Many people think of the beginning of a new year as wiping the slate clean and making a fresh start. In December we start thinking about what things in life we want to change and may set New Year’s resolutions. It is common to hear people say, “I want to be healthier this year”. That is an awesome goal but what does being healthy really mean? How does a healthy person feel, think and act? What does the average person have to do to be healthy?
One of my goals for 2019 was to improve my health, both physical and emotional. I decide to choose some goals for my year that would improve on how I feel but not be out of reach or necessarily take up a lot of time (because who are we kidding, everyone is busy). These are some examples of things I am going to hold myself accountable for in 2019!
1. Do Whole30 in January. What better way to ring in 2019 than with putting myself back in check with my lifestyle choices in the food department. This is my third time doing this and I was actually excited this year. In the grand scheme of things 30 days is nothing. It takes planning and commitment, but who better than to commit to than yourself.
2. Drink enough water. I recently started keeping track of the water I actually drink and I was shocked to see that it was not nearly the amount I thought. I now start my day with a cup of water right when I get out of bed and then drink steadily. The days I work out I add a couple of extra cups for good measure. It takes practice to drink enough water but the effects are well worth it. I am noticing a difference in my skin after only one week.
3. Keep a gratitude journal. The power effects of practicing gratitude have been studied, you literally have the power to change your thoughts. I write down three things that I was grateful for at the end of my day. Some days the list could go on and on, other days it might be more of a stretch, but it is always doable. Focusing on happy thoughts can really turn your day around.
4. Learn a new activity this year. Learning new behaviors and activities are a powerful way to create new pathways for your brain. Every year I decide what is something new I could learn. Winter can be a hard season for me with the cold days and less sunshine, but I know I still need to get outside. This year I am going to take up snowshoeing which covers my new activity, is a form of exercise and I will get some fresh air. A win on every front.
5. Get enough (and better) sleep. Everyone is different in the amount of sleep they need to get on a nightly basis, I know I need 8 hours to feel good the next morning when I get up. I often find that I stay up late for no reason and I think to myself “why didn’t I go to bed earlier?”. I have decided to end all screen time and TV watching one hour prior to when I want to go to bed and slowly start to wind down for the night. Choosing a conscious bedtime that will give me enough sleep until it becomes a pattern.
6. Quality time with friends and family. Let’s face it we live in a society where everyone is running from place to place. I find that months can go by without me seeing a close friend. I am changing that right now! At least several times a month I am reaching out to make a friend date, cooking a meal, meeting for a walk, going to a show the list could be endless. Cultivating my friendships that have survived for years and filling me up.
The list really could continue but this is where I am at right now. I think it’s important when thinking about your goals for the year to make them fun and focus on what is important for you. Most important, find a way to hold yourself accountable. Diet, exercise, self-care are always ongoing things to work on and some days are easier than others. But making a commitment to subtly change things slowly makes these changes sustainable and creates new habits. I would love to hear what things you have chosen to work on this year. Comment below on what things are in the future for your year!