Do you want to live a healthier and wealthier life?
Personally, I believe when you take care of your health and finances, it makes you a better parent.
The reason I firmly believe this is because I learned it from personal experience.
Not long ago, I was out of shape, depressed, and over $20k in debt. Not only was I poor and fat; I was also a bad parent and husband.
When you are in debt, all you think about is how to get out of debt. When you are with your family, your mind is thinking, “How the heck am I going to pay off this debt?”
My poor health also made it difficult to keep up my children. They would go..go..go, and I would want to sit…sit…sit.
The combination of the two made for a terrible time in my life.
Finally, after feeling sorry for myself, I finally decided to turn things around.
Over the course of the next couple of years, I sold an app business, got a new career, wrote a book, learned how to build websites, got out of debt, improved my health, and focused more on my family.
Personally, I can tell you it is much easier to be a great parent when you aren’t worried about money and are in shape.
Most people think it’s impossible to improve these areas of your life. They have excuses like, “I don’t have time to exercise” or “I can’t change careers. or “I have no idea how to start my own business.”
All of these are excuses.
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym or have a career transformation overnight. That’s not how it happened for me.
A permanent change in your life starts with small, consistents habits.
Here are 12 Life Hacks to Make You Healthier and Wealthier
12 Life Hacks to Make You Healthier & Wealthier
1) Cut out 100 Daily Calories
If you have a goal to lose weight, work on cutting out 100 calories per day.
Because you can lose over 10 pounds in the next year with this simple hack without limiting yourself.
Instead of going on a restrictive diet; replace one can of soda a day with water.
This habit may not seem to be much change, but this one consistent action can help you lose 10 pounds over the next year.
One pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. That one can of soda you are drinking equates to over 50,000 calories per year or 14 lbs.
When you make this one small change (stop drinking soda), then you make huge gains in your life.
Consider what Darren Hardy wrote in his book The Compound Effect, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
Think about something you eat every day. How can you eliminate 100 calories? This is a simple life hack you can incorporate today.
2) Invest in Index Funds
Want to reach your retirement goals quick?
Invest in index funds as opposed to mutual funds.
According to Forbes, the real cost of owning mutual funds can exceed 3.00%. If you have $100,000 in a mutual fund, then you could be paying $3,000 a year in fees and expenses. These charges will destroy your potential earnings.
A typical index fund has fees of less than 1/2%. The fees on $100,000 would only cost $500 a year to manage.
Not only are index funds cheaper, they usually outperform actively managed mutual funds. I wrote more on how to become a better investor than 90% of investors in this article.
Eliminating investment fees may not seem like a life hack, but reducing fees can add 10 years to your retirement.
3) Automate Your Investments
Many people don’t budget. Personally, that’s fine with me because I am not an extreme budgeter.
However, the problem for most people is they pay all of their bills first. Only after their bills are paid do they think about investing their money.
Do you know what typically happens?
These people pay all of their bills. Then they find something they want to buy and save zero money.
Instead, invest your money first before you pay your bills.
Personally, I have 10% of my salary deposited into my 401(k) at work. Paying myself first ensures I save money, I get the company match, and I’m planning for retirement.
When you wait to invest, it never happens. To create wealth; invest first then pay bills.
4) Eat the Same thing for Breakfast Every Morning
Did you ever notice that Steve Jobs always wore the same black turtleneck?
Do you know why Mark Zuckerberg always wears the same t-shirt?
It’s to save brain power.
Your brain consumes more calories than any part of your body. It is always looking for ways to cut calories.
One way to help your brain cut calories (so you can use your brain power for more important things) is to eliminate choices.
For me, it’s breakfast. Almost every morning, I have scrambled eggs, a green drink, and coffee.
I don’t have to think about what I’m having, and my brain likes that.
5) Incorporate Temptation Bundling
Temptation Bundling is taking something you don’t necessarily like to do and combining it with something you enjoy. Katy Milkman created this concept, a professor at the Wharton School of Business.
Personally, I use temptation bundling when I am packing up my boxes for Amazon. So while I’m packing up boxes, I binge on Netflix for a few hours. It makes the process so much better!
How can you take advantage of temptation bundling? Write down all the behaviors/tasks that you procrastinate. Then write down all the temptations you love.
Think about what you could combine to make you more productive. Here are a few ideas:
- Only listen to your favorite podcasts while you run
- Sip on your favorite wine, only when you writing 1,000 words for your book
- Watch your favorite show, while you are stuffing envelopes for your marketing letters.
To learn more about this incredible idea, read Marelisa Farega’s entire post about Temptation Bundling. Maybe the best life hack ever!
6) Learn to Sleep
One of the primary reasons we need sleep is to reset our brains. When we sleep, the glymphatic system empties the trash from our brains. This cleansing helps our cognitive abilities, and we think clearer.
To learn more about sleep, check out my Ultimate Sleep Guide.
If you want more success, happiness, and productivity in your life, then better sleep is your answer.
7) Carry Water with You
Water is used for important functions such as regulating body temperature, nutrient metabolism, cushioning joints, organs and tissues.
Dehydration is also a big problem in many states across the country.
However, I’ve read that nearly 60% of us don’t drink enough water.
Instead of sipping water after you brush your teeth or stopping by the water fountain; carry a water bottle with you.
Personally, I take a HydroFlask everywhere I go. It carries over 30 ounces of water, and I refill it 4-5 times a day.
There is no excuse not to get enough water. It’s important for your health and an easy life hack.
8) Read 15 Pages a Day
Do you want to learn a new skill and surpass your co-workers?
It’s estimated most adults read less than one book per year.
To get ahead of your peers, you just need to read a few books.
Instead of trying to read an entire book in one sitting, make it a habit of reading 15 pages a day.
If we assume the average book is 250 pages, then you will read over 20 books in one year by implementing this simple habit.
Do you only have time for ten pages a day? You’ll still read nearly 15 books!!!
How much could you learn with 15-20 books? You could become an expert on two or three new topics.
I bet your income would start skyrocket!
If you are serious about improving your health (both physical and mental health) – start meditating.
The studies behind meditation are stunning, and the health benefits are even more staggering.
Mediation may sound a little new age and full of fluff, but there are a lot of proven health benefits. Some of those benefits include:
- Reduces stress
- Improves concentration
- Can increase happiness
- Benefits the immune system
I have experimented with different meditation apps, but Headspace is my absolute favorite.
Unfortunately, this is my least consistent habit. However, when I do meditate frequently, I feel more present and calm.
To improve your health, try to meditate for 10 minutes a day.
10) Learn a New Skill
Luckily we live in the best period ever to improve ourselves.
We used to have to go to college to learn any new skill. Now you can pretty much jump on the internet and learn anything you want.
If you want to learn to program computers, start with YouTube.
If you want to become a certified fitness instructor, you can do that online.
You can even learn to code, with a few course on Udemy.
Learning new skills is the most important thing you can do for your career. A habit of continuous learning will help you achieve all of your financial goals.
11) Take Full Advantage of Your Company’s 401(k) Match
This is a simple hack, but one that very few people utilize.
Take advantage of your company’s 401(k) match.
If your company offers a 100% match on the first 6% of your income you contribute; TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE MATCH.
This means if you earn $50,000 and contribute 6% or $3,000, then your company will also invest $3,000 into your 401(k).
In case you are slow with math, that’s a 100% return.
Where else will you get a 100% return?
Take advantage of the match for long-term wealth.
12) Walk 10,000 Steps
You don’t need to start a marathon training program to get in better shape. To get in better shape start with walking.
10,000 steps can help you burn up to 3,500 calories per week (depending on a few factors).
To start tracking your steps, I suggest you get a FitBit because it keeps you accountable. You don’t need to get a fancy version; the Fitbit Flex 2 is probably the best for your money.
To learn how 10,000 steps can improve your life, read this article by Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms.
If you have a difficult time walking 10,000 steps, check out my article on How to Build a Home Gym for $250 (and that includes a treadmill).
As you have read, it doesn’t take much to live a healthier and wealthier life! It just takes small, consistent changes.
When you make some of these changes in your life, you will find it’s easier to be a better parent, spouse, and even employee!