How to Do the Two Best Possible Things for Yourself any Day.

Posted by Dianne on Jan 24, 2014 in Blog, Social Audiences | Tags:, , | Comments Off on How to Do the Two Best Possible Things for Yourself any Day.

Are you thinking, Why are these the best things you can do for yourself ANY day? Don’t you mean EVERY day?” That’s easy. “Every day” puts pressure on you that you should do these things every day or must do them every day.

I am telling you that you can do these two things any day you want to, any day you have the energy, any day you are in the mood; and you will probably find yourself happier. No pressure.

Few will be surprised by these recommendations. They are Happiness Habits 8 and 14 in my book Choose Happy, 25 Happiness Habits to Transform Your Life:

  • Move – Two Steps Are Better than None
  • Practice Gratitude

That’s why I am going beyond just telling you what the two best things you can do for yourself are. Today we are talking how to do those two best things.

Exercise

Here are a few tips to get you going.

Shake it up. If you’re like most people you probably get bored with your routine after a while. When I get bored with my exercise routine, I tend to stop doing whatever that is. Eventually I decide to get moving again, I try something different. But if you make it a point to start something new as soon as the boredom sets in, you won’t lose as much ground or waste as much money as those of us who keep paying fitness center dues and not using it.

Here are a few tips that get me moving again when I get stalled:

  • Know what works for you. Are you a team sport enthusiast or is Zumba more likely to sound like fun. I learned very quickly that martial arts and tennis are too big a challenge for my wimpy wrists. It’s aerobic dance for me.
  • Make a commitment – Registering for a specific class that meets two or three times a week is more motivating than thinking of showing up for a drop-in yoga session.
  • Dress the part – Keeping your workout clothes ready to go makes it easier to get out of the house. I know I’m not the only one who skips exercise because my crew socks are in the laundry. (I guess it’s that bird of a feather thing.)
  • Get a buddy – If you’re a sociable type, having a buddy to exercise with makes it more fun. It’s also another way of making a commitment. It’s harder to disappoint a friend than to skip a solo session.

We all know that exercise is great for the body, but did you know it’s great for the brain, too? Besides releasing endorphins that make us feel happier (yippee), exercise delivers more oxygen to the brain facilitating sharper thinking and better decision-making.

So the first best thing to do any day is exercise taking good care of your body and mind. But there is one more facet that is import to all of us – the spirit. The other best thing you can do any day is to feed your spirit by practicing gratitude

Practice Gratitude

It’s easy to do. You reflect on and express your thanks for the good things in your life. When you begin to the things you are grateful for, you the big things: your family, your home, your job. After you do this for a while, you start to notice the little things and everything becomes more fun.

Most often you will find that you are encouraged to create your gratitude list or journal at the end of your day. It’s a great way to relax and focus on the positive before you go to sleep. But it’s not the only way to express your gratitude. If you can shake up your exercise routine, you can also shake up your gratitude routine.

Try these tips for a fresh look at gratitude:

  • Write your gratitude list first thing in the morning. You will face the day with increased optimism; you will feel more connected to friends, family, and everyone whose path you cross.
  • Keep your gratitude notebook handy and add to your list all day long. This habit makes you mindful of your blessings throughout the day.
  • Share the things you are grateful for with family or friends over dinner. You don’t have to write a list or keep a journal to practice gratitude. Some families share their gratitude as a group. The dinner table is a terrific place to share three good things that happened during your day or the things for which you are most grateful. If you don’t share a meal with your loved ones every day, it would be a great topic for a phone call once a day.

But again I say, doing these things every day might serve you very well, but beware of putting too much pressure on yourself by piling another obligation on your already full plate. The older I get, the more benefit I see to taking life less seriously and making room for more fun.

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