Dr. Bell's Blog

5 Simple Ways To Make 2019 Healthier and Happier


I think I can speak for most everyone by saying there are always things in our lives we can improve upon. Long time life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins coined an acronym for improvement as “CANI”, meaning Constant And Never Ending Improvement. This is a good phrase to live by. We can all benefit from improvement in our lives. None of us will ever be perfect, but striving to be a little better tomorrow than we were today is a healthy approach to making sure we are always trending in a healthy direction.

That being said, lets look at 5 ways we can ALL benefit from by making our lives healthier and happier in 2019…

  1. Move More, Sit Less: We have slowly developed into a society that sits an awful lot. So much so that research shows the average American sits roughly 13 hours per day, in addition to the 8 hours of sleep when we are laying down. That means we are only moving for an average of 3 hours per day. That is simply not enough. This has led ‘inactivity’ to become the 4th leading risk factor for mortality, and ultimately related to 3.2 million deaths per year. This is a health crisis with a VERY simple solution: move more. If you have a desk job, take regular breaks multiple times during the day, to walk around the office. Most people also keep sitting when they get home from work. Take time in the evening and go for a 30 minute walk.

  2. Cut Down On Screen Time: This one may be one of the more difficult ones. So much of what we do now is either on a phone, computer, or tablet. We read, we do work, and now we even socialize this way. The world is trending to more and more screen time. At minimum, take periodic times to go “off the grid” for a number of days. I regularly do this in the summer/fall with our trips up to the Adirondacks given that our location in the park has no cell service. You will be surprised how little you think of it when using your phone is not an option. Give it a try for a couple days and see if you are the same as I am.

  3. Get More Quality Sleep: I have touched on this subject in a recent blog post, but the importance of good quality sleep can not be understated. The negative effects of even one night of less than 7 hours of sleep has been well documented. I know sometimes it is inevitable, but don’t make it a habit. Commit to 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night. For tips on ways to improve your sleep, go back and read my previous blog post titled “Don’t Sleep On The Importance Of A Great Night’s Rest”.

  4. Be Selfish: I don’t mean this in a negative sense. What I’m talking about is simply putting yourself first. We all have people who depend on us, that we care deeply for, and don’t want to let them down. However, unless we are happy and healthy, we will be virtually helpless for them. In the long run you will be able to take better care of those you love if you make sure you are healthy first.

  5. Be Grateful and Humble: The reality is, if you are currently reading this on a computer, tablet, or phone, then you are blessed beyond belief compared to most people in the world. Sometimes we lose perspective because all we pay attention to is what is closest to us. We compare ourselves with others around us along with those in the media. Recently I read a book called Thirst. It was written by the founder of Charity: Water. In the book he notes that 663 million people worldwide (1 in 10 worldwide) live without access to clean water. For something that all of us take for granted everyday, that is staggering. I am not saying that we all shouldn’t strive for greater things, because I think that is healthy. But we also should take time to simply be grateful for all of the blessings we have.

The year is coming to an end, and I know it is cliché, but they seem to go by faster and faster.

As you reflect on 2018 and look forward to 2019, commit to creating a year filled with health, and happiness for you and your family. You deserve to…

LIVE well. BE well.