I’d like to start the new year by discussing ~resolutions~ here on the blog.
I’ve noticed resolutions are popularly derived from brainstorming the laundry list of things we don’t like about ourselves, and trying to change all of those things on January 1. Starting the New Year with self criticism is… well, kind of mean, don’t you think? I’m all for self-improvement and making goals to be healthier and happier, but not at the cost of beating myself up about it. Plus, most people (a whopping 80%!) bail on their resolutions by February. Quitting after a month won’t boost my self-esteem!
So let’s take the start of 2019 to reflect on how bomb we are, and find a kinder way to push ourselves to be better. Going back to my positivity post—we are never going to be happy if we’re consumed with our flaws in life.
I myself woke up after the New Year feeling depleted. I was far from my regular routine and I had a dark winter cloud hanging over my head… there wasn’t too much to look forward to for the next few months. I had to do something about my melancholy, so I focused on this dismal feeling and decided THAT was what really mattered… not the few LBs I put on over the holidays.
Some come January 2, I spent my train ride to work thinking of small tweaks to boost my mood, and how we can all FEEL GOOD. For me, getting back to a routine and prioritizing stress reduction each day is key. Sprinkling some fun and excitement throughout the winter months is also important for me to “fill my cup.”
My 2019 Kick starter Game Plan:
Get into funky herbal teas. Fill up a nice mug to curl up at home each night on the couch. It might take place of my beloved glass of vino, but I’ve had enough “bubbly” over the holidays, I should mix it up.
Plug in my essential oils lamp. This thing makes me feel like I’m on a fancy meditation retreat (ahem—thank you Target gift cards!). Maybe it will motivate me to practice more yoga, or maybe I’ll just lay down and relax. Win-win!
FUN dates. As much as I’d love a vacation on a tropical island like I splurged for last year, I couldnt swing it this year. So, I opened my calendar and found a few free spots to fill with some affordable fun. I saw a comedy show with my girlfriends after work (for $30!), Joe and I booked a hotel in the city for a weekend getaway (a little over $100!), and we just looked up some live music shows to party with my parents (without talking my Dad’s ear off for the night—$free.99!). I even scored a flight deal to Florida in March to stay with family for a few days. Nothing is better for my soul than the beach and quality fam time. Now I have a handful of peaks scattered through the dreaded winter weeks.
Remind myself the value of daily positivity. I read through my New Years posts of 2018 and it reminded me of all I could do to keep a positive outlook! I’ve decided this will be my new thing—start the day reflecting what went well the day before, what I’m looking forward to during the week, and giving myself the chance to detangle any stress that’s bothering me. This is easily incorporated into a bullet journal or PENZU journal (I’ve been a fan of this lately, it’s on my desktop and phone). Starting my day focused on positives really boosts my mood.
If you’re feeling the winter blues yourself, take a little bit of time to fine tune your 2019 plan!
Did you make a new years resolution? If yes, how is it “filling your cup”? Do have more energy? More self-confidence?
At the end of the month, ask yourself: “Do I feel happier from these changes?” It’s important to check in on that question from time to time. If the answer is no, how can you switch it up to be a happier and healthier you?
Let’s relax with the January laundry list of self-criticism. Shall we start the year by focusing on a realistic February goal that we can build on throughout the year instead?
Are you looking for a goal to be healthier and happier?
Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
COOK more. We all know I love to cook, but some people don’t! Most assume because I love it I am good at it, but that’s actually not true. I’ll be the first to admit it! I am a mess in the kitchen, but I think it’s a fun and creative activity. It can contribute to your “feel good” goals. Here are some pointers on how to start out:
Seasonal Cook Book purchase: Buy a cook book each season and aim to make a recipe from it 4 times per month (once a week, or stockpile your recipes for one cozy weekend).
Buy a Vegetarian Cookbook. You don’t have to become a vegetarian to eat more plants. Dabbling with a few veggie recipes may open your mind and plate to new veggie dishes!
Insta Pot. I’m trying to practice using my insta pot, so this looks fun to me.
Make all treats from scratch during the winter. If you really want something sweet, you’ll select a recipe and actually put in the time to whip it up. If you’re just grabbing something off a shelf on impulse, it’s setting you up for cravings throughout the week. I like this concept because it doesn’t exclude the food and create some strict diet, it just helps you be more intentional with what you want to eat.
Spend 5 minutes relaxing every day.
A bath: Get all the fix ins… candles, music, soaps. Love iiiiit!
Essential oil diffuser: Take a page out of my book and get yourself one of these. It relaxes you like you wouldn’t believe.
Record a complement. Write it down in your journal on on your calendar!
Sip your coffee. Wake up a few minutes earlier to spend 5 minutes sipping your coffee in peace on the couch.
Prioritize sleep. Create a bedtime routine that you can stick to the majority of the time. Aim for 7 or 8 hours each night (or whatever number feels right to you), pour yourself some warm tea after dinner, turn the TV off by 8, spend 10 minutes meditating, stretching, or journaling lingering thoughts, and climb into bed.