How I Lost 40 Pounds In My 50s And How You Can Too

I no longer had a choice. I had to do something about my health now or suffer the consequences. It was after returning from a trip to the Amazon Basin in August of 2016. My family had spent 10-days in Iquitos, Peru, living and learning from some of the most isolated people in South America. Iquitos is the largest city in the world that can’t be reached by a road. It is only accessible by plane or boat.

I got sick as soon as we returned home. This was not the average sickness that you get when you travel overseas. This was an ‘in the hospital with IVs in my arm’ sickness. During my visit to the hospital, they tested every bodily fluid imaginable. Multiple times.

They never found the cause of my sickness, and it went away after several weeks. What they did find was even more alarming. They informed me that I was 40 pounds overweight, my body fat was 32%, my cholesterol was 203, and my glucose was 109. I needed to make some lifestyle changes or I would not live very long.

I knew that I needed to improve my health, but I didn’t know where to start. I had spent years eating poorly and not getting enough exercise. Getting back into shape in my 50’s was not something that was going to be easy or happen quickly. Weight loss and muscle growth are much more challenging as we get older.

However, over the last two years, I have been able to overcome these challenges. The changes I’ve made have helped me lose 40 pounds, reduce my body fat from 32% to 20%, reduce my total cholesterol from 203 to 170, and bring my A1C to an all-time low.

Out of all the things I’ve tried, three steps in particular have given me 80% of the benefit. Here’s how I took them and how you can do the same.

1. Try Several Diets For 30 Days Each To Find The Most Effective One

“If you maintain a healthy diet, or at least are smart about your food choices, you’ll still see the pounds come off.” — Misty May-Treanor

We have all heard that weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. I am not sure if that is a fact, but from my experience, unless you eat healthy, you will not lose weight, regardless of how much you exercise.

It is not easy to change your diet. I have been eating poorly for years and I love pizza, burgers, and fries. Unfortunately, these foods will not help anyone lose weight. I have tried many diets over the last year. Some of them resulted in short-term weight loss. But most of them were not healthy for the long-term.

First, I tried the Whole30 Diet. It is an elimination diet that removes all sugar, dairy, and grains from your diet. Not eating most of my favorite foods made it a difficult diet to follow. It also requires hours of meal prep for you to stay on track. The good news is that I lost 12 pounds over the course of 30 days.

Next, I tried Intermittent Fasting for 30 days. I thought that this was going to be much more difficult than it was since I have been known the get very “hangry.” I experimented with a daily schedule where I would fast for 16 hours and eat for 8. I was able to schedule my first meal at about 11:00 am and finish my last meal by 7:00 pm.

This actually worked well for me because I was able to eat most things that I wanted as long as I ate within the required time frame. Did I eat burgers and fries every day? No! I tried eating healthily most of the time but did allow myself unhealthy choices occasionally.

Finally, I experimented with the Ketogenic Diet. Despite the recent hype, the Ketogenic diet is not new. It’s been used for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. This was a good solution for me because it allowed me to eat a lot of high-fat foods that are filling and taste good. It was great for short-term weight loss, but it can be hard to follow in the long-term.

Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that strict, rule-based diets don’t work.

They can speed up your weight loss in the short term, but if you want long-term weight loss and a healthy body, you simply need to eat healthy foods.

“It is also important to remember that “yo-yo diets” that lead to rapid weight loss fluctuation are associated with increased mortality. Instead of engaging in the next popular diet that would last only a few weeks to months (for most people that includes a ketogenic diet), try to embrace change that is sustainable over the long term.” — Harvard Medical School

What I ended up with is a blend of the diets I tried. I am now trying to eat a more balanced diet with more unprocessed foods, lean meats, fish, whole grains, and olive oil. I also drink at least 100 ounces of water a day. Without a balanced diet, you will not be able to transform your body.

What helped me get there is to test different diets for 30 days each. Pick one, then stick to it rigorously for one month. Repeat with different diets until you find one that will be a long-term solution for you or you can blend one together from the ones you’ve tried. If you find a diet isn’t working for you early on, stop and move on to the next one.

2. Walk At Least 10,000 Steps A Day

“The longest journeys start with the smallest steps.” — Cherie Blair

You need to get moving if you want to lose weight. You don’t need to run a marathon.You don’t need to spend hours on a treadmill. You just need to move.

My first step was to start walking. My goal was 10,000 steps a day. There’s nothing magical about 10,000 steps, it’s just a nice number to shoot for. An interesting fact is that that the 10,000 number originally appeared in the 1960s when a Japanese company started selling pedometers called manpo-key, which literally translates to “10,000-step meter.”

