Bill Leslie: 30 ways to achieve health and happiness

Posted January 9, 2019 7:02 a.m. EST
Updated January 9, 2019 7:24 a.m. EST

Bill Leslie with his granddaughter Elizabeth

— You've probably read a lot of stories about how to be happy and healthy in 2019. I've studied numerous reports on this topic and decided to write my own list of recommendations.

This is more of a pep talk to myself, but you may gain something from it as well.

My list of 30 Ways to Achieve Health and Happiness is not written in any particular order or priority. I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. I'm sure you have some strong ideas that I have not mentioned. My email address is

30 ways to achieve health and happiness

1. Don't compromise on sleep. Insist on at least seven hours a night. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation leads to overeating and a host of health problems.

2. Exercise every day. Vary your workouts. Take pride in reaching your exercise goals for the week.

3. Buy a vegetable steamer if don't have one. Learn to season your broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower and other steamed vegetables. Get on the healthy Mediterranean Diet.

4. Eat a handful of blueberries every day. You can't beat the heart healthy qualities of this fabulous fruit.

5. Put walnuts in your Greek yogurt in the morning along with a spoonful of flax seed. 

6. Spice-up your scrambled eggs in the morning with pesto or salsa if you like.

7. Stop eating so much bread. Substitute a fresh salad in place of your favorite sandwich for lunch.

8. Limit alcohol consumption. Remember, those are empty calories.

9. Set aside time every day for prayer, meditation and reflection.

10. Do something nice for someone else every day.

11. Schedule meals with friends and interesting people every month. Ask them lots of questions about their lives and ideas.

12. Refrain from judging others today.

13. Try to embrace constructive criticism and learn to benefit from it.  

14. Make a list of 20 great books you want to read this year. Carve out at least one hour a day for reading.

15. Begin each day with a moment of gratitude.

16. Take a deep breath and count to ten whenever you feel perturbed.

17. Don't postpone joy. Have some fun every day.

18. Find something positive to say about every person you meet today.

19. Hold the door for a stranger today. Always be gracious and kind.

20. Spend quality time every day connecting with your loved ones. Ask them how they are doing. Be in the moment with them.

21. Take a few minutes to tidy things up around the house every day. This will elevate your mood.

22. Take time every morning to be open to something creative. See if there is a new song in your heart.

23. Tackle big projects in increments. Don't let the sheer size of a project or problem overwhelm you.

24. Eat more slowly and savor the flavor.

25. Be courageous, focused, efficient and productive today but also be playful and light hearted when the time is right.

26. Laugh and smile as much as possible today.  

27. Learn a new word every day and use it in conversation.

28. Keep a notebook of new thoughts, phrases and ideas.

29. Get a physical exam this year. Listen to what your doctor says. Listen to what your body says. Listen to your life.

30. Relax at bedtime. Give your worries to God and go to sleep.  ​