This time of year is so rejuvenating for so many reasons. As the holiday season is winding down, it always serves as the perfect opportunity to start anew. New years bring with them new possibilities, new goals, new ideas, new perspective and most of all: new motivation to make it all happen.
For the past five or so years, Zach and I have had a tradition of going out to dinner on New Years just the two of us, and writing down our resolutions for the next year on the nearest writing platform we can find. In the past, these have been written down on napkins, coasters, old gift card holders…you get the idea. We’ll keep those resolutions in our wallets all year long as a reminder to stick with them.
Over the years some of those resolutions have stuck, some have just been so far off it’s laughable. So this year, instead of making resolutions, I’m proposing to make lifestyle improvements. Not drastic changes, just small things we can all do everyday to make our overall quality of life better. I’m using the below list as a guideline going into 2018, feel free to join me!
Drink More Water
I know, I know. This likely might be on every resolution list you see but it is just SO important. If you had in mind a healthier, stronger, more energized you in 2018–this is the place to start. For me, I plan to make this a huge priority. It’s so easy to let the day slip away from you and realize that you’ve drank almost no water that day. It’s the worst! More water=better skin, more energy, less feelings of hunger, and an overall better you. I know that when I wake up in the morning, all I can think about is coffee. Instead of heading straight to the coffee maker, I’m going to try to make a conscious decisions to chug a nice glass of h20 first thing in the AM to get the day started off right.
Stand for an Hour Every Day
THIS. This is so huge and something I want to be so much better at. For those of us who work in an office everyday (raises hand…) sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day can be so dang damaging without you even realizing it. Standing desks are becoming more and more commonplace in the workplace, and for good reason. This leads to better posture, and more importantly, less pressure on your spine. Meaning less back pain! If you’re anything like me, this will be an absolute game changer for you. I’m hoping to dedicate at least 10 minutes every hour to standing vs sitting at my desk.
Black Coffee for the Win
Speaking of wanting coffee first thing when I wake up in the morning, taking your coffee black is a huge way to cut down on unnecessary sugar in your daily routine. A cup of black coffee has less than 5 calories, but if you add creamer/syrups/all the Starbucks goodness–you’re looking at 100+ calories, and all of them completely unnecessary. I’ve grown to really enjoy the taste of black coffee, but if you can’t stand it, try easing into this by using almond or coconut milk as a substitute for creamer. It will still add some creaminess to your coffee without the added sugar.
This is one of those things that’s so easy to do, it’s a resolution you can 100% stick to. Small acts of kindness go so far in a persons day. I know if I’m having a crummy day, and someone pays me a compliment, opens the door, or strikes up a conversation–it can totally change your day into something much more positive. The Golden Rule is golden for a reason. Even saying as much as please and thank you to your barista will brighten their (and your!) day. Spread that kindness everywhere you go and you’ll end up feeling better every single day. This is so easy, let’s all make this a part of our routine in 2018!
Learn One New Thing
Have you been interested in something for a while, but haven’t had the motivation to get into it? Now’s your time! Pick just one thing this year to get VERY good at. Interested in photography? Sign up for a class! Finally want to tackle HTML? You do you, girl. Bonus points for this: there’s a good chance your employer may supplement the cost of a class to better you as an employee, and it’s likely a skill you can add to your resume in the future. Exercising your brain is sexy. Knowledge is power. This is YOUR year to add a new skill to your repertoire!
Unplug from Technology
Yep. Saying it now. This is something almost every single person I know (present company included) can benefit from. I’m constantly staring at screens. Whether it’s at my 9-5, or when I get home and work on this blog, or am working on content for Instagram, or kicking back to relax from it all to Netflix the evening away–I want to take a step back and unplug from it. Swap TV time for reading a book. Or time scrolling through social media, to journaling every night. Small little things have the potential to make huge changes in the long haul. If you need some extra motivation to make these habits stick, The Power of Habit is an excellent read that will help make these resolutions just become a part of your daily routine.
Get More Sleep
There aren’t enough hours in the day. I completely and totally get that. It makes staying up later seem like the only time you can “get things done.” But on average, Americans get under 7 hours a sleep per night. That extra hour to make it the solid 8 will do wonders for all of us. It will boost productivity, making it a lot easier to get those things that are on your to do list done. And done with more energy, I might add. Added resolution for this one: never go to bed angry. This was a piece of advice my mom instilled in me when I was very young, and the old adage still rings true. Go to bed with a light and uplifted heart, and you’ll wake up feeling so much more refreshed.
Prioritize Date Night
Make room for the most important relationship in your life this year. Having a steady set date night allows you to get that precious quality time in with your significant other. Turn the phones off, and take advantage of having it be just you time. This is so dang important to do in my opinion, and only further nurtures the most special relationship in your life. Date Nights don’t always have to be expensive, either! It can be as simple as grabbing coffee and going for a walk together-the most important thing is that you’re together.
Floss Your Pearly Whites
Your dentist will thank you for this one, and who doesn’t like being on a good side with their dentist? No shame the next time you walk into that dental chair. This one is super easy to do, but can be a bit intimidating if you haven’t been giving your gums the love they deserve. Start out slowly, and then move on to doing this on the daily. Pearly whites? Check!
Decompress & Meditate
For someone who stresses out and gets anxiety quite frequently, this is and can be a complete game changer. If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to fall into the anxiety spiral, and so hard to get your brain to just calm down and decompress. Meditation is huge in this regard, and it’s something I want to add to my daily routine. Even for just ten minutes a day every morning, to start the day with a fresh mindset. It can (and will!) lead to increased productivity each day. There are quite a few apps out there to help you with this, but one of my favorites is Headspace. It’s good, even for beginners, and even for people who think they might never be able to turn their minds off. I’ve done this in the evening as well, and it 100% helps me sleep better every night. I’d love to make this a part of my daily routine in 2018!
Bonus Resolution: Remember That Saying No is OK
One thing I think we can all agree on: our time is so precious. This is something I struggle with so much, but saying “yes” to everything can lead to un-needed stress. Gracefully saying no to things when you’re stretching yourself to thin is okay. Take care of yourself, and all the relationships in your life will prosper as a result. Just remember to practice that other resolution we talked about while doing this one–remember to be kind.
What are your goals and resolutions for the coming year? How have you found you’re able to stick with your resolutions and goals? Sending you all so much love, and endless happiness for a fabulous 2018!