People think being the best you is this long, epic journey of self-discovery, hard work and therapy. But really, it’s as easy as forming key habits and really sticking to them. Here are a few tips on how to be the best you while exerting little to no effort.
A HEALTHY START
I know you like to wake up at 7 a.m., but exercise is more important than you realize. A quick workout in the morning will make all the difference. 6 a.m. won’t feel as early as you think. Knock that back ten minutes (what’s ten minutes?) to meditate and you’ll be shocked at the sense of calm that pervades your day. Also, it couldn’t hurt to do a little journaling; people so underestimate the value of taking 15 minutes to write down their intentions for the day. If you really want to set yourself up for success, give yourself another 30 to make a quick smoothie (I know the easiest recipe) and toss some stuff into a crockpot for dinner later. I swear it’s so simple you could do it with your eyes closed. So maybe make it 5 a.m. It will feel like nothing.
A PRODUCTIVE DAY
Keeping your energy up at work is really as easy as standing up to stretch for a couple minutes once or twice per hour. It’s second nature to me now, you should try it! You’ll feel your blood flowing more easily right away. It’s also good to bring little baggies of nuts and chopped-up veggies to snack on. This only takes five minutes of prep in the morning – forgot to mention that one! But trust, with emails pouring in all day, the last thing you’ll want to feel is sluggish. By the way – the key to keeping your inbox in order is to literally just deal with every email as it comes. Don’t let them pile up! I know you get hundreds a day, but each one realistically only takes a minute or two. That’s only around 400 minutes of emailing if you think about it.
Your lunch break is a great time to tackle personal to-dos, like writing thank-you notes for anything nice anyone does for you. These are such a quick, thoughtful way to prove you’re a nice person with your shit together, you know? It’s also a great time to go for a walk. Stretch those legs, you deserve it! While you’re at it, maybe give your mom or distant relative a buzz. Keeping in touch with those you care about is probably more important than anything. Nurture those relationships. It’s as easy as picking up the phone whenever you have a free two minutes.
A REJUVENATING EVENING
On your way home, pop by the grocery store for more smoothie, snack and crockpot ingredients. You should keep your fridge stocked at all times. When you finally get home, give yourself time to unwind. How good does that crockpot smell? Scarf this down (but really chew and taste the food — slowing down while eating is key to feeling satisfied) because you’re going to want to throw in your laundry before it gets too late. Those gym clothes don’t wash themselves, am I right? It only takes a few minutes spread out across two hours. Cinch! While that’s running, give your bathroom a quick wipe down. Clean your bathroom every day and you never have to clean your bathroom, right? It only takes 10 minutes and you’ll thank yourself later. So easy.
Nighttime is for you. Practice a hobby or learn a new skill! Life is not all about work. All it takes is a little dedication – 30 minutes a day – and you’ll be doing your future self an unbelievable service. Fulfillment is about discipline and scheduling, if you think about it. Then hop in the shower and treat yourself to a hair mask. Do this once a day and your hair will never be the same, not kidding. While that sits (it should take an hour, but you don’t have to do a thing, it does all the work for you!), plan your outfit for tomorrow. It’s so much easier to make these kinds of decisions at night. It will really only take you ten mins, swear, and your morning tomorrow will be a real breeze.
After you’ve grocery shopped, quickly cleaned, popped in some laundry, jumped in the showered, thrown on a face and hair mask, taken a minute to plan your outfit, practiced your hobby for a bit, done some easy meal planning for tomorrow, meditated again, journaled about gratitude and full-body dry brushed, make sure to power down your phone and computer. No screens before bed! This is a no-brainer. Make sure you’ve done absolutely everything before you do so. All this should allow you to hit the hay around 4 a.m., which gives you a solid hour of sleep until you have to wake up. You’re going to feel amazing!
Illustration by Ericka Hamburg via Getty Images.