We spoke to Martin Chitwood, a San Diego native, author and producer who swears by 5 key items to help him stay sane and healthy. Many of us long for a healthy diet, a fit body, a comfortable home, and peace of mind, but we’re thwarted by that pesky thing called “time.” Achieving each of these goals demands time and effort—two ingredients that many of us lack.

Fortunately, it’s possible to meet these goals by devoting just 30 minutes or less per day on healthy habits. These daily habits range from reading a book during your lunch break to making simple to-do-lists to meditating.

With just a little tweak to your daily routine, you can achieve a healthier, happier life. Here are five healthy lifestyle habits that can improve your life.

1. Make simple to-do lists

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Make a list of two or three things you have to do each day, limiting the list to tasks that will make a big impact once completed—and then do them.

To-do lists aren’t very effective unless you actually accomplish the tasks on them. Completing to-do lists has been found to build self-confidence and make people more productive.

So keep those lists short and choose your tasks carefully. Then watch your confidence grow.

2. Make a “worth list”

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While to-do lists can be helpful, they can also be a little stressful, particularly if you frame the tasks as things you must or should do. The tasks become external expectations on yourself, and if you don’t accomplish them, then you have failed in some way. This feeling of failure can in turn can lead to lower self-esteem, procrastination, and more.

A more positive way to approach to-do lists is instead of thinking about what you need to do, ask yourself what tasks are worthy of your time and attention. Focus on your personal values and interests, and then select tasks which fulfill these things.

For example, instead of writing “go to the gym,” write “move my body”; instead of “finish work project,” write “devote time to work projects.” In this way, your tasks are more useful and more connected to your sense of self. You’re likely to do the same tasks whichever way they’re worded, but you probably won’t feel the same disappointment in yourself if you don’t accomplish the same items on your “worth list.”

3. Meditate

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We know; this is something many of you don’t want to hear. “I don’t have time to meditate.” “I can’t focus when I meditate.” As you may know, these excuses are kind of BS.

When it comes to time, you don’t need a marathon “om” session to see the positive effects of meditation on your life. If you’re just starting out, five to 10 minutes a day is enough to bring a little calmness and clarity to your day—something we could all use.

As for the “My mind is too active to meditate” excuse, that’s like saying “But I’m not good enough to compete in the Olympics.” Of course you’re not; you have to train (a LOT) to reach Olympic-athlete status. Most of us have monkey minds. Meditation trains us to be aware of our thoughts and observe them without judgment, which may eventually lead to better understanding of these thoughts.

Start with just a few minutes a day and build up from there. Meditation is truly one of the healthiest habits you can have.

4. Read books

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Studies have shown that reading for pleasure can boost empathy, increase your tolerance for uncertainty, help you fall asleep, and keep your brain functioning effectively as you get older.

And you don’t even need 30 minutes; it’s been found that reading for six minutes a day can help reduce stress levels by a whopping 68%.

So crack open that book or turn on that tablet (please don’t crack open your tablet), and become a healthier, better version of yourself.

5. Take an energizing midday break

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Many of us experience that midday slump—you’ve already been working for a few hours, you’re tired but you don’t want to have a fourth (or 10th) cup of coffee, and you are actively counting down the minutes until you can go home.

However, there are some simple things you can do to perk up:

  • Take five or ten minutes to stand up and stretch.
  • If you’ve had some coffee, you may be dehydrated, which can make you out-of-it, irritable, and susceptible to headaches. Try to drink at least one glass of water on your midday break.
  • Mind full of numbers and clients and deadlines? Give it a break and read for pleasure for 15 minutes. You’ll come away refreshed and better able to focus on work.

You don’t need to spend hours every week or make dramatic changes to have a happier, healthier life. Simple tasks such as drinking a glass of water, reading a chapter in a book, or making a to-do list can have a positive impact on your health.

What 30-minute activities have helped improve the quality of your life? Tell us in the comments below!

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