I wanted to improve my lifestyle because I felt tired all the time. I had no bedtime routine and it was always hard to fall asleep. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and I was only getting four to six hours of sleep. I’m 35, and my outlook on life was negative.

Last October, I downloaded the Thrive app and began by setting up a simple nighttime routine. My first Microstep was saying no to one thing that gets in the way of your sleep. For me that meant putting away my electronics an hour before bedtime. It helped me because T.V. had always been a big distraction. I also stopped late night snacking — I used to eat chips or candy, anything that was easy to grab. Now, I might have some fruit in the evening, but not right before bed.

One of my favorite Microsteps is taking a hot shower before I go to sleep, which helps me to wind down and relaxes my muscles. I give myself 10 minutes to watch a few Thrive Resets while focusing on my breathing and enjoying a cup of chamomile tea.

In bed, I’ll read a chapter or two of a book. Right now, I’m enjoying Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. I’ve found I’m falling asleep faster and getting eight hours of sleep a night. I wake up every day with a fully charged battery, feeling energized and positive. I’ve also established a morning routine. I begin with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, which gets my blood pumping, so I’m ready to take on the day. And instead of drinking coffee, I’ll have a green drink that’s full of nutrients and gives me natural energy. 

Now that I’m getting enough rest, I have more energy for activities I enjoy, like taking my two dogs for walks and playing football with my nephew, Kaidin. I’m also working out. Lifting  weights is my favorite way to get rid of the stresses of the day. I feel my exercise routine has helped with my sleep, and my sleep improves my energy levels and mood — they’re all intertwined. I’ve found that small steps lead to big strides, and I know that anything is possible.

— Terrell Goracio, Sam’s Club #6448, Port Richey, FL ; $5K Winner