1. Eat clean & simple. The last few weeks have been me veering away from any food that is processed and packaged and leaning towards all things raw, fresh and derived from mother earth. This means fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds and lots of water! Numerous studies show how incredibly healthy and beneficial it is to stick to a mainly plant-based diet with little processed, sugary, salty or fatty foods. Fuel your body with good energy, and keep your eating clean and uncomplicated.
2. Keep one diary. Write down all your to-dos and commitments in one diary so that your mind isn’t in multiple places at once. Another trick I use to stay organized and on top of things is to write down everything I need to do that day, no matter how menial: laundry, working out, cleaning my room – list it so you can prioritize and feel accomplished at the end of the day.
3. Invest in quality, not quantity. The older I get, the more I want to invest in good, quality pieces over cheap, easily breakable items that don’t last very long. This goes with clothes, shoes, jewellery or home decor items. Sure you may have to spend a little more money when buying quality, but it will last so much longer (in some cases, even a lifetime!) and you will be more satisfied than when buying something that will break or rust as soon as it gets in the rain.
4. Meditate & practice gratitude. The culture in our world today tells us to be more and have more, but never let that voice drown out your gratitude. Bring it back to the basics and try to be thankful for what you already have. If you keep focusing on attaining more, you will never be satisfied no matter how much you have. Appreciate your blessings now for more blessings in the future.
5. Focus on your breathing. Taking deep, meaningful breathes in your day brings you back to the present moment. It reigns in your mind from wandering in the past and worrying about the future. What I like to do while practicing my breathing is to chant to my mind, “Come back home.” They say the happiest yet most fleeting moment is always going to be in the here and now, and this is a good way to practice living in the present.
6. Reflect on your life. Ask yourself in each area of your life – in your personal relationships, in your spirituality, in your home life, in your career – “Is this the best I can be right now? If not, what can I do to improve myself?” I like doing this each day before I go to bed. I find that when you are so focused on bettering yourself as a person, you have no time to criticize or judge other people. You make the most of your life and unleash your full potential, and the world needs more people like that.
7. Envision your dreams & goals. How do you want your life to look like in five or ten years time? Where are you living, who are you with, what are you doing? While life never turns out exactly how you plan it to, it’s important to know what kind of direction you want your life to head. Envisioning your dreams and goals for the future clarifies your mind so that your time and energy will be well spent on getting to where you want to be.
8. Keep your room & workspace clean. It’s hard to unwind in a messy room or think & work in a cluttered workspace. Organize your personal spaces for better efficiency, clarity & peace of mind and so you know where everything is when you need it.
9. Detox your mind by keeping negative thoughts out. Negative thoughts are a cycle of bad energy. While I know how hard it can be to break out of sometimes, remember that you do have a choice over what you choose to allow in your mind. Say no to anyone or anything that threatens your positivity, joy or well-being.
10. De-clutter & give away. Spend some time clearing out your room and closet of any excess. The truth is, even though that dress may be cute and expensive, if you can’t remember the last time you wore it, it may be better giving to someone who will actually get uses out of it. Donate, sell or give away things you have too many clones of or no longer have use for.
11. Prepare & plan ahead. Avoid unnecessary stress and worry by being prepared for what you know is ahead. Instead of procrastinating study or homework, try to do it as soon as possible to save you last minute cramming the night before. Colin Powell once said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
12. Be punctual. I love being on time. If I have to be somewhere tomorrow, I’ll always plan how long it will take for me to get ready and get there on time, even with some time to spare. I think it is crucial when trying to land a job and to being a thoughtful person in general. Being punctual shows you have a good sense of time management, and is essentially saying to someone that you respect their time enough to be there when you say you’ll be there.
13. Be smart with your finances. This one is something I struggle with, but I am realizing how important it is now more than ever to have a solid financial plan. A good rule of thumb after you have paid all your bills is to save most of it, give away some of it, and spend a little of it. If you would like a more detailed look into good financial habits to develop, read this article here.
14. Unplug from technology. Take some time each day to switch off from your laptop, smart phone or TV and have quality alone time. You can spent it working out, reading, reflecting or writing in your journal. It’s good to unplug from the world and learn to be by yourself & enjoy your own company often. Also, don’t stay glued to your phone when you’re out with someone (one of my biggest pet peeves!).
15. Really think about the friends you are surrounding yourself with. Are there people in your life who do you more harm than good? Who don’t encourage you or make you want to be a better person? Sometimes even the friend who does nothing for you is just as bad as the friend who is openly toxic for you. The five people you hang out with most are the people you tend to become, so make sure you surround yourself with people you adore, who love, support & inspire you endlessly.
16. Develop healthy habits and rituals. Replace the unhealthy habits in your life like comfort eating, smoking or drinking with habits that do good for your body and soul. Breathing exercises, working out, meditation, a healthy meal plan or setting a day of the week where you catch up with a close friend are all good ideas to bring your life more positive energy, health and balance.
17. Have intimate conversations with God. When I want to be intimate with God, I first go to a place in my mind. It can be at a lake, in a field or in a forest, but when I go there, it’s just me and Him. Sometimes I’ll cry, sometimes I’ll talk, sometimes I’ll say nothing. But when we’re in our secret place, I feel peace & clarity and it’s like I can finally breathe and be myself again.
Sometimes I think, why does Christianity have to be so complicated sometimes? Why do we have so many rules and how-to books and stadium-sized churches? I need that simplicity again where it’s just me and God talking. And in my intimate moments with Him, that’s where I find it.