Although my life is not the same every single day (I’m sure you can relate to this). There are specific things I try to complete daily that allow me to look and feel my best, especially right when you wake up! Some of these are super obvious… BUT, we tend to look past them. We stuff our minds FULL of information every single day and it’s easy to forget about yourself.

Many of these daily habits play a major role in our emotions, attitude, health and happiness.

Photo Credit: Brittany Eitsert Photography
Photo Credit: Brittany Eitsert Photography

1. Be Optimistic. Wake up and tell yourself, “It’s going to be a good day” 

I give props to my husband for this one. We had a small talk about stress a couple days ago and how I could manage it better.  I will openly admit it, when I’m stressed I am super harsh on myself. I feel as though nothing is running as planned and the day seems to dwindle down from that point.

Bryce asked, “Do you wake up every morning believing you’ll have a good day?”

My answer, “Not lately.”

He continued, “Well, there you go, if you believe you’re going to have a bad day, or you automatically think something will go wrong throughout the day that’s what you will focus on.”

Now, I try to wake up happy and go through my day believing most events that take place are, well, positive! Optimism has a great affect on someone’s mood and attitude. If you take this little piece of advice, I think it will help your stress level decrease immensely.

2. Invest in a planner and incorporate it into your daily routine

If you don’t own a planner, invest in one. It will make your life so much easier. I absolutely love my planner this year. Look at your planner each and EVERY morning upon waking up. I know how easy it is to mindlessly forget events, payments, to-do lists, deadlines, meetings, etc.

Buy a planner with plenty of space to write tasks. I’ve purchased multiple planners in previous years. Buy one large planner with lots of space, then get a small one to store in your bag or purse. Use them both in conjunction with each other. I promise if you use it regularly and look at it frequently, you’ll become more mindful of what to expect throughout your day and/or week.

3. Set goals – big and small

When you set goals for yourself, you’re focusing on a want or need that’s extremely important to you. Setting goals is important in learning, growing, and developing into the desired YOU.

Set short-term and long-term goals. Taking baby steps isn’t EVER the wrong road to turn down. As long as you’re taking the step, THAT is what matters the most. Start with small, daily goals, then advance to bigger, more difficult goals. Short-term goals keep you on track towards your long-term goals.

4. Go for a walk or run

This seems pretty obvious, right? If you exercise right away in the morning you’ll feel better… right? It’s actually what you do after your walk or run that makes you feel your best.

I’ve noticed lately, I’m giving any excuse to not go. Oh, it’s too warm today. The forecast calls for rain, I can skip ‘one’ day (which usually leads to two or three in a row). I have a million things I need to accomplish. I’ll wait until later. I don’t have time. So on and so forth. Even though I’m constantly running excuses through my head, I end up lacing my tennis shoes, getting my daughter settled in the stroller, and off we go. Nine times out of ten, I feel rejuvenated when we return home.

A walk or run immediately gives you a sense of accomplishment, even if that is the only activity checked off your to-do list. There’s usually no regret after returning home from a morning walk… no matter how many tasks are still sitting unmarked in your planner.

From a personal experience, it pushes me to do MORE after I go for a walk or run. Don’t make excuses for yourself! It doesn’t have to be a five mile hike, for God’s sake. Do what you can, increase as you may – any physical exercise will literally push oxygen to your brain and make you feel ten times healthier afterward.

5. Drink a glass of warm lemon water and/or coffee before breakfast in the morning

Yes, there have been debates about whether consuming coffee every day is good for you or not, but it’s part of my routine (and I LOVE coffee). You can always replace the sweetener with liquid Stevia – still tastes amazing, but no sugar or calories (If that’s something you’re worried about).

If you don’t like coffee, try warm lemon water. Don’t talk yourself into thinking it will taste horrible, just try it. I cut a lemon in half and squeeze it into a tall glass. Put the lemon halves in the glass and pour hot water over. I let the mixture sit for a few minutes and drink within 5 minutes. This kick starts your digestive system in the morning and cleanses your body of toxins. 🙂

6. Always, always, ALWAYS eat breakfast

Rarely do I skip breakfast. I believe the old saying is tried and true, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Whenever I’ve skipped breakfast in the past, my body responds slower to nearly EVERYTHING. Skipping breakfast has unusual effects on your body.

Skipping breakfast generally results in snacking and indulging in extra meals instead of eating regular and proportioned meals. When you eat breakfast, you will probably notice that you don’t go straight for the junk food later on in the day. It’s a great start to the day and gives you the energy you most likely need in the mornings.

7. Incorporate fruit and/or veggies into AT LEAST one of your meals

I’m not a nutritionist, nor am I a fitness expert or guru. And, I know myself well enough that I’m not going to eat like I’m training for an NPC contest. The least I can do is incorporate at least one meal and snack with fruit or veggies, or both.

It’s not difficult at all to plan one meal around eating veggies and it won’t take tons of time out of your day. What it WILL do is give you one good meal for the day if you don’t want to eat completely clean. You’ll train your mind and fuel your body with not only healthy food, but a healthy mindset!

Balance is the key to nearly everything! Believe me, I love chocolate, and chips, and everything else that contains yumminess. Remember, it’s all about BALANCE.

8. Drink PLENTY of water

This is obviously a must. Get a good water bottle and carry it around with you EVERYWHERE you go. You’re probably at the point where you’re thinking, “OK Erin, I read this far for you to tell me something I already know?” And I’m going to be devil’s advocate right now, but… do you? The recommended daily water consumption is half of your body weight in ounces. If I had to guess, you’re not drinking enough water. Water is key to everything – even your skin complexion! Water cleans your body of toxins (like the lemon WATER *lol* that I mentioned previously) and you tend to fill your body with less junk food when you drink enough of it throughout the day.

9. Last, but definitely not least, Make time for yourself! 

I cannot stress how important it is to make time for yourself. To me, this is by far the most important task I’ve listed. In order to grow, in order to become the best YOU, set aside time every day to focus on yourself. After all, how can you make someone else happy if you’re not sure who you are yet? In this time, you’ll give yourself a breath from life, from your significant other, from your children, and from the rest of the world. Give yourself time to clear your mind – walk, run, write in a journal, lock yourself in the home office, go grocery shopping, have a cup of coffee with a friend, anything! And it doesn’t have to be hours on end, but take a little bit of time for yourself every day.

I hope this helps those struggling on training your body AND mind to be just a tad healthier! I know that if I did not perform these nine daily tasks, I would not have grown into the person I am today. The little things you do daily is key to the happiest and healthiest you years down the road!

“The future depends on what you do today.” -Mahatma Gandhi

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