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October 31st, 2009 · 18 Comments · Food & Health, Habits

good habits bad habits

To maintain our health and conserve our energy, we have to identify and eliminate the bad habits that are undermining our full potential as individuals. Once you’ve identified those habits you have to change them into good ones.

Next, I will share with you a list of 7 highly effective habits for a healthy life. If you incorporate these 7 habits into your daily routine you will reap the benefits for the rest of your life.


1. Establish a nighttime routine & sleep at least 7 hours a night

I really recommend you to establish a nighttime routine. You should go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Why? Because it will help to set your body’s internal clock and you will sleep better. It will keep your mind and body ready for the sleep process. Remember that the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night for optimal functioning.

snack meal

2. Snack between meals

Many people don’t recommend eat between meals, but I don’t agree with them.  Even if you take time to eat three meals a day, you may still feel hungry at times. Dividing your calories into three meals and two snacks instead of three large meals can help to keep you well fuelled throughout the day. Snacking between meals can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your metabolism going. Snacking on nutritious food can keep your energy level high and your mind alert. Try healthy foods like whole wheat crackers and low fat cheese.

glass water

3. Eat healthy food and drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day

Eat healthy food for a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy food doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods and switching only to salads. Healthy cooking is easy and cheap (I really mean it). A healthy diet is essential to live a healthy lifestyle. Another good tip is to eat at the same time, or nearly so, every day on a consistent eating schedule. Why? Because this will promote a digestive rhythm that will enable your body to receive the optimal benefit from your diet. In addition, I recommend use organic foods as much as possible and reduce red meat intake and eat more fish, especially oily varieties like salmon, tuna and sardines.

Your daily water intake could vary depending on your physical activity but it’s recommended to drink between 1.5 liters to 2 liters a day. The more active you are the more water your body will need. Remember that you can get water from a variety of sources like soft drinks, fruits and some foods, however the more water you drink in plain form the better.

I recommend a Mediterranean style diet: “The principal aspects of this diet include high olive oil consumption, high consumption of legumes, high consumption of unrefined cereals, high consumption of fruits, high consumption of vegetables, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate to high consumption of fish, low consumption of meat and meat products, and moderate wine consumption (wikipedia).”

running4. Do regular exercise

Why regular exercise is good for you? Because it strengthens and tones, controls weight, enhances flexibility, helps prevent diseases, boost energy and concentration, keep you feeling bright and looking young and healthy.

Once you begin to exercise regularly, you will discover many other reasons why exercise is so important to improving the quality of your life. Exercise reduces stress and helps you sleep better and it can keep you looking and feeling younger throughout your entire life. How often should I exercise? Being consistent with exercise is probably the most important factor in achieving desired results. I would suggest three days a week to get results, but, if you’re just starting out, two days is fine. And remember: More is not necessarily better. You have to keep in mind that your workouts should be challenging in order to get best results, but don’t push the body too much. Your workouts should be efficient with the right exercises, and please, remember to stretch after exercising.


5. Don’t abuse anything

As Voltaire said once: Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.-.- I follow this rule in my own life and I personally advice you to do so. The most obvious example is related to alcohol consumption but you can extrapolate this to almost any imaginable situation: avoid heavy meals; balance your time in front of the television and the computer; and a long etc.

just do it nike

6. Don’t procrastinate: Just do it!

Each one of us has probably heard the old adage Procrastination is the thief of time.” It’s a natural human behavior, a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. It’s a counterproductive behavior, needless, and delaying, but I have good news too! You can overcome it. How to overcome procrastination? Don’t try to do too much too quickly because you will probably not succeed at every task you are given or every challenge you face.

So, the important thing is to get started and do the given task step-by-step, and don’t try to put all the pieces together at once. My tips: make a comprehensive but detailed daily (weekly) schedule of tasks to be done and stick to it as much as you can; focus on your work during working hours but get some rest too; be organized; and, if you get stuck get some help.

phone off

7. Build and maintain relationships with your friends and family

Most relations end just because they are not in contact for a long period of time. With current technology, there’s no reason not to keep in touch with your friends. There are so many ways to keep in touch: twitter, email, facebook, messenger, skype, phone calls, blogs, etc. Please, don’t hesitate to send a message at first place. Refresh contacts with old friends. So, be proactive, take the lead and organize a reunion with former friends and colleagues and enjoy reconnecting with them.

Elbert Hubbard said once something that really moved me and made me think about my relationship with my family:No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?It’s a powerful message that deserves to be spread, country by country, city by city, street by street and, finally, heart by heart, because love deserves to be spread far and wide.

We should ask ourselves some important questions:

  • Do I have a close relationship with my sister/ brother/ parents?
  • What kind of actions can I take to improve my relationship with them?

So, as said above, don’t procrastinate => Just Do It!

To sum up: when people ask me to give some advice and tips for a healthy lifestyle I always say the same: sleep at least 7 hours a night; do exercise, eat healthy food, drink enough water, don’t abuse anything and, finally, be social and generous with your friends and family.

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

*  *  *                                  *  *  *                                *  *  *                               *  *  *

Now, I’m looking to you for some wisdom:

  • What good habits would you most like to develop?
  • If you could just pick one or two habits to create in the next month what would they be?

Use the comments section of this post as a forum to post your own experiences, opinions and thoughts on this subject.

And remember, share your thoughts and enjoy what others share with you 🙂

Written by: David Cantone

My Twitter: @DavidCantone


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18 Comments so far ↓

  • Jonny | thelifething.comNo Gravatar

    7 excellent points.

    How about also “Doing one selfless thing for someone else each and everyday”
    .-= Jonny |´s last blog ..5 Whopping Lies That Society Screams At You And 5 Brutal Truths That It Keeps Quite About =-.

  • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

    Hi Jonny.

    Good one! I like it.

    If everybody followed this rule, the world would be a much better place.

    Thanks for your comment 🙂


  • RyanNo Gravatar

    Great tips David.

    I’ve finally learned to do the sleep thing. I usually get between 6-8 hours a night, where for a while it was a lot less.

    As of last week I started working at set times. What a difference! It’s added order to my mind and affairs. And when I shut my lap top down for the day, I shut it down. No fiddling around on the laptop outside of my preset times, which usually results in anxiety and shoddy work.

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Ryan.

      I’m glad you finally found a good routine to work.

      You’re right: + order = + clarity = + productivity = – stress & anxiety 😀 Good equation.

      Thanks for sharing your own experience.

      See you soon Ryan.

  • EmilyRootsNo Gravatar

    Spend a little time just playing every day.
    My Little Bird (3) is really into hide-and-seek right now. I had forgotten how much fun it can be! She reminds me every day how important it is to go without a plan–at least some of the time–and just groove on whatever fun thing life throws your way…

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Emily and welcome to :).

      You are absolutely right, once in a while we have to free ourselves from the structured life and schemes that are created around us. Life can be something very enjoyable, we just need to go with the flow.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.

      Regrads 🙂

  • Nicholas CardotNo Gravatar

    All seven points are good ones and I’m pleased to say that I practice almost all of them.
    .-= Nicholas Cardot´s last blog ..4 Ways to Encourage Comments on Your Blog =-.

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Nick, I’m sure you practice them.

      There’s a speech by Tim Ferris titled “How to Build a High-Traffic Blog without Killing Yourself.” This title captures the reality of blogging, we need some good habits in order to keep producing quality content. You are doing a great work with your blog, so I’m sure you have a lot to say about good habits and productivity.

      I’d love if you would share your productivity tools and tips with us someday 🙂 .

      Thanks for your comment.

      Regards Nick.

  • Victor SinclairNo Gravatar

    All good points David. Everyone of them envokes the law of displacement. Not just glass half full, but glass filled with Positive Habits, has no room for negative ones.

    In our movement, (complimentary to yours teachings):The Positive Imperative, we are suggesting to people to accentuate the positive…. or put in other words… more of this…Positivity, hugs and compliments, and Less of that Neutrals Prograstination, and Negativity, cold shoulders, and sarcasim.

    As for the habit I’m working on most right now it’s to harness the mind….. which includes thought paterns, the scripts we use over and over again, and affirmations to focus on the positive. The more you govern that idea, the easier and more likely your 7 habits will succeed, or any other positive ones which according to our second tennat takes 10 times the energy to complete, and the less likely the negative ones will take hold which do 10 times the damage and are ten time easier to follow.

    Once again, some great positive habits David, well done!

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Victor and welcome to

      Sounds really interesting what you said about the Positive Imperative: positive thinking may create a permanent positive attitude which eventually will lead to success. Great!

      Thanks Victor for your insightful comment and for sharing your experiences.

      Regards 🙂

  • Oscar - freestyle mindNo Gravatar

    Hey David, I’m a big fan of habits.

    I agree with snacking between meals, but I would recommend sleeping more than 7 hours (8-9), at least this is what works for me 😉

    Anyways nice blog and I’ve just subscribed and stumbled 😀
    .-= Oscar – freestyle mind´s last blog ..10,000 Euros/Month October Update =-.

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Oscar, nice to see you in my blog.

      Yes, I need to snack between meal because I spend a lot of time outside my home :).

      I’d like to sleep 8-9 hours but my body can’t be more than 7-8 sleeping; as you said, I guess it depends from person to person.

      Thanks for subscribing you and stumbling the post, you are great.

      See you soon Oscar.

  • Dayne | TheHappySelf.comNo Gravatar

    Absolutely agree with all these tips and I try to follow them every single day. I still have problems with being a workaholic though. 🙂

    Cheers and great blog!
    .-= Dayne |´s last blog ..How To Love The Things You Hate =-.

  • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

    Hi Dayne and welcome to :).

    I’m glad you like it.

    Yes, we shold keep a balance between work and life, but sometimes it’s difficult.

    Thanks for your comment Dayne,

    See you soon.

  • VambanNo Gravatar

    The above tips not only change your life. It will help you to avoid obesity and keep you always healthier.
    .-= Vamban´s last blog ..Janet Jackson Blames Doctor for Brother’s Death =-.

  • Ben LumleyNo Gravatar


    Thanks for justing out my goals for 2010.

    I’d been struggling to narrow down what I was going to work towards next year but now I have them! All 7!

    Brilliant! Inspiring!
    .-= Ben Lumley´s last blog ..Merry Christmas Everyone! =-.

  • KhiyoNo Gravatar

    Always change for the better if you want to have a better life and this will be the good way to start 🙂

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