Five a day

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

In the UK we have a national health campaign encouraging everyone to eat at least 5 pieces of fruit/vegetables each day.

This is a sound idea as small daily changes can make a larger difference to your life in the longer term.

I decided to take this idea a step further- with a view to overall happiness and well-being – not just health.

I devised the following 5 things I aim for each day to ensure in the long run I’m taking care of myself and staying in touch with pursuing my happiness and dreams.

The 5 daily things are:

1 litre of water

We are all told to drink more water – we are 70% water after all. There is no science to this amount and of course you could drink more if you wanted to. For me aiming to drink 1 litre of water each day is achievable and as up until this point not something I have focussed on it is a positive change in my health habits.

2 Good deeds

When was the last time you took a moment to thank someone properly? or go out of your way to help someone without them asking? It feels good to serve others and it’s so easy to do. I try to “pay it forward” at least twice a day.

3 Happy moments

Thanks to the Happier app for iPhone I now record at least 3 happy moments each day. This fires up my reticular activating system (don’t worry it’s not that complicated) and also has a competitive edge as all Happier users are keen to collate as many happy moments as possible which is a wonderful win-win scenario for all.

4 Key tasks

Overwhelming workloads and stress are unpleasant- they come from lack of priorities and too much emotional attachment to this perceived lack of control. I aim to have only 4 key tasks to complete each day- I ask myself “what would I be happy with achieving today” and complete those tasks as quickly as I can so my day is “complete” then any other extra work I squeeze in is a bonus and makes me feel like I’m over achieving.

5 Fruit and veg

This is the original idea and it’s a solid one. I try to eat as much fruit and veg each day rather than stopping at 5. It reminds me to move away from more processed foods and focus on more natural foods.

For me, these 5 things are easy to remember and follow – you may wish to choose your own items and I would encourage you do to so.

The point here is that small changes each day make a bigger difference in the long term- but they only work if they are small and simple.