One small change every week for 8 weeks can help you have more energy
By Michelle Cederberg
Having just released my book Energy Now! Small Steps to an Energetic Life, I know the benefits small steps can make toward great gains in health and wellness. So here are 8 steps to live a more energetic life. Try one tip every week for the next 8 weeks.
1) Move More Every Day: If you’re already active, use this first week to try something new, or step up the intensity in what you’re already doing. If you’re inactive or working your way up, know that small daily efforts will make a big impact on your health and energy.
Take Impact Action: Your goal is to consistently do more than what is normal for you. Walk for 10 minutes every day. Add in hills and stairs. If you’re a cardio junkie, introduce a weight routine.
2) Eat Healthier Most of the Time: I love cheeseburgers and red wine, so I won’t ask you to go to extremes here, but bite-sized changes with your eating habits matter. Pay attention to small changes you can make every day to move toward healthy eating most of the time.
Take Impact Action: Downsize your portions. When you finish eating, pay attention to your hunger. Chances are you’ve had enough. Pack healthy snacks — especially for on the go. Identify your biggest calorie-busters and consume less of them. Amp up your veggie and fruit intake. Eliminate sugary beverages.
3) Make Hydration a Habit: Proper hydration leads to ultimate energy. If you don’t drink enough water you’ll have lower energy, less mental alertness and poor memory. Try this Impact 8 — 8 x 8. 8 glasses of 8 ounces of H2O each day.
Take Impact Action: Freeze bits of peeled lemon, lime and orange and use them like ice cubes. It’s refreshing and helps increase fruit consumption. Get a glass you love. My water mug says, “Today is the start of a new journey,” and I’m inspired to sip from it every time I look at it.
4) Prioritize Zzzzzz’s: Sleep is when your body recovers from the stress of the day. If you get more of it or improve the quality of it, your energy will soar. Get to bed 30 to 60 minutes earlier this week.
Take Impact Action: Create a pre-sleep routine that relaxes you and prepares your body for slumber. Minimize TV or work e-mails at least an hour before bed. Dim the lights, have a cup of hot tea or a warm bath, read or stretch 30 minutes before bed. Make sure your room is cool, dark and TV-free. Get a comfortable pillow. If noise is an issue, try earplugs or a white-noise machine.
5) Stress Less for Success: Use this week to pay attention to things that cause stress and the ways your body responds.
Take Impact Action: Write down your known stressors: circumstances, people or problems you know cause you stress. Exercise, healthful eating, and good rest are great places to start eliminating some of your stressors.
6) C’mon, get Happy: Take a closer look at the places, people and pursuits in your life that bring you pleasure. The simple pursuit of happiness gets rerouted by day-to-day busyness, expectations from others and demands you place on yourself. Unhappiness can drain your energy more quickly than eating right and exercise can bring it back.
Take Impact Action: Do what makes you happy with people who make you happy. Write your happiness list; all the things that bring you joy and happiness. Do something from this list every day this week. Smile at yourself in the mirror every morning. Call a friend who makes you laugh. Spend time in nature. Make a date with yourself to do something you enjoy.
7) Be Kind: Imagine a world where everyone is a little kinder.
Take Impact Action: Acts of kindness are good for your health. Start a piggy bank for a cause. Write a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life. Buy a coffee for a stranger. Tell your partner how much you appreciate them. Be kind to someone who is having a tough day. Donate blood, clothing, canned goods or time.
8) Embrace your Passions: Passion is an essential ingredient in that recipe for 8 weeks to an energetic life. Think how energized you feel when you’re doing something you love. Passion feeds your spirit; it nurtures your self-esteem and self-worth, which, in turn, improves your personal energy.
Take Impact Action: If you know what you’re passionate about and aren’t doing it, use this week to reconnect with it. If you’re not sure what drives you in this way, use this week to try new things. Write down all the things you used to love to do. Add new possibilities to the list. Spend time every day this week feeding your spirit. Observe how you feel when you’re in pursuit of your passions.
Michelle Cederberg is a professional speaker, life coach and author in Calgary, Alta.
May/June 2012 Edition