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40 Daily Decisions to Keep You on the Right Path

By , SparkPeople Blogger
There's a claim floating around the internet that any given person makes, on average, a whopping 35,000 decisions per day. Obviously, that may be exaggerated—but hey, even if you drop one of those zeros, that's still a pretty enormous number of choices.
Of course, not all of those selections will be earth-shattering. But on any given day, there are many decisions (more than you might think) that have the power to improve or impede your health. Granted, one decision in and of itself won't have a noticeable effect—but added up over time, all of those incremental choices will eventually manifest themselves in your wellness…and, yes, even your weight.
Every morning when you wake up, your decision meter resets, and you get a brand-new opportunity to make the right ones. From choosing what to eat, how to exercise and other health and wellness options that come your way, making the correct decision can set you up for a lifetime of healthy living.

Eating Decisions

  1. Switch out your morning coffee for lemon water.
  2. Step up your soup game. It's a meal that's easy to prepare, a great way to sneak in extra veggies and you can make large batches to have on hand for busy weeks.
  3. Add a veggie to every single meal. (It's easier than you might think.)
  4. Eat fruit instead of drinking it. An orange will fill you up a lot more than a glass of orange juice, so the calories will be constructive ones.
  5. At mealtimes, close your laptop or turn off the TV.
  6. Instead of eating directly out of the bag (or box or carton), dole out a reasonable portion, put the rest away and eat only what's in your dish.
  7. Choose whole grain over white bread products, including rice, tortillas and pasta.
  8. Before accepting an invitation to eat at a restaurant, check the menu online to make sure there are selections that support your goals.
  9. When you're invited to a dinner party or barbeque, offer to bring a dish. That way, you'll have some control over the spread and you'll know there will be at least one healthy thing to eat.
  10. When cooking at home, look for opportunities to also prep for future meals or snacks. For instance, when making a stir-fry, set aside some veggies for mid-afternoon office snacking. When preparing soup, double the recipe and freeze the rest.
  11. Choose foods that are low in added sugar, sodium and saturated fats.
  12. Track your next meal. And the next…and the next… . 

Exercise Decisions

  1. We've said it many times, but it bears repeating: Swear off the elevators and escalators and make staircases your friend.
  2. Gather up whatever you need for your next workout well in advance. Just the sight of your gear ready to go could help to silence any excuses that might roll around when it comes time to suit up.
  3. Ask a friend to exercise with you. Not only will it prevent you from bailing or slacking off, it will also provide the mental benefits of social interaction.
  4. Instead of hiring a service to take care of household chores—raking leaves, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn—tackle them yourself. You'll net some extra burned calories, it will give your muscles some beneficial movement and you will enjoy the sense of accomplishment your hard work brings.
  5. If you plan to exercise after work, head to the gym or to your walking route straight from the office. When you stop at home, it's easy to get derailed by distractions.
  6. Fuel up on a small snack to give you an energy boost before your workout.
  7. Follow the one-mile rule: If you're going somewhere that's less than a mile away and the weather permits, ditch the car and walk or bike to your destination.
  8. If you have a desk job, switch out your office chair for a stability ball for part of the day to sneak in some extra core work. (Better yet, use a standing desk.)
  9. Keep some light weights, a resistance band or kettlebell near the TV, so you can sneak in some strength exercises during your favorite shows.
  10. Take a 30-minute walk instead of checking social media or surfing the web.
  11. Stand up at least once an hour and move. If you can't walk, at least stretch out, do some arm circles,march in place or try these simple exercises.
  12. When choosing your exercise routines, shoot for a mix of strength training, endurance and cardio, and flexibility and balance.
  13. When you have time, always park as far away from the entrance as possible.
  14. When talking on the phone, walk around the block or just pace around the house or yard to burn calories as you chat. 

