6 Tips to Living a Happy, Healthy Life

Being happy and healthy go hand in hand, and sometimes, we need a few reminders about how to make this powerful combination a reality in our day-to-day lives. Here are six sure-fire ways to turn your frown upside down and feel good from the inside out!

1. Reframe Your Failures

A failure is only a failure if YOU define it as such. Whether it’s the job you didn’t get, the five pounds you didn’t lose (again), or the workout you missed, you have the power to determine the next steps you take. Change the outcome of the future by focusing on what you’ve learned from your mistakes.

Maybe the workout you skipped yesterday will make way for a longer, more intense, and more focused workout today?

2. Take a Break

It’s OK to take a break—mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sometimes you just need to take a timeout. So, remember:

  • It’s OK to miss a workout.
  • It’s OK to have a food cheat day.
  • It’s OK to want to be by yourself.

Everything in moderation is a good motto to live by. Taking a short break from exercising, perfect nutritional choices, or even other people can be helpful to recharge and coming back stronger. In order to see the benefit of the break, we must not beat ourselves up. Let it happen, strategically, and get on with it.

3. Be You

It’s easy to get distracted by the media or compare ourselves to the person working out beside us. We’re all looking for inspiration, motivation, and education, and in doing so, we tend to slip into comparison mode. It’s great to do research, but remember it’s your journey. You are the only one who knows if running works or if walking feels better. Who’s to say what’s right? Doing ANYTHING is better than NOTHING!

Make sure to try lots of different activities, workouts, and recipes. Let your gut be your guide.

4. Make New Friends

Find friends who like the activities you’re trying to incorporate. Socialize with folks who find joy in the way you’re trying to be more healthy, active or conscientious. It’s really tough to get active if you’re closest group of friends sit around and eat deep fried chicken wings for dinner every night.

You are who you associate with, and while moving away from your comfortable circle of friends might cause a bit of distress, surrounding yourself with a happier, healthier tribe will help you win in the end.

5. Celebrate Your Small Victories

When things are good, you’ll continue to find the good in the world! So, why not stack the cards in your favor? Notice all the small victories in your day, whether it’s in health, work, or life in general. Here are some easy ways to celebrate small victories:

  • Keep a gratitude journal.
  • Reflect on your good fortune at the end of the day (both big and small).
  • Take time to stop and smell the flowers.
  • Count your blessings and smile.

Take it a step further and track the good. If you’re a visual person like I am, it’s so rewarding to see on paper all the days adding up where I stuck to my plan. Track things like…

  • Your workouts
  • Your active, non-gym activity
  • Steps or times you get up from your desk
  • Food and water intake
  • How often you smile or laugh

6. Stop Bad Habits

There are a few things we all just need to stop doing if we want to be as happy and healthy as we possibly can. Stop:

  • Blaming
  • Preaching
  • Dwelling
  • Fearing
  • Criticizing
  • Controlling
  • Whining
  • Impressing

Each of these actions depletes you and robs you of the most important thing in life—your right to just BE.

I leave you with an excerpt that I revisit each day to stay energized and eager. I hope that it’ll help make you feel all these things, too, as that’s what helps push you toward happy and healthy every day:

You have brains in your head.
 You have feet in your shoes. 
You can steer yourself
 any direction you choose.
 You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
 And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
And will you succeed? 
Yes! You will, indeed!
 (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


Today is your day!
 Your mountain is waiting!

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Shannon Fable, 2013 IDEA and 2006 ACE Instructor of the Year, is the VP of Fitness Programming for the FIT4MOM® franchise. For more than two decades, she has helped impressive brands such as Anytime Fitness, Schwinn®, Power Systems, ACE, Silver Sneakers, and BOSU® as a fitness business and programming consultant. An experienced educator, freelance writer, and certified Book Yourself Solid® Business Coach, she helps fitness entrepreneurs navigate the industry and make more money. Fable serves as Vice Chair of the ACE Board of Directors and is the founder and co-owner of GroupEx PRO®, a cloud-based group fitness management tool.