#100 Quit a Bad Habit

If you can eliminate your bad habit for at least 21 days, the odds of beating it all together is greatly improved.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#100

Quit a bad habit

It’s not quite the New Year when many of us will jump on the idea of eliminating the bad habits that hinder our best selves which, might just make it the best time to go ahead and quit now. Bad habits are those things that we do that we know aren’t helping us; the things that nag us more than our moms.

Obvious

These malicious behaviors are quite obvious and include doing anything in excess (drinking, eating, spending, etc.), smoking, nail biting, and snacking. They are the things we ‘know’ we need to stop doing for our health and overall welfare. These habits can literally put our life in danger. They impede our self image, our confidence, and esteem.

Subconscious

Some habits have developed underneath our awareness. Some of us twirl our hair incessantly or click a pen to the extent that our co-worker want to jump across their desk just to grab it away from us. Or how about that foot that shakes or the leg wiggle that indicates nervousness? Constantly smacking gum, or slurping coffee are common habits that go unnoticed by the habitour but are obnoxious irritations for those in the vicinity.

Verbal

Some of our bad habits are verbal… Saying the word “like…” far too often and contextually inappropriately; speaking too loudly for the environment; and using the sound “um…” in more than just an occasional sentence. While not directly verbal – many of us don’t make eye contact while speaking – a habit that is considered downright rude in many cultures.

Notice

As with anything, in order for it to be changed, you must be aware. Ask friends and family members for their observations to catch the things you aren’t aware of. Make a list of the items that you may want to work on and consider which ones are priorities – don’t try to make too many changes at once.

Twenty-one Days

In order to break a bad habit – replace it with a good one. If you are trying to stop smoking – chew gum instead. If you’re trying to break the habit of nail biting – find a way to keep your hands busy; crochet, knit, play with a fidget spinner or stress ball. If you can eliminate your bad habit for at least 21 days, the odds of beating it all together is greatly improved.

Don’t wait for the New Year and a resolution that will likely be broken quickly. Make the effort today so that you will go into the next year without that annoying behavior. Take a minute to pick one and then commit to …

Quit a bad habit.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#106 Check Your Posture

It will feel good unless your muscles have already begun to adjust to an abnormal configuration.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#106

Check your posture

The next time you are watching a talk show of some nature (i.e., the morning news or Ellen), take notice of how tall and straight everyone is sitting. Compare that to everyone seated in the restaurant or the Starbucks you next visit. I suspect the difference is mostly the state of awareness that exists in the personalities on television. Those of us eating in a restaurant or grabbing a latte at the coffee shop aren’t (apparently) paying much attention to our personal posture.

Balance

Posture affects our balance. Balance affects walking, going up and down the stairs, getting up and down from chairs, getting in and out of the car, carrying things, and even turning our head. Hence, good posture is vital to many of the things we organically do throughout our day.

Health

Good posture plays an important role in our mood and in how people interpret our mood. It reduces neck and back pain and helps us look slimmer. Additionally, it helps us breathe more easily by allowing our lungs sufficient expansion room. And, because we are well oxygenated, we may learn more easily and retain information longer (improved memory).

Parameters

When you are standing with good posture, your chin will be parallel to the floor and your shoulders will be even. Your arms will down and your elbows, straight. Your weight will be distributed evenly across both feet on even hips. And it will feel good unless your muscles have already begun to adjust to an abnormal configuration.

Train Posture

Certainly, you can resort to the traditional ‘book on your head’ method of practicing posture. The goal is to find the position that puts the least strain on your joints and muscles. Or, you can imagine a straight line running through your body and it’s connected to the ceiling. Without standing on your toes, make yourself as tall as possible. You can strengthen the ligaments in your back by doing a ‘shoulder blade squeeze’… move your shoulder blades as close together as possible and hold them there for 5 seconds. Repeat ten times.

