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Just Start Saying ‘No’ to Get More Time to Build Healthier Habits

By Team Best Life

The people-pleasers and overachievers among us are always told that we need to get better at saying no—but sometimes deciding what you say no to is more challenging than actually saying the word. Check out these suggestions for taking back your time in a smart and efficient way.

Say No (Thank You) To…

fitness time
Excess meal prep and cleanup. Try lining your pans with foil for easy cleaning, or buy pre-cut veggies and fruits for various meals to limit preparation time. Love gadgets? From immersion blenders to hand choppers to slow cookers, there are myriad ways to save time and sanity in almost every step of the meal-prep process.

Daily TV time. Save up your must-see shows and watch a few together, bypassing commercials. Why? It condenses your TV-watching time while opening up other time slots. It also helps build anticipation—you’ll feel rewarded for the time you’ve earned.
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Maintaining a Yoga Practice Through the Holidays to Prevent Bad Habits in the New Year

The last few months of the year are challenging for many reasons. From Thanksgiving Day to January 1st, many will fall victim to the greater pull of holiday pleasures and ditch their exercise routines and healthy diets.

It isn’t a crime to be a little lenient during the holidays. After all, what other time of year gives us this opportunity to eat and drink with such enthusiasm? The problem arises when seemingly temporary indulgences turn into permanent bad habits.

We all know that the best way to break a habit is to not start one in the first place. That’s why maintaining a consistent yoga practice can help. The following are a few suggestions to keep you motivated to hit the mat before your holiday hedonisms become your New Year lifestyle.

Seek instant gratification the healthy way

Needing something to knock the edge off your holiday stress? Instead of reaching for the eggnog, try taking a 5-minute break to sit, stretch, and breathe on your yoga mat. I guarantee it will bring you more gratification, give you more energy, and not to mention, reduce your daily intake of calories.
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Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits Have Inspired Millions to be Highly Effective in Life

UPDATE 7/16/12: The bestselling author’s family confirmed today that Stephen Covey died at age 79. He was surrounded at the hospital by his wife, children and their spouses when he passed. In a statement issued by his family, they say his death was the result of effects of a bicycle accident he had this spring.

In 1989, Dr. Stephen Covey published the book he is best known for, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Since then, he has kept up a demanding schedule, to understate greatly, of writing, lecturing, teaching, leading his company FranklinCovey, and staying in touch with his 9 children and 47 grandchildren. Among other awards, Covey was named one of TIME Magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, given an International Man of Peace Award, and received a National Fatherhood Award.

Covey teaches people to live by principles of honesty and integrity to achieve personal and professional success. He uses jargon like “Think win-win,” “Begin with the End in Mind,” “Synergize,” and “Be Proactive,” four of his seven habits, to get his points across. He emphasizes things such as writing personal mission statements and focusing on what one can control in their life instead of what they can’t. He believes that each person can shape their own destiny, to live fully by living a life in balance and continual self-renewal in all areas of life. Covey added an 8th habit in 2004 with the publishing of a book of the same name, and that one deals with leadership and finding your personal voice in today’s globalized world.
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The Worst Gym Goer Habits that Grind Your Gears

Gyms are where a majority of people go to work on their health and fitness. They’re supposed to be a place where you go to release stress and the only person you really have to worry about is yourself. Though, sometimes when you are at the gym you can’t help but watch other people, and they can’t help but put themselves right in your line of sight.

For this week’s FitCrypt, I asked “What are annoying habits you see at your local gym?” I received an flood of emails from people telling me their stories about annoying gym habits.

The number one annoying gym habit is men making loud obnoxious grunting noises. If you’re in the weight room with even a couple of other guys, then chances are you’ve heard the loud grunting noises right before a guy is about to lift 150 pounds over his bench limit. Its like he is making a mating call to get everyone’s attention directed toward him.

You guys also called out the following as some of the most annoying gym habits:
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Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’ is a Mantra for Self Improvement

If you’ve ever heard Michael Jackson’s song ‘Man in the Mirror’ you might think it’s all about activism and politicking. With lyrics like, “If you want to make the world a better place then look at yourself and make a change,” anyone would raise an eyebrow to the defying characteristic of righteous action this song exudes.

Three years ago, after the news of Jackson’s passing, I played this song on my iPod as a way to honor the late, great, king of pop. Even though I was only a minimal fan at best, I still needed to have my own sense of closure, however trivial it was. The song I chose to memorialize Jackson with (in my own mind) was one of my favorites, yet I realized that I hadn’t actually paid that close attention to the lyrics. Sure, I heard the mantra, “Make that change,” ring over and over again, but it hadn’t hit home until that day.

Reclining in my luxurious overstuffed loveseat with a full bowl of popcorn in my lap I heard, “I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love. It’s time that I realize that there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan. Could it be really me, pretending that they’re not alone?” How did I ever miss that? Was it because I was jaded by the 80’s-era of Madonna and Michael Jackson pop-infused dance floor accessory successes, or was it because so often we choose to tune out that which we think has little or nothing to do with us?
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