
For those of us who have resident loved ones, it's so simple to be sure to take the time for a hug or to let your other half know they are appreciated. Your 'amour' could be your pet if you live without a human companion. (Although I've found that goldfish are pretty unresponsive).
Send an email to your mum, give a friend a quick call, let a neighbour know how much you appreciate them - in short, be sure to connect with someone you care about every day, even if it's just for a couple of minutes.
This is something that gives your loved ones as much pleasure as you receive.
Have you smiled today?
Especially when you work alone, you might go for hours without smiling. That's such a shame. Did you know that it's a medically proven fact that smiling is actually good for your health?
It lowers your heart rate and it helps you to relax. It also simply makes you happier. What a wonderful way to help yourself to better health and happiness.
Make a conscious effort to smile several times a day. Look around you - is there a wonderful piece of artwork on the wall? Do you see a fresh flower in a vase? Don't they make you smile?
If you need 'smiling prompts' sign up for a daily joke or cartoon email. Give a friendly smile to the people you see as you go about your day. You'll make them feel better too - an added bonus.
Clear clutter from your life
What do you define as clutter in your life? It may be the obvious - such as a cluttered desk or that pile of magazines you'll never read again. Or it may be a problem that I used to have - dozens of supermarket plastic bags taking up an entire kitchen drawer.
Resolve to take just a few minutes every day to clear your home of clutter. Pleasant and tidy surroundings really do make us feel better about ourselves and are much more pleasing when guests come to call.
It could be that it's your computer that need decluttering. Do you have old files and programs that you'll never use again? Take a few moments to get rid of them and create more computer space.
By taking just a couple of minutes each day to declutter some aspect of your life, you'll soon find that life is more pleasant and your home or office is a nicer place to be.
Indulge your senses
The human body is a wonderful machine. We can see, taste, smell, touch and hear. True, some of us might have lost one or more of those abilities but we all have senses that help us enjoy life.
Yet quite often, we are hardly aware of them. Resolve to take a moment every day to enjoy a sense that is being transmitted from your body to your brain. Do you hear a bird singing? Then stop what you're doing and listen - just for a moment.
Appreciate what your senses are telling you, even when you're doing a mundane task. Doesn't that fresh pile of laundry smell wonderful? Appreciate it. Can you feel the wind on your skin? Stop for a moment to enjoy it.
Walk on the grass in bare feet. How does that feel? Stop for a second and watch the rain. Did you smell bread as you walked past the bakery? Don't just accept that it's there; consciously register it and revel in your senses.
Count your blessings
Be thankful for what you have
Many years ago, and I forget where, I read a question. It asked 'how would you feel tomorrow if all you had were the things you gave thanks for today?' Every day since, I have taken a moment to appreciate what I have.
I combine this with my 'F' routine - fresh air. Every morning I step outside and appreciate the wonders (and the potential) of a new day. It can be so easy to be dragged down and to think about the things that you don't have.
Instead, be positive.
Just take a look at the photograph below to see how lucky we are.
Create your own blueprint for a better life
Develop your own personal system
My system of 'FANTASTIC' is second nature to me now. The things I do are habits that have become automatic. Your needs might be different.
You walk to work - you don't need to increase your activity. You have a super-healthy diet -improving your nutrition isn't a concern for you. Nevertheless, most of us can benefit hugely when we develop better habits.
It's wonderful when we exchange bad habits for good ones. Habits only take a few weeks to form and before long, your life-enhancing habits will be second nature to you.
Choose your own word, long or short - it's up to you - to inspire you. For example, you might select FIRE because you want to improve your finances, your inspiration, your relationships and your energy levels.
Take a few minutes to concentrate on those aspects of your life for just a few minutes a day. Soon they will become as instinctive to you as brushing your teeth or answering a ringing phone.
Take charge and start improving your life now.
© 2014 Jackie Jackson