“She’s cut from a different cloth,” I recall thinking. At 7 am on a cold morning, this seventy-year-old grandma could’ve been sipping a mug of steaming hot coffee draped in a warm blanket.

Not Anna.

This energetic woman was sweating it out on her morning walk. Her posture straight, her walk brisk, and a set of earphones plugged in.

“Oh, that? It’s my favorite podcast. They talk all things health and wellness. It’s pretty good stuff. You should try it. ” Anna told me later. A podcast!

Anna shared the secrets to her longevity and vitality as becoming a vegetarian forty years ago, drinking two liters of water daily, reading a book a month, walking 2kms daily, and forging genuine and meaningful relationships.

I’ve always been fascinated by older people who set themselves apart by how they look and act. They show me what’s possible when it comes to aging gracefully, both physically and mentally. There’s no denying that habits like Anna’s work.

But at times, we’re so focused on the bigger picture that we forget how critical our everyday, moment-by-moment actions are.

A wise man once said. “The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.” Consider the following habits, coupled with those of Anna’s, as the little steps that will make the next five, ten, and twenty years enjoyable.

 

Read Food Labels

Your health is your most valuable asset. Without good health, it’s impossible to enjoy the pleasures of life, enjoy time with your family and do the things that make you feel alive. When it comes to having a healthy body, diet matters much more than exercise — 80% of what you put in your body influences how energetic, alert, and fit you are.

Most people understand how important exercise is, but they often overlook one crucial secret: Reading food labels. Most foods camouflaged as healthy are harmful. And although consuming them once in a while isn’t catastrophic, their long-term effect cannot be underestimated.

There are many ingredients to watch out for but avoiding these two is absolutely necessary to keep diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attacks at bay:

  • Sugar — listed as glucose, sucrose, dextrose, lactose, maltose, maltodextrin, molasses, honey, golden syrup, fruit juice concentrate, corn syrup, or maple syrup.
  • Fat, listed as oil, shortening, cocoa butter, or cream.

Each time to buy a food item, take a minute to read the food labels. Your best and safest bet is to make fresh home-cooked meals. This way, you’re in total control of the quality of ingredients. You’ll save yourself tons of doctor’s visits, it’ll be easy to keep your weight in check, and you’ll save more money.

Check Your Receipts.

A lot of cash seeps through little pockets of “inconspicuous purchases,” and if you aren’t vigilant, you stand to lose a lot of cash that could have otherwise been diverted to good use. I learned this the hard way when I got double charged for an item not too long ago.

Checking receipts after purchases is one of the best ways to track your spending and gain control of your money. It disciplines you from buying items you don’t need, reinforces budgeting, and helps you identify the shops that don’t favor your budget. Financially responsible folks know that a few dollars saved here and there can amount to much over time.

Question: Do you know exactly how much money you’re making and where it’s going?

Detox Every Six Months.

Do you constantly feel tired? Are your bowel movements not right? Do you have a problem sleeping well? Is your skin flaring up? Chances are your body needs a detox. Detoxing is the physiological or medicinal elimination of toxins from the body.

Our bodies have a way of detoxing naturally through the liver. Still, with time we accumulate toxins such as pesticides and bacterial endotoxins through the foods we consume. Because the western diet consists of many unprocessed foods and refined carbs that congest our bodies heavily, it’s essential to detox frequently if you want optimal health.

If detoxing is a new concept to you, Cabots Health suggests doing it every six months. This way, you prevent a critical overload of toxins and offset irregularities such as constipation, sleep problems, weight gain, and lack of energy.

Groom Yourself and Dress Well.

We all want to be liked for who we are on the inside, but the reality is, our external appearance can be a deal-breaker. People judge us mainly by how we dress and groom ourselves. Our outfits make them categorize us in a certain way. People are more open, inviting, and friendly towards you when you’re clean, smart, and polished.

All successful people know the secret that success is hinged on other people. It’s easier to go farther in life with the right connections, and what’s the fastest way to get on the radar of someone? Dress well. Studies show that attractive people are perceived as more trustworthy. It’s exactly why they make more sales in the retail business.

It’s much easier to sell yourself when you look good because when you look good, you feel good, and you act well. You can’t help being confident. Confidence makes you relaxed and breeds enthusiasm. Whether it’s a work presentation, an interview, or asking for a raise, what is done enthusiastically has a chance of soaring and paying off for years to come.

Always remember the golden rule: when you look good, you feel good, and they pay good.

Increase Your Body’s Mobility.

This ties to the above point, but it bears repeating because of its life-changing benefits. There’s nothing as sad as being trapped in your own body, being limited in what you can do with your mobility. Your body’s mobility comes down to how often you move it.

This is not news; everybody knows this. A daily walk, 10 minutes of yoga, or a jog will make you flexible, healthier, and energetic. The question is, why don’t many people do it?

Simple: People perceive moving their bodies as a “hard, painful or torturous activity. ” Nothing could be further from the truth. A 10-minute walk may not feel like much at the moment, but if you do it daily for the next ten years, your body will transform and make life easier and more enjoyable.

Clean Up Before Hitting Slumberland.

I know. I know. It’s the last thing you want to do after a long day. You’re tired to the bone, your brain is near an explosion, and tomorrow you’ve got to do it all over again. Dragging your tired feet to clean up before bed might not sound very motivating, and yet it’s one of the best habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle.

Besides waking up to a fresh smelling house — especially the kitchen- you stand to benefit health-wise. A study was conducted and proved that people with clean houses are healthier. Eliminating germ infestation protects your body’s immune system, and you get to enjoy a good quality of air.

Waking up to a clean house makes it easy to get up and go because distractions don’t bog you down. Besides, good clean-up is an overlooked way of exercise. (As long as you’re not exerting yourself because it can affect your quality of sleep)

If you initiate these habits starting today, you’re guaranteed to reap the compounding effect on your quality of life over the next 5, 10, and 20 years. Decide to be more intentional in the little things. Refuse to be caught up in the bigger picture that you lose sight of what you’re doing in this very moment or in the next ten minutes.

Remember these powerful words:

“It’s no big thing, but you make big things out of little things sometimes.” — Robert Duvall.