5 Best Tips for Balancing Work and Life

Balancing work and life can be challenging, but there are many before you that have learned how to do it.

How can you have it all?

It’s not about having it all. It’s about maintaining momentum in your business and in your relationships at the same time.

You can work and be social.

Today, I’m going to share some tips from successful entrepreneurs that have faced this too.

You’ll learn how you can work hard to grow your business while balancing work and life.

Balancing Work and Life Consistently

Anything worth doing is never easy.

However, it is possible to work your own business hard, while enjoying a personal life.

Balancing work and life comes with its own challenges. It’s tough to figure out sometimes what comes first.

Is it  business or family?

What about my friends and my business?

These are the questions many ask themselves every single day. Whether or not you make an impact on your friends or your clients matters.

I’ve been reading about other entrepreneurs to see what they do, and how they manage.

How do the experts manage to do it all so seamlessly?

  1. Shani McIlwain, the founder of Practical Partners, LLC, says that it’s all about outsourcing.

You cannot do it all, and you shouldn’t attempt to. The best way to live in freedom and live the life you want while making money is to outsource.

This is where FREEDOM becomes reality.

The ability to delegate tasks is huge here. If you struggle with this, you may benefit from working with a business coach.

What else is there to consider as an entrepreneur?

2.  DeAngelo McCoy, the founder of NextLVLConsulting says that it’s about know who you are and why you do what you do.

Creating a business plan and launching it from your core values is so important,  according to DeAngelo.

McCoy believes that if you run your business from this position, you’ll take on what you know you can handle, and not overrun your own schedule.

This is why knowing what your core values are can help with balancing work and life.

That means, you get to have a personal life!

3. Sisi Rose. Okay, so this business is a bit different from most in that it’s all about relationships. However, Sisi’s business is still a business that demands time and attention.

Her business is rooted in relationships and making them thrive, so for Sisi, it’s all about relationships no matter what.

When you value your personal connections you’ll see that your priorities fall into place without having to fight to keep them in order.

4.  Tina Hunter is the founder of ME (Motivate and Empower). Tina takes her business seriously, and her purpose is to motivate and empower women.

Her goal is to motivate women, and to empower them, so focusing on those women that come to her for help are all she thinks about.

However, she values other relationships in her personal life so much, that motivating them on any level is natural for her.

She believes that if you know what you want, than getting down to it helps you do your business when it’s time for business and afterwards, you can be social.

5.  Wendy Dickinson is the founder of Ascend to Sell, LLC. Wendy believes that getting things done professionally and on a personal level is all related to renewing your mind and focusing.

If you do those two things daily you’ll have no trouble. You’ll face challenges in your business and in your personal life, so accept that. Once you do, you can work through one thing at a time.

With focus, you can hone in on what needs to be done for your business, and then for others in your life.

“Balancing work and life” is possible, but you’ll need to work on focusing and understanding what matters to you most.

 

9 Mobile Marketing Trends You Need To Know For 2018 [Infographic]

According to trend watchers, the message for businesses and marketers this year is: go mobile or go home. The focus of 2018 will be to cater to the exponential growth of consumers who now use smart phones and/or tablets as their first – and many times only – device.

Before we go into the 2018 trends, let’s set the mobile stage. It’s no longer a question of whether mobile marketing is important – we know it is – it’s now the case of understanding how consumers behave on mobile devices. By 2018, more than half of all consumers will be using mobile devices first for anything they do online, according to Gartner.

Across the globe, mobile devices dominate total minutes spent online. For example, in the US, 71% of total digital minutes comes from mobile devices. Even more staggering, in Indonesia 91% of time spent online comes from mobile. The average time spent browsing on a smartphone per month is 87 hours in the US, compared to 34 hours on desktop. And these numbers have only increased in the past year.

According to official Google statements, more than 50% of search queries globally come from mobile devices (experts say this number is now closer to 60%). The category with the highest percentage of mobile search volume is “Food & Beverage” with 72%. Following the restaurant industry, is Health, Sports, News, Lifestyle, and Retail. Businesses in these industries, and many others, will instantly see results when going mobile.

Now that you’re up to date on the current mobile landscape, let’s take a look at the 9 mobile marketing trends that will define 2018:

NOTE: This article was written by Kimberly de Silva, and was published by BiznessApps. You can read the full article and infographic HERE.

