Happy Friday & Happy February!
The first month of the year is over! How did January treat you?
You may have guessed from the subject line that I’ve been thinking a lot about time. Mainly the illusion of “not having time.” It’s funny because when you really want to do something (go shopping, attend an event, get your nails done…) or when you really have to do something (meet a deadline at work, get your car worked on, waste away at the DMV…) POOF – time is there for you, often in abundance! But, maybe you struggled last month to make the time to workout, meal prep, read, stretch or spend time in nature…whatever you do to stay grounded and focused on your fitness goals ~ your physical and mental health.
Was it because you “Didn’t have the time?”
Just like the way you start each day often sets the tone for the rest of the day, I believe the way you started the first month of this new year sets the tone for the rest of the year. With 86,400 seconds in a day, you can make time to establish and follow through on a handful of healthy habits and then, let the rest of your life fall into place through mindfulness. That’s what healthy living is all about…that’s the process of defining your fitness journey and committing to it for life.
Start with making the most of the time you’re given, and getting the most of each day. Below I’ve shared 30 tips you can start incorporating into your day, starting today! This is a pretty long list so I encourage you to come back to it as often as you need – maybe write the tips you want to try immediately and save the rest.
Of course, these tips won’t give you more time in the day but they can help you make the most of the time you already have…rearranging your time to devote more of it to what nurtures you. A lot of tips are about expending your mental energy, not just your physical energy. So, let’s dive in!
30 Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Each Day – physical and mental energy, nutrition, exercise, meditation & more!
1. Cut screen time – The most recent data revealed that Americans are watching an average of 5 hours of television a day. Yikes! That adds up to having a part-time job, or working on your side hustle, or reading a book for pleasure, taking an online course, exercise…
2. Stand and stretch – Move your body, reduce “Tech Neck” and sugar cravings, improve your core strength. Set a timer to remind you to stand and stretch once every hour.
3. Step outside and breathe deeply – breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts and notice where in your body you feel your breath. Connect with your breath.
4. Take a lunch break – …and actually step away from your desk.
5. Be kind – lend a hand and connect with someone new to use your energy for joy, not anger.
6. Theme your day – this works really well if you’re self-employed and/or just feeling really overwhelmed by your task load. Have a single focus of the day instead of a to-do list that’s a mile long. I traveled to Barbados in 2014 and I was in awe at the pace the natives work, live, walk…everything! Some of the staff at the hotel thought I was so funny rushing around because they said, “Here in Barbados, we do one ting a day.” One thing a day – we can all benefit from slowing down and focusing on one thing at a time.
7. Stop trying to multi task – because it doesn’t work.
8. Write – try 5-minute journaling where you spend just 5 minutes writing your thoughts, goals and lessons learned. Personally, sometimes I don’t even know what I’m really thinking until I see it all on paper.
9. Be present when you’re with others – skip a few newsfeed refreshes and connect in real life instead.
10. Exercise – so your body won’t become a distraction. If aches, pain, fatigue, digestive issues and trouble sleeping are distracting you, move your body to heal your body. If it’s been a while since your last workout, start by walking for 30 minutes.
11. Connect with a friend over coffee, lunch, brunch, etc. – for all the good vibrations.
12. Do one thing you love that’s just for you – that one thing doesn’t have to be anything big and it can be free, not require a lot of space or adjustments to your schedule.
13. Have a night time routine – when I was younger my mom had to get me off to daycare at 6 a.m. so she could get to work on time. Our morning routine was like an assembly line with pretty much everything laid out and ready to go the night before. I remember feeling important because I got to help her make our mornings run smoothly. Now, I still do as much as I can at night to get things ready for a smooth morning – protein shake set up, meals packed, clothes laid out, gym bag packed, dog food out, coffee pot or kettle full of water, etc.
14. Set a timer and read for 20 minutes – if it’s before bed, read a paper book to avoid the UV lights from your tablet or device, which make it hard to fall asleep.
15. Wake up 10 minutes earlier while the house is quiet and do some movement meditation (try these stretches). Meditation isn’t just sitting still in silence. It’s about allowing thoughts to move through your mind as you stay connected to your body.
16. Create rituals to lock in your priorities – doing something the same way over time makes that practice sacred. The individual components of your ritual signal to your brain that it’s time to do whatever that action is – for me, it’s drinking hot tea while I read. When I add water to my kettle, unwrap my tea bag, grab the honey and spoon, I’m mentally preparing to settle down with a good book. Sometimes I can only set aside as much time to read as it takes to finish that cup of tea but other times I read a little longer. Either is just fine :)
17. Turn your phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ and don’t turn it back on until you’ve had enough time to connect with yourself before connecting with the outside world. Last week I was in NCY for BlogHer’s first annual Health & Wellness conference. Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post spoke about her new company, Trive Global’s, new app. If you have an Andriod phone, I highly recommend you look into it – Apple users will have to wait another 6 months from the date of this blog post. The Thrive app allows you to set your phone to Thrive Mode and alert your contacts that you’re “thriving” for a designated amount of time. For example, when you text me you’ll get a message that, “Trinity is currently thriving from 8:30 a.m. until 12 p.m.” You can only get through if you’re on my VIP list! I love this concept! Let the world have FOMO about your thrive time and not the other way around.
18. Remove your phone from sight while you work (are you seeing a theme, here?!) – it’s a distraction that you can’t reach for if it’s not there. While you’re at it, turn off those pesky notifications.
19. Lift weights – because weight training will save you from endless hours of cardio, which allows you to spend more time outside the gym and still reach your goals. Plus, these benefits!
20. Get it done early when your mind is fresh and before the day gets filled – whatever “it” is to you, get it done before noon!
21. Say no. No is a complete sentence.
22. Take the stairs whenever possible because every little bit counts.
23. Have a walking meeting – movement inspires creativity! If you and your coworkers are feeling sluggish in yet another meeting, take that meeting on-the-go. If this isn’t doable, take your phone calls standing.
24. Log off – and go workout.
25. Shop and cook in bulk – one week I made so many trips to the grocery and out to eat, that my bank statement was literally just a food diary. Also, you could tell by the receipt that I was hungry for most of those trips because I was buying foods I rarely eat. Make a list, shop in bulk and meal prep in bulk to save time and money.
26. Ask for help – delegate tasks to free up more of your time and in turn, help the helper :)
27. Take a power nap and reset your mind to be more alert when you wake – just 10-20 minutes a day is all your brain needs.
28. Set an alarm to remind you to drink water – you can also find cool water tracking apps.
29. Take inventory of your time – if you still feel like you’re wasting time, write down a quick list of how you’re spending your time – a one-day snapshot – and identify those idle hours
30. Telework whenever possible!
I’d love to hear which of these tips stuck out most to you, which ones you plan to implement and whether I missed any great tips you’re already using the get the most of each day. Tweet me @trinperkins