1. Take the Time to ask yourself: “What brings me joy?” We all know that an important first step to filling up our car with gas is knowing (or learning) where to the gas station is to get it. Applying this simple logic to our happiness & satisfaction just makes sense; we need to know where it comes from in order to get it! It is amazing how many of us struggle with this question, and I fully believe that knowing what makes you happyis the first step in maximizing happiness.
2. Make sleep a priority! Many of us are unaware of our weekly sleep deficits, and wonder why we are always tired. For example, If I sleep 5 hours one night, 6 the next, then 8, then 5, then 8 (sound familiar?), I am still 8 hours or one full night behind after only 5 days. Many of us repeat this cycle for weeks, or even months. Now that’s exhausting!
3. Eat a Hearty breakfast. Eating a full meal including protein, fiber, and fat can slow the absorption of sugar and other nutrients to keep you energized and satiated through the day. This added energy and vigor can allow us to exercise, be more productive, and ultimately maximize daily satisfaction.
4. Stay hydrated. Many people feel an increase in energy by simply staying hydrated. How much water? Enough to keep your urine clear throughout the day is usually a good marker, and it must be consumed throughout the day (not all at once) for full benefit. Expect to urinate more frequently, especially for the first two weeks. Note that urine is naturally darker in the morning as it is more concentrated, which is ok.
5. Schedule Time for Yourself. Life is busy, and we often struggle taking time for ourselves. This is why we must make time for ourselves. Think of something you have been wanting to do (or something that brings you joy, as noted before) and actually schedule it in to the calendar this week. If this week doesn’t work, look at next week. Keep moving forward until it fits (and consider a re-evaluation of time commitments if you need to book this far in advance!)
6. Move! Everyone recommends exercise, especially heavy exercise many times per week. While I believe this is great advice for many, this isn’t appropriate for everyone. If you are fairly inactive, go for a walk, enjoy a day at a waterpark, or YouTube some new dance moves. Increasing activity in any amount is a victory, and your body will thank you for it.