As a freelancer writer and editor, I understand deadlines, building new client relationships and managing project timelines. As a certified health coach, I know that the better I feel, the more I am able to meet those deadlines and perform my work well. But the question is, “How do I fit it all in?” My answer is that I always find time for the parts of my life that I truly value and I keep it simple. Once I’ve mastered a new health goal and it feels easy, I climb the ladder to a new health goal. My health is my greatest asset to my business because optimal health leads to more productive, creative work sessions.
So here are five tips to help you eat, live and work better in 2013.
- Ditch the grand health plan and start small. I avoid the gym like the plague in January because it’s crowded with New Year’s hopefuls trying to get back on track after months of overindulging in cookies, pies and champagne. I’m not saying don’t go to the gym, but think about the long term and create a steady, doable routine. Set yourself up to succeed this year by starting small. If you would like to lose 30 pounds, start by trying to lose 5 in January and then another 5 in February. You are more likely to stick with healthy eating and exercise plans in the long term if you chunk it down, just like any big work project.
- Start the day with water. I know it sounds so simple to be a true health tip, but most people are chronically dehydrated. After sleeping all night the body’s tissues are thirsty and water helps the body naturally cleanse toxins and improve energy production in the cells. Give your body a boost first thing in the morning with two large glasses of water and as a bonus to your liver add some fresh lemon juice.
- Stand more. More research is showing that sitting for long periods is killing us. It contributes to slower metabolism, increased risk of metabolic syndrome, heart disease and stroke. You don’t have to purchase a fancy standing desk, but you can certainly bet more of these will be emerging in 2013. I stand during client calls, take walks throughout the day and sometimes set up my laptop at my kitchen counter.
- Drink your fruits and veggies. I might not be able to convince you to give up coffee entirely, but try adding a fruit-and-vegetable juice to your day, especially at the 3 p.m. slump when your blood sugar is lowest. Most Americans are seriously lacking in the fruit and vegetable department eating less than 10 percent of our recommended daily intake. You don’t have to buy a juicer, you can try a fresh juice from a local health food store or try one of my favorite smoothies in a blender. I call it Green-ya Colada and it has pineapple, banana, spinach (or kale) mixed with coconut water. Just one drink a day could help you bring more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants into your life. You can make your smoothie in the morning and bring it with you to the office or on the go.
- Start a gratitude journal. Want more health and happiness this year? Start by acknowledging the gifts you already have. I keep a small journal by my nightstand and at the end my day, I write down at least 5 things I’m grateful for. Sometimes it’s work related, like new clients or completed projects, and other times I acknowledge a great conversation with a friend, working out when I felt too tired or making a great dinner.
Getting healthy is like any new skill, it takes practice and persistence. These five tips will get you started, but continue to create your own small ways to add greater health and happiness to your life this year.