"20 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Life” Review

We’re always looking for ways to improve our lives. I found 6 you should do right now (from the Livestrong article "20 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Life”).

START PAYING ATTENTION TO YOURSELF


“Pay attention to how you feel. Notice how your body reacts when you eat certain foods. Observe how you feel when you exercise, after you exercise and all the times in between,” says Tara Stiles, yoga instructor and host of “The Yoga Solution.” She notes, “When we pay attention, instead of rushing into impulse decisions, we eat better, exercise more and make choices that sustain a healthy and happy life.”

Personal Trainer Wisdom: “Awareness. Acceptance. Adaptation.” Three little words that couldn’t be any more important for change (and it applies to more than health and fitness). I constantly do a check-in with myself throughout the day. I usually ask myself the following questions:

-How do I generally feel?
-Do I feel any pain?
-Do I feel stressed? If so, how can I minimize it?
-Am I placing too much pressure on myself?
-Am I making myself a priority?

Take your answers to these questions and reshape your next moment.

FIND SIMPLE WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR SUGAR INTAKE


“I do drink a lot of water but have always had diet soda as a part of my everyday life -- usually two Coke Zeros a day,” admits LIVESTRONG.COM Community member remylee34. “Last year I decided that this was not the best thing for me and worked on cutting soda from my daily routine. I discovered sparkling water, which gives me the ‘fizz’ that I love without all of the additives!” Examine your daily routines and figure out where you can cut down on your sugar intake. For instance, says remylee34, “I also stopped using flavored coffee creamers with 35 calories per tablespoon and a ton of sugar. (I cannot imagine how many calories I was consuming.) Over a few weeks I was able to wean myself down to just adding some milk to my coffee, and now that is all I use.”

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Besides the fact that sugar is one of the leading causes of weight gain and diabetes, they are empty calories that are taking the place of real nutrition. Nothing else needs to be said here. Save your sweet tooth for a fruit substitute if necessary.

MAKE EVERY MINUTE COUNT


“One of the biggest myths about fitness is that you need to spend hours at the gym. Short, intense workouts that are 15 minutes or less can be highly effective at stimulating muscle, increasing your metabolism and building strength,” says Jim Smith, CSCS and founder of Diesel Strength. Don’t know where to start? “Pick three compound exercises (for example, deadlifts, pull-ups and barbell military presses) and perform five to eight repetitions of each. Move quickly between exercises with minimal rest. Repeat this cycle for 15 minutes,” he says. “Trust me, it’ll feel longer than that.”

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Translation: Live with intent! Well, I may have overextended the intent of that last paragraph to a bigger life philosophy. Nevertheless, it should be a mantra that guides every activity. If you’re going to do it, do it well, effectively, and efficiently. Regarding fitness, intent couldn’t be more important. Carve out a plan for a session and make the most of every minute.

DOCUMENT YOUR PROGRESS


“My best advice is to take responsibility for what goes in your mouth: Document and log your nutrition and your calorie intake using the well-thought-out food tracker on LIVESTRONG. The scale is a very helpful tool. Weigh yourself every day first thing in the morning after taking care of business (relieving yourself),” says LIVESTRONG.COM Community member EJMM2, recommending that people document and analyze their weekly averages of losses and gains or pounds maintained. “With the right mindset, focus and dedication, anything is possible,” says EJMM2.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Whether you’re saving money or pursuing a weight loss goal, accountability is most important. Don’t take a guess at what is or is not working. Be honest with yourself and track your results. Take control and adapt when necessary (but be certain it isn’t a guess…make the change based on your findings).

ORGANIZE YOUR TIME IN 30-MINUTE INTERVALS


“To manage tasks at home or the office, you can get a lot more done if you work in 30-minute intervals,” says Jim Smith. “Use a simple timer on your phone or computer to track the time you spend on a particular task. When you reach 30 minutes, stop and move on to the next thing. This approach forces you to be productive because you only have a very limited window to work on a task before moving on to the next one.” Although you may have to come back around to the same task a few times in a day, you’ll always be making progress.< br>
Personal Trainer Wisdom: I always write 30 minute workout programs for myself as well as my personal training clients. It makes the workout more approachable with less of a time commitment. This principle applies to most events or activities you schedule. Let’s be honest: You’re most likely to talk yourself out of something the longer it takes. Shorten the time, move with intent (efficiently and effectively) in that allotted period.

PERFORM A DAILY POSITIVE CONDITIONING RITUAL


“Start each day with something positive -- read something that inspires you, listen to uplifting music or download a fitness podcast,” says Brad Pilon, author of “Eat Stop Eat.” He believes that the key is to consume something that empowers you toward your fitness and nutrition goals. “That way you’ll put your best foot forward and won’t be leaving your outlook to chance.”

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I challenge you to count the number of times you say or think something negative (complaints count) in the next five hours. I’m willing to bet that your negative thoughts outweigh the positive. It’s time to train your mind to be positive. Make it a habit. Otherwise, you’ll continue to lose to the negative banter in the various forms of media, coworkers in your office, and the television show “Housewives of Orange County” (I know you watch it ).

Photo Credit:
Livestrong.com–Will making every minute count improve your life?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "20 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Life" on Livestrong.com.
"20 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Life" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.