You may have cheated on your diet too many times this year or paid for a gym membership that you only used twice. Sound familiar?
Indeed, I’ve been there. Two years ago, I was working at a job I didn’t like and my harmful habits were not what I would call mentally, physically, and financially healthy. I sat all day, snacked on junk food and candy, and was too overwhelmed to manage my money properly.
I turned things around and so can you. With 2018 right around the corner, this is the perfect opportunity to make positive changes and improve your health. To get started, check out these 6 easy and affordable tips.
1. Get More Sleep
Getting enough sleep at night is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health and restore your energy each day. Plus, it’s absolutely free!
With this said, 40% of adults state they get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night, according to a Gallup poll. This isn’t good news because you should be getting at least eight hours of sleep each night in order to fully rest and restore.
If you aren’t getting sufficient sleep, make a commitment to go to bed earlier or wake up a little later if possible. This may involve cutting some tasks out of your schedule and having a more productive morning and nightly routine, but it will be well worth it.
2. Drink Enough Water
It’s ideal to drink about two liters (eight 8-ounce glasses) of water per day. Most of us, however, fall short of this goal and may become dehydrated without realizing it.
To increase your water intake, start tracking it daily. You can also infuse your water with fresh fruit if you think it will improve the taste. Last year, I bought a 22-ounce water bottle and it was an easy way to train myself to drink more water on the go. I knew that once I filled up my water bottle for a third time during the day, I was getting closer reaching my daily water intake goal.
3. Find Out Exactly Where Your Money is Going
Financial health can also contribute to your physical and mental health. If you’re stressed about money, it’s a good idea to keep an updated budget and this way you’ll know exactly where your money is going.
For starters, clarify how much you’re earning each month and make a list of all your expenses. See if there’s any money leftover to make extra debt payments. And, make sure you’re not racking up unnecessary bank charges, as this can put a strain on your finances. If this is the case, consider switching to a free bank.
The next steps to getting your finances in order include building up a rainy day fund and automating your savings. Lastly, it’s now time to focus on going after your long-term goals.
4. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Consuming sugary foods and beverages can be a hard habit to get rid of because sugar can be addicting. Yet, you don’t have to go cold turkey right away.
To start cutting down on sugars, read the labels whenever you buy something. Some code words for sugar include lactose, malt syrup, cane crystals, crystalline, and fructose (i.e. high fructose corn syrup). Once you see these words on the ingredient label, try to swap them out for healthier options. For example, perhaps you can switch to a less-sugary breakfast cereal, or replace your fruity yogurt with plain Greek yogurt and then add fresh fruit on your own.
Passing on sugary foods and better yet – cooking at home – will also help you save money and perhaps even make more money.
5. Make Time to Exercise
When your schedule gets busy, exercise is one of the first things to go. But, you can make changes to fit exercise into your life.
First, you need to make a real commitment based on your own needs and goals. For example, while you may not be able to do a hardcore gym session daily, you can try working out at least three days a week to start.
You also don’t need a gym membership if it’s not in your budget. You can go for walks or run around the neighborhood, rent exercise DVDs from the library, watch videos online, or download an app. To find time to exercise, I’d recommend bumping it up in your schedule so you can get it out of the way early in the morning before work. You can also find a friend who wants to exercise with you.
6. Prioritize Self Care
If you’re overwhelmed, worn out, and just plain exhausted, make it a point to prioritize self-care. Self-care involves making your health and well-being a priority by listening to and attending to what your body needs long-term.
To start practicing self-care, I recommend creating a list of things that energize and inspire you, as well as things that deplete you. This way you’ll know exactly what brings you joy and motivation, and what drains your energy and happiness. Use this list as a guide to make long-lasting lifestyle changes.
Commit to YOU
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to improve your health without spending tons of money. It all starts with your commitment to a better lifestyle that will reward you physically, mentally, and financially.
Are you ready to become healthier in 2018?