We all aspire to live a nutritious life; yet, with so much weighing on our minds, demanding our time, energy, and attention, it can be difficult to live the life we truly desire. I believe the key to success is to be super organized and intentional about every aspect of our health and wellness to make it easier for us to live the life we want.
To me, organizing isn’t simply about being neat and tidy. Organizing is the process by which we create environments that enable us to live, work, and relax exactly as we want. And, when we organize around a specific goal, it becomes easier to accomplish. It’s all about seeing what’s on the other side of the disorganization and clutter: a healthy, happy life.
While the exact ingredients that make up a nutritious life will look different for everyone, these eight organizing hacks can help you jump start your routine.
Make cooking healthy meals easy by coming up with a set of 5 to 10 quick, go-to recipes. Write each recipe out on individual notecards and include a list of all necessary ingredients on the back of each. Keep the note cards easily accessible for reference when planning lunch and dinner. Not into notecards? Try sites like Yummly where you can save your favorite recipes digitally. Don’t forget to phase out old recipes and replace them with new ones once a month so they don’t get stale.
Plan Tomorrow + 2
Close out each day by spending 15 minutes reviewing what you completed, and plan your schedule for tomorrow + 2 days beyond that. A 3-day arc allows you to mentally prepare for the upcoming days. It assures that nothing is falling through the cracks, while giving you the perspective needed to adjust when you find yourself fielding unexpected curveballs.
With so much going on in our lives and the world at large, it can be hard to live in the moment. One of the surest ways to reconnect to your immediate surrounding is to do a quick sensory check. Slow down and look around. What do you see? What do you feel, smell, hear, taste? Use all five senses to connect to details of your current moment. The act of slowing down and forcing yourself to take in the situation, sense by sense, will ground you in the present moment.
Eliminate screen use starting at least 60 minutes before bed. Set an alarm to go off at the same time every night, cuing you to shut down all devices. There’s no more email, social media, online shopping, or Tic Toc videos. While we often turn to screens to unwind, research shows that the light they emit actually stirs us up and interferes with our natural sleep cycles.
Rethink your exercise routine with high-intensity interval training. HIIT workouts allow you to trade duration for intensity and provide the greatest ROI—getting the blood flowing, muscles pumping, and calories burning in the shortest amount of time. The key is to alternate intervals of high and low intensity exercise—walking for three minutes and jogging for one minute, repeating the cycle over 15-30 minutes. YouTube is loaded with free HIIT workouts you can do from the comfort and privacy of your own home, no equipment needed.
Nurture Relationships in Microbursts
Instead of waiting for big blocks of uninterrupted time (which inevitably never come) to nurture your relationships—focus on delivering short bursts of undivided attention on a consistent basis. Have breakfast with your spouse, phone a friend on your lunch break just to check in, or get down on the floor and play with your kids for a few minutes every day after work. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in short bursts of time simply by being present (fully, truly present) with the people you care about.
Create 2 Daily Anchors
As an adult, “time-out” has a different connotation. To ensure that you always remember to take time out for yourself, build two non-negotiable anchors of self-care into each day. For example, no matter what happens, you always start the day at 8:00 a.m. with 15 minutes of exercise to get your blood pumping and your mind active; or, you always take a walk around the neighborhood to end your work day and transition into the evening; or, you always spend 20 minutes after dinner reading or working on a hobby. Whatever you choose, make sure that it is something that truly relaxes or inspires you.
Make Hydration Fun
Make drinking water all week long easy and tasty.Fill two pitchers of water with fresh, clean water infused with ingredients of your choice: cucumber, lemon, berries, mint, etc. Keep the pitchers in your fridge so that you have delicious, chilled water on hand and ready whenever you’re feeling thirsty.
You don’t have to change your entire lifestyle or make huge sacrifices to feel more organization in your life. Rather, it requires presence and intentionality, making the most of the moments we have to nurture ourselves and others. When we organize our space and prioritize our time to reflect that which we value and aspire to, everything begins to feel right.