Ok, so less than a week in and I’ve already skipped two days. Truth be told, I wrote on both of those days, and just wasn’t pleased with what came out. I made a daily blogging commitment because I crave the structure, the challenge, and the accountability. But more than anything else, I want this blog to be full of actually helpful content that educates, enriches, and empowers others to take on challenges, with amazing results. I think that one day I’ll be able to provide immense value every single day, but I’m not sure today is that day.
When I originally decided to start this blog, I thought of it as my daily journal chronicling the habits I was building, the daily challenges of keeping them, etc. But I realized I have more concrete value to offer than that, and quite frankly, I’m not strictly daily update posts would be all that interesting. So I went with both daily blogging AND making the content more actionable. I think that was a mistake.
If my audience was larger, I would poll and choose:
- Daily posts with regular updates on my own personal journey OR
- 3-4~ posts per week filled with more lessons, actionable advice, and updates on my own journey
But since my audience is still quite small, I think that choice is up to me. And I’m choosing option 2, simply because I want my blog to be chock full of actual resources you can use to become a better salesperson & businessperson, increase happiness and health, and have more success in life. I will still write on more personal topics, feature my music and videos, and more.
So from here on out, expect between 3 and 4 posts per week, but with more depth, and hopefully more value.
With that out of the way, I want to talk about three healthy habits I’m starting in 2018 that you might not think are all that significant on their own, but can profoundly improve your health, especially when combined.
1. No Soda Allowed
Do you know how much sugar is in one bottle of soda?
While it’s different for every soda, here are the amounts of sugar in a 16oz bottle of the most popular sodas. I used 16oz because while 12oz is technically one serving of soda, I think most of us grab a bottle from the refrigerated section at the gas station. (Or is that just me?!?) Plus, any medium or large soda from a fast-food joint is typically much larger than 16oz anyway, when pouring from a 2-liter bottle there’s always the tendency to pour a second or third cup, and if you order a soda pop at a sit-down restaurant, they bring you refill after refill, and you probably keep knocking them back, (if you’re anything like me.) Rant aside, here are the numbers.
- 16oz of Coca-Cola has 52 grams of sugar.
- 16oz of Sprite has 51 grams of sugar.
- 16oz of Pepsi has 55 grams of sugar.
- And 16oz of Dr. Pepper has 54 grams of sugar.
That’s a lot of sugar.
That’s literally 1/4 of a cup of sugar.
What does sugar do to your body?
First of all, sugar gives your brain a dopamine boost, the “feel-good” chemical, which is why you crave it in the first place. How evil!
Beyond that, it negatively affects your brain health, mood, weight, quality of your blood and health of your pancreas, gosh, the list goes on. While you won’t see severe adverse effects from a little bit of sugar, 16oz of soda really packs it in.
If you drink just two 16oz sodas a week, that’s 26 cups of sugar per year, just in soda! That works out to six and a half pounds of sugar a year. That. Is. Terrifying.
And that’s why for 2018, I’m striving to drink zero soda.
I won’t talk in detail about why sugar or soda is bad for you in this article. If you want more information about the health hazards of sugar (as if you don’t know already), here’s a great Healthline article that goes into more detail on the hazards of high sugar intake. And if you want more info on drinking soda, check out this article from Food Revolution called 22 ways drinking soda is bad for your health.
2. Waking up at 5 am
This one deserves its own article, and I promise to write that article. It’s such a deep topic that has lots of science and research behind it, but for now, I just want to touch on three basic reasons why waking up at 5 am is an incredible habit I’m building, and why you might want to do the same.
- You’ve already won the day
When you wake up at 5 am, you know most everyone else is still soundly sleeping, while you’re already up and at em’, ready for a productive day. If you struggle with anxiety and focus like I do, it actually helps quite a bit to start your day with an immediate win. Not to mention, if you have work or school to get prepared for, waking up at 5 am prevents you from starting your day in a panicked rush.
- You have Time for You
Have you ever had a laundry list of habits, to-dos, and New Year’s Resolutions, but always find yourself saying “I just don’t have TIME to get all of this accomplished?” Waking up at 5 am gives you that window to do what you need to do for you, not anyone else. You don’t have to worry about emails, phone calls, meetings, even children (hopefully). It’s your time, and you can use it to pursue other healthy habits, like daily planning, going to the gym, eating a healthy breakfast, juicing, meditation, etc.
- It Resets Your Internal Clock
Understand that time is a man-made commodity. Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years, decades, they don’t actually exist. But what does exist is the sun coming up each morning and going down at night. By waking up at 5 am, you beat the sun up as Grant Cardone says, and you reset that clock. In my personal experience, time seems to move much slower that early in the morning, and I can blow through meditation, daily planning, a shower and shave, get dressed, drink a bunch of water, go for a run, make breakfast, and get dressed, then look at the clock and it’s only 7:45 am. That’s more than I sometimes accomplish during entire days, and to have it all done well over an hour before I start my day job puts me in an accelerated mindset that’s much more likely to stick around throughout the day. Then when the evening comes, I feel accomplished, exhausted, and ready for bed. As someone who struggles with getting to bed as well, waking up early really helps slot my sleep schedule into the right place.
3. Drinking 100+ Oz of Water Per Day
Water is life. At birth, our bodies are over 78% water, and an adult brain is, on average, 73% water, according to the Journal of Biological Chemistry by H.H. Mitchell. It keeps mucosal membranes moist, is needed by the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters as well as regulate them, it helps deliver oxygen to the entire body, and is the major component of most body parts.
The average adult drinks only 20 ounces of water per day when we should drink 1/2 oz-1 oz of water per day, per pound we weigh. My goal, as someone who’s chronically dehydrated, is to drink 3/4 of an ounce per pound of body weight, or about 100 ounces per day. I don’t think I could actually consistently drink 130+ ounces per day, and I’m not happy with just 65 ounces, so 100 is a great middle ground for me. It also works out to a nice and even number that I won’t forget. 🙂
I really don’t need to talk about the health benefits of drinking water, and it’s almost silly to have it on this list as if it’s not a mainstream health habit. But the reason I put it in here is because the age-old adage of 8 glasses a day, (64 ounces), is incredibly outdated and inaccurate. Even if you’re drinking that much water, you’re probably not drinking enough. It’s also a habit that many of us don’t pay enough attention to. The days I drink enough water, it’s incredibly noticeable how much better I feel, especially the next day. Coincidence? Doubtful.
SNo soda, waking up at 5 am, and drinking between 1/2 an ounce and 1 ounce of water every single day for 2018. I’m no doctor, and you should obviously check with your physician and adjust based on your own personal health and circumstances, but these are three habits I’m pushing to make muscle memory for 2018, and maybe you should too.