Upright

There’s also the Upright posture training device (this is not a commercial for the product – just passing along info). It’s a wearable device that vibrates slightly when your posture is out of alignment.  It’s part of the ‘wearable’ technology that monitors our body for optimal health and is a great way to retrain yourself to stay aware of good posture if you’ve gotten a little lazy about it.

The goal is awareness and good health. A simple piece of that is to be diligent and…

Check Your Posture

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#120 Use Imagery

If you are challenged to create a descriptive monologue that depicts exactly what you are hoping to achieve, then something recorded may be the best option to start with.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#120

Use Imagery

Yesterday I wrote about using affirmations – a practice popularized from the New Thought movement and now reinforced in many areas of positive psychology. Another technique used to build positivity and sometimes incorporated into cognitive therapy, is imagery.

Imagery

The goal behind imagery is to use your brain’s ability to imagine in order to foster thoughts and feelings more conducive to your goal. For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, it is helpful to imagine yourself sitting on a beach watching the waves roll in or by a waterfall, listening to the sound of the water hitting the rocks below.

If you’ve read The Secret or if you are a follower of the Law of Attraction, then you know that both promote the use of imagery by using vision boards or manifestation meditation in the pursuit of future objectives. The concept is “if you can ‘see’ it, then you can believe it – and ultimately manifest it as reality; a testament to the power of your brain and it’s connection to your body.

Guided Imagery

When getting started, guided imagery is often the best way to go. Three are thousands of guided imagery videos on YouTube and thousands of other scripts available online that you can record and listen to yourself. If you are challenged to create a descriptive monologue that depicts exactly what you are hoping to achieve, then something recorded may be the best option to start with.

Goals

Imagery is used in the treatment of anxiety, stress, and high blood pressure. It’s been shown to reduce blood loss and pain after surgery. It’s used with athletes to improve coordination, develop skill, and increase confidence. It can benefit self-esteem, deepen intuition, and bolster creativity. And, those are just the areas with empirical research substantiating the benefits.

There are some people who have claimed to ‘cure’ their cancer via visualization and The Simonton Process is now used in a number of hospitals across the country in cancer care. It’s a consistent practice of imagining cancer cells evaporating, getting swept away, or being attacked and destroyed by other means. Many of the patients who saw improvements – and an increase in immune function – were those who committed to the practice.

Think of a change you’d like to see in your life and search YouTube, or find a practitioner to help you get started. There’s a lot to gain when you learn how to…

Use imagery.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#125 Eat Healthier

Instead of succumbing to the temptation of my olfactory inclinations, I make an effort to command control and convince myself that carrot sticks are sweet too.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#125

Eat Healthier

This sounds like a New Year’s resolution at first glance and yet it may be the cornerstone to actually living a happier, healthier, and more productive life. The concept is only new to you if you’ve been living in a cave for the last couple of decades. Indeed, over that time, the Surgeon General and most of our health care practitioners, have touted the benefits of making healthier food choices while the average size of children and adults continues to escalate.

In our fast paced, modern world – the most basic element of survival has become more and more difficult to monitor. We are inundated with food choices almost everywhere we go. Even at my children’s orthodontist office – right next to the coffee pot (a valued added service) there are cookies, cake, or doughnuts ready to be gobbled up by waiting parents, siblings, and hungry kids ready for their after school snack.

Instead of picking an apple off the tree on a walk home from school, our children ride the bus around a corner and into a subdivision, get dropped off at the driveway and grab a processed rice krispy treat or a bag of Doritos before plopping on the sofa to play video games. Sadly, that morphs into a quick dinner with a ‘hurry up and eat’ before someone has to be somewhere more evenings a week than not. It’s the ‘way of the world’ these days and we are all guilty at some point of wanting and making meals to be quick and easy regardless of how healthy they are.

