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10 habits to help you have balance in a healthy lifestyle

When I look at the way I define a healthy lifestyle, I realize that there are many directions involved.

For many people, to have a healthy lifestyle means to eat healthily and exercise, but this is just physical health. While physical health is important for your wellbeing, for me it’s not enough.

Therefore, here’s the way I look at having a healthy lifestyle. The order is not relevant.

  • Think positively
  • Exercise daily
  • Eat healthily
  • Work hard (and smart)
  • Stay strong (emotionally)
  • Be confident
  • Worry less
  • Read more (and put into practice what you read)
  • Be happy
  • Relax

1. Think positively

Think positive

I’d say that positive thinking is probably the most important habit, but the order is not really relevant. But, for sure, it’s important to think positive.

In fact, positive thinking is so important for a healthy lifestyle, it impacts every aspect of my life.

If I didn’t have a positive thinking, I wouldn’t be where I am now, with all the experiences I had until now. If I hadn’t been thinking, I wouldn’t have overcome all the difficult moments in my past.

Positive thinking influences your whole perspective, and your perspective influences the way you live your life.

If you have a job where you feel you’re not appreciated, it’s important to keep thinking positively. Positive thinking is what will make you act and apply for other jobs.

In case you’re more inclined to think negatively, you’ll stay in that job, thinking nobody will appreciate you, regardless what job you have.

Positive thinkingNegative thinking
• I can earn more money doing exactly what I’m doing right now• I’ll never earn more money
• I can run a marathon even though I’m a bit fat• I can’t run a marathon with this belly
• I can travel even though I have financial difficulties• I can’t travel because I don’t earn at least 3000 euro every month

Everything starts with what you set yourself to do. If you don’t have a positive thinking, you can’t set yourself to do something. As long as your thoughts and sentences start with NO, you educate yourself to stay exactly in the moment you are.

The change we want happens because we aspire to things we don’t have yet.

How to start thinking positively

For now, become aware of the point you are in your life.

If you are way too negative, nihilist, and believe that your existence on this planet doesn’t matter, accept that this is the point you are in your life right now and start from there.

Then, for the following three questions, write down on a piece of paper an honest answer:

  1. What makes you hate other people?
  2. What makes you think that, in general, things are bad?
  3. What makes you believe that things will stay forever the way they are right now?

For every answer, find its positive alternative.

For example, if you hate people because you believe they’re dumb, think about a few reasons you love people. Maybe it’s because they’re empathic, creative, or hard workers. Write all these down.

The last step is quite easy but requires repetition. And it’s like this:

  • Every morning, review the piece of paper you wrote you love people (with all the reasons) and read it once, out loud;
  • Whenever you meet people who seem to be dumb, take out the piece of paper and read it again, out loud.

In time, you’ll start thinking positively and achieve the healthy lifestyle you desire. By that, I mean that instead of thinking over and over again that people are dumb, you’ll end up thinking that even though some people are dumb, there are people whom you love because they’re hard workers, creative, and emphatic.

2. Exercise daily

Exercise daily

Doctors recommend us to exercise for 30 minutes every day.

But why? Why is it so important to exercise daily? Why do we have to do it for 30 minutes and not 10?

There’s a study from 2011 that says there’s no big difference between walking for 30 minutes compared to 10 minutes, with exceptions for waist size. If the size of your waist is important for you, go for a 30-minute walk every day.

Another study from 2018 says that walking in nature relieves stress.

I’m that kind of person who’s not using public transport because the city I live in is small enough to get from one side of the city to the other one in around two hours of walking. Therefore, I believe I walk every day and I love doing it.

Instead, I don’t like that the city I’m living in has only a few green spaces, this being one of the reasons I’m going to move to another city soon.

Beyond all these things, maybe you are in a situation where, at your job, you work too hard physically and, after you finish your shift, you have zero energy left to walk. Maybe you are so tired that you don’t even have energy left for your weekends.

Well, if you want things to improve and have a healthy lifestyle, you’re going to have to force things a bit.

Realize that going for a walk will help you relax. Considering that the tiredness you feel isn’t only physical (you’re also mentally tired), walking will relax your mind and your mind will relax your body.

As long as your body is tense and your mind is focused on how tense your body is, you’re stuck in a vicious circle that’s bad for your health.

How to exercise daily

The best recommendation I have here is to think about integrating a 15-30-minute walk into your daily schedule.

When you go back home from work, do you do it by bus? Get out one bus stop earlier and then walk home. Do you do it by taxi? Split the route in half and do the first half by taxi and walk the second one – this way you also save some money.

Beyond this, I don’t recommend you have a fixed schedule. Just set yourself to start and see how many days per week you can walk.

