Tips to Being Healthier and Happier

Tips to Being Healthier and Happier

For some time now I have been more focused on my health, productivity and personal growth. The reason I started on this quest was that with age I have started to slow down and other than I want to live a long healthy life I also have a lot of people depending on me, my family, my partner, my friends, staff and customers. For me to deliver the maximum amount of value and help everyone succeed around me I have to be performing at 110% all the time.

Like a lot of people I have tried diets and a detox along with different sleep patterns and learning methods however I know believe I have nailed the key ingredients to being healthier, more productive and a lot happier. The best thing is it isn’t rocket science.

Screw diets just eat healthy.

There are no secret super foods or magical pills so forget the diet myths and just remember what you put in your body you will get out of it. Your body is a machine so think of your food as your engine oil and petrol just like you put in your car. If you want to sleep better and have more energy this is where to start. Eat lots of greens and vegetables, stay away from processed foods, soft drinks and high carbs food such as pizza but always make sure you give yourself the opportunity to spoil yourself, I like chocolate Sundays from McDonalds. Here is a breakdown of what I eat on most days of the week.

  • Breakfast Oats with a banana and a coffee with soy milk and now stevia extract instead of sugar
  • Snack A piece of fruit
  • Lunch: Vegetables with canned tuna in spring water or a salad
  • Snack: Wholemeal crackers with avocado
  • Dinner: Baked tuna with boiled vegetables or salad

I do mix chicken and steak in to what I eat however I control my intake and prefer to keep more greens on my plate. Now this may seem to some like a very small amount of food for people but remember your body is a machine and it will function better on cleaner fuel.

Get 7 hours sleep

Sleep is very important however you need to ensure that you never oversleep or use the snooze button. Your body needs 7 hours of sleep a night and I’m working on getting this down to 6 hours.  I’ll achieve this through the food I eat as well as changing the time I sleep. Everyone is different so make sure you work out what your ideal sleep pattern is but I prefer to go to bed around 9:30pm and get up around 5am because this makes me feel like I have a head start on everyone else and I have the most energy and the clearest mind early in the morning.


You cannot be happy and productive unless you exercise. Find something you can enjoy and is challenging, a work out means you need to sweat and be pushed. For a while I really enjoyed cross fit and cardio boxing (burpees anyone?). At the moment i’m running and my goal to run an ultra distance (50klms+) on a trail before my 30th birthday in July this year. What lead me to choose to run? Remember I said challenging, this is both physical but more importantly mental!

  • I really dislike running
  • I have a short attention span so I have trouble focusing for a long period of time
  • I love to travel and there are really beautiful places I can visit and run
  • I get to battle with that little voice in my head that tells me to stop
  • Running gives me an opportunity to make massive changes in my life through sheer will power.

One thing to note is that I don’t take any supplements such as protein powder, did the Spartan warriors or Roman legions have a ready supply before and after they went into battle? The food I eat takes care of me.

Have goals, structure your day and remove clutter from your life

Set yourself goals and structure your life around achieving them. I like to plan my week on Sunday night so I can hit the ground running on Monday morning and I create ways to measure my progress against my goals, for example one of my goals at the moment is to run up Mount Kinabalu in Borneo in July, it’s 4klms high and the track round trip is 24klms which I know will be probably the hardest run of my life so I have created a Google spreadsheet which I track my diet and the distance I’m running with my running partner who is based in Singapore.

Always be positive

I was once told that perception is projection and this has stuck with me like glue so I now make a massive effort to always be positive and leave people with a smile on their face. However It sometimes can seem very hard for people to be positive and very easy for them to be negative, after all it’s easier to complain than it is do actually do something about whatever is bothering isn’t it? Change your perspective, take action on all the things that bother you and choose to be positive and you will see huge changes in your happiness as well as in the people around you.

As you can see it’s not hard to healthy and really happy it just takes small changes in your life, choose the fruit over the chocolate  run that extra kilometre  do that extra push up and choose to do the hard things first and your life will start to become amazing.  If you have any tips you would like to share please do because progress means we need to do new things and always reinvent ourselves



  • Jon-Paul

    Great advice, Ijan! I love your straight-talking style that focuses on the fundamentals of health and well-being rather than fads…all the best for your Mt Kinabalu run!