Meditation is taking over Wall Street and Silicon Valley — here’s how to start a daily habit

With the resources readily available now, it’s the perfect time to learn how to meditate.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images
  • Over the last several years, meditation has surged in popularity in Wall Street and Silicon Valley.
  • Even though it’s trendy, it’s still a scientifically proven way to alleviate stress.
  • Apps like Headspace are useful for learning the basics.
  • To develop a habit, it’s important to set aside as little as five minutes in your daily routine.
  • Going into a meditative state involves being a passive observer of thoughts, not attempting to force them to disappear.


At this point, it’s nearly impossible to escape the buzzwords “mindfulness” and “meditation.”

Silicon Valley executives like Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey are going on Buddhist meditation retreats, high-end spas in big cities are installing “meditation pods,” meditation app Headspace has raised $75 million, and each year hundreds of Wall Streeters are following Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio’s lead and paying almost $1,000 to learn Transcendental Meditation.

In a recent interview for Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It,” bestselling author Tim Ferriss said that nearly all of the 140 successful people he included in his latest book, “Tribe of Mentors,” had some sort of mindfulness or meditation habit.

Like any wellness trend among the wealthy and powerful, the popularity of meditation may fade, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the practice. There is now decades of research backed by organizations like the US federal agency the National Institutes of Health that have linked regular meditation to physical changes in the brain. These can result in improved focus and emotional control, which in turn yields lowered blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

And from personal experience, we can tell you that making meditation a regular habit is, at the very least, a practical way to relieve stress.

Meditation is a skill like anything else, and it takes practice. But it also may be easier than you think. You can start today with just a few steps.

Pick which kind of meditation you want to practice.

Pick which kind of meditation you want to practice.Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

The most popular forms of meditation in the US are derived from ancient Hindu and Buddhist practices that began in India and spread through Asia.

As Suhag Shukla, director of the Hindu American Foundation, explained to us in a 2016 interview, practicing secularized versions of these ancient techniques is not sacrilegious. The practice should instead be seen as a healthy exercise for body and mind.

Beginners should consider mindfulness or Zazen meditation, where breathing is the focal point, or TM, where a meaningless mantra repeated internally is the focal point.

It’s worth noting that it’s best to learn from a teacher, but that if you want to dabble you can do so on your own and without spending any money.

Try a smartphone app like Headspace.

Try a smartphone app like Headspace.Headspace

There are many quality guided meditation apps available for both Android and iOS, and they serve as great introductions to the practice.

We particularly like Headspace, which offers a variety of guided mindfulness meditations tailored toward specific topics like the alleviation of anxiety or the promotion of creativity.

If you’d like to try many different types of guided meditations or find one tailored to your faith, you can check out Insight Timer.

NOTE: This article was written by Richard Feloni, and was published on Business Insider. You can read the full article HERE.

The three trends driving marketing analytics in 2018

marketing trends

In this era of data-driven everything, the need for high-quality marketing analytics has never been greater.

Yet for many companies, marketing analytics still consists of a weekly report and perhaps a dashboard or two.

More forward-thinking organisations, however, have been pushing ahead with new analytics tools and processes. To find out more about these trends in marketing analytics, Econsultancy recently invited industry expert David Sanderson, CEO, Nugit to present at Digital Outlook 2018 in Singapore. To an audience of over 400 marketers, David spelled out what will be driving marketing analytics in 2018 and how marketers can keep up.

Before we start with the summary, we’d just like to let you know that Econsultancy is holding an Advanced Mastering Analytics course in Singapore on April 5th, 2018. You can find out more and book your spot here.

1) Marketing analysts will need to use many new data sources

Traditionally, business decisions in many organisations were powered by marketing analytics which relied on big, centralized-managed data servers or data warehouses. According to David, though, things have been changing recently and now companies find that analysts also need to ferret out data stored in many ‘mini’ data warehouses.

In addition to the usual internal data repositories, marketing analysts also need to pull data from dozens of separate systems including:

  • Google Analytics
  • SEO platform
  • Salesforce or other CRM
  • Email service provider
  • Major media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, AdWords
  • Chat applications

Combined, these data sources will provide better insights for marketing and sales than internal systems on their own and they will help the business drive consumer interest, optimize pricing, and deliver an improved customer experience.

So, according to David, analysts must now do more than just analyse. They must also identify where important data resides, determine what needs to be extracted and devise a strategy for using new data sources to drive business decisions.

2) Artificial intelligence (AI) will be essential for analytics

David also noted that the speed of data coming into the organisation has now increased to the extent that it is no longer possible for human analysts to process it all.

