If you read my recap of 2019 over the weekend, then you know the year had some serious ups and downs for me. BUT, December finished on a real high with the purchase of our new flat and I’m now feeling a lot like a whole new woman and I’m determined to keep that going. I am all about the good habits for a new year.
Here’s the thing: You can’t run away from your mental health, but you CAN do things to alter your environment, routines, habits and hobbies to give yourself the best possible opportunity to show up as your best self each day.
And the best part is… it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Quick disclaimer before we jump right in: My favourite motivational speaker, Rachel Hollis, recently shared a podcast episode call ‘How to Change Your Life’ and I cannot tell you how integral it has been to my ability to create positive change in my life over the past week and a half. The first five things I am about to share with you are literally taken straight from her. She calls them her #5ToThrive and if you do them… you absolutely will.
These are my good habits for a new year…
#1 Have a Morning Routine
And stick to it. Wake up an hour earlier than you need to just to make you sure you get that bit of YOU time each day. It might be an hour at the gym. It might be an hour with your nose in a book. It might be an hour dancing around in your underpants – whatever it looks like you for you to set the best possible tone for your day, wake up each morning with the time to do it.
#2 Maintain a Daily Gratitude Practice
This isn’t about being grateful for a work bonus or that surprise vacation your partner just booked. This is about finding gratitude for the small, even insignificant (but good) things our brains have learned to gloss over or take for granted.
This is about making mental notes when someone moves over just enough to let you on the train so you aren’t late for work, when you treat yourself to ice cream because it’s Friday, when someone pays you a complement or offers to help you, when you get a call from a friend you haven’t heard from in a while, when the sun shines in the winter, when you find an extra 3 minutes to meditate – whatever it is, write it down.
5 things, once a day.
I’ll admit, I was a bit slow on the uptake with this one, but it’s something I’m REALLY going to be focusing on everyday from here on out.
#3 Move Your Body 30 Minutes a Day
Okay, so this one… This is a REAL big game changer for me here, guys. As someone who gets just a little bit OCD about training, I can easily work myself up into this place where I believe that nothing except at least 1 hour of intense HIIT and strength training is good enough and so on days when I just mentally and physically can’t rally for that, I end up doing nothing. Which, as you’ll know if you struggle with your mental health, is about the absolute worst thing you can do for yourself.
What I love about this ‘rule’ is that all you have to do is MOVE for it to count. Dancing, climbing, rollerblading, cycling – it all works so long as you’re moving for 30 minutes at a time. On days when you really can’t be asked, even a slow, thirty minute walk around your neighbourhood will do the trick.
Oh, and no rest days. Duh.
#4 Drink Your Body Weight in Ounces of Water
Feeling thirsty? Drink some water. Feeling hungry? Drink some water. Feeling happy? Drink some water.
Basically, drink water all day, everyday. Your body needs it and your probably don’t even know it. So fill up that reusable water bottle and get ready to pee. A lot.
You’ll pee a lot.
But it won’t go on like that endlessly forever. Eventually your bladder will chill and body, skin and brain will thank you.
#5 Give Up 1 Food You Know You Shouldn’t Be Eating
Alright, before anyone freaks out, let me preface this by saying that *MOST OF US* probably have a few guilty food pleasures that aren’t as occasionally enjoyed as we make them out to be. Any fellow Choco-holics out there?
This isn’t about restricting yourself or telling yourself you can never ever have that food again. It’s about setting a boundary with yourself for 30 to 90 days and eliminating something from your diet that isn’t serving your body from a nutritional perspective.
Some people can eat 1 piece of chocolate 1 x week. Those people are not me. Before January 2nd, I was eating chocolate with my morning coffee, chocolate as an afternoon snack and mid evening pick me up, chocolate before dinner and then just before bed.
I felt like shit, but I couldn’t get control. I couldn’t find *BALANCE*.
So I’m giving it up. For at least 30 days, but maybe longer. If I do reintroduce it back into my diet (and to be honest, I probably will), it will be done in a much more calculated and tracked way so that I can maintain accountability for my food choices.
#6 Everything Else I’m Doing to Start the Year Right
- I’m staying in therapy
- One of the best things I did for myself in 2019 was to find my therapist. I have no intention of quitting, which means I’ll be in her office at least twice monthly.
- This year one of my big goals is to share a lot more about what I’m discovering about myself in therapy and the tools I’m learning that everyone can benefit from.
- I’m tracking my food
- YUP, not a super popular thing to be doing these days, but I refuse to see it as anything except a form of #SELFLOVE for me at the moment.
- I’m feeding myself better now than I have all year and that feels good. If that isn’t #selflove I don’t know what is.
- I’m only drinking on Fridays and Saturdays (if it fits my macros)
- I don’t think there is anything wrong with a serving of alcohol per day, but for me, right now, I want to focus on scaling back the quantity of alcohol I’m consuming.
- I had a great holiday season and celebrated with some of my favourite wines, so I feel at peace with this decision and know it will help make those nice bottles feel even more special when I do decide to have a drink.
- I’m writing and sharing more (on social and real life)
- For me, this is so tied to giving myself the freedom to dream and ‘create’ (as annoying and overused as that word is now) that I can’ afford not do it. My brain needs the stimulation and my soul needs the opportunity to let loose in that way.
- My relationships need this too. There are times when I get so closed off that I have almost nothing to say to the people who love me most and that hurts. It hurts them. It hurts me. This year, I want to limit that kind of hurt as much as I possibly can.
- I’m making a home
- Regardless of whether you own your own flat, I firmly believe you can make it feel like home. This year I am focused on furnishing and decorating our space in a way that inspires warmth, joy and contentment for us (and hopefully our guests).
- From playing with colour and patterns to experimenting with textures and scents, I want to use our flat as a creative outlet and labour of love, to curate a space we truly look forward to coming home to each day.
So that’s it! Those are all of my good habits for a new year. It’s exactly how I’m starting 2020. How about you? I would love to hear what you’ve been up to and how you make your New Year Resolutions last.