Let’s say in the first month you walked, on average, around two times per week. Then set yourself that you’ll walk at least three times per week. Do it also when the weather is not great. It will improve your chances to have a healthy lifestyle.

3. Eat healthily

Eat healthily

From all the habits on my list that help me have balance in my healthy lifestyle, this is the one I struggle the most with.

I have moments (lately not that often) when, when I’m not ok emotionally, I start eating junk food or drink coca-cola. I realized that as long as I’m paying attention to the emotional side of my life, I’m eating healthy. In fact, I even lose my appetite for junk food when my emotional life is ok.

I remember that a few years ago I was able to lose 5 kilograms in one month, just by eating proper food and doing exercises. I wrote an article about it – read it here: Tips to lose weight: 15 kilograms in one year.

Eating healthy is important for a healthy lifestyle. What you eat is just as important as how you eat.

Yes, it’s important to stay away from carbs, not to eat too many calories, and the food that you eat to be rich in fiber and protein. But just as important is how you eat.

In my case, I try not to eat too much and this is the only thing I care about.

If I eat too much, I have difficulties focusing and being productive. In fact, I eat more than I need when I know I want to relax and do nothing (except when I’m not ok emotionally and this rule doesn’t apply anymore).

When my brain asks for food (because in most cases the brain asks for food, not the body), it stays in alert until I eat something. The alert state helps me stay focused on the things that I want to do and be productive.

How to eat healthily

Whenever I wanted to add strictness to my habits and check the results of my changes, I used the Seinfeld Calendar.

This calendar is special and it helps me keep my attention on a single thing, while also helping me do that thing every single day.

Therefore, start with something simple as “I want to stop drinking soda”. Giving up is hard but the thing you want to give up to should be simple – in this case, it should be clear what you want to get out of your nutritional habits.

Then, use the Seinfeld Calendar to monitor your daily activity.

Here are some articles I wrote about the Seinfeld Calendar:

If you want to learn even more about it, back in 2017 I used the Seinfeld Calendar for 12 challenges of 30 days each and I wrote about it in this book: The power of 30-day challenges: How to become the constructor of an exceptional lifestyle.

4. Work hard (and smart)

Work hard (and smart)

I’ve reached a point where I’m proud of saying that what others do in a week, in my field, I do in one day.

It sounds a bit exaggerated and maybe it is, but I’ve worked hard to get here. Also, I worked smart and I’ve always known what I was looking for.

I’ve always known what it means to have a healthy lifestyle from a career point of view and I worked in this specific direction. I’ve always wanted:

  • To have the freedom of doing things the way I want to do them;
  • To work when I want to work, without anyone setting a schedule for me.

And I made it!

I started by paying attention to my passions and then I focused on monetizing the passions. This way, I ended up living my life from writing, marketing, and coaching, and I can say that my income is the result of helping people.

How to work smart

In this life, intention is really important.

It’s important for you to set yourself to do something with your life and stay focused on whatever plan you have. And to keep staying focused on your plan, no matter what obstacles your life throws your way.

If you don’t go towards the things you want to have in your life, and don’t put in the effort, you’ll stay where the obstacles have shown up.

Therefore, how do you work smart?

It’s hard to explain, but it all has to do with your ability to notice things around you. The more things you notice and keep your mind focused on the things that are important for you, the smarter you’re going to work.

And when you do it, it’s important to trust yourself.

… to trust yourself so much that, when you notice something different that deserves your attention, you develop your own methods of getting there. If you don’t trust yourself, you’ll give up whatever smart work means and you’ll go back to the existing methods, which will drain your energy.

Yes, to work smart means having specific methods for the things you do, methods which you’ll have to develop yourself. It will happen gradually while you’ll also gain clarity over your work and know exactly what you’ll have to do.

At the same time, there are no shortcuts. Whatever method you find somewhere else is just a shortcut that won’t work for you. As long as you work with the methods of others, you’ll depend on them and… that’s not smart work. That’s just hard work with others’ methods.

Right now, I have my own methods of doing things and those methods are great. In fact, they are so great, I get to enjoy a lot of free time.

5. Stay strong (emotionally)

Stay strong (emotionally)

Beyond being physically strong, it’s important to stay emotionally strong.

Imagine you have an argument with someone close to you and, at a specific moment, that person says NO to you. Whatever you asked, they say NO.

And because it’s so important for you the thing you asked for and didn’t get, you start yelling, getting mad, and raising your voice. To be emotionally strong means to stay calm in such situations, in which the negative emotions are triggered, with zero benefits for your mental health.

To stay emotionally strong means to be able to handle breakups, whether we speak about an intimate relationship or about parents passing away. Breakups are strong emotional triggers.

For example, when one of your parents dies, it’s important to not react emotionally negatively to the unfortunate situation so you can support the other parent. The fact that you stay emotionally strong is an asset for a healthy lifestyle.

