The journey of living a better life isn’t always easy, but it can certainly be more enjoyable with some simple changes to your routine. Whether you want to start the day on the right foot or need help winding down at night, these 10 tips will help you start and end each day in the right way. Check out these 10 ways to make every day better and see if they work for you!
1) How to wake up energized
Getting enough sleep can help you start your day with energy and enthusiasm, so it’s important to prioritize sleeping well. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and take a few steps each evening before bedtime that will relax you and make it easier for you to fall asleep. For example, avoid screens an hour or two before bed—including smartphones, laptops, and TVs—and focus on getting quiet relaxation time instead. If stress or anxiety is a factor in your sleep troubles, try meditation (or yoga), which has been shown in studies to be effective at lowering levels of cortisol (the hormone that increases when we’re stressed). Meditating regularly can also help reduce anxiety more generally.
2) Breathe in, breathe out, repeat
Start each day with a relaxing breath, focusing on your diaphragm. A few minutes of deep breathing—even five or 10 at night before bed—will help you clear your mind and focus on relaxation. You’re retraining your body and mind to relax instead of being stressed, says Dr. Weil. He recommends three-part breathing: Inhale for a count of four; hold for two counts; exhale slowly over four counts, making sure that you completely empty your lungs when you exhale.
3) Exercise releases endorphins
Whether you like it or not, exercise is good for you. Not only does it keep your heart healthy and aid in weight loss, but it also releases endorphins—those feel-good hormones—which can make you happier and more energetic. Studies have shown that people who are happy, energetic, and positive tend to live longer than those who aren’t as upbeat. Exercise is a good way to help kickstart your day with an energy boost! So even if exercising isn’t really your thing now, try stepping out of bed five minutes earlier each morning so you can get in a quick workout before heading off to work. You might be surprised by how much better you feel!
4) Stretch your muscles
Stretching is underrated and often overlooked, but it’s an important way to maintain flexibility and reduce your risk of injury. Whenever you perform a movement—from reaching for a can on a high shelf to stepping out of bed in the morning—you use your muscles. The process of exerting force creates tension in your muscles, which over time can cause them to tighten up or become weak and atrophied (wasted away). Stretching relaxes contracted tissues, preventing stiffness caused by repetitive contractions that don’t allow for rest. Tense muscles also have less potential for growth. Flexibility exercises are easy to incorporate into any fitness routine or daily life—and some (like loosening tight hamstrings) might even seem fun!
5) Eat well and avoid bad habits
Research shows that our eating habits contribute more directly to weight gain than anything else. Diet is 70 percent of your weight-loss battle; exercise is 30 percent. So when you’re thinking about how to lose weight fast, remember that diet is more important than exercise. That doesn’t mean you should never exercise; it just means diet is what really matters. Focus on making healthy food choices and minimizing bad habits instead of obsessing over how many steps you take each day or how long you spend on the treadmill each week.
6) Get enough sleep
There’s a good chance you spend more time awake each day than asleep, but getting enough sleep can dramatically improve your mood, productivity and health. Most adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but studies show that six in 10 people aren’t getting enough rest (although they usually don’t know it). You may also be getting less sleep than you think. The average person overestimates how many hours they sleep by as much as two hours! The benefits of an improved nights’ sleep are numerous: improving your immune system, burning fat during workouts and even helping fight wrinkles.
7) Plan what you eat
Planning your meals and snacks is an easy way to ensure you stick with your diet. This can be as simple as making a detailed grocery list of what you need, writing down daily meal plans or making a menu for each week. It will be easier to control your eating if you take a planned approach. Most people find that writing things down helps keep them on track, so make sure you have plenty of paper and pencils on hand. Also, schedule time every week (e.g., Sunday afternoons) for menu planning and shopping; then add prep times (e.g., plan meals ahead of time so food is ready when needed). These small steps will save you tons of time when it comes to shopping, cooking and eating healthy meals.
8) Avoid negativity
Negativity and pessimism are contagious. If you surround yourself with negative people, or people who are always complaining about their lives, you’ll likely become a victim of these habits as well. Positivity is infectious as well; put yourself in an environment where people are actively striving for success and happiness every day and you’ll quickly learn from their example. When someone tells you that something can’t be done, prove them wrong. Don’t let anyone hold you back or tell you what your limits are; only believe in what your own mind says to be true about yourself—your body, mind, will power, creativity, etc.—you know what is right for YOU!
9) Learn something new every day
Learning something new every day isn’t just a good habit, it’s a necessity. There are literally thousands of people competing for your job, and it’s unlikely that any of them will be an unintelligent person (we all can’t be Bill Gates). To keep up with others, you need to constantly improve yourself. So sign up for a class or two. Challenge yourself at work. Read books on business strategy and history if you want to run your own company someday. If you don’t like school or reading, there are other ways to learn—just find what works best for you.
10) Manage your time wisely
Many people assume that you need a certain amount of money or education before you can start your own business, but that isn’t true. If you want to start a business and make it successful, you have to be passionate about it. This will take drive and hard work. Finding time for your startup while keeping up with your day job is difficult; however, if you plan ahead and stay focused on your long-term goals, it will pay off in no time.