9 Habits of Awesomeness

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This might be the most important post from me.
It’s also quite long… So scroll to the bottom if you want to just get to ‘the Habits’.

I want to share ‘The BIG SECRET OF AWESOMENESS’ (TM) with you.
It’s a pill!
You take it and you become strong, lean energetic, confident…
Well, we both know I’m kidding!

It really is – habits!
Excited? …not really…
But you should be… 🙂

Willpower and enthusiasm, the “Let’s do this now!!!” attitude is great.
But it’s like a sprint.
It’s awe-inspiring, adrenaline rush…
(It also uses your most explosive energy system – ATP..)
But it cannot last for long.
(ATP, like enthusiasm, does run out…)

A ‘great life’ is more like a Marathon.
It uses a different energy system.
Just like Marathon runners use their aerobic energy system
Awesomeness’ energy system is habits.

Habits do not have to be ‘things you just have’.
You can control them!
Habits take some effort to pick up.
But once they stick, they are difficult to lose.

So here’s your recipe:

  1. Pick a habit.
  2. Have a way to track it.
  3. Make a conscious effort to practice it daily.
  4. Once you have done it, tick it off in your tracking system.

Do this for 2 weeks (or even a month).
Check your success rate (how many days did you succeed to do your habit out of 14?).

  • If your success rate is high – focus on your next habit  (keep practicing the first one)
  • If it’s low – assess yourself:
  • Do you need more practice? – Keep focusing on this habit for 2 more weeks.
  • Is it a habit you find difficult to follow? – Pick another one and come back to this one later.

So now, the habits…

***DRUM ROLL***

1. Sleep 7-8 hours daily
Not easy, I know. But a good sleep does so much more than you’d think!
There are essential processes in your body that only happen during your sleep.
Sleep keeps you energetic, lean, resilient.
So to get a good night’s sleep:
Turn off all electric devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
Try to get rid of all light sources in the room – get blackout curtains…
Practice diaphragmatic breathing.
Have a sleep ritual and follow it every night…

2. Grab all opportunities to be active
Going to the gym 3-5 times a week is awesome.
Yet it’s hard to out-train a sedentary lifestyle.
Did you know you can burn up to an extra 1000 calories DAILY
just by grabbing every opportunity to move around?
Desk job? Stand up, walk around while on the phone (get a wireless headset!).
Take walking meetings.
Walk or cycle to work instead of driving.
Take a stroll in your lunchbreak.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Wake up 30 minutes earlier and take a morning walk.
Walk your dog or volunteer to walk shelter dogs or older neighbor’s dogs.

3. Lift the heavy things
Being strong is good.
It makes you resilient.
It makes your everyday tasks easier.
It makes your body more injury-proof.
It feels darn good to be strong!
So don’t be afraid of strength training.
Learn the techniques first…
Then dare to lift the heavy things!
Build some lean muscle – yes, you too ladies!
Don’t worry, you will not wake up with a bodybuilder physique just because you bench pressed 35kg.
(The nice ‘toned’ arms and legs you are looking for? All lean muscle!)

4. Take recovery seriously
Working hard? Recover hard!
It will keep you in the game.
It will protect you from injuries.
Work on your soft tissue – foam roll or even get a massage!
Don’t forget about mobility work.
Keep your muscles and joints healthy – aches, pains, injuries are not pleasant things.

5. Eat slowly and attentively
Avoid dinner in front of the TV or munching on a sanwich while rushing to work.
Quit snacking.
Sit down to a table.
Arrange your food nicely on a plate.
Get rid of distractions – TV, mobile, magazines..
Pay attention to your food – the flavour, texture… Imagine you have to write an article about it afterwards.
Put down the utensils after every bite
Drink a sip of water after every bite.

6. Eat vegetables, protein & healthy fats
Every meal – make sure that you eat a protein source.
Not just meat and eggs. Natural yogurt, beans, legumes…
Protein is necessary for your body.
It also makes most of us feel fuller for longer.
Colorful vegetables – you just can’t have too much!
They are nutritional powerhouses!
Full of a huge variety of phytonutrients that will keep you healthy.
Have one or two handful with every meal.
Add a healthy fat source (nuts, avocado, olive oil…) for a well-functioning body.

7. Drink water
Calorofic drinks can add 1000s of calories to our daily intake.
I’m not even exaggerating!
Opt for water or other calorie-free beverages (herbal teas, fruit infusions…) whenever you can.
But don’t forget to drink!
Download a hydration tracker app if you need to.

8. Educate yourself
Train your brain. Learn more about how your body works.
Read one training and one nutrition related article a week.
This is a bit tricky as there’s a LOT of rubbish on the internet.
But there’s a lot of awesomeness out there too.
A good starting point is Precision Nutrition for anything nutrition related
and StrongFirst for strength training related things.
Anyway, fire over an email if you’d like some good reads – we’re always happy to share!

9. Get peer support
Don’t be a lone wolf (unless you are one of the few exceptions and it works for you).
Surround yourself with people who support you in being strong and healthy.
Who celebrate your achievements.
Who help keeping you on track.
Who inspire and motivate you.
Do active stuff together with friends, even outside the gym.
Cook healthy meals together or share recipes.
Everything is better with friends!

Track your habits
Now how you do it is again up to you.
There are a number of habit tracker apps out there.
But if you are a ‘pen-and-paper person’, feel free to download
this simple habit tracker sheet and print it for your convenience.

Thanks for getting this far.
I know it was a long email. Especially in our world of bite-sized information.
However, if it can help you make changes in your life…
It already worth your time, believe me!

And if you ever feel like having a chat – get in touch!

All the best,
Natalia

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