How to become emotionally strong

As you can notice, becoming emotionally strong has a lot to do with those around you. The real feelings (those that really matter) are connected to other people.

The feeling you have when your car breaks can’t be compared with the feeling you have when a friend breaks their leg. Therefore, to become emotionally strong it’s important to be surrounded by people. And there’s one more important thing you should do: be vulnerable.

To become emotionally strong, it’s important to understand your feelings, accept, and share them.

If you fall in love with someone, tell that person what you feel, even if that person may not feel the same thing. If someone’s bothering you with what they do, tell them what you feel, even if they may repeat the gesture.

While you can’t control how others behave, you can control the way you behave and express yourself in relation to others’ behavior.

Therefore, become aware that emotional strength is built around people (not objects) and surround yourself with people. But it’s important to have quality people around you.

While those with good qualities will help you build emotional strength, those with bad qualities will help you only… get more and more frustrated.

Choose carefully the people you let to be part of your life. Your wellbeing depends on it.

Fun Fact: 0 Times More Resilient

Did you know that optimists are 9 times more likely to bounce back from adversity?

6. Be confident

Be confident

Being confident that things will get better has a lot to do with your beliefs.

The belief that things will get better and better will make you act towards making things better. The belief that change is difficult will make you act towards keeping things as they are.

To be confident is about building the beliefs that will help you advance towards the place you want to get to, whatever that place is.

For example, if you want to have more freedom at your job, then your beliefs should get you there.

In my case, the beliefs that I have are developed towards a healthy lifestyle, which is all about the way I want to live my life. My beliefs are built around things like: living my life doing what I like and being able to help others while doing what I like.

But it’s not easy at all.

We’re all brainwashed from the early stages of life and this brainwash comes from people close to us, who have been brainwashed too.

For example, if right now you say ‘Thank you’ every time you get something from someone, you do it probably because that’s how you were taught. And those who taught you to say it (your parents or grandparents most probably) have been taught to do the same (by their parents or grandparents) to say ‘Thank you’ when they get something. Therefore, right now you have a belief in your system that’s a few dozen of years old (maybe even hundreds of years old).

To say ‘Thank you’ whenever someone gives something to you is a good thing. But you don’t have only positive beliefs.

For example, it’s possible that your parents or grandparents to have told you that you shouldn’t speak without being asked and because of this you’re not the most sociable person. Don’t worry, they didn’t do it on purpose. They did it because that’s how they’ve been taught by their parents or grandparents.

How to be confident

You get to become confident by understanding that the things you have right now are not the things you desire.

If you want to become more sociable, understand what keeps you from becoming that and start from there.

If you want to have more freedom at your job, understand what keeps you from having that and start from there.

Understanding what keeps us stuck is difficult. Therefore, I recommend you ask for external help, from a coach or a therapist.

And after you figure things out, act on it! Those actions will help you become confident.

I wrote a book on the importance of subconscious for the things we want to achieve: Subconscious mechanics: The importance of your subconscious in achieving objectives.

7. Worry less

Worry less

When you worry, your mind is focused either on what will happen or on what already happened.

You whether worry about the things from your past that happened and you can’t change, or you worry about the things from your future that you assume may happen and don’t want in your life.

For example, if three days ago you yelled at your child because he asked for chocolate, even though you already explained 10 times they can’t have anymore, you’ll start worrying about the quality of the relationship you have with your child.

If, right now, chances are you’ll lose your job, you’ll start worrying about a future moment when you’ll have no stable income.

Worrying has nothing to do with the present moment.

You don’t read what David wrote here and think… In fact, whatever you may think right now, about anything, has nothing to do with the present moment. Try. Think about something and you’ll see there’s nothing about the present moment there.

Therefore, the worries you have are illusions that your brain needs so it can feel in control.

This type of control is sometimes good for a healthy lifestyle, sometimes isn’t.

It’s good because it connects you with something that can be related to the reality you’re living in. If there’s a chance you’ll lose your job, it’s important to be aware of it. But don’t become obsessed with losing your job because, instead of keeping your attention on finding a solution, you’ll move your attention to the possible lack of a job. That’s how you end up worrying.

How to worry less

Reconnect yourself to the present moment.

Find ways to have fewer thoughts and connect yourself to the present moment.

The fewer thoughts you have, the better. Your thoughts should be about ways to grow, not about ways you may not be able to grow in the future.

The best way to connect to the present moment is to do things to keep you connected in the present moment. Here are a few: dance, draw, solve a puzzle. All these activities require focus and focus is what keeps you connected to the present moment. At the same time, these activities are simple and fun.

