A new year, a new opportunity to take advantage of a fresh start and make some changes…and admittedly, a healthy 2018 has a nice ring to it.
As cliche as it is, the tolling midnight bell really does kick off a new motivation to reflect upon the previous year and start on the right foot. Or the left; whatever floats your boat.
It’s easy to make a bunch of well-intentioned goals, but actually implementing them on a daily basis and not feeling drained by the next week is not so easy.
Below are some suggestions that keep a realistic mentality but still work toward a healthy 2018. With the potential for good things ahead in the proceeding months…the true difference here is how we approach it. Ready for some goal-setting? Good, so am I.
1. Establish what self-care means to you.
The term “self-care” became a trendy reason to take more bubble baths last year, but there’s so much more to self-care than simply treating yo’self. If you have any areas of your health you tend to overlook and need a conscious reminder for them, that’s what self-care is for. Define self-care and prioritize yourself. Your health is too precious to neglect.
2. Learn to rest.
When making goals, it makes sense to get in that hustle and keep working ourselves until we’re zombies. To avoid becoming counterproductive, do yourself a favor and just chill. Yes, it might feel at times like you’re being lazy and should be doing something else instead, but we need down moments to recharge ourselves. Here’s your excuse to binge on that Netflix series you’ve been wanting to see or dive into a good book.
3. Actually use a planner.
We can ooh and ahh over those fancy planners on Etsy or see all the interesting ways people make bullet journals or decorate agendas as if they’re scrapbooks, but at the end of the day, a planner is for organizing your life. It’s not something you need to show off to others or make into an art project. And there’s no right or wrong way to organize…it’s all up to personal preference and what you’re consistent with. But I personally think one of the best feelings out there is crossing off items on a to-do list.
4. Move more often.
I’m not about to throw around crazy workout plans or insist you buy a gym membership. Instead, become mindful of your own habits and see how often you actually move. For me, that means an entire month of winter break where I was on my butt, soon getting back to walking to class every day. For a healthy 2018, I simply want to incorporate more movement into the days where I wouldn’t otherwise, as simple as standing instead of sitting or delving into some yoga. Either way, it’s a goal that is realistic to my own preferences and lifestyle.
5. Eat more plant-based.
One of the hottest trends going into the new year is veganism (insert here where I tote going vegan before it was cool). Again, be realistic with your own life. If you don’t want to give up certain meat and dairy products, gradually opt for alternatives, or heck, just practice Meatless Monday. Any way you can reduce your animal consumption is a step in the right direction. Make sure to check out my previous blog posts for more information about my own vegan journey.
Not all about the ohm’s and reaching nirvana, meditation, especially right in the morning or right before bedtime, can prove very beneficial in grounding yourself back in the present moment amidst fast-paced, stimulating days. If you don’t know where to start, I’d suggest downloading an app like Headspace to teach you the ropes.
7. Find a cause and support it.
Every season should be one for giving–time, resources, the works. Not only is volunteering and helping charity good for your health, but it also supports those in need, whether that’s the homeless population in your local area, shelter animals, or faraway people in poverty. There are so many different nonprofits out there who need motivated individuals to advocate for the voiceless and keep their organizations afloat, so if you haven’t already, do some research, find a charity that really speaks to you, and reach out to them to see how you can get involved in something greater than your own life. Everybody, regardless of their circumstances, deserves a healthy 2018.
8. Read for fun.
Something I really got back into last year was reading. I read over fifty books in 2017, and I’m sure not stopping any time soon. When you have mountains of class reading and other work to do, you’d think the last thing you’d want is to read some more, but trust me, finding a pleasure read in whatever genre you choose can be the greatest escape and form of relaxation. No deadline to finish, no restraint in options…you’re sure to find a book to fall in love with.
9. Swap a toss-away item for an eco-friendly version.
All of the hype around living without producing any waste seems like a fantasy, and, compared to a conventional lifestyle, it sure feels unreal. Instead, take it gradually and just change one item you’d throw away after one use for a reusable alternative. For example, say no to disposable straws at restaurants and invest in reusable ones. Stop buying K-cups for your coffee maker and simply fill up a reusable K-cup with your own coffee grounds. And if you’re looking for more inspiration, make sure to stay tuned for an upcoming post of the easiest changes you can make for a greener life.
10. Treat every day like Christmas.
Yes, I know Christmas is over and Elf has been switched back to Harry Potter marathons on Freeform. However, this tenet of the Code of the Elves is truly one to implement every day. We think of the holidays as a time where everyone can come together and feel drawn to acting more intentionally, spreading kindness to ensure a happy season for all. But why does that have to magically stop on December 26 when Christmas commercials immediately turn into weight-loss systems and supplements? Each day, I challenge you to do one thing that serves only to be kind. Give a compliment to someone when you would’ve only thought it in passing. Rather than making an excuse to avoid going out, seek out time to spend with friends and family because they could really need your presence in that moment. Smile and help a stranger just because. I personally struggle with the transition between the holidays back to “normal” life, but nobody said we had to stop singing loud for all to hear.
Hopefully these tidbits can serve some inspiration as you embark on another year of life. We might not know what will come, what obstacles we’re bound to face, what opportunities we’ll decide upon, what people we’ll meet, but by proactively taking care of ourselves and those around us, we can approach this year with grace and mindfulness.
What resolutions and goals are you making for a healthy 2018?
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie