a Healthy Life
A basic principle in Life Coaching is to choose
life affirming behaviors, transform them into good habits, and then use
them as the building blocks to construct a satisfying, healthy life
Creating good habits and healthy life styles requires a close look at
all areas of your life, including diet, exercise, sleep, health,
recreation, career and work, relationships, sexuality, finances, and
A daily time schedule is an important tool in creating a healthy, happy
life. Time is the most basic currency of life: how you respect it,
invest it, and spend it will determine how your life will manifest.
When you schedule time for an activity, you are both spending and
investing that time. Your time is a finite resource limited to 24 hours
per day. All hours that you spend and invest in activities that do not
bring adequate returns cannot be made up later—once used they are gone.
Regular examination of how you schedule and spend your time will reveal
whether you are investing your time in activities that reflect your
most important values and goals. You can use that information to help
you plan and use your time more effectively.
for Success the Night Before
A good place to start is to look at how you spend
your time preparing for each new day. Getting ready for a productive
day means that you must perform certain life affirming tasks, such as
hygiene and grooming, exercise, prayer and/or meditation, dressing,
eating breakfast, and making a "to do" list that includes a schedule
for the tasks you plan to accomplish.
However, as important as morning rituals may be, preparation for a
successful day actually starts the evening before. One of the most
important life affirming activities is a full night (7 to 8 hours) of
restful sleep. Some of your body's necessary biological functions can
be performed only while you sleep. During sleep, your body heals,
and replenishes your energy. Sleep also nourishes and stimulates the
creative and problem-solving parts of your mind.
If you have problems getting enough sleep or feeling rested and
refreshed in the mornings, please read my article on Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and
Other Sleep Problems and discuss your concerns with your doctor.
Affirming Bedtime Activities
There are many life affirming activities that you
can use to complete your day and prepare for restful sleep. These are
among the most important:
- For several hours before bedtime, avoid
activities that are emotionally stressful (like paying bills, arguing
with family, or watching/listening to news reports or scary or tense
- As bedtime nears, choose activities that are
enjoyable, quieting, and relaxing.
- Briefly review what you accomplished today. It
may be helpful to check items off of your "to do" list (which can help
you begin tomorrow's list). If you like to write in a diary or journal,
you can list or discuss your accomplishments there.
- At bedtime it is important to let go of all
worries, including concerns about unfinished tasks or tomorrow's
agenda. Sometimes it helps to take just a few minutes to start your
list of tomorrow's tasks. Be careful not to slip into problem-solving
now—the goal is to use the list as a bookmark or container to hold
these items outside of your conscious mind so you can release yourself
to fully relax and rest. Then, finish making your "to do" list in the
- Take some time for prayer and/or meditation.
Take this opportunity to surrender your cares and offer gratitude for
Here are more tips for your evening
- Exercise can be a good transition between your
work day and your personal time. However, it is usually best to
exercise at least four hours before bedtime.
- Spend quality time with family members (in
person or via telephone).
- Allow adequate time to prepare clothing,
lunches, etc. for the next day. Keep in mind that these chores are not
your most important evening activities.
- Check with your doctor about whether a bedtime
snack is okay and which foods are best for it.
- Some people find that a hot shower or bath
before bedtime helps them to relax and fall asleep.
- Plan adequate time to complete nightly grooming