It is beginning to change with healthier options on menus everywhere yet our size continues to grow. In part, because even though we have options – we don’t choose them enough of the time for it to make an impact. Consequently, grocery stores still sell the processed stuff; restaurants still offer the 2000 calorie burger & fries, and deep fried Snicker bars are sold by the thousands at every fair/carnival around the country – because we keep buying them!!

In the interest of honesty I must disclose that I too, cave to the pressure – the smells – and the flavors that tempt and tease me. I can definitely commit to making more consistent healthier choices. In talking with clients who are challenged here as well, the common similarity is that we lack will power. It’s challenging to walk into a mall where Cinnabon has just finished baking a tray of toaster sized rolls. The air is pungent with the smell of cinnamon and yeast. A glance in that direction identifies the source and one can hardly ignore that they are frosted with a decadent amount of cream cheese sugary goodness – so much so that if you’ve ever tasted it – and love it – your mouth instantly begins craving another fix.  ONE classic bun touts 880 calories and the equivalent of 15 spoonfuls of sugar. Would you sit down and shovel 15 teaspoons of sugar into you mouth on purpose??

Instead of succumbing to the temptation of my olfactory inclinations, I make an effort to command control and convince myself that carrot sticks are sweet too. I then seek an eating establishment that offers ‘fresh’ non-processed options and each time I sit down to eat or stroll through the grocery store I make another concerted effort to…

Eat healthier.

(P.S. – Breaking an addiction to sugar is perhaps the most important part of eating healthier – it makes everything else taste better!)

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#142 Make That Appointment You’ve Been Putting Off

Getting those things completed that you have been putting off… especially when they are medical related may in fact, save your life.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#142

Make that appointment you’ve been putting off

Almost everyone I talk to speaks to the fact that our lives are over scheduled these days. It’s become worse over the last several decades as we have to work longer and harder to meet our obligations or catch the American Dream. Consequently, those necessary appointments – the ones that hold our reality together – are often sliding to the bottom of our priority list.

Do you need to go to the DMV? Have you had your annual physical? Your 6 month dental cleaning? Have you procrastinated on your mammogram or colonoscopy? What about your fireplace or carpet cleaning? Sadly, most of us have to take a full day off – some of us, without pay – in order to accomplish these tasks.

Be Efficient

My recommendation is to make a list of all those ‘appointments’ that need scheduled and make as many of them in one day as possible. It’s the peak of efficiency to manage your day in this manner. This is practical time management solution.

Fear

Procrastination occurs for other reasons too… particularly with medical appointments. Sometimes it’s because we don’t want to fast or to clean out our system. We’re fearful of what the test may find or we anticipate bad news or judgment from the doctor. Occasionally people will tell me they don’t want to change parts of their lives – knowing that a doctor will make that suggestion (i.e., weight, smoking, drinking, etc.)

Overwhelmed

Sometimes we don’t make an appointment because the things we need to do leading up to them feel cumbersome and/or overwhelming. Something as little as getting a money order for an application can stifle the completion of that task. If you don’t need an ‘appointment’ for the pre-task, get that completed either before or after work.

Accomplishment

Getting those things completed that you have been putting off… especially when they are medical related may in fact, save your life. There’s always a sense of accomplishment when we get things done that we’ve been putting off. The appointments you keep for home repair and maintenance are for your welfare and safety. Don’t waste another minute… make that list and then…

Make that appointment you’ve been putting off.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#149 Try a Cleanse

While there are a ton of products on the market that claim to ‘cleanse’ there are dangers to riding your body of too many of the nutrients that aid in the proper digestion of good things we eat.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#149

Try a Cleanse

Yesterday, I offered the tip of fasting for a day and touted the potential benefits of doing so. One of them is cleaning the body of toxins. If denying yourself a meal isn’t your cup of tea, then perhaps a cleanse would accomplish much of the same objective.

Get the Bad Stuff Out

A cleanse is intentionally ingesting something that is designed to rid your body of the chemicals and bacteria that should not be there and/or is hazardous to your overall lifespan. There are a number of foods that purport to detoxify your body primarily by flushing fluids; very similar to the process we use in our home piping system.