Since then, studies have shown people who take 10,000 steps have lower blood pressure, more stable glucose levels, and better moods. I would not quit walking until my phone said that I had walked 10,000 steps. It was hard at first. Sometimes, I would have to go out for a walk when I was tired and just wanted to relax with my family. But I forced myself to do it every day.

Walking 10,000 steps a day was a good goal for me. It might not be the right goal for you. What is important is that you get moving. Any movement beyond what you are doing today will improve your health.

If you want to test what I did, walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Or set a lower number at first. If you can’t walk outside due to the weather, go to your local mall and walk inside or walk on a treadmill.

3. Develop A Simple 30-Minute Workout

“From middle age on, there’s nothing more vital to your health and weight control than building lean muscle mass, and the only way that happens is with weight training and exercise.” — Suzanne Somers

I am not a personal trainer or an expert on resistance training, but what I have learned over the last year is that resistance training is important. Dieting without proper resistance training will cause you lose muscle which is the opposite of what you want.

Resistance training can mean different things to different people, but it’s usually a form of weight training with or without weights. For some people, it might be doing bodyweight exercises at home. For some people, it might be joining a gym. For others, it might be starting a Crossfit program.

If you’re not doing resistance training at all right now, it doesn’t matter which type of training you initially choose. Just choose something!

I chose to join a gym and was able to find one close to my home and on my way home from work. This made it very convenient. I knew that if it was convenient, I would make excuses not to go, defeating the whole purpose of joining a gym.

Since I hadn’t been in a gym in years, I needed a simple plan to get me started. I worked with a trainer to develop a simple 30-minute machine workout that got me started. Working with a trainer is important. It helps you get started safely and to see more rapid results. Having a plan helped me know what I was going to do for each workout. Keeping it simple removed more excuses and made it easy to do.

After a few months on a basic program, my trainer worked with me to develop a more advanced program that allowed me to continue to make progress. I am not becoming a bodybuilder, but I am getting more toned and preventing muscle loss. It is important to find something that works for you and get started.

You can either do what I did and sign up for a gym and trainer, who’ll help you make a plan and hold you accountable to it, or go for a more self-disciplined type of workout that you maybe find online. The point is to develop a simple 30-minute routine you can actually follow.

Will This Work For You?

I am not a doctor, personal trainer, or dietitian. I don’t know what your current health status is. You should discuss any lifestyle changes related to your diet and exercise with your physician.

But for most people, there is nothing stopping them from choosing to eat healthy foods instead of less healthy ones. Most of us have the ability to walk, and walking is a great way to get started. Workout routines are available everywhere, for free, and there are lots you can do without spending a lot of money or time.

The key is to commit to taking a small first step today that will help you live a more healthy lifestyle. Getting started will help you feel better, have more energy, and live longer.

 

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This article was written by Steve Spring, a writer for Live Your Life On Purpose, The Startup, Better Humans, BeYourself and The Ascent.

How to Make Your Leisure Time Productive

Some people hear the phrase ‘leisure time’ and see it as an automatic free pass to lounge around and do nothing. While that’s perfectly fine on occasion, leisure time can offer a great opportunity to catch up on unfinished tasks or advance yourself personally or professionally. Make your free time productive by doing activities for personal development, connecting with your social network, and optimizing your health.

Engaging in Personal Development

Review your goals and set new ones. Use your leisure time as a period of reflection. Look back on the goals you have set, decide if you are advancing as you’d like, and determine if you need to revise or develop new goals.

  • For instance, if you set a goal last month to “Save $250,” you might check your savings to see how well you are advancing towards this goal. If you are progressing as expected, move on to the next goal. However, if you have fallen behind, you may choose to lower the goal (to say, “$150”) or figure out a strategy to help you stay on track like getting a side job.

Identify some things you’d like to learn. Free time outside of work, school, or family responsibilities can be spent productively when you use those chunks of time to learn new things. New skills can help you get ahead at work, or simply challenge you creatively.

  • Make a list of a few new skills you’d like to obtain. These may include tasks like learning a new language, enhancing your understanding of computers, or learning to ride a horse.
  • For a balanced life, choose some skills that relate to your personal or professional development, and some hobbies that you want to pick up purely out of curiosity.

