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Written by Mari Diaz

It takes about 21 days to form a habit, so why not just begin? 
Here are my top habits to practice consistently to live your best life.

Aim For 7-8 Hours Of Sleep Each Night

I’m sure you have heard this close to a million times, but sleep is SO IMPORTANT!
When you get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night, you are more alert throughout your day. You can think more clearly and have a sharper focus. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up refreshed and recharged each morning instead of sluggish and tired?  Get some sleep!!

Have Strict Boundaries Around Work And Life
 We often schedule in work things, right?
Meetings, events, deadlines are all on our calendar because we must attend and we must complete.

But, what about our life?
To make you start treating life as important as work, I think it is a good idea to schedule everything else you want to be doing.
Slot in your gym time, make time to experiment with cooking, schedule in your date night – make it a matter of importance and something that you would not delete or remove unless it was fundamentally important to do so.
Instead, think of work-life balance as knowing when it is time to work and when it is time to enjoy your life. 
Set the alarm at the end of the day, so you know when it is time to log off of your computer and spend time with family and friends.

Analyze your day
I think being productive can help you strike a work-life balance because you can get more done in the time you are supposed to be working. This stops work overflowing into time saved for living.
One thing I am practicing at the moment is tracking my time and analyzing what I am doing at each moment of my day.
Sounds a big full-on, right? It slightly is, but I know I will reap benefits from doing so.
I want to be able to see where I am wasting time doing things that a) I don’t need to be doing, b) I don’t like doing, and c) could be done more efficiently. 
For 5-7 days, write down what you are doing every minute of your day and go back to look at where you could improve your day.

Drink Water Constantly
Water brings you to life!! 
I have a habit of drinking a lot of water throughout the day to keep myself awake, and I swear—it works. 
Water also makes you feel fuller, and sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you are actually just thirsty. 
Aside from those bonuses, you NEED water to survive! 
It is recommended that you take your weight in pounds, divide by 2, and drink that amount in fluid ounces of water each day. Drink more if you can, and have a big bottle of water with you at all times. 
Some people find it helpful to track their water or add lemon or another flavor to drink more often.

Move Your Body Daily 
All you need to do is try to move your body for 30 minutes per day. That really isn’t too much, right? 
You can go for a walk every morning, lift weights, or take some sort of group exercise class. Moving your body keeps both your mind and your body strong, and those natural endorphins are sure to put you in a great mood.

Read Often
Did you know that some of the most successful people in the world aim to read about 50 books per YEAR?! 
Books challenges you to constantly expand your knowledge and test what you already know. 
You can read educational books like business books or personal development books, or you can just read novels for fun. Whatever you choose to read, it will force you to slow down, focus on one thing at a time, and learn.

Focus On Personal Development 
Personal development should be at the forefront of your mind as you are striving to live your best life. 
After all, personal development is all about trying to become that best version of yourself every single day!
Remember that it is never too late to start your personal development journey. 
You can start reading self-help books and highlighting the passages that speak to you the most. 
You can journal and meditate, focusing on your inner dreams and desires. 
If you really want to dive in, you can work with a life coach or take personal development classes online.

Have A Set Morning Routine
Your morning routine sets the tone for the whole day, so you should incorporate things that start your day off on the right foot. 
Take your mornings slowly and make sure you are able to take some time to yourself before the rest of the house wakes up. 
Read a book, drink your coffee outside, go for a walk, meditate, or journal.
Whatever you choose to do, structure it, so you look forward to your mornings.
Stay tuned for a new podcast episode  - 10 Morning Habits that Will Change Your Life!

Practice Gratitude 
Practicing gratitude often makes it easy to find something to be thankful for. 
Write down a gratitude list every morning or evening.
Doing so trains your brain to look for and notice the little things in life and appreciate them. 
It allows you to focus on all the good you already have in your life and not just what you want in the future.

Work Smarter, Not Harder
Working hard is important, of course, but if there was a way you could work smarter, so you don’t have to work harder, would you? I think most people would say YES!!! 
Batch working tasks is an easy way to do this. 
When you batch work, you block off time to complete similar tasks at once, so your brain isn’t constantly switching back and forth. 
You should also take short breaks often. 
It’s easy to do this when you implement a productivity timer, like the Pomodoro method.

Have Three Goals For Each Day 
In the morning, make a list of three tasks you want to accomplish for the day. 
This gives you a direction for your day.
Prioritize the tasks by order of importance, and if you have time to do more than three tasks, that’s great! If not, that’s okay too. 
At the end of the day, you will always feel like you accomplished something by checking three things off of your to-do list.

Final Thoughts
Once you take care of your mind, body, and soul, you will really start living your best life. Implementing these habits into your life will result in you being more productive and living a healthier, happier life. 

Looking for inspiration, resources, and tools? Be sure to follow Mari's column for all things personal growth and business at Bloom Magazine


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