5 Daily Habits (and One Meditation Routine) I Took Away From Japan and China
Our daily habits and routines have the power to do two things;
They can build us up, make us strong and happy or they can break us down – it’s that simple. Now, my job is to up-keep good habits, that’s what I post about, and that is my entire mission statement – I aim to live by example. And so I only discuss, post or prescribe things that I have personally done or experienced.
Now when I travel I am often traveling to train, teach, learn and explore. Taking in what I can from the people and places that inspire me most.
Below are five very helpful, and very simple daily routines I took away from my time in Asia. I have spent many moths traveling through Japan, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao and Burma, and below are the daily habits that I have found very helpful. Each has truly enhanced my health, happiness and fitness levels.
1. Prepare the night before.
I’ve noticed that my best days start when I am ready for the day and don’t have to fuss about ‘getting ready’. This truly means having a planned out routine, including an ideal time to workout, a plan for lunch and yes, even perhaps my morning outfit.
So, to prep but still keep the much needed spontaneity in your life, aim to write down whatever part of your schedule you can on a calendar (like your ideal workout days), plan as many routine things as possible, like lunch times, meeting, workout days and grocery shopping days. Then, leave time for the super fun stuff that you don’t plan. Planning and prepping does not mean that you cannot have fun – enjoy life, live spontaneously with the stuff that matters, but with daily routines, plan it out (you’ll save yourself a lot of stress).
Why plan and prep? We commonly go through what is called decision fatigue because from the moment we wake up we have to start making decisions – so help yourself avoid the petty stuff you don’t need to deal with like figuring out what bag to wear and what shoes go with your blouse.
2. Water and Lemon First Thing In The AM
I learned this in Asia and have been doing it ever since my first visit to Japan in 2005. When I wake up in the morning the first thing I do is drink a glass of water with lemon. This routine helps lower your glycemic levels for your coffee or first meal, helps kill any unnecessary morning cravings and helps alkalize the body.
And yes ladies, his method helps maintain weight and also helps weightloss, I talk about it and many other health habits for weigh maintenance in my 7 Day Lean book .
3. Meditate — YOUR WAY.
We hear so much about meditation; it’s great for you to reconnect, de-stress and become more mindful. But perhaps the reason you have had such a difficult time getting into it is because we are all very different- and so as I’ve learned from my time in Japan, our meditation process can be different too.
In Kyoto I watched one monk meditate sitting on the ground, while another was doing slow movement patterns with his hands. I was also told that activities like calligraphy or flower arrangements were all ways to meditate – becoming more mindful, more self aware and less stressed.
So, I do ONE of these forms of meditation a day – for me its mainly music or active meditation, but no matter what- I tune the world out for a bit, and when I return to it I am far more clear headed, creative, relaxed, calm and happy.
Eyes closed, cross legged on a mat, breathe and let go. If you are new to this, try a timer start with 3 minutes and then work your way up with an extra two minutes a week.
— Breathing Meditation Drill
For others its breathing exercises – try my favorite one:
Take 1 step forward and breathe deep into your belly
Take 2 steps to breathe and 2 to breathe out
Next, take 3 steps and one breath in, 3 steps to one breathe out
Work your way up as high as you can…
4 for 4 / 5 for 5/ 6 for 6/ 7 for 7 and on…
— Music Meditation
Who says meditation has to be a certain way- maybe for you running out means listening to your favorite tunes – make the time!
— Active Meditation
Meditate, or ‘tune the world out’ and ‘tune into yourself’ through a personal activity like hiking, surfing, running, dance, yoga, lifting weights or training martial arts. Just make sure no mater what it is you stay focused on you and not on your inbox.
— ‘Do You’ Meditation
Read a book, unwind with your favorite magazines, take a bubble bath – whatever works and gets you into your skin – mind, body & spirit.
When you wake up, visualize your day as you expect it to be. If you know you need a specific routine to get you going – make sure you get everything you need to get your routine on lock.
Continue to visualize through out the day. If you have a meeting – visualize its success. If something great happened, visualize a mental celebration. Visualize yourself eating get food, taking a walk and working out. Basically, visualize what you want daily.
Spending hours each week at the gym is great if you have the time and enjoy it, but it’s not a requirement for having a solid exercise routine. There are many ways to perform a full-body workout with minimal or no equipment, we have result proven workout programs for our KB community that are between 25 – 30 minutes a three to five times a week. If you workout correctly you will get amazing results, just look at our testimonials page!
So, make exercise part of your weekly routine 3-4 times a week, and by having the option to workout at home you eliminate the excuse of being too busy or too tired later in the day.