Everyone goes into the new year with a whole list of resolutions that, in all honesty, they’ll likely forget by February. But instead of creating a list of things you MUST do – like, go to the gym five days a week, or never drink alcohol again, or learn three new languages, it’s much better to instead add attainable habits into your life.
The best way to achieve this is to add them one at a time – it’s just going to overwhelm you to try to do it all at once! So, go little by little. Take note of your progress. And see how much you can level up in just one year by adding these nine habits into your life.
1. Develop a self-care routine.
I know everyone, and their mother has been preaching self-care recently, but it’s for a reason! Taking time daily to work on yourself and show yourself some love allows you to give more to others. You can’t pour from an empty cup, you know? And yes, your friends and family should help to fill that cup – of course. But you also need to be able to fill it for yourself too. So whether it’s a 15-minute routine in the morning, 2 minutes on your lunch break, or an hour-long routine before bed, find what works for you. What your favorite influencer does might not work for you – that’s okay! Self-care has an emphasis on “self” – it has to work for you to work.
2. Discover new, nourishing recipes.
This does not mean you must go on a diet or completely rehaul your pantry. As someone who got very caught up in the “clean eating” fad and ended up with orthorexia, I know from experience that obsessively reading ingredient lists is not fun. It’s also not sustainable or realistic. That being said, ensuring that you fuel your body with foods you like is essential. I’ve recently started cycle-syncing some of the foods I eat and when and noticed a difference. So make a promise to yourself that you’ll find even just one new, nourishing recipe a week to add to your rotation – whether you meal prep or not is up to you but I’ve found SO many good recipes lately that have made it so easy to keep my body and mind healthy and strong.
3. Be mindful of what you consume.
This probably won’t come as a surprise, but what you see, hear, and watch on a daily basis has a huge impact on your mental and emotional health. I have been guilty of “comparisonitis” on a few occasions and because of that, I’ve become very intentional with who and what I follow. I follow people who inspire and motivate me, who support me, that I feel aligned with, and who make me want to be better because I deserve it, not because I’m competing or comparing. The same with what you read, watch, and listen to. Hey, I love my true crime podcasts just as much as the next girl, but I also know that I can’t listen to it every day. I mix it up with empowering music or educational podcasts. I set time limits on how long I watch the news, place boundaries with what news articles and books I read, and make sure that what I’m consuming media-wise fuels me just as much as the food I eat, friends I keep, and water I drink.
4. Find a fitness routine that works for you.
I cannot even tell you how many times this year I saw the “perfect” workout routine pop up on social media – but, the thing is, there is no one perfect routine for everyone! Every body is different and everyone has different needs, lifestyles, and environments. What works for me might not work for you. But again, movement is important. We all know this. So whether it’s a daily walk, strength training two times a week, biking three times a week, or some combination of that, finding a fitness routine that not only energizes you and makes you feel stronger and healthier, but that you actually ENJOY is key. You should never force yourself to do something you hate or that doesn’t make you feel good at the end just bcause it’s “cool” on TikTok.
Pro tip: YouTube is FILLED with free workout videos! Try out some workouts on there to see what you like before committing to a gym or studio membership.
5. Make time for what fuels you.
Easier said than done, I know. But if you aren’t finding time for your friends, family, and hobbies, none of these other things are going to do too much to help. Do you love to volunteer? Block off a few hours one day a month to sign up for a volunteer shift. Love to read? Start your bedtime routine 15 minutes earlier than usual so you can read a chapter before bed. None of this has to mean completely redoing your schedule or your life, but making time for what you WANT to do instead of just what you HAVE to do has been one of my top methods for improving my own mental health for years.