Tiny tweaks to your daily routine can make a big difference to your long-term health and happiness. Instead of upending your entire routine, work on making one small tweak at a time. Once the tweak has become a habit — experts say it takes at least three diligent weeks — begin to incorporate another one.
First alarm. Instead of hitting snooze four times, try to get out of bed on the first shot. Leave your curtains open so that the natural light can help signal to your brain that it's time to get going. Another good way to make this happen is to place your phone or alarm across the room, so that you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off.
Morning ritual. Start your day out with a big glass of water. Sleep often leaves you dehydrated, so a little H20 can kick your brain into action and lift the fog. While you're hydrating, take some time to enjoy the morning sun, pet the dog — whatever clears your mind so that you can start the day with calm energy instead of a mad dash.
Set three goals. Pick three main goals for every day. A huge to-do list can be daunting, but shooting to accomplish three primary tasks can help keep you on track without creating more stress.
Walk and talk. Give your mood a boost and get some extra steps in by taking calls outside or convincing a coworker to do a walking meeting. In case you needed another reason to get outside and get moving, a recent Stanford study shows that walking boosts creativity.
Detox. Eat something green every day. To take this to the next level, focus on making one meal a day consist of mostly veggies. Lunch is a great time to do this because it's not typically a shared meal, so you don't have to consider anyone else's diet or tastes.
If you are on the go and looking to make healthy changes, swap the rice in your burrito bowl for greens. Same goes for poké bowls and many other fast casual lunch options.
Say 'no'. When something comes up that threatens to derail you or distract you from your goals, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’, or at least ‘not now.’ You only get 24 hours — a well-placed ‘no’ keeps you in charge of how you use them.
Break up with sugar. The cold, hard fact is that most Americans are addicted to sugar. Weaning yourself off the sweet stuff may be rough for a couple of weeks, but you’ll find that your mind feels clearer and your afternoon slump disappears once you kick that pesky soda habit.
Meditate. The power of the mind is vastly underestimated. Some of the greatest minds throughout history have used meditation as a tactic to harness their creativity. No need to spend an hour in savasana, just 10 minutes of guided meditation will do.
Steve Jobs is quoted as saying,
"If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is… over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things — that's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. You see so much more than you could see before."
Mindset shift. Instead of fixating on what went wrong over the course of the day, focus on what went right. Don’t dwell on the shortcomings of people around you (or of yourself), instead choose to remember all the wonderful things they do for you every day.
Give these tweaks a try and let us know what your favorites – but remember to take it slow and make one change at a time.