If you want something even more simple than that, try breathing exercises. Breathing, if you think about it, is something that always happens in the present moment. You breathe now and here, in this moment.

I wrote a few articles about the present moment and its importance:

8. Read more (and put into practice what you read)

Read more (and put into practice what you read)

I like to think that people read quite enough in order to have a healthy lifestyle.

Regardless it happens with consistency or not, people read more than we think they do. But there are two things missing when we read:

  • The first one: we read without putting into practice what we read

It’s really simple to say that you read 50 personal development books and none of them is good.

It’s so damn simple to blame the industry and say that nothing works as long as you, the one who wants to grow, have the expectation that growth will happen just as a result of reading.

To read is simple. To put into practice what we read is difficult. Not to mention the analysis needed for the development process that you need in order to know you’re going in the right direction.

  • Second: we read without a purpose

Until a point, reading with no purpose, from all kinds of authors, may seem a good thing. It helps us know ourselves better and we understand what we like to read.

But from a point on, if you discover that you have problems socializing with other people and you keep reading about how to run a business, then you should stop reading.

Reading has two purposes: to relax and to educate.

If you read to educate yourself, then set yourself the purpose to educate yourself and choose books that are related to the problem you have, not to your fantasy.

While not being able to express your emotions is a problem, building a successful business is a fantasy. Focus on the problem before you fulfill your fantasy.

How to read more and put into practice what you read

To read more for a healthy lifestyle, start by identifying the problem that you have.

Then, buy one book and only one. It may be the worst book you’ve ever bought – it doesn’t matter.

Buy only one book and stick to it for one year.

If the book is well written, it will suggest to you all kinds of things. Every time the book suggests something to you, put it into practice.

At that moment, you’ll have all kinds of thoughts that will make you stay inside your comfort zone. Ignore them. Become practical and put into practice (not once, but 10 or 100 times) the thing suggested by the book.

This is what it means to grow: to put into practice. If you just read, all you’ll develop at yourself will be the illusion that you are developing. But it will be just an illusion.

9. Be happy

Be happy

It’s important to be happy for a healthy lifestyle, therefore many people are looking to be happy.

I believe that happiness is nothing more than just a simple tag, and we forgot how to practice happiness because this tag makes no sense anymore.

Instead of blindly searching for happiness, I recommend we move our attention to other things, like gratefulness.

To be honest, I struggle when it comes to defining happiness and I believe it happens because, from a point on, I chose I want not to be happy. Happiness, just like motivation, comes and goes whenever it wants, which means it’s not really in my control.

Instead, being grateful and empathic is totally under my control.

To be grateful for something means to understand the value brought in my life by the thing I’m grateful for. This way, by being aware of the value of the things I have in my life, I start to appreciate them more and have a deep inner peace.

To be empathic with those around me means to understand that beyond what I can see will always be things that I won’t have access – things like the struggles of others. When I practice empathy, I remember that others are having battles that only they know about.

How to be more happy

I don’t know.

In fact, I believe there’s no happiness, but only an emotion marketed by society for thousands of years. It’s something absurd towards which we should advance but we can never reach.

For me, happiness means unbalance because I don’t have control over it.

For many people, happiness appears when a tough goal was achieved. In other words, happiness is conditioned by how much effort you put into something. But the well-being you’re looking for shouldn’t require any effort.

Therefore, instead of wanting to be happy, set yourself to be at peace.

When you are at peace, things around you have a different meaning. When I’m at peace, I feel safe.

10. Relax

Relax

The more you work, the less productive you become, especially if the work you do involves your brain more than your body.

Taking time to relax is important and how productive you are is related to how well you can relax.

I’ve learned to listen to my body and understand that it needs breaks. When my body needs breaks, I just take breaks.

During my breaks, I go for a 30-minute walk (sometimes it’s a 2-hour walk), draw, play video games, read, watch a movie. But I’m in a place where I don’t really need breaks anymore.

My tasks are related to activities I love doing (they’re connected to my passions) and I feel relaxed while working.

If your work is about things you’re not passionate about, that you don’t do with a smile on your face, then focus on your passions on your free time.

I’ve always had an inclination towards doing only the things that I’m passionate about. And I focused so much on doing things like this, I eventually ended up in a place where I have access to a lot of freedom and can relax.

How to relax

If we take a look at a healthy lifestyle, relaxing doesn’t mean sitting on your couch, drinking beers, and watching a football game.

In a healthy lifestyle, relaxing means you know that the things you have to do aren’t urgent and you have enough time.

I recommend to anyone who needs more relaxation in their lives to start from their passions. And then monetize them.

Once you are able to have an income as a result of your passions, your whole life is a relaxation.

In case you don’t know your passions, here’s a tool to discover them: How to discover your passions.

With love and optimism,
David

What did you learn?

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