January 10th 2018
A simple guide on how to not fall back into unproductive habits in the second week of the new year~
A new year is an opportunity for a fresh start. Although a year is just a number on a calendar, it is a metaphorical chance to “start over”. At the start, we go in with expectations of waking up early, going to the gym, eating healthy, finally starting to write that novel or fix that old vintage car or learn to roller skate or pick up the guitar in the corner that you’ve had forever and never learned to play. Yet, here we are, halfway through the second week and we are still sitting on the couch saying “I’m so excited for the new year!” as we stuff our faces with junk food and take no active steps towards actually improving our