31 Small Steps to Upgrade Your Life and Be Bulletproof
Article at a Glance:
- Here’s the secret to transforming your diet, fitness, and mindset: Make small, positive changes that build up over time.
- When you upgrade your biology, you’re biohacking your way to a better life. That’s what being Bulletproof is all about.
- Below, you’ll find 31 steps to becoming a stronger, more resilient, more powerful you. Adopt one of the principles, or adopt them all.
Want to be your best self? Being Bulletproof is a mindset. It doesn’t mean overhauling your entire diet or drinking Bulletproof Coffee every morning. Being Bulletproof means you’re working toward a stronger version of yourself.
Every small choice you make matters. That’s because positive change builds up over time to create lasting results.
When you upgrade your body and mind, you’re biohacking your way to a better life. Biohacking is the art and science of taking control of your own biology to be more resilient — mentally and physically. That’s what being Bulletproof is all about. It means working toward a stronger version of yourself, one step at a time.
Adopt one of the Bulletproof principles below, or adopt them all. Either way, you’re on the path to becoming more awesome.
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Below, you’ll find 31 small steps to become more energized, more focused, and more resilient.
31 small steps to becoming Bulletproof
1. Get your kitchen ready
Plan your attack for the month by giving yourself a day or two to prepare your kitchen. Clean out your shelves of bread, pasta, candy, sugar, factory-farmed meat, and vegetable oils. They’re sneaky sources of anti-nutrients that tank your energy, wreck your gut, and make you put on fat.
Then, stock up on high-quality fats like grass-fed butter and MCT oil, plenty of organic vegetables, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised eggs, and wild-caught fish.
Oh, and ditch the breakfast cereal. If you want to start your morning with way more energy, focus, and time, try Bulletproof Coffee.
2. Choose one thing to be grateful for
Gratitude is one of the simplest ways to build your happiness. Find something you’re grateful for today and write it down, keep it in the “Notes” app in your phone, or just take some time to think about it. Focus on the feeling it brings up in your body.
Try sharing your gratitude with your partner or a friend. This way you can keep each other accountable and keep the practice going.
3. Drink more water
Your detox organs — your liver, kidneys, and skin — depend on water to do their jobs effectively. Drink enough water to keep your body hydrated and working efficiently. Shoot for half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 150 pounds, aim to drink about 75 ounces per day.
4. Get up, stand up
The phrase “sitting is the new smoking” gets thrown around a lot these days. Research shows that it’s true — how much you sit is one of the strongest predictors of mortality. It tightens your muscles, slows your metabolism down, and drives high blood sugar and weight gain. Yikes.
Starting today, make it a point to stand up every 20 to 40 minutes. Set a timer if you have to. You can also find a higher surface like a counter or some stacked books to create your own standing desk. Ditch TV tonight and take a walk, or do some crunches while you watch.
5. Replace morning carbs with healthy fat
Carbohydrates from bread, pastries, cereal, fruit, oatmeal, and sugary foods will sap your energy and lead to brain fog and inflammation. They’ll also send your blood sugar into a yo-yo, meaning you’ll crash around noon.
Fat is different: It provides stable energy for hours and actually encourages your body to burn fat for fuel. Start by removing carbs from breakfast and replacing them with foods that actually make you feel good, like pastured eggs with avocado or some wild salmon. Or just drink a creamy cup of Bulletproof Coffee. It has all the energy you need to power through your morning with laser-sharp focus.
6. Hug someone
Oxytocin, nicknamed the “cuddle hormone,” increases romantic attachment, social bonding, empathy, relaxation, and trust. It reduces anxiety, too. That means it’s a great hack for your mental health — and getting a bump of oxytocin is easy.
Today, hug someone for an uncomfortably long period of time. Women release oxytocin after a 3-second hug. Men release it after a 6-second one. Not sure who to hug? You can pet a dog instead, and you’ll both release oxytocin.
7. Start foam rolling
Foam rolling is different than stretching. It breaks up knots in your muscles to restore normal blood flow. That encourages oxygen and nutrient delivery throughout your body and into your cells. Foam rolling will likely hurt, especially if you’re not used to it and work out a lot. Do it anyway. You’ll increase your range of motion and decrease pain.