To help, a number of firms have sprung up which offer marketing analytics with baked-in artificial intelligence (AI). These systems use machine learning and other AI techniques to help analysts find patterns in customer data, elicit recommendations for optimising performance, and allow non-professionals to access complicated analytics using simple language.

For example, Hyper Anna, a venture-backed marketing provider of ‘machine intelligence for marketers’, takes in company data and returns ‘high-impact use cases’. This means that marketing data such as customer interactions, financial performance, and supplier activities can be uploaded and Hyper Anna provides information about cross-sell and upsell opportunities, revenue forecasting, and supply chain management information.

Another firm, Datorama offers ‘AI-powered marketing intelligence’ which makes it easy for marketers to unify data across systems and access powerful analytics using natural language.  David pointed out that Datorama is now integrated with Amazon’s Alexa and offers voice-activated marketing analytics.

3) Analysts will become storytellers

While the analyst toolbox traditionally consisted of skills such as SQL, business analysis, and Excel, analysts in 2018 will be expected to do much more than crunch data and produce reports.

With the new data sources and AI tools described above, analysts will be expected to:

  • Obtain data from non-traditional sources,
  • Clean data with programming languages such as Python,
  • ‘Polish’ the data using data visualization tools and create attractive charts and graphs, and
  • Transform data into easy-to-understand stories which help non-analysts understand emerging trends and opportunities

Simply creating a dashboard and sending out a weekly report will not be enough. Like all marketers, analysts in 2018 will have to focus more on their customers – the people in the organisation who need to extract meaning from all of the data now available so that they can improve business performance.

A word of thanks

Econsultancy would like to thank David Sanderson, CEO Nugit for his presentation about what we can all expect for marketing analytics in 2018.

We’d also like to thank everyone who attended on the day. We hope you gained valuable insights from the programme and that we will see you at future Econsultancy events!

NOTE: This article was written by Jeff Rajeck, and was published on www.econsultancy.com. You can read the full article HERE.

Moving Forward with God on Your Side

moving forward

CBN.com Once again some people will begin the countdown, 10, 9, 8… until they reach number 1 when the beautiful sparkling ball drops in Times Square and they all can say Happy New Year. Some will wonder where the time went. Others will sleep away the old year and wake up to a new one like they always do. Many will be in Church praying for God to bless them, their family, friends, and even their enemies.

 

However one chooses to celebrate the New Year, we should pray daily for God to bless what we do in it and forget “the list” — you know, those resolutions that we have all made in some point and time. Haven’t we failed to get them all done, forgotten them or perhaps even misplaced them? Yes, we often just dismiss them anyway entirely.

It is true that man has a plan, but God orders our steps. I did away with my list long ago, except that I try to work on the Scripture verse that says, ‘I must decrease so that He will increase in my life’ (John 3:30).

We can only reflect on some things we feel were done right to bless others and there we can find satisfaction in knowing that the Lord is pleased. There are many personal goals that all of us did not fulfill, so it is best to thank God for the positives and not dwell on the negative. We must understand that the Bible tells us to press on towards the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus. We are in a race and we can’t go back and retrieve any time lost from the previous year.

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 King James Version)

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. (1 Corinthians 9:24 King James Version)

We are constantly to be moving forward, growing and doing all we can to get the message of God’s love to others. We must make sure that we are living a life that reflects Christ’s nature to attract others to Him.

So there is no list of do’s and don’ts for me. Plain and simply put, I want to live my life one day at a time, asking the Lord what He requires. I will take each day and say, ‘Lord, what is on your agenda for me today?’ If I can find out His plans on a daily basis then I won’t be disappointed at the end of the year.

NOTE: This article was written by Cathy Irvin and published on the website for CBN. You can visit the website and the full article HERE.

The Top 6 Leadership Challenges Around the World

leadership challenges

What’s most challenging about leading organizations today? And do the challenges differ around the world?

Our researchers went straight to the source to answer these questions, gathering input from 763 middle- and executive-level leaders in organizations from China/Hong Kong, Egypt, India, Singapore, the U.K., the U.S., and Spain.

Our study found these leaders consistently face the same 6 challenges — even if they describe their challenges and specific context in different ways:

1. Developing managerial effectiveness is the challenge of developing the relevant skills — such as time-management, prioritization, strategic thinking, decision-making, and getting up to speed with the job — to be more effective at work.

