8 Ways to be Healthier and Wealthier Today
Written By: Michael DiCroce
Let's face it, staying on the right path to a healthy and wealthy life is a difficult task; especially when we step back and realize that we are on a long arduous journey that is likely to throw many challenges at us. As Americans this realization often draws us to the extreme life change plans; that is, pyramid schemes, 30 day diets, and crazy workout regimes like P90x that promise to teleport us from today, to a better life tomorrow. The reality is that living a life well lived takes small calculated steps and a daily effort to make wise choices. It may not be sexy, but small daily successes tend to build on themselves and lead to bigger steps over time. Here are 8 steps you can take to become healthier and wealthier today.
1) Drink more water. Despite the talk about heart disease and diabetes, the real number one disease in America is dehydration. Americans hammer down gallons of coffee, energy drinks, and alcohol, but very little water. Start your day by drinking 8 ounces of water with a pinch of Himalayan salt and then strive to drink 64 ounces throughout the rest of the day. The debate rages on related to how much water you need a day, but if you get 6-8 glasses down a day, you will notice dramatic changes in how you feel.
2) Switch to black coffee. Aside from the pile of calories that creamer and sugar add to your diet, creamers and artificial sweeteners add an equal amount of chemicals to your coffee that have been shown to potentially cause cancer. Coffee creamers are also loaded with hydrogenated oils, which we know contribute to heart disease. Switch to black and you can get your morning buzz without contributing negatively to your training. If you need a little flavor, try adding pine pollen powder and coconut oil instead. Pine Pollen is loaded with nutrients and the oil is loaded with MCTs that are great for your brain and easily metabolized by the body.
3) Do something physical every day. We obviously don't advocate hammering out a WOD or running 5 miles everyday after work; everyone knows that leads to over training and injuries. However, taking care of yourself should be a daily practice. Shoot for three to four days of strength training and two to four days focused on recovery every week. Doing something every day will help you deal with stress and aid in improving your immune system. Plus, adding active recovery to your off days will help speed up your recovery time, ultimately leading to better performance in the gym.
4) Eat more vegetables and less processed bread, pasta and sugar. Vegetables are good for you, mac and cheese is not. Enough said.
5) Send at least $1 a day toward your debts. Much like working out everyday, sound financial plans need to be worked daily in order for any real results to be realized. Sending $1 a day to your debts serves three purposes: 1) it forces you to review your balances so that you are more aware of how much cash you have; 2) paying off a little debt everyday is a reminder to not go further into debt; and 3) it makes you a little wealthier every day, as each dollar paid toward your debt simultaneously increases your net worth by one dollar. Debt is a disease and the biggest hurdle to financial freedom, so add this to your daily practice.
6) Spend 10 minutes praying or focusing on what you are grateful for. Far too many of us focus on the things we don't have or spend way too much time worrying about what others are doing. Spending just 10 minutes a day praying or meditating about what you are thankful for will remind you that your life is not as bad or as stressful as it may seem. This practice is also great for thinking about what went well during the day and what did not, which provides the added benefit of helping you to evolve and grow as a person.
7) Throw one thing away everyday. Now, before you fill the comment section with troll speak let me clarify this one a bit. I don't mean literally throwing something out everyday. What I mean is simply to evaluate the material things in your life and how much emphasis you place on them. Spending time accumulating things is not only a waste of money, but a distraction from more valuable things in life; e.g., time with kids, your girlfriend/boyfriend, or being outside. My wife and I have a rule: if we buy something new, one thing has to go in the trash or be given away. The rule keeps us from accumulating unnecessary junk and helps us to maximize our savings and wealth building. However, if you are living like someone in an episode of Hoarders, maybe you should throw a few things out.
8) Turn off your devices. The saddest thing about modern life is that we spend more time on our devices then we do actually engaging with real people. I can't remember the last time I went to a family function where the majority of the room was actually looking up and engaging with with others instead of scouring their newsfeed. Devices are great for business and managing our professional lives, but our social skills and connections to our communities have suffered. Thumb injuries aside, turning off your device for several hours before bed will force you to connect with those around you, read a book, or do something else productive. It is good for your relationships, your mental well being, and your thumbs.