Your Result

Consume more healthfully by making mindful choices about how you eat, drink, watch, or scroll

To be happier, consider a habit that will help you make mindful choices about how you eat, drink, watch, or scroll.

Why this aim is likely to make you happier

Eating and drinking right is a foundational habit that makes other habits easier to maintain. It boosts our energy and our sense of self-control. 

What (and how much) we consume when it comes to media also has a profound impact on how we feel, and how much control we feel we have over our time. Screens are designed to keep us watching and scrolling, so it takes real effort to break away and reclaim that time and energy.

Aims you might consider

Turn off your wi-fi for two hours every evening

If you tend to stay up late watching tv, set a time limit, or limit yourself to one episode a day

We manage what we monitor, so track any behavior that you’d like to limit

Read the daily news from a paper newspaper rather than from online sources

Use the Strategy of Convenience: keep healthy snacks and a water bottle at your desk

Use the Strategy of Inconvenience: Charge your phone outside of your bedroom at night

Make a meal plan or a detailed grocery list every week

Every evening, turn your smartphone screen to grayscale

Know Yourself Better

Self-knowledge is an essential aspect of happiness, because we can create a happy life only on the foundation of our own nature, our own values, and our own interests. 

As you consider ways to consume more healthfully by making mindful choices about how you eat, drink, watch, or scroll​​​, ask yourself:

  • Identify the problem. Are you drinking too much coffee because you’re not sleeping well or because it’s how your coworkers socialize? Are you scrolling social media at work because you need a break or because you need a challenge?
  • Are you an abstainer or a moderator? Abstainers find it easier to avoid temptation altogether rather than to try to indulge in moderation. By contrast, moderators do better when they indulge sometimes, or a little.

Consider your Tendency. Learn whether you’re an Obliger, Questioner, Upholder, or Rebel by taking the
free Four Tendencies Quiz.

  • If you’re an Obliger, find an accountability partner or remember that you’re setting an example for others. 
  • If you’re a Questioner, back up your healthy habits with research and track your progress to reinforce how it makes you feel.
  • If you’re an Upholder, to avoid disruption to your routine, look for substitutions—switch your morning coffee for tea, use your phone to relax in the evening with a podcast instead of social media.
  • If you’re a Rebel, remember that practicing mindful consumption gives you more freedom—now and in the future—by giving you more control over your health and your time.

A few notes of caution…

  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. When deciding on a specific aim, consider what’s manageable and realistic to avoid setting yourself up to fail. For most people, incremental changes are more likely to stick.