Ideally, a cleanse is designed to encourage your liver, kidneys, and colon to do their job. THEY are the organs in our bodies that are perfectly designed to naturally keep the good things in and the bad things out. Eating foods that help them process more effectively and work better is the key here.

The Liver

Your liver filters toxins from your blood at the rate of 1.4 liters per minute. It breaks down alcohol, drugs, and chemicals we ingest. Dark berries and hot peppers (caspian) will help it work more effectively. The best advice however is to eat cleanly and avoid alcohol of any kind for the best liver function. The liver is divinely designed to heal itself naturally and will do so if there aren’t any deterrents

The Colon

The colon accumulates waste and prepares it for elimination. In order to do so, material needs to move freely and so hydration and fiber are critical components. Dr. Oz says whole grains and fermented food are key elements in this process.

The Kidneys

The kidneys filter toxins from the blood as well and are responsible in maintaining electrolyte balance and blood pressure. Hydration is a primary consideration here – a state that most human bodies today fail to balance. When properly hydrated, kidneys don’t need to be cleansed. Cauliflower, broccoli, and Soy products will support kidney function naturally.

Dr. Oz Recommends

While there are a ton of products on the market that claim to ‘cleanse’ there are dangers to riding your body of too many of the nutrients that aid in the proper digestion of good things we eat. A diet with only the foods listed here may be the only cleanse you need (not medical advice) says Dr. Oz who recommends eating the recommended foods over a 48 hour period to assist the natural efforts of your body.

When your body works the way it was designed, your energy level, your mood, and your spirit are likely to be organically balanced. If you don’t want to fast, you can …

Try a cleanse.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

 

#150 Fast for a Day

The postulation is that without food to digest, the body organically spends its energy cleaning house.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#150

Fast for a Day

You may have done this recently for some kind of a medical test and decided that fasting was ‘for the birds’ as you denied yourself coffee or food because the doctor ‘said so’.

Personal Control

What if you fasted for a day because YOU wanted to… because you were demonstrating control over your body for the purpose of telling your cells ‘who’s boss’! Or, perhaps you’ve heard of “intermittent fasting” where you only eat food during an 8 hour time period and no more – giving your body a full 16 hours every day to process what you’ve put in it.

Perfect Design

Fasting has been a tradition, a happenstance of the environment, a spiritual practice, and a medicinal effort for perhaps as long as man has been walking the earth. At the very least, our bodies are designed to fast overnight as we sleep and they know what to do when they are deprived. In fact, many illnesses were called “Kings disease” because it was only those who were well fed that came down with particular ailments – attributed to gluttonous living.

Start Over

While there are significant debates among medical professionals about the types of illness that benefit from fasting, one tenet is common; fasting offers the body an opportunity to ‘reset’ (akin to ‘wiping the hard drive’). This may be especially helpful when beginning a healthier eating phase or starting a weight loss program – a kind of ‘jump start’ for your body by cleansing the system of accumulated toxins.

Fasting – consuming water only – for a day allows the body an opportunity to enter the stage of autophagy which basically means that the body naturally works to repair damage that has accumulated. The postulation is that without food to digest, the body organically spends its energy cleaning house. Intermittent fasting (one day a week, for example) has been demonstrated to be very helpful for some medical conditions.

Be Smart

Some people fast for longer durations. These intense fasting sessions should be done under medical supervision as the experience is very similar to detoxing from hard core drugs according to people who have suddenly eliminated sugars and refined carbs from their diets. When the body is denied these ‘drugs’ and the reserves it has to use run dry – there is a withdrawal experience.

Before you grab the bull by the horn and dive into a fasting experience, pick a day when you will be distracted by things or people you love (to detract your attention away from hunger), do a trial run by…

Fasting for a day.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below