“We are what we repeatedly do; Excellence, then, is not an act, but habit.” - Aristotle
The past 4 months or so, I’ve personally made some huge changes to my life on a daily basis. This has been through making simple and easy changes to my daily habits. Since I got out of the military, I have had my head down and just keep pushing along getting after it, chasing my dreams and helping others.
Honestly, it has been an amazing adventure that I have been on for 4 years now. I’ve been in the fitness industries since 2010, and really becoming a student of fitness training. From learning, to being able to experiment on my own, to seeing the results and how I can better apply them into the training not just for myself but those who are willing to be open to learning. I have been blessed to be on a bigger platform to affect humans on a daily basis and I knew things had to change.
“Cravings are what drive habits. And figuring out how to spark cravings makes creating new habits easier” - Charles Duhigg
Just like the quote above states, figuring out what sparks your craving to keep doing makes the new habit easier. There are 100+ different habits out there that you can do, but I wanted to find something that could relate to everyone who lives a lifestyle who feels like they don’t have any time or just don’t understand how to make time.
I will let you know that creating a healthy habit doesn’t need to be time consuming. It could be done in no more than 2-5 mins of your day.
Here are the 3 Daily Habits that I use everyday, and they are FREE!:
Eating / Hydration
You look at these and are thinking to yourself, wait I thought you were going to give me something special that I didn’t know about or was not doing already.
If we think about it, these 3 things in life are what we do first thing we are born.
“That breath you just took…that is a gift” - Rob Bell
What is the first thing we do when we are born? The doctor checks to make sure we are doing it once we come out of our mother's womb: they make sure we are crying. This let’s them know we are breathing.
Everyone doesn’t realize how powerful the breath is. We must have oxygen to live every day. But most human beings take this for granted and create improper breathing patterns which lead to a number of things that can become harmful to us, even deadly. Most people have become mouth breathers.
Your thinking right now, wait, I don’t do that. I challenge you to focus and be more mindful with you are breathing. Look to nose breath only, and keep your mouth shut. Remember our mouth is meant for chewing food, when we need to talk, or in a stressful situation. Our nose is the filter system that helps keep use in parasympathetic state, relax, recovery, and digestive.
Understand that oxygen and CO2 is a huge part of keeping the body at your optimal homeostasis. Most of the time we are shallow breathing, creating dysfunctional breathing patterns which lead to the following things:
- Sleep Disorders
- Shortness of breath
- Weight Gain
The simple and most effective way to create an habit for breathing is by becoming more aware of nasal breathing. I have done this by just starting with maybe 2-5 minutes. It was something I did first thing I woke up. Yes, that means don’t pick up your cell phone or anything; just wake up, and lay there, close your mouth, and nasal breath via controlled inhales and slow and controlled exhales.
As you start to see the changes in your daily energy levels and you’ll notice that you are becoming aware of this. You can then start focusing on it throughout the day. If you think about the time you have from waking up to showering to walking to driving, or sitting and standing at work, there are many chances to just focus on nasal breathing.
I challenge you to start nasal breathing, and see how it can have a huge impact on your life.
“I can't control everything in my life, but I can control what I put into my body.” - Unknown
The second thing we do after we are born is get right to feeding from our mother. Our mother’s breast milk is full of high quality nutrients that our body craves daily. As we grow into adulthood, we are exposed to quite a few different eating habits, and some are lucky enough to understand that healthy eating is a habit that will create longevity to your life.
What does that mean for us? I like to use the term ‘Conscious Eating’. Being more mindful to what I am putting into my body has made a huge impact on my daily energy levels. Here is a simple layout to my daily habit that I have created.
- 8oz of room temperature water with a pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt and lemon juice.
- Some sort of Protein prior to consuming coffee.
- At least 3-4 meals a day that are balanced with Protein / Carbs / Fats.
- Drinking about a gallon of water a day.
These are some super simple things that you can start doing every day. I am not saying to start out doing all of these right off the bat, but think about it. Creating a habit is something that needs to be fun and enjoyable to you so that your body is craving it. I have seen huge changes with how I am no longer craving foods like pizza, burgers, etc.
As I have become more conscious with what I am putting in my body, I have learned how my body reacts to different foods I’m digesting, from my stomach hurting or my nose being congested or even the energy levels during training and recovery in general. I am not saying I don’t eat them, but it’s something I only do once a week. This is why we need to build some type of resilience so that our body knows how to fight back and doesn’t fall apart from when you're in a position that you need to eat something that you know isn’t the best for your body, and your still able to operate.
I look at this as my mind telling me that it doesn’t want to eat chicken and veggies and some kind of fat and carb, then all I am doing is making that food just become as harmful as if I was going to eat pizza everyday. There needs to be a balance to our life and not get stuck into diets or cleanses. We must create a healthy habit that will be enjoyable to you, and I have learned this is one of the things that is also easy to do.
I challenge you to start creating some kind of morning routine that you enjoy from eating and hydration, and I promise this will be a huge impact on your life.
“I’ve always loathed the necessity of sleep. Like death, it puts even the most powerful man on their backs.” - Frank Underwood
The third thing we do once we are born….SLEEP…no one understand how vital this is. I have operated on 3-4 hours for multiple days on deployments and workups as an instructor at Recon School house. I get it that sometimes our life is not perfect and we aren't able to get the 7-8 hours of sleep. Not everyone is in this lifestyle, and this is a rare thing to happen. But being able to create a habit of getting proper sleep will really allow you to see the power of sleep.
If we look back at our ancestors, they used to lay down when the sun went down and woke up when the sun rose. These days it is super hard to do this because we are always on our phones, or have the TV on, or even have our kids keep us up at night. I was in the same boat as a lot of you reading this, and I always had some kind of excuse as to why I couldn’t get to bed or even sleep, because once I laid down, I was looking at Instagram or watching TV. I knew I was causing the problems that I was having. I started to do research on how to promote better sleeping habits, and I created my own habit of to create better sleep.
- TV is off within 1 hr of going to sleep.
- If working on my computer or phone I was done within 1 hr of going to sleep, and if I needed to work a bit longer, I’d lower the brightness or wear these glasses that cut out the light and turn it into red light.
- Reading something that was relaxing.
- Walking outside at night before bed.
- Cold showers before bed.
- Doing my breathing work.
- Not eating before going to bed and giving yourself enough time to digest.
- Coffee was done by 2 pm.
- Waking up to the sun coming up.
- Covering all of the external lights coming from random home appliances.
These are just some of the things that I have done and learned from others as well, being able to adapt it to humans lifestyle.
Understand that sleep is one of the most powerful habits you can create and enjoy that will create less stress in your life. These are super simple habits that you can take advantage of on a daily basis. I get we might not be able to do something like this every day, but at the end of the day we are becoming more mindful humans and making an impact on our lives. Just like the other two habits that I mentioned.
I challenge you to create something as simple as the examples above and see how it makes you feel. It affects not just your sleep but your energy throughout the day, and effects your recovery and lowered stress levels.
“Recognizing that the power of WILL is the supreme court over all other departments of my mind, I will exercise daily when I need the urge to act fat any purpose, and I will form habits designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once daily” - Bruce Lee
I haven’t talk about it yet, and I will right here, but creating and developing a habit that is fun and enhancing to your life is a huge part keeping daily habits.
I have taken the approach to do something fun every day, whether that is from my breathing work, my eating habits, my sleeping habits, or even getting outside and exercising to enjoy nature and explore what your body is meant to do. Push the limits and see what you're capable of doing. At the end of the day, when you lay your head to rest, you should have no regrets or wishful thinking because you have accomplished something that day, and it was enjoyable and fulfilling to you.
As human beings our bodies craves everything I have covered, but we have rewired our body and mind to instead worry about what others think and how they see us. We’re always looking for some type of affirmation.
How about you take a different approach and give all those things your body and mind crave in other ways as I have talk about in this blog? I promise that this will change not just your life but your outlook and understanding of what your body and mind truly need at the end of the day.
Look to explore and find what works best for you and start changing your life today and adding days to your life!