Streamline your to-do list. Your to-do list may be bogged down with extremely overwhelming tasks that you keep pushing to the next day or next week. Such tasks cause frustration and rarely get done until the last minute. Ensure that you actually complete the outstanding tasks on your to-do list by de-cluttering it.[2]

  • Write down your most important to-dos for the following week on a sheet of paper. Then, decide if this task requires one or several steps. Rather than writing “complete History essay,” individual action steps like “find resources for history paper,” “create outline,” and “write first draft.”
  • One-step to-do lists are much more likely to have check marks at the end of the day.

Make some extra money. If you’re in need of extra cash, you can spend your leisure time from work or school doing a side job or finding creative ways to make money. Get a second job that you can do on evenings or weekends. Monetize your passion for jewelry making by setting up an Etsy shop. Sell those old books or clothes in your attic.

Connecting Socially

Expand your professional network. Beyond the hours of 9 to 5, there are a range of networking events you can attend. Saturday brunch or evening cocktail parties may serve as the perfect backdrop to pitch a new idea or pass out your business cards.

  • Look up networking events in your area or put out feelers at work or in your professional organization to learn about after-hours events.

Invite some friends or family over. Having a strong social support group makes you more resilient to stress and even builds self-esteem. If you tend to flake on your loved ones due to school or work commitments, use your leisure time to hang out and nurture your existing friendships.

  • Plan a movie night, game night, or ice cream social. Call up a few friends or family members you never get to see and invite them to join in on the fun. Connecting with those you love is a wonderful way to spend your downtime.

Start a volunteer commitment. Helping out in your local community provides you with an opportunity to connect with others, do something meaningful, and even polish your resume. Think about an area of need in your community and find out how you can be of service.

  • You might help plan a community event, work in a homeless shelter, or pick up trash after the annual carnival.

Do random acts of kindness. If you are searching for interesting ways to fill your free time, do something kind for someone else. Random acts of kindness show those around you that you care, and they make you feel good about yourself, too.

  • These acts can be anything, from dropping off fresh-baked muffins to your elderly neighbor or volunteering to watch your sibling’s kids so they can go on a date. Make a list of fun ways you can give back to those around you, and aim to complete one random act each day.

Focusing on Health

Find some healthy recipes you’d like to try. If you have a bit of downtime, meal prepping is a great way to use it. When you plan and prepare your meals ahead of time, you are less likely to choose unhealthy options like fast or junk food. Browse interesting recipes on Pinterest and compile a grocery list to take with you shopping.

  • Ask your roommate, partner, or children to help you. This will help you get the task done faster. Plus, you’ll have more fun as you work together.

Exercise. Regular physical activity delivers an energy boost and keeps your mind alert. You already know you should exercise a few days a week. But if you plop down on the couch to watch TV first, you’re unlikely to get moving later. Make exercise a priority by using your leisure time to support your physical and mental well-being.

  • Allot at least 30 minutes to running, walking, biking or some other preferred activity. You can even turn on some music and shake your hips as you cook or clean your home.

Stock your self-care toolbox. Even if you are not currently stressed, you can positively influence your well-being by practicing self-care. Too often, you may relegate yourself to the bottom of your priority list. Creating a self-care toolbox helps you gather relaxing activities so they are at reach when you need a refresh.

  • Stock your self-care toolbox with items and activities that rejuvenate your mind and body. You might include scented candles and lotions, bubble bath or salts, a coloring book, a novel, a knitting project, or your favorite movie.

Tidy your home. You might wonder what cleaning has to do with health. A clean home can offer you mental health benefits because you aren’t stressed about where things are. However, if you suffer from allergies or other chronic conditions, cleaning your home regularly can reduce unpleasant symptoms. Also, cleaning offers you the chance to move your body and get your heart rate up.

  • Use natural cleaning products to reduce your exposure to toxins to further benefit your overall health and well-being.

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This article was written by wikiHow, an online wiki-style community consisting of an extensive database of how-to guides. Founded in 2005 by Internet entrepreneur Jack Herrick, the website aims to create the world’s most helpful how-to instructions to enable everyone in the world to learn how to do anything.

A New Reason to Get Up Early: It Might Help You Live Longer

Being a morning person isn’t necessarily something people go out of their way to become. Early risers might get a head start on the day, but night owls don’t often consider themselves at a disadvantage in day-to-day life. A new study from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Surrey in the UK could change that, as it shows a correlation between “morning people” and longevity.

The study, which is being published in Chronobiology International, is based on the lives of nearly half a million volunteers who were tracked over a period of six-and-a-half years. Over that lengthy sample period, night owls were approximately 10 percent more likely to die than their early-rising peers. That’s a significant difference, and it’s being attributed to late-night lifestyles that rob people of precious sleep.

The study is the first of its kind to look at the mortality implications of individuals based on their habits of either rising early or staying up late. The researchers point to night owls forcing themselves to wake for work or other obligations without adequate sleep as being a major cause for concern. They even go so far as to suggest employers accommodate these individuals when possible.

“This is a public health issue that can no longer be ignored,” Malcolm von Schantz of the University of Surrey explains in a press release. “We should discuss allowing evening types to start and finish work later, where practical. And we need more research about how we can help evening types cope with the higher effort of keeping their body clock in synchrony with sun time.”

As for why night owls seem to naturally stay up later, it’s hard to pin down any one reason. The researchers note that many factors could contribute to late nights, including stress, lack of exercise, and diet. However, they are quick to point out that night owls who make an effort to go to sleep earlier could curb their heightened risk of mortality. Going forward, the team hopes to test the health of night owls before and after they make the shift to becoming early risers, in order to see what kind of changes are possible.

 

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This article was written by Mike Wehner, a reporter for technology and video games who served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction. Find him on twitter here.

Focus on Progress Instead of Perfection

Have you ever set yourself up for a goal, not achieved it and felt like a failure? Some people stop setting goals because of this issue, and that is a tragedy indeed. I think it’s safe to assume that we all know setting goals is important. There have been countless studies showing that people in university or high school that set goals were found to be far more successful than those who never set any goals, when they were studied and compared later in life.

I talk about goals a lot, but goals need to make sense, and in my experience, along side the BIG goal, there needs to be goals along the way, and even a range of goals at the end (and after as well). This allows many things to occur, and among the most important, is the opportunity to focus on progress, instead of perfection.

If you set a goal to drop 40 pounds, and all you focus on is that one single goal, you are in for a tough ride! Let’s imagine that you gave yourself three months to drop the weight. Now, assuming you don’t watch television fat loss shows and have a ‘Hollywood’ expectation of dropping 10 pounds a week for four weeks, so you are at least a little realistic…. Obviously you realize that those shows are not entirely real, and that living without a job in a mansion, with a chef, a full time personal trainer, a private gym, a physiotherapist, a doctor, a massage therapist and cleaning staff – is not likely your reality. What I am saying is, if you are totally and only focused on that goal of 40 pounds, and that is your only goal, you are missing a few things.

First off, what happens when you do reach your goal of 40 pounds dropped? Do you celebrate and have a feeding binge, fall off plan, and go back to your old ways? (and gain 10 pounds back, then get depressed and gain another 10? Which leads to more depression, self abuse and gaining another 10? And another? (the yo-yo issue)

Do you arrive at 40 pounds dropped and think you should have set a bigger goal? (the ‘never good enough’ issue).

Do you arrive at 38 pounds dropped and get mad, disappointed, miserable and call yourself a failure? (the ‘hard on yourself for no reason’ option)

As a better option, what if you set lots of little goals, one big goal and then some follow up goals?

As the title of this article suggests, one opportunity of goal setting is around focusing on progress; all the little things along the way to your goal.

You start eating healthier and working with a trainer or go to classes on the way to your big goal. If your focus is on progress, you may notice that you are getting stronger, your clothes are fitting differently, you have more energy, you are sleeping more, napping less, getting sick less, and feeling better in general. Look at all that progress!

If you are only focusing on the one big goal – you might miss all of that, because “I haven’t dropped 40 pounds yet”. That would be tragic, and yet I see it all the time.

Story time: Apollo 11, the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon, was only on course for 3% of the time. Yes, that means they were OFF courses 97% of the trip, constantly correcting with each piece of new feedback, and they made it to the MOON. If they had focused only on perfection, they never would have made it!

Perhaps you remember the article I wrote on the success formula: Action, Feedback, Correction, Never Give Up. Same goes for you and your fitness and health goals: Take Action, get Feedback, make a Correction and Never Give Up. Focus on progress! Off track? No problem! Adjust and get back on track and keep going! I spoke to a client today that was upset because he only dropped two pounds this past week. That’s two pounds in a week I reminded him! Look ahead to summer….now that two pounds a week becomes 20 pounds, or 30. Look at the change in your life – you are more active, healthier, have more energy, all good things! All progress!

Perfection rarely exists, so if your goals all require perfection, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate.

Here’s a homework assignment for you: Every night for a month, write out 10 successes from the day in a journal. Having a tough day? Write down that you brushed your teeth or got out of bed. There are no limitations, expectations or rules on what you define as a success. At the end of a month, read through your successes. I will guess you will be AMAZED!

We, as human beings, tend to way OVER estimate what we can do in a day (and then beat ourselves up for failing), but we totally UNDER estimate what we can do in six weeks, or a year. All you have to do is focus on progress, instead of perfection and you can fly to the moon!

Happy Training!

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This article was written by Scott McDermott, a personal trainer and the owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.

It Takes True Grit and Perseverance to Achieve Real Financial Success

What is the secret to success? Answers often include luck, timing, talent, but I would say grit.

It’s the four-letter word that separates the winners from the losers. Grit at its core is perseverance – ideally with passion – for long-term goals. It’s hailed as the ingredient for success. Couple it with self-control and you surpass talent and ability.

The same applies to our financial success: grit gets results.

Angela Lee Duckworth, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, has done the hard graft on grit. Over the course of her research she studied young maths students, military trainees, teachers and sales people – always drilling down to find the ‘thing’ that would indicate who would stick it out and make a success of things versus who would drop out. It was not those with the highest IQ, or the skill. It was those who persevered, they are the ones who found, or should that be created, personal success.

Perseverance is part of grit. The doing of something over and over and over again. It’s about how we behave and how we approach things on a daily basis.

And this, our behavior and our mindset, is exactly what makes us financial winners. If you think about it, the important thing is not hunting down great investments, but creating great investors. The goal is to create profitable investment behavior, profitable behavior with money.

It’s interesting that we can relate to the need to knuckle down and do daily things to get fitter, slimmer, smarter (if passing exams is a measure of it). Yet we don’t do the same with money.

So, to help release the financial grit-guru within, here are a few things to do. These steps are no different to those you would take to achieve in other areas of life:

Set a realistic goal

Your life and circumstance is unique to you. Your financial goal can be anything pertinent to you, such as getting out of credit card debt, saving six months’ emergency fund, saving X dollars a month or starting to invest. Whatever it is, take baby-steps and build on success. There’s no point saying you’ll be a millionaire in Y years. Break it down to realistic, achievable chunks. When you hit your first goal, keep going. You’ll get that feel-good factor, and realize that, yes, you can do it.

Make it part of daily behavior

If you want to lose weight you would monitor what you eat every day. If you want to get fitter, you’d be doing something about it daily. It’s the same with working your financial grit. Break down your goal into daily things you can do to move closer to it. Depending on what your goal is, your daily behaviour could include packing lunch, setting no-spend days (or holidays) or reading a book on investing.

Stay committed

You will start out small, and if you stick with it, it will pick up and you will do more – as long as you stick with it.

Don’t go it alone

Having a support network really helps, so seek out friends and family that will join you on the journey, or at the very least hear you out when you are waning and need to talk it through.

When you’ve achieved your baby step goal, set another

Alongside it have a longer-term goal that it fits into. Write it up, share it with your support group and put it somewhere you can see.

There are also things that are specific to our financial life , so make them part of your grit process too:

Have a financial meeting with yourself every week

You are the chief financial officer of your life, so block out time, get your papers read, bills paid, policies renewed and statements checked.

Set aside time every week / quarter, as you see fit, to go over your financial plan, goals, and how it’s going, with yourself/ spouse / family

Again, even if there’s nothing to do in the way of decisions or policies, the mere act of going through the motions, with dedication and discussion, will influence everyone’s financial behaviour – eventually.

Grit. We can define it, observe it, and cite it as a common denominator.

But how do we foster it? The growth mindset is one way. It is the belief that you can develop, learn, and become different to the way you are now, better at things.

You won’t be the only one to benefit, those around you will too.

Nurturing grit in our children happens by default if we’re gritty ourselves. It’s illusive – we can’t quite pinpoint, package, or pass it on – except that we do, by behaving and modeling it for our young ones.

Financial grit is exactly the same. We pass it on by being and doing it.

Success isn’t primarily about skill. It’s about behaviour. This is why talented people often don’t come out on top.

In her TED talk, Professor Duckworth says “grit is stamina, and sticking with your future – not just for the day, not just for the month, but for years”.”

Make grit work for you. You’ll be better off for it.

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This article was written by Nima Abu Wardeh,  a broadcast journalist, columnist and blogger. Regarded as an opinion leader, she is approached by think-tanks, the corporate world and government entities for her insight. Nima regularly chairs and is a speaker at regional and global gatherings and has worked alongside the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, Think Tanks both at a regional and global level.

