Did you know that most New Year’s resolutions are forgotten and abandoned by mid-February?
So many of us set all these goals in mind to help us become the better version of ourselves.
Whether it’s New Year’s, or even mid-July, there’s no wrong time to start making better decisions that are going to bring you closer to stronger mental and physical health. It can be easy to postpone these goals or steps that we make because sometimes they can feel overburdensome and too life-altering to begin on a whim. If you start small with guided, directed steps, you can slowly integrate better habits into your everyday routine.
- Arrange a sleeping schedule that works for you
The older we get, the more we understand the importance of a full night's rest and the impact that it can have on our ability to function well. Some people function best on eight hours, while other’s function equally well on six. Figure out what your time frame is, and start setting bedtimes for yourself, and then focus on hitting that time each night. You may not be able to change what time you start work, but you can certainly decide when you go to bed. Consider investing in smart devices like Fitbit Charge 3 or Omron HeartGuide which can track your sleep quality and provide you insights on how to improve over time.
- Aim for thirty to sixty minutes of activity a day
Movement is critical, so even if you can’t make it to the gym or squeeze in an hour-long yoga session, try to hit a minimum of thirty minutes of activity, whether it’s walking a dog or doing stretches and poses while watching your favorite show. Get your blood flow going a bit, stretch out your muscles, and get your joints moving.
- Set a daily schedule
Not everyone has a lot of flexibility here, but you should be able to look at your daily routines and decide when you’re working when you’re working out when you’re cooking dinner, and all the other little things you enjoy doing in your own time. If you’re someone who works from home or work remotely, then this becomes particularly poignant. Set a time frame during which you want to get work done, then stick to that time frame. Establish breaks, lunches, workouts, walks, meals, so that you have goals to hit. Help keep yourself motivated by scheduling your day.
- Drink more water
The effects of drinking water are truly pretty fast. From clearer skin to healthier organs to better sleeping habits, to more alertness, to improved metabolism, you will look and you will feel better after simply one week of hitting your water drinking goals. Make it even easier on yourself by investing in a water canister that is refillable, so you can keep the fluids coming, as well as a tea infuser, insulation to keep your water the perfect temperature, and bright colors that will draw your attention and call out for you to take a sip.
- Cut down on screen time
Not only can social media be pretty hard on our emotional health, but arthritis that develops from thumbs running across screens and the blue light causing headaches and migraines from our computers. Newer iPhones even alert owners to the amount of screen time. Set a goal for yourself and how much time you want, then start checking the settings on your phone to make sure you’re actually within that goal you’ve set.
- Try conscious eating
For a lot of people, dieting can be short term and highly ineffective. Studies have shown that better eating comes with lifestyle changes rather than crash dieting or trending diets to follow. Simply thinking about the foods you put in your body can be an easy way to make noticeable changes in your eating habits. It’s not about losing weight, it’s about fueling your body with worthwhile choices that will keep you running and keep you feeling better. Before selecting a sugary meal bar, look to see what your options are and consider what’s best going to fuel your body, not fulfill your current craving. Try adding a healthy meal bar to your daily routine instead of eliminating certain foods (which you should do as well!).
- Set daily goals
These don’t need to be huge, life-altering goals. Simple goals like reading a chapter in a book, fitting in a workout, putting in thirty minutes on that project you’ve been completing, or writing in your journal for fifteen minutes, are small adjustments that can give you validation at having completed something meaningful to you. Maybe it’s not an everyday goal but setting aside an hour on Tuesday’s to hit the new bookstore or meet up with an old friend can still make each day feel worthwhile. Journals and daily planners can help make this a bit easier.
- Find Work/Life balance
Many of us feel the need to invest fully and intensely in the work we do. We want promotions, we want growth, we want financial stability. Decide on days for work productivity, and decide how to balance it with the things you enjoy. Making plans for the weekend and sticking to those plans, or arranging a happy hour after work with some friends, help you focus on setting your own needs and bring balance between work and non-work activities.
- Read more
Many of the most successful people in the world acknowledge the importance of being well-read. It doesn’t even matter what you read, whether you prefer fiction or whether you prefer self-help or self-growth books, simply the act of reading has an impact on how we view ourselves and how others view us as well. Start with a bestseller, and maybe even invite some friends to read it with you to incentivize finishing it by a certain date.
- Tidy Up and Declutter
Sorting through closets, clothing drawers, or garages can ease certain burdens you might not have noticed even existed. If you haven’t worn it in the last year, donate it. If you haven’t used it in five years, donate it. If it’s been broken and you’ve sworn you’re going to get it replaced, toss it. By tidying up, we lessen the unnecessary things we own, we find ourselves feeling less connected to our material items and more connected to the life we’re living.