Health & Wellness Decisions

  1. Call a trusted friend or family member to catch up, commiserate and unload any burdens you've been carrying. It's free therapy and a surefire stress-buster.
  2. Repeat after me: Find a mantra that motivates, inspires or calms you. Words have power; use them to your advantage.
  3. Start planning your next vacation. Even if it's months (or years) away, looking ahead to the future and having something exciting on the horizon will help to boost your mood and reduce stress.
  4. The next time you're asked to try something new, and your instinct is to say "no," say "yes" instead.
  5. When you're asked to do something you already know you don't enjoy or that doesn't benefit you, politely decline.
  6. If someone makes a rude or insulting comment—knowingly or unknowingly—about your weight, don’t engage. Quickly change the subject to a more positive note to convey that it's not up for discussion.
  7. If you smoke, stop. If you're struggling to stop, get help to kick the habit once and for all.
  8. Call your doctor today to make an appointment if you've had pain or a concerning symptom for a prolonged period of time.
  9. Limit alcohol consumption. Not only does excess indulgence add to your calorie count, it can also make it more difficult to stick to your exercise schedule and get the most out of your sessions.
  10. Try to schedule an outing with a friend or loved one at least once a week. Social connections have been shown to improve mood and reduce stress.
  11. Tired of being tired? Start going to bed 30 to 60 minutes earlier every night. If whatever you would have done instead is important enough, you'll fit it in the next day. If not, it was dispensable anyway.
  12. Read a self-improvement book geared toward what you're trying to accomplish. At a minimum, it will stimulate your brain and encourage creative thought.
  13. Just say "no" to caffeine at least four to six hours before bedtime. You'll fall asleep easier and sleep more.
  14. Do something to celebrate your last success, however big or small it might have been.

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METAFUKARI 8/22/2020
some great suggestions to get active Report
SUNSET09 8/17/2020
This is a serious to-do list, SparkFriends. Goal me! Report
RAZZOOZLE 6/13/2020
thank you Report
See what can happen. Report
SPINECCO 3/16/2020
Thanks for sharing. Report
LIDDY09 3/16/2020
Thanks Report
PIZZA5152 3/16/2020
Thanks Report
1CRAZYDOG 3/16/2020
Love the tips, thanks! Report
ROBBIEY 3/15/2020
good info Report
Great tips! Report
CKOUDSI617 3/15/2020
Some good suggestions - thanks! Report
RCLYKE 3/15/2020
Thank you for sharing Report
CECTARR 3/15/2020
Thanks Report
XME501 3/15/2020
Some great suggestions! I do get up every hour for at least 10 minutes - and sometimes that 10 minutes becomes 30 minutes - when I get "distracted"! Report
FITWITHIN 3/15/2020
Now that the weather is changing. I'm walking the longer distance to get in the building to work. Report
DMEYER4 3/15/2020
thank you Report
LEANJEAN6 3/15/2020
oly Cow--even if I did one of the suggestions, it might help! Report
AZMOMXTWO 3/15/2020
thank you Report
AZMOMXTWO 3/15/2020
thank you Report
NEPTUNE1939 3/15/2020
ty Report
MAREE1953 3/15/2020
I gave up creamer and stevia in my coffee and drink decaf after 10 am. But I won't give it up. There are studies suggesting health benefits of coffee. Otherwise, common sense reminders Report
FERRETLOVER1 3/15/2020
Excellent. Report
LIS193 3/15/2020
Great tips, thanks Report
PAMBROWN62 3/15/2020
Many good suggestions here. Thanks for sharing. Report
JANIEWWJD 3/15/2020
Love this article!!! Report
QUEENFROG 3/15/2020
Same ol', same ol'. Report
MUSICNUT 1/11/2020
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
LESSOFMOORE 12/16/2019
I can't believe it, but I DID switch from coffee with cream to hot water with lemon! Report
BILLTHOMSON 11/22/2019
Its amazing I am actually doing the majority of the items listed, but it took me three years to get here. Report
BOOKNUT52 11/20/2019
I am soooooooooooooooooooooo not switching coffee for lemon water. Did someone really do that? Report
Thanks Report
L couldn't read any of these suggestions after I read the first one. Switch my caffeine drink for lemon water? In what world does that make sense? Report
Some of these are very questionable, Interesting article but ???? Report
Great. Report
Thank you for sharing. Report
Great ideas! Report
Thank you Report
thanks Report
thank you again I learn something new every time I read an article Report
Those are some pretty good tips. Report
Awesome tips Report
Thanks Report
Very useful list, especially the suggestion to stand up once an hour and move around a little. As someone with mobility issues, I particularly appreciate the inclusion of adaptations for people who aren't able to walk easily, if at all. With a little creativity, we can still get our wigglies in! Report
Good list. Thanks for sharing! Report
Great list of things to consider and incorporate into you life. Report
Sorry, I am soooooooooo not going to switch my morning coffee for lemon water! Report
Good article! The only caveat I have is the wisdom of making these changes one or two at a time. Small changes gradually implemented seem to have more lasting effects in my life. Report
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