5 Steps to a Happier, Healthier You!

5 Steps to a Happier, Healthier You!

Hello and welcome to THE NEW YEAR! Yep! it’s January, the month where we re-evaluate our bad habits from the year before and try our very best to create new ones, to help us look and feel better. I’m not a big “new years resolutions” type of gal, but during the holidays my unhealthy eating habits come and haunt me every year. Especially since I love to create new delicious recipes and I’m constantly surrounded by dessert and all sorts of high-calorie foods with low nutritional value. It’s one thing I’ve learned to let go and stop obsessing over. It really wasn’t healthy for me mentally and it made it harder for me to enjoy family time with my husband, kids and the people I love. I’ve learned to enjoy more and now I just work on making better food choices during the holidays. Here’s one quote I repeat to myself when I feel the pressure “I will NOT allow food to control me”! What I do instead, is focus on the five things that really truly help Me feel happy and healthy inside and out. So here they are, it’s honestly a way of life rather than a new years resolution.

They say it takes 21 days to create new habits, so cheers to the next 21 days.

Book Recommendation

If you have a hard time sticking to good habits this is a great book. Charles Duhiggs really goes into the science behind how habits work. It came highly recommended to me and now I will pass it on to you. And if you’re not one to sit and read, get yourself the audiobook. I love audiobooks, I use audible for all my reading needs. Sometimes I just don’t have the time to sit and read or I just plain old fall asleep halfway through my first paragraph. HA! Hopefully, I’m not the only one, I can’t be, please tell me I’m not!!

Alight then so…

Step 1. STOP Procrastinating

I know! Yes! The work will get done, or you’re the “I work best under pressure” type of person. Trust me I’ve been there, I’m a young mother of three, procrastinating was my last name. I had to do so much for my kids when they were younger, and I was younger, that I procrastinated almost everything. I still do sometimes because, well LIFE! But wouldn’t you rather get things done WITHOUT rushing, feeling rushed, or even get it done before your deadline? Wouldn’t you feel good, happier and mentally healthier? Right, right, get it, happier healthier YOU! You’ll also get more things done, you will I promise. It’s like a snowball you start one task, finish it, start another finish it and so on. I bet you know this already, your mom’s been telling you this since you were little or at leaste a teenager. Well, I’m just here to remind you.

Procrastination is the killer of all dreams! Plus don’t you feel so shitty when the work is half-ass because you had to rush it? You probably also feel like a failure, you start doubting your potential and you start criticizing yourself and your work. STOP IT! You’re better than that, you know it, I know it. The point is, work on the BAD habit of procrastinating. You don’t have to be perfect just realize when you’re doing it and work on not doing it. Easier said then done I know, so here are some tips.

TIP: Set limits for phone time. For example, I try to post on social media from my computer and schedule my posts on Mondays for the week. It keeps me from getting distracted by non-work related things, plus I can’t carry my computer around so eventually, I have to get off of social media. Social media isn’t as fun on my computer than it is on my phone anyway. My phone is definitely one of my biggest distractions but it’s also a powerful work tool for me. If I’m not using it for work I try to be off of it as much possible.

Step 2. Eat Clean, Drink Water

You’re a beautiful flower, you need lots and lots of water and nutrients to grow. That’s what my mother would tell me when I was little. She was right, eating foods high in vitamins and minerals are essential not just for looking good but feeling good mentally. These are two very difficult tasks for many people but they are essential to living happy and healthy. We live in our minds which is why I believe taking care of your brain first is very important. Your brain needs water and lots of it. I’m talking a gallon of water a day or two if you’re brave like that. Your brain also needs nutrients and vitamins to keep running. If you’re starving yourself to lose weight then you’re brain will stop making good decisions and you’ll be back to your old ways before you know it. At the same time, eating too many processed foods high in carbohydrates and sugar aren’t good either. Trust me I know I’m a pastry artist, if I could eat dessert for every meal and not feel like shit, I totally would.

So drink up that water like your life depends on it and do some food research. Search for foods high in protein, vitamins, and good fats. Pick the ones you like and stick to cooking and making food choices that revolve around those foods. Herbs are a great way to give your foods flavor and pack on some vitamins at the same time. Try to stay away from anything that comes in a box and has a long list of ingredients. Here are a few things that help me.

 Tip: Buy more foods like Fruits and Vegetables, Meats high in protein and, multigrain foods. My rule when shopping is “If its fresh from the ground, it’s good”. Checking out different farmers markets and seeing the different types of foods is something that I enjoy and it inspires me to get creative in the kitchen. As for dessert, I do my very best to eat ONLY homemade from scratch desserts with basic ingredients like Butter, Sugar (honey, agave, or brown sugar are some good substitutes), Flour, Eggs, Milk, Spices, Pure Extracts, and Fresh Fruits. And Don’t forget to DRINK YOUR WATER like the good little flower you are, so you can grow upward not sideways.

Step 3. Put It Away!

Um, Hum! Put your stuff away! Yes, that helps too. I’m a recovering perfectionist but this is one rule I will never let go of no matter what. One rule I live by and teach my kids every day is “If you take it out, Put it away!”. Anything from toys, to shoes, dishes, everything. Now I’m not telling you to clean your house every day and your home needs to be spotless. By no means am I telling you to scrub down your bathroom and stuff like that. I’m just telling you to put your shit away once you’re done using it. Why is this helpful you ask? Well, do you really want to clean up and put things away at the end of the day when your tired or when you just completed a large project? I put things away as I go about my day. I’m done with my baking tools, I wash them, dry them, and put them away while my cake is baking in the oven. Now it’s one last thing I have to do when I’m done baking. Get it? The only thing I have a hard time putting away is my clothes. Sometimes I just pile it up in my closet where NO ONE can see it and I live with that guilt. I don’t know why but that is just so hard for me, it’s something I’m working on. I’ll keep you posted, but it’s really not that bad. The second reason putting your stuff away helps is, you want to start a new project or task with a clean slate not worried or stressed about the mess on your desk, kitchen etc. Putting your stuff away also helps you work neater, clears your mind, your space, and helps you end your day feeling a little less stressed. It’ll help you work better and you’ll go to bed happier.

Tip: I try to have a place for everything in my home. For example, I have a place for all things barbies, all of my board games are in one place, all cake boards have their own home. All of my spatulas are together, knives all in one drawer etc. etc. I try not to mix categories unless space is very limited, for that, I get dividers for my drawers and cupboards. The same thing with my baking ingredients. I place them all in their own containers and have a place for only baking ingredients and so on.

Step 4. Exercise

Prioritizing 30 minutes-1 hour out of your day to strengthen the body you live in, I believe is very important. How our bodies look and function is one thing that truly affects us mentally. If you’re not mentally happy with your abilities and how you physically feel then exercise is sure to help. Exercising regularly and early in the morning before you start your day is especially helpful to clear your mind. You’ll feel sore (if you do that means it’s working) but you’ll be energized, your mind will be clear and you’ll feel so good about yourself.

Tip: It’s difficult to start new routines and to be consistent with good habits but remember “It takes 21 days to create new habits”. Most routines work well with a reward. To start, try promising yourself that after 30 days of regular exercise you’ll treat yourself to a new outfit or shoes. Do Not reward yourself with food! You’re not an animal, food should be a source of energy and it’s ok to have a junky meal or sweet dessert once in a while, just not EVERY DAY. To reward yourself for your hard work and efforts try getting yourself something like new makeup, get yourself a nice haircut or even just fun new work out gear. Feel proud of every workout, because it definitely counts and Never Give Up. Most people fail to lose the weight they desire because they stop working out and never get back on to their routine. Just keep going even after a bad week or month, just get back up and get moving again.

Step 5. Listen

Listen to other people, especially people whom you admire or people whose lives motivate you. Listen to people who are successful in what you are passionate about. You don’t have to do or live your life as they live theirs, but observe and soak up the information that is relevant to you and how you’d like to live your life. Don’t feel overwhelmed with the idea that they are way ahead of you because remember, they were in your shoes at some point in their lives. Researching your favorite people and figuring out what makes them happy.

Some things you can look for are: How do they eat? How do they handle pressure or negative publicity? What are their goals? How far they’ve come and what did they have to do to get there? What keeps them motivated? This step is totally up to you. I’m someone who is always changing and trying new things. I’m totally not afraid of change I actually enjoy change. I like to challenge myself with new goals all the time so I’m constantly researching, listening, and looking for ideas to help me achieve my goals.

Tip: Try listening to podcasts, visiting healthy Instagram accounts, read self-help books and books on your favorite topics. One thing I did in 2018 was to start an audible account and subscribe to podcasts. I listened to books about business, mindfulness and I subscribed to baking podcasts, business podcasts and, many other topics. Two of my favorite podcasts are “The Gary Vee Audio Experience”, “The Rise Podcast” by Rachele Hollis and “Pretty Big Deal” by Ashely Graham. The Best part about podcasts is that they are all FREE, so go check some out for inspiration. Another thing I do, especially when I’m feeling a down about myself and my abilities (because being an entrepreneur is challenging) is listening to motivational videos on YouTube. My sister sends me a few once in a while and they always make me feel empowered.

Well, sweet friends, I hope these 5 steps help you get this year started on the right path. These are just 5 things I personally try to work on every single day. It’s a lifestyle for me, not just a one day, one month or one-year thing. Life isn’t easy and brings on all sorts of challenges, I fall off the wagon here and there but “it’s not falling that hurts me, it’s failing to get back up”. Working on yourself should be a priority, so be as consistent as possible and don’t dwell on what you didn’t do. Be happy about the small steps you are taking to be better for you. Be proud of yourself and always remember “Positive thoughts bring Positive results”!

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