8. Add some color to every meal
Today, try to eat the rainbow. Brightly colored vegetables contain fiber and antioxidants, which clean up the free radicals that contribute to chronic disease. The polyphenols found in brightly colored vegetables are particularly potent. They fight free radicals and act as prebiotics, feeding good bacteria in your gut. That’s a big deal because a healthy gut microbiome can help you lose weight, curb inflammation, and boost your mood.
For some extra good-for-you fat, drown your veggies in grass-fed butter or ghee. Choose vegetables from the list in every meal to keep your gut in good shape.
9. Stretch out
Stretching increases blood flow to heal your muscles, helps prevent injury, and builds stronger joints. Yoga is a great way to learn how to stretch and move your body, and it has tons of other benefits, too. Yoga has been shown to relieve chronic pain, decrease anxiety, and reduce stress. Try a local yoga class today, or look up some stretching videos on YouTube.
10. Get some sun
Sunlight is great for your skin, eyes, and mitochondria. The key is to get the right dose. Spend 10 to 15 minutes in direct sunlight today (and every day, ideally). Expose as much skin as you can without getting arrested. If you start to burn, you’ve gone too long. Scale it back by a couple minutes next time.
Sunlight stimulates vitamin D production, testosterone, blood flow, and feel-good dopamine. Sunscreen companies want you to believe that you should never go out in the sun without protection. In reality, sun-exposed skin actually has a far lower risk of cancer than covered skin.
11. Eat more fat
Power your brain, support your hormones, and enhance mitochondrial function by eating more fat today. Versatile sources of high-quality fat in the Bulletproof Diet include wild-caught fish, avocado, coconut oil, and Brain Octane Oil (a concentrated MCT oil derived completely from coconuts).
12. Go for a walk
Take a 20-minute walk sometime today, preferably outdoors. Walking will sharpen your memory and cognition. It’ll also loosen your muscles, strengthen joints, boost your metabolism, and circulate lymph to remove metabolic waste from your system. Your body is made to move. Oblige it.
13. Get creative
Whether you simply read a poem or pick up those old watercolors, engage your creative brain in some way. This may lead to your next big idea or breakthrough at work. Creativity is a skill, and it’ll grow if you make it into a habit. Creativity builds new pathways in your brain and strengthens your analytical thinking, too.
Today, do something creative. It doesn’t have to be big or extraordinary. Draw, dance, write, sing, cook, plant a flower, play guitar, make up a new workout — whatever you enjoy. It’ll keep your brain young and strong. Learn more about the best ways to strengthen brain function.
14. Blackout your bedroom
Want to function at your best? Go to sleep. You don’t need a lot of it, as long as you focus on sleeping better, not longer. To make that happen today, cover your windows, turn off electronics, and use electrical tape to cover light that’s peeking through stubborn screens. Your room should feel like a cave.
Why is this so important? Light pollution can impact the quality of your shut-eye. That’s bad news because sleep is critical for tissue repair, detoxing, muscle and brain growth, and hormonal production. To learn how to upgrade your sleep in 30 days, check out the Bulletproof 30-days Sleep Challenge.
15. Switch to grass-fed meat
Grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef are two completely different foods. Grass-fed meat contains more antioxidants, omega-3s and other beneficial fatty acids, trace minerals, and vitamins. Grain-fed beef contains added hormones and fatty acid profiles that make you feel sick, fat, and definitely not Bulletproof.
16. Relax and play
Most people work too hard these days. Block out time in your schedule to have fun: Pencil a couple hours of relaxation into your day, and treat the time as seriously as you would a meeting.
If you feel guilty about taking time off, remember that relaxing will make you far more productive. Look at your playtime as part of work. Chase your kids around the house. Take your dog to the park. Hike. Read. Do yoga. Try sensory- deprivation. Meditate. Go for a drive with music cranked up and sing along.
Whatever you do, enjoy it. Life is too short to spend your days working all the time. Caveat: zoning out in front of the TV doesn’t count.
17. Upgrade your vocabulary
This is a great step to take during a workday. Eliminate the words “need,” “can’t,” “bad,” and “try” from your vocabulary. Weasel words limit you mentally. You’ll discover that it’s hard to get through a day without using them. Replace them with active, impactful words and actions. Don’t try to make better choices for your health — do them.
18. Change your brain with music
People talking, the sight of colorful computer screens, folks moving around the office — these distractions sap your time and focus. Certain kinds of music interrupt your brain’s response to distractions and help you stay on track with the task at hand. Specifically, binaural beats can increase your concentration.
19. Skip breakfast and fast instead
Fasting can increase your lifespan, improve your lipid profile, make you more resilient to stress, increase mental clarity, and help you lose fat. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a more practical spin on a traditional long-term fast. You eat all your meals in a 6-hour window. The easiest way to do it? Try Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting, which gives you the benefits of a fast without the hunger and crash.
20. Work on your mobility
Pain isn’t normal. It’s your body’s way of telling you you’re doing something wrong, and you should probably listen. Mobility goes beyond traditional stretching. It involves soft tissue massage, dynamic movement, and strengthening exercises, too.
21. Breathe good air
Do you think about the air breathe as nutrition? Indoor air may have mold, dust, industrial gases from furniture, and all kinds of other junk. Outdoor air is far cleaner. Go outside this morning and fill your lungs by inhaling deeply into your belly through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth.
Can’t get away from the office? Work outside at a cafe for a portion of the day, if your job allows. Make sure you stand up, move around, and feel the sunshine on your face. Even if you’re stuck at your desk, take a break and step outside. Use these breathing exercises to strengthen your brain and release tension. You’ll like the way you feel.
22. Get rid of one of your possessions
Don’t let your things own you. Minimalism encourages getting rid of material goods so you can focus more on what matters — experience, family, friends, and whatever else brings you joy. You can embrace minimalism without getting rid of all your possessions and living out of a backpack. Instead, only buy and keep the things that bring you joy long-term.
Today, think of all the things you could trash, recycle or donate. Commit to getting rid of at least one thing that no longer serves you.
23. Have a conversation with a stranger
Exercise your social muscle. Do this especially if it freaks you out. Practice makes perfect, after all. If you aren’t sure what to say, ask a question or pay them a compliment.
24. Do a digital detox
Technology use — social media use, in particular — correlates strongly with depression and anxiety. Give your brain a break. Say goodbye to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, internet TV, video games, and all other technology for at least 24 hours.
Can’t go a full day? Start small, like uninstalling your most-used social media app. You might be surprised by how difficult it is at first. Power through; you’ll feel more focused and present after you do it a couple times.
25. Make yourself uncomfortable
The only way to see what lies beyond your fears is to face them. Plus, being consistently comfortable puts you into a state of complacency.
26. HIIT it
Torch fat and reap the benefits of exercise in less time today with HIIT (aka high-intensity interval training). HIIT alternates between brief, strenuous exercise and periods of active rest. This might look like a 60-second sprint, followed by push-ups, followed by walking.
Why should you try HIIT? Studies say that it may be more effective than either resistance training or aerobic exercise alone. It helps your brain perform better. It’s also super efficient, offering the benefits of longer workouts without having to spend ages at the gym.
27. Deepen your connection with a loved one
The quality and quantity of your relationships affect your mental health, your behavior, your physical health, and even your risk of mortality. Today, sit with someone you care about and spend quality time together.
Today, start with just 5 minutes of meditation. Over time, work your way up to 10 to 20 minutes per day. Among other benefits, meditation relieves stress, boosts your immune system, and eases anxiety and depression. Don’t think you need to sit for ages — it’s better to be consistent and form a habit over time.
Set aside five minutes right when you wake up, right before you go to sleep, or even while you’re in line at the post office.
29. Throw away your multivitamins
Supplements are a double-edged sword. The wrong ones can do more damage than good, but the right ones can massively improve your health, even if you already eat a great diet.
30. Take a cold shower
Cold showers are cryotherapy 101. This may sound excruciating, but the benefits are worth it. Cold exposure decreases inflammation, speeds up recovery, and can help you burn fat and sleep better.
Start by blasting your entire body with cold water at the end of your shower today. Over time, try to work your way up to 30 seconds or a minute.
31. Upgrade your brain
Nootropics (aka smart drugs) are compounds that enhance brain function. For many people, they’re an effective way to give your mind an extra boost. Today’s hack is to read this post and pick a smart drug to add to your supplement stack.
Congratulations. You made it to the end. Did you try something new? How did it feel? Did these small hacks inspire you to rekindle a lost habit? Share your story of how you’re becoming more Bulletproof in the comments below.