2. Inspiring others is the challenge of inspiring or motivating others to ensure they’re satisfied with their jobs and working smarter.

3. Developing employees is the challenge of developing others, including mentoring and coaching.

4. Leading a team is the challenge of team-building, team development, and team management. Specific challenges include how to instill pride, how to provide support, how to lead a big team, and what to do when taking over a new team.

5. Guiding change is the challenge of managing, mobilizing, understanding, and leading change. Guiding change includes knowing how to mitigate consequences, overcome resistance to change, and deal with employees’ reactions to change.

6. Managing internal stakeholders is the challenge of managing relationships, politics, and image. This challenge includes gaining managerial support, managing up, and getting buy-in from other departments, groups, or individuals.

Knowing that these challenges are common experiences for middle and senior managers is helpful to both the leaders and those charged with their development, according to our researchers.

Individuals can benefit from knowing their experiences aren’t isolated, and can feel more confident reaching out to others for help facing these challenges.

Here are 4 concrete things leaders can do to address these common challenges:

1. Setting Goals

Be proactive in setting goals, as well as establishing the timelines — and deadlines — necessary to keep yourself and your teams on track. The distractions that you face can make it easy to lose sight of long-term and even short-term goals. You can easily get sucked into dealing with urgent issues that arise unexpectedly rather than staying focused on producing the outcomes that matter most to your organization.

While no leader can completely avoid surprises, goal setting provides a map that you can return to time and again to refocus on your top priorities.

One time-honored approach is the SMART method. When setting a goal, make sure it’s:

  • Specific. Write down a detailed description of what accomplishing the goal would involve.
  • Measurable. Set targets that you can quantify to assess progress.
  • Attainable. Stretch goals are fine, but you also need to make sure that achieving the goal is possible.
  • Realistic. Be sure you understand what you will likely need — in terms of time, resources, and talent — to achieve it.
  • Timed. Create deadlines for hitting milestones on the way to your goal, as well as for achieving the goal itself.

2. Delegating

You’ll be more productive and you’ll empower your colleagues to take more ownership if you delegate. Effective delegation requires more than just getting a task off your desk — it involves a repeating cycle of 4 key steps:

  • Understanding your preferences. Effective delegators prioritize their workload and decide which tasks to keep and which to give to someone else. They also understand how much feedback they want as the person they’ve delegated to works on the task.
  • Knowing your people. To delegate effectively, you must assign tasks to people that match their knowledge and skills. That means that you have to understand your people. Use delegation to help direct reports develop, allowing them to learn as they take on new tasks.
  • Being clear about the purpose of the task. A task’s purpose gives it meaning. By aligning this purpose with team or individual beliefs and goals, delegation can become an opportunity for personal growth.
  • Assessing and rewarding. You should work with your direct reports to develop ways to help them, and you, decide if a task has been completed properly, and to reward them appropriately.

3. Maximizing Your Unique Value

Prioritize by focusing on doing the most important tasks that only you can do. There will always be more things competing for your attention than you have time and energy to do. Prioritize the most important tasks that only you can do, and delegate everything else.

Leaders can create value for their organizations by focusing on the unique contributions only they can make. Understanding what those unique values are for you, and delegating everything else (or as close to everything else as you can), allows you to maximize the value you create for the organization.

4. Gaining Role Clarity

Understand what the core responsibilities are for your role, and what are secondary responsibilities, or even work that belongs to someone else.

That won’t stop people from asking you to take on additional tasks and projects. And there are certainly times when taking on additional duties may be required due to unusual circumstances, or might be important for your own professional development. But the most effective managers understand that they will largely be judged based on how effective they are at their core responsibilities.

This also means that there will be times when you’ll have to say no. That can feel uncomfortable. Practicing saying no and finding ways to do so with tact and professionalism are important. Turning down work that’s not part of your role helps keep you focused.

 

Leaders who sometimes feel overwhelmed by their work can take heart in the fact that they’re not alone. By focusing on these 4 key behaviors, starting with goals, you can also begin to beat back those feelings and provide more value to your organization.

Get insights like these delivered to your inbox every month. Visit the Email Preference Center to sign up for our Leading Effectively email newsletters.

NOTE: This article was published on Center for Creative Leadership. You can read the full article HERE.

5 Savvy Ways To Invest $10,000 In 2018

ways to invest

What would you do if you suddenly had $10,000 in cash at your disposal? Would you splurge for a trip to some far-flung corner of the world? Trade up for a nicer vehicle? Buy new furniture and a hot tub for your backyard deck?