The Power of Routines

The concept of a routine implies doing the same old thing over and over again. So, for many people, this may sound like something that drains the spontaneity out of life.

However, these people are seriously underestimating just how important a consistent routine is. By working a routine into your life, you’ll actually discover that you have more time and energy to be spontaneous. Securing this consistency can deliver you everything you need in life and a little extra.

A consistent routine gives you the power to control your own destiny, so it’s an area of life which is well worth investing your time and effort into. To demonstrate the power of having a consistent routine, we’re going to take a look at the benefits that this approach to life can bring.

Increases Your Efficiency
The old saying of “practice makes perfect” is never truer than when it’s applied to daily routines. After all, by constantly revisiting the same patterns and processes over and over again, you’re going to find that not only do you improve your ability to complete them, but they soon become second nature and you don’t even have to think about doing them.

This is a real bonus for your daily activities as it frees up your conscious memory to work on any new challenges that you may encounter. Therefore, you become more efficient and are able to increase your productivity.

Benefits Your Mental Health
Disorganization breeds chaos and, in turn, this breeds stress; this is the last thing that anyone needs in the 21st century as life is stressful enough. However, once you begin to develop a consistent routine, you’ll find that this fog of chaos and anxiety soon lifts.

With a well thought out daily routine in front of you – and the luxury of knowing you can achieve it – you’ll discover that it provides you with the framework to plan your day and reduce the guesswork. If you think about it, every day is a journey and you need to know the best route to complete it effectively; a daily routine gives you the power to achieve this.

Brings Structure to Your Life
To be successful in life you need structure as it provides a fantastic foundation of organization to help schedule your day. Understanding exactly how your day is going to unfold is vital in knowing how to distribute your energies.

Once one task is completed you know where your next step will be falling e.g. your morning run is followed by a shower which is then followed by breakfast. This familiarity doesn’t just extend to the day ahead of you either; it can also help you plan several days at a time which, again, reinforces the control you can have over your own destiny.

Allows You Time to Relax
We all seem to be living increasingly busy lives, so the chance to sit back and relax is now a rare luxury. However, the opportunity to catch a breather and indulge in some quality ‘you’ time doesn’t have to remain a fantasy.

A consistent routine can help you structure your day in a manner which is so efficient that you can set aside time to relax. The beauty of being able to work in some relaxation time is a huge reward factor for sticking to your daily routine and motivates you to continue.

Improves Your Sleep Quality
To function effectively, we need to get a good seven hours sleep. But if your life lacks a consistent routine then there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to schedule in quality sleep. And the knock on effect of disorganized sleep patterns is that you become less productive in the day and your whole routine can be seriously compromised.

Backed up by a consistent routine, though, you’ll soon find that you’re able to schedule in a good seven hours sleep at the same time every night. This allows you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.

No More Pile Ups
One of the benefits of a daily routine is that it allows you to dedicate a little bit of time every day to specific tasks and this ensures that certain duties don’t pile up. For example, if you spend 10 minutes every evening cleaning your dishes then, come Sunday, you won’t be confronted by a seemingly insurmountable pile of dishes in the sink.

A consistent routine gives you the power to break larger tasks into much smaller batches and ensures that no single task is neglected. And, once you have this sort of consistency in your life, you’ll realize just how much of a stress and time saving approach this is.

Enhances Your Self-Determination
Although daily routines can soon become a habit, it’s not an instant process; a lot of willpower and self-determination is required to make sure you get up at 6 am every morning to go for a three-mile run and then create a fresh and healthy breakfast.

However, once you begin to reap the benefits of a consistent routine, the reward circuit of your brain will encourage you to push your self-determination to new levels. The end result is that you achieve more than you ever have done before and it’s all thanks to the transformation a daily routine can bring to your life.

Bad Habits Become a Thing of the Past
The true enemy of a consistent routine is a life full of bad habits. After all, getting up early to get a head start on your daily routine may sound like a fantastic idea, but it’s a lot easier to stay in bed and hit that snooze button time and time again.

Bad habits such as this, though, soon add up and your life begins to revolve around the ‘easy’ option more and more. Whilst, in the short term, this may leave you feeling very comfortable and relaxed, in the long term it’s going to lead to a build-up of tasks which will cause you an almighty headache. A consistent routine, however, can help you break these bad habits and become more productive.

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Daniel Carnett is a 20-something entrepreneur and founder of the Art of Routine, a community focused on morning routines, productivity, success, and the lifestyle that is curated by waking up earlier and taking control of your life. You can connect with him on Twitter.

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