Last week we talked about life goals and how they’re intrinsically tied to a healthy lifestyle.
Most of us get on the healthy-lifestyle bandwagon when our bodies start breaking or complaining (show of hands? Me.) There’s another breed of folks, the high-achieving superstars, who just know that stellar health is critical for excellence in life... and they get after it.
Highly effective people like Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington and Brendon Burchard have accomplished extraordinary success and are firm believers that optimal health is a key to that. And their results speak for themselves.
I’ll leave the cryotherapy tank and 57-degree pool to Tony Robbins. Over the years I have found 9 core habits that work for me. And slowly, I have become a firm believer that the more I sharpen the saw by practicing them, the more razor-focused I get.
My 10 habits:
As my husband will attest, this is always an area of improvement for me. But on an average day, I aim to drink 60+ oz of water and herbal tea.
Rule of thumb: 1 oz for every 2 lbs of body weight… in other words take your body weight and divide it by 2. That’s your target number of ounces.
Sleep 7-8 hours every night.
Pretty much everybody will fall asleep between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm with ease. Yes, even you “night owls” -- falling asleep on the couch proves my point. Not only is it easier to fall asleep before 10:30 pm, you achieve deep restful sleep before midnight. It makes a difference. Try it.
Eat more greens and more fat (the good kind).
When I’m stellar at this, I eat greens 3 times a day: green smoothie for breakfast, big salad for lunch and something green with dinner.
I also make a point of having good fat at every meal: grass fed butter, avocados, nuts, coconut oil, olives, seeds, olive oil and the like. Zero canola, corn or palm oil in my house. NOTHING EVER with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
Keep the chemicals out.
For the past 12+ years I’ve eliminated 99% of the conventional cosmetics, fragrances, personal care items and household cleaners from my house. Instead, I use non-toxic, environmentally-friendly options.
Rule of thumb: if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin. If you need to call a poison center for ingesting your household cleaner, you shouldn’t be using it.
Staying consistent with my morning practice has proven to be essential to seeing my life get better and better.. Because there’s no comparison between going about your day fielding whatever life throws at you vs. intentionally creating your day and your responses to what shows up.
Meditation also builds mental muscle. I get better and better at being masterful in my thoughts about my health and all of life, so it has a compound effect.
Keep caffeine, sugar and alcohol for “special” occasions.
Like I mentioned last week, ya’ can’t meditate if you’re sugared up, caffeinated or hung over! It’s just not who I want to be, and none of these are great for the body on a regular basis.
However… there’s a lot of pleasure, joy and connectedness that I associate with having them occasionally: Justin loves creemess, so I LOVE going on a creemee adventure with him from time to time. I also enjoy a well-mixed cocktail, or a great wine with friends. And coffee?! I could drink it every day but my sleep goes downhill.
So when I do have them, I fully enjoy them. ZERO guilt! Guilt will make you sick.
Supplement with superfoods and food-grade supplements.
Every day my husband and I take a combination of supplements and herbs. We’re both working with acupuncturists who are helping us customize our herbs and supplements to our specific health needs.
That said, there are some essential supplements almost everybody needs, such as Omega 3s, vitamin D3, iodine and an antioxidant. We rotate our antioxidants around, including vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, astaxanthin and resveratrol. A probiotic is a good thing too, once in awhile… or just eating fermented foods.
Some of my superfood staples include cacao, spirulina, chlorella, bee pollen, maca and chaga, among others. And any green meets superfood status for me.
Pay attention to my thoughts and emotions.
Our emotions give us wonderful cues into what’s going on in our subconscious mind. If we slow down and listen, we’ll catch the silent thoughts and voices yakking it up in there. Are they helpful voices or sabotaging voices? Once we start listening, we can begin to masterfully guide where our life goes.
Plan for fun and pleasure!
Joy and pleasure are healing. But as a straight-A student in recovery, it’s taken me awhile to not be so serious. I have to remind myself to do more of the things that bring me joy and pleasure: Baths, walks, knitting, dancing in my office, staring at the sunset, cuddling with my love, holding babies and looking for online content that is uplifting.
What brings you joy? What are the juicy, yummy things that make your life feel rich? Do more of those. Plan for them. Schedule them and make them happen.
The more consistent I get with all of these, my self-respect and self-love become more palpable to me. I appreciate my efforts in caring for myself and walking my talk. I see myself as the person of integrity that I want to be.
That said, I don’t expect myself to be perfect. Releasing perfection helps me grow in compassion towards myself and others.
How about you?
What health habits do you practice and how do they help you in life?