Those ideas might be the first that come to mind, but they may not be ones you will feel proud of ten or twenty years from now. Unless you have high interest debt you could pay off, your best bet with any “found money” is always going to be investing it for the long haul.

Why? Because when you invest cash instead of spending on depreciating assets, you set yourself up to have more financial freedom and better outcomes later on.

5 Smart Ways to Invest 10K

But, how should you invest $10,000? While there are plenty of smart ways to invest your money, the right option for you depends on your appetite for risk, your investing strategy, and your long-term goals. Of course, your best option might also depend on your unique needs and what you require to move to the next stages of your business or your personal development.

If you have found money this year, here are five ways to invest that could truly pay off down the line:

Online Real Estate Investing

Investing in real estate is all the rage these days, but that doesn’t mean everyone wants to be a landlord. The mere thought of dealing with tenants or painting interiors is enough to send some running for the hills, let alone the concept of having to deal with late night calls or costly repairs.

That’s why investing in Fundrise is such a smart idea. Fundrise.com is an investing platform that lets you invest in private real estate assets without dealing with the minutiae that comes with owning traditional rental real estate.

You only need a $500 minimum to get started with Fundrise, which makes it an ideal option if you have $10,000 to play with. Once you open an account, you can invest in major metro markets like Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Jacksonville, Florida. Not only do they offer plans that support supplemental income, but they offer plans good for balanced investing and long-term growth.

While Fundrise has only been around since 2010, the company has performed well with returns ranging from 8.76% to 12.42% over the last four years, net of fees. These returns really speak for themselves, which is why Fundrise continues to grow in popularity among investors.

Another option within the online real estate investing is RealtyShares. Realty Shares has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Forbes, and is already being used by 120,000 investors nationwide.

In a recent interview with Forbes, RealtyShares CEO Nav Athwal credits the company’s success to their ability to help accredited investors invest into real estate opportunities nationwide without a huge initial investment. Not only can investors browse opportunities by asset type, but they can buy in for as little as $5,000.

Plus, your investment with RealtyShares is easy to track. “Investors also have access to an investor dashboard where they can monitor their investments, returns and tax documents,” notes Athwal. “Thus, through crowdfunding, we’re making investing in real estate as easy as easy as investing in stocks in publicly traded companies.”

Real estate crowdfunding makes it possible to invest in real estate without ever stepping foot in a property and without borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars. These reasons and others are why online firms like RealtyShares and Fundrise are so popular, and why they could continue growing in the future.

This article was written by Jeff Rose and published on Forbes.com. You can read the full article HERE.

16 Influencers Every Small Business Owner Should Know

Whatever your thoughts on Twitter, it’s a remarkably useful resource for mining game-changing information about nearly anything. For our purposes, it hosts a vast array of people talking about small businesses. If you’re on Twitter and you’re anything like me, you probably follow too many people, and wind up drowning out a lot of the most useful information.

We’re here to help you find the signal in the noise.

Add these 16 small business influencers to a Twitter list and check your list whenever you want to check out what’s happening in the world of business.

Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan’s advice veers from the practical — what to do on LinkedIn — to the fundamental — a gentle reminder that, as small business owners, we can’t always do it alone.

SBA.gov

Surprising or not, the US Small Business Association’s Twitter feed and blog is a treasure trove of easy to understand, engaging info relevant to all small business owners.

Bryan Kramer

Bryan Kramer shares a mixture of motivational content, links to interesting SMB-related articles, tips and tricks related to social media, and thoughtful content for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs.

Gene Marks

Gene Marks’ Washington Post column On Main Street is an essential read, covering every aspect of the SMB world. His Twitter feed is like his column on steroids… If it matters, he’s probably talking about it.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on all things social media, but his wisdom extends to many other areas of business as well. If you want the definitive take on something in social, he’s probably got it for you.

Entrepreneur Magazine

It’s extremely likely that you’re already familiar with Entrepreneur magazine, but given the breadth and volume of their coverage, following them on Twitter is a good way to keep up with their output.

Jay Baer

Jay Baer claims to be the most retweeted digital marketer in the world. That’s probably because the information that he shares is so useful. If you’re doing anything online, you need to follow Baer’s lead.

Eric Ries

Eric Ries’ book, The Lean Startup, set off a revolution in the business world. He popularized many methods that data-smart companies now use to measure their success. You don’t have to be a tech company to measure your own data.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Rosabeth Moss Kanter tweets prolifically about everything from organizational optimization to building your company culture. She’s savvy and a good source for anyone looking to be a smarter manager at their own company.

Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is a bit of a renaissance man. His timeline is full of tips about productivity, diet, exercise, technology, business and seemingly anything else you can possibly think of. His wide ranging interests usually result in content that serves up a unique perspective.

Small Biz Trends

Anita Campbell’s Small Biz Trends website is a must read for SMB owners. It covers everything from business trends, technology, leadership, management to regulation and beyond. The twitter feed is an excellent digest that’s easy to keep up with.

Sean Ellis

For better or worse, Sean Ellis invented the term ‘growth hacking’ — a new type of marketing that leans on data in order to generate rapid growth. His perspective on marketing is worth looking into, even for businesses that are not strictly web-facing.

Maria Popova

Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings blog is one of the most incredible sites on the web. How she manages to deliver such high-quality content from an encyclopedic range of topics is mind-boggling. Follow her for frequent creative inspiration.

Adam Grant

Grant’s recent book about how genius emerges is interesting enough to merit a follow, but his perceptive shares shine a light on surprising aspects of human psychology, creativity and business — making him a can’t miss.

James Altucher

James Altucher is sort of the thinking man’s Get-Rich-Quick schemer. He’s always devising alternative models and perspectives that push the boundaries of taste in what’s acceptable in modern business. His knowledge and business savvy make his contrarianism a welcome breath of fresh air.

Susan McPherson

McPherson posts about business news and events from the broader world that have unconsidered reverberations in the business world. She brings much needed attention to issues related to workplace sexism, how to raise girls the right way for the future, empathetic workplaces, dealing with work stress and more.

Becoming Legit: How to Get Verified on Twitter

Did you notice that little blue check on each of the accounts above? Our friends at Contactually created an infographic to show you how to get a Twitter badge of your very own. See below to learn how to get your small business verified:

NOTE: This article was published by Bond Street. You can visit the site and follow the link –http://bondstreet.com/blog/small-business-influencers/

10 small steps for better heart health

Change is an important part of living with heart disease or trying to prevent it. A jump in blood pressure or cholesterol earns you a lecture on healthy lifestyle changes. Heart attack and stroke survivors are often told to alter a lifetime of habits.

Some people manage to overhaul their exercise pattern, diet, and unhealthy habits with ease. The rest of us try to make changes, but don’t always succeed. Instead of undertaking a huge makeover, you might be able to improve your heart’s health with a series of small changes. Once you get going, you may find that change isn’t so hard. This approach may take longer, but it could also motivate you to make some big changes.

Here are 10 small steps to get you on the road to better health in 2010.

1. Take a 10-minute walk. If you don’t exercise at all, a brief walk is a great way to start. If you do, it’s a good way to add more exercise to your day.

2. Give yourself a lift. Lifting a hardcover book or a two-pound weight a few times a day can help tone your arm muscles. When that becomes a breeze, move on to heavier items or join a gym.

3. Eat one extra fruit or vegetable a day. Fruits and vegetables are inexpensive, taste good, and are good for everything from your brain to your bowels.

4. Make breakfast count. Start the day with some fruit and a serving of whole grains, like oatmeal, bran flakes, or whole-wheat toast.

5. Stop drinking your calories. Cutting out just one sugar-sweetened soda or calorie-laden latte can easily save you 100 or more calories a day. Over a year, that can translate into a 10-pound weight loss.

6. Have a handful of nuts. Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and other nuts are good for your heart. Try grabbing some instead of chips or cookies when you need a snack, adding them to salads for a healthful and tasty crunch, or using them in place of meat in pasta and other dishes.

7. Sample the fruits of the sea. Eat fish or other types of seafood instead of red meat once a week. It’s good for the heart, the brain, and the waistline.

8. Breathe deeply. Try breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes a day. It can help you relax. Slow, deep breathing may also help lower blood pressure.

9. Wash your hands often. Scrubbing up with soap and water often during the day is a great way to protect your heart and health. The flu, pneumonia, and other infections can be very hard on the heart.

10. Count your blessings. Taking a moment each day to acknowledge the blessings in your life is one way to start tapping into other positive emotions. These have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being, just as their opposites — chronic anger, worry, and hostility — contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.

NOTE: This article was published by Harvard Heath Publishing. You can visit the site and read the article when you follow this link- https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/10-small-steps-for-better-heart-health