Your budget is tight. Your schedule is tight. You’ve been out to dinner several nights each week, and your pants are tight, too from poor eating choices a few beers each week. The triple-shot espresso each morning to get going isn’t helping, either.
All in all, you feel tired constantly and by the time you pay bills and buy essentials — but let’s define what “essentials” really means — you’re broke. You know you need drastic change to feel better, look good and leave some coin in the bank.
Eat Your Veggies
Let’s start with your waistline. After all, change is easier to make when you feel physically up to making it, right? If you can coax off even a few of those pounds, you’ll have met one goal: solving the problem of your unfashionably tight pants — and you’ll have more energy to meet other goals.
Hey, if you know how and where to look for it, you might even find that healthy food can be cheaper than fast food because you don’t have to pay what you would to order takeout. As you save money, you begin to solve some of your budget woes, too.
After a while, you may not have to fake fondness for such wholesome snack options as nuts, fruit and reduced-sugar granola bars.
Push the Fluids
Any doctor will tell you this, but if, like Ricky Gervais, you don’t drink water “because it’s boring” you’re unlikely to follow this advice — and highly likely to suffer the effects of dehydration. In fact, as you read this you could be suffering some of those effects without even knowing it.
To reduce the effects of dehydration, discover how to trick your body into drinking more water. Have you ever thought, for example, that if you don’t like to drink water you can eat it instead, in foods like watermelon and lettuce? Or that if you absolutely must drink soda, you can slip in a few ounces of frozen water, via ice cubes?
For some people, this word might as well be an obscenity. Exercise routines can cause pain when you first start them, and if you only exercise rarely, they’re likely to remain painful. The key to success is another concept people usually dislike — commitment. Commitment can be light in the beginning.
Start by exercising a couple of times each week and work up.
Forget spendy gym memberships and fancy workout equipment. Here again you can watch your budget and your weight simultaneously. Running continuously up and down stairs for a half hour daily is a simple way to get yourself moving, your blood pumping and those calories burning.
Ultimately, if you exercise, eat well and drink enough water, you’ll spend less money on doctor appointments, and do your pocketbook another favor.
Now that you know how to get in shape, you can shift your focus to putting the rest of your physical space — your garage, your home office or wherever — in order. There are enough ways to declutter your space, and enough reasons for doing so — like maintaining a calm mind and staying mentally healthy.
Suggestions include donating to charity some of what you can’t use, selling other such items for extra cash — thus further fattening your wallet! — and passing along potentially treasured items to loved ones.
You live in a messed-up world where bad things happen. By all means, prepare for the worst. That’s wise. It isn’t wise to worry about what you can’t control. Mental stress can take its toll on your body, too, raising your blood pressure and heart rate and lowering your spirits.
The point of these lifestyle changes is to improve every aspect of your existence. Make a concerted effort to focus on what is positive in your life, and you will begin to feel better overall and see improvements in life.
If you think negatively, you’re certain to talk that way — including about other people. Just as negative thoughts are often inaccurate, so is negative speech. Gossip can ruin the lives of all involved. Only discuss what you know to be true. Have a “no comment” policy about the rest.
Your brain needs exercise, just like your body. Some forms of mental stimulation, though they aren’t as exciting are more beneficial. Reading is like this. It encourages use of the imagination, largely without the aid of visuals. Can’t afford pricey new titles from your local book retailer? No problem. Find thousands of books for free at your local library.
Have a little fun! Your calling doesn’t have to be your job, and you don’t have to change the world through it. What gets you out of bed in the morning? Your calling is whatever you believe makes life worth living.
Don’t discount meditation as the domain of hippies and yoga addicts. Sitting in silence as they reflect deep within themselves has proven effective for celebrities. It can work for you, too. Mastering this art takes commitment, as does any lifestyle change.
Take Healthy Risks
The point of changing your lifestyle is to get out of your comfort zone and experience a new way of living. That idea frightens people, so they retreat to familiar old or destructive habits and new opportunities pass them by. They don’t just miss out on new opportunities — they miss out on new ways to have fun.
If you change your lifestyle to benefit your body, brain and budget, significant changes of things beyond your control won’t seem so traumatic. Who knows? Maybe what you once saw as difficulties will now strike you as adventures in the making.