101 Tips to Get Stronger, Leaner, and Happier – Part 2

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Ryan Day Coaching

Today is Part 2 of a four-part series in which we’re exploring 101 tips to get stronger, leaner, and happier. 

If you didn’t catch the first 25 tips last week, you can find them here. My personal favorites are #3, #17, and #19. 

I said it last week, but if even one of these behaviors makes it into your daily routine and improves your life, the hours spent putting these together will be worth it. 

If you’ve already started trying one or two of these out, I’d love to hear about it.

Without further ado, here are tips 26 through 50. Hope you enjoy.

26. Surround yourself with positive people.

Life is too short to be around a bunch of Negative Nancys. Here’s your reminder that it’s OK to set boundaries or distance yourself from certain people if they no longer fit into the picture you have for your life.

27. If one of your tires pops, don’t slash the other three too.

Not your literal tires. But if you make one “bad” health decision (i.e. skip a workout, go overboard on drinks, or binge eat into oblivion), it doesn’t mean you need to give up completely on your health goals. Back to the analogy, if you’re driving down the road and get a flat, you probably aren’t going to pull over and slash the other three tires too, right? Right?!?! So don’t throw the towel in on your health goals because of a single instance.

28. Make diet changes slowly.

Do not, do not, do NOT flip your unhealthy diet on its head all at once. Make incremental, healthy changes to your diet and prove to yourself that you can stick with one change before adding something else. Making wholesale changes at the outset is incredibly hard to maintain and a recipe for disaster. 

29. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

I could spin this as a metaphor and write an essay on why you should choose the more difficult path in life because it’s more meaningful and blah blah blah, but I’ll spare you. For the sake of this tip, just take the stairs instead of the elevator for a few extra steps. Bonus points if you run up them to get your heart rate up for a sec.

30. Park far away at the grocery store (or anywhere else, for that matter).

This adds up to a surprising number of extra steps over a week. Think of all the places you visit during the week – an extra couple hundred steps at each stop, and you’re looking at an extra mile or two of walking at the end of a week.

31. Meal prep.

Spending a couple hours meal prepping for the week lowers the probability of unintended food choices. Life gets busy, and having ready-to-go, healthy options keeps you on track with your goals and away from the drive-thru line. 

32. Spend some time on Sunday planning your week.

Plan your workouts. Plan your time with friends. Plan your family dinners. Plan it all. This tells your future self what your priorities are for the week, and by writing them down, you’re more likely to honor those commitments.

33. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

This is one of the most important aspects of sleep hygiene. If you’re constantly staying up two hours later on weekends than during the week, you’re effectively giving yourself jetlag once a week and your body pays the price the first half of the week.

34. 80/20 is king.

Consistency over time is crucial for achieving health goals, but perfection is prison. Being 100% consistent with calories, macros, steps, lifts, etc. is a mental nightmare. Shoot for 80% consistency and you’ll be much happier in your lifelong pursuit of health. 

35. Find a workout buddy.

Finding a workout partner is great for accountability. Here’s a trick though: you don’t have to exercise with them. Just having somebody to talk about your workouts with and the progress you’re making can be great for keeping you on track and showing up consistently.  

36. Make it better than it could’ve been.

I heard this first from one of my clients and loved it. If you’re going out to eat and you’d typically get nothing but fried food, try getting a vegetable as a side this time. You made it better than it could’ve been. If you’re going out drinking, try ordering something lower calorie like vodka soda instead of heavy IPAs. You made it better than it could’ve been. You get the idea.

37. Dine out less frequently.

Having control over what goes into your food is huge. Even the “healthy” options at a lot of restaurants are loaded with unhealthy oils, so knowing exactly what you’re putting in your body can be difficult.

38. Master technique.

There are times when spending an entire training session mastering the technique of a movement (especially the big compound lifts) can bring TONS of benefits. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, technique can make all the difference in accelerating your gains.

39. Stay organized.

Your house, your workspace, your inbox, your car, your finances, etc. Staying organized can help keep you sane by removing potential stressors and anxiety. Even though I know some of you heathens are OK with 10,000 unread emails in your inbox, part of you has to feel a little sense of uneasiness seeing that huge number, right? No? Just me?

40. Eat the rainbow.

The greater variety of fruits and vegetables you’re eating each week, the more diverse your gut microbiome will be. This helps stave off infections, promotes healthy digestion, aids in weight loss, and has even been shown to improve mental health. Regularly eat all colors of fruits and vegetables and watch your health improve.

41. Always have fruits and vegetables on hand.

If you have fruits and vegetables that you know will go bad if uneaten, you’re much more likely to choose those over the less healthy alternative waiting for you in the pantry. 

42. Avoid people who unnecessarily stress you out.

Is there anybody in your life who just the thought of being around stresses you out? How can you either (1) limit interactions with that person or (2) address the root cause of the friction with that person?

43. Laugh and smile – even when it’s hard.

Life throws curve ball after curve ball, and sometimes it’s just impossible to smile. But the more you can find silver linings in bad situations, the happier you’ll be and your mental health will reflect that. Even forcing a smile when you aren’t having the best day can do wonders for your mood.

44. Track your progress over time.

No matter your goal, tracking progress toward that goal significantly improves your chances of achieving it. Tracking progress also allows you to course-correct and enjoy all the micro-wins along the way.

45. Ditch the scale.

Instead of focusing on the number of pounds you’re trying to lose or gain, try switching to a different goal. My favorite goals are performance-based. What does that look like? Try adding 50 pounds to your squat or walking 300,000 steps in a month. Or maybe you need to eat more fiber, so you shoot for 5 fruits & vegetables every day. These goals switch the focus off your body and the arbitrary number on the scale to health-based goals that will actually get you somewhere.

46. Regularly check your blood pressure.

Knowing your blood pressure number is VITALLY important. Keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range goes a long way in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the US. Most FSAs & HSAs cover at-home blood pressure cuffs, and they’re relatively inexpensive when you consider the value in the data they provide.

47. Annual physicals and bloodwork are vitally important.

Along similar lines as checking your blood pressure, make sure you’re getting annual physicals and bloodwork to identify any potential issues early. I know a lot of people have an aversion to the doctor’s office, but you should also have an aversion to an early grave. Timely identification of health issues does wonders for better health outcomes, so take the one hour each year to visit your doctor and do what they tell you. 

48. Take tiny work breaks to do something active.

This is a productivity cheat code. Once every hour, get up for 5 minutes and go walk or do squats or pushups or whatever. Just something active. It gets your blood and brain juices flowing to keep you performing at peak mental capacity. If you’ve never tried it, you’ll be shocked at how effective this is.

49. Never eliminate passions from your life.

Life is too short not to do the things we love. If you love painting, by all means find time in your schedule to paint. Love fishing? Set aside time to fish. Whatever it is, our passions are embedded deep within us and few things can bring us innate joy like engaging in them. 

50. Find a spiritual practice.

Maintaining a spiritual practice keeps you grounded, grateful, and helps the inevitable hard times seem a little more bearable. In fact, the data on those who have a spiritual practice vs those who don’t is remarkable. Those who have a regular spiritual practice have higher life satisfaction and a greater sense of purpose in life – two things that are very highly correlated with living a long, healthy life.

Hope you enjoyed these, and I’d love to hear which are your favorite. Have a great week!

Ryan

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