Last Wednesday morning, I was in the middle of a run when a whole bunch of thoughts started streaming through my mind. Today’s post is the coherent version of that!
As I ran along, I was reflecting a lot on change. It’s a part of life that I think we, as humans, have a love-hate relationship with. It can be scary and uncomfortable, but there’s appeal in the idea of developing new skills, overcoming challenges and becoming better versions of ourselves. We’ve all read quotes about how everything with significant enough results is going to require a massive amount of work, and in many contexts, I’d agree. But the thought of a big life overhaul is undoubtedly overwhelming, and can prevent us from even taking the first steps. I want to be your little reminder today that big, life-altering change isn’t always needed to make an impact – especially on your own wellbeing.
It may be October, otherwise known as 10 months into the year and just a couple away from 2019. But it’s never too late to start making better choices for yourself and putting you first. You don’t need a new year, a milestone birthday, or a dramatic life event to be the wake-up call that forces you into action. If there’s a part of your life – perhaps nutrition, fitness, sleep, dealing with stress, work, or relationships – that you feel could use some attention, why not make today the day you start?
You might be feeling the little hairs of your arms start to rise, a little chill run down your back, or a tad uncomfortable thinking about this. You’re probably like “Give me a break, it’s freaking Monday and getting out of my warm cozy bed this morning was the only challenge I’m up to today, thank you very much.” Trust me, I get it! (I love my bed too!) But remember, this does not have to be an overhaul. You’d be amazed by what little changes can add up to huge results over time, and today I’ve got 6 ideas to get you started. Pick one, pick 2, pick all 6, or create a few of your own. Deep down we all know where our lives could use a little more attention, so consider these thought starters for getting the wheels in motion.
6 almost effortless ways to upgrade your life this week
Drink a glass of water as soon as you get up.
You probably wouldn’t go 8 hours during the day without drinking water, but that’s what’s happening when you sleep. Drinking water upon waking helps to rehydrate your whole body, revs up your metabolism, and kickstarts the digestion and detoxification systems) (Real talk: we ALL feel better once we’ve “gone”, am I right?)
Serve your food in the kitchen instead of at the table.
Say hello to one of my best portion control tricks. If you serve your food in the kitchen and eat it in another room (or with your back to where the serving ware is), you’ll be less tempted to keep eating simply because it’s there, and more likely to tune into what your body is telling you about how hungry it is. The same goes for buffets.
Brush your teeth after you eat.
Nobody likes tasting lunch in their mouth for hours after a meal, and brushing your teeth can also help to limit mindless snacking that can follow a meal if you’ve got treats lying around. Your teeth and your dentist will be on board with this one too!
Go to bed 15 mins earlier.
It might not sound like a lot, but doing this every night for a week adds up to 1 hour and 45 minutes of extra sleep, and that makes a difference! Lack of sleep results in your body producing less leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite and tells your brain you’re full. Over time, less leptin can lead you to eating significantly more than if you’d slept enough, and therefore, may result in weight gain. So enjoy that sweet slumber, even if it’s just 15 minutes more each night!
Keep your phone face-down.
Admit it: even when your phone is on silent, that lighting up of the screen every time a notification rolls in distracts you. (If it doesn’t you’re a ninja and I’m jealous.) Lately I’ve been keeping mine on my desk face-down instead of face-up, and notice that I pick it up far less often when I’m doing work than I did before. And don’t worry – this doesn’t mean missing important calls, because the vibration (at least for my iPhone) is still noticeable enough to hear and see moving.
Guys, if you don’t already do this, you are going to LOVE Unroll.me. As someone who works in email marketing and subscribes to TONS of emails for research purposes, my inbox would be an absolute disaster without this free service. At the beginning of every day, it rolls up messages from whatever brands, companies etc you tell it to. It delivers them all in one tidy little email summary with thumbnails for each, and all the individual messages automatically skip your inbox and go into a folder that you can check if/when you want to. Save yourself some time mindlessly scrolling through marketing emails and spend that time re-connecting (via email or otherwise) with the people you really care about. (You might just find yourself making fewer impulse buys, too!)
I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this. Is there a change you’ve made that was small, but being consistent with it has ended up making a huge difference over time for you?