Happy and healthy

Your daily habits determine your future.

Most of what we do each day we do automatically. Imagine how difficult life would be if every day you had to learn how to brush your teeth, drive to work, or use your cell phone all over again.

There are some things you cannot control. But most of your future you CAN control – by the choices you make today, and the habits you develop. Make certain that the things you do every day increase the chance for you to have the future you desire.

There are more than enough negative things to focus on, stress to worry about, and challenges to handle. Here are 12 habits that will keep the negative things from getting you down, and will go far toward giving you a future that is healthy and happy.

  1. Choose something positive. Consciously begin your day on the up-side. Read a Bible promise, an inspirational quote, or short devotional to get your soul on the right track. Email devotionals are free, such as Ransomed Heart, or a variety on YouVersion or Crosswalk.
  2. Move your body. Your body was made to move, and one of the best ways to stay young and healthy is to get some exercise – even for a few minutes a day. Do something you enjoy. Get a pedometer, or download an app such as one from My Fitness Pal on your smartphone.
  3. Eat some fruits and vegetables. More is better: the one food group you want to eat more of rather than less. Fresher is better. Substitute fruits or veggies for some processed food, and you’re guaranteed to look and feel better.
  4. Get some sleep. Robbing sleep to work more, get more done, or even watch TV is a losing proposition. Even the Bible says so! (Psalms 127:2) Shut down at a given time each night. You’ll be more productive and much happier the next day.
  5. Say a sincere “Thank You.” Looking for something to say “Thank You” for not only improves your relationships with others, but it also puts you in a positive frame of mind. It helps you appreciate whatever is good in your life and world, even if much is negative.
  6. Throw something away. Our lives get cluttered so easily. Make a habit to find something that has outlived its usefulness, and discard it or give it away. It may be a receipt, empty box, household item, negative thought, or anything taking up space in your home or life.
  7. Feed your mind. Incorporate learning something every day. Turn off the TV and read a book. Join an online or in-person class. Research a new idea or skill. Practice something creative or different. Just a few minutes daily can add up to an entire education.
  8. Enjoy something natural. The sunrise, a cloud formation, a tree, some squirrels playing, a bird singing, a fountain or brook, the stars: wherever you live there is something of God’s creation you can stop, notice, and appreciate. It reminds you of the bigger world, and Who made it.
  9. Do something nice for someone. Looking beyond yourself is one of the surest ways to make you happier. Whether small or large, don’t end any day without focusing on someone else in some way. Write a caring email or make a phone call if you can’t do anything physical.
  10. Say “I Love You!” If you’re married, say it to your spouse OUT LOUD every day! The same for your children, if you have them. Tell God the same thing. And if you’re truly alone, still do your best to find someone to say “I love you!” to: it will help both you and them.
  11. Read something from the Bible. Your soul needs daily food. Whether or not your Daily Positive (#1) includes Scripture, take at least a few minutes (or longer when you can) to put some Bible verses into your heart. The Bible app is one easy way to do so if you don’t care to read more.
  12. Pray. This should be a habit that you incorporate many times each day. At the very least, bookend your day with prayer – at the beginning and the end. God wants to hear from you, and you need to hear from Him.

Regardless of how difficult your life is, incorporating these habits will make you happier and healthier now and in the future. None of them takes more than a few minutes a day, but they will end up adding years to your life, and life to your years.

Have you said “Thank You,” Wow!”, “I love you!”, and “Dear Lord,” today?       Tweet that.

Your Turn: What are your daily habits that you find helpful and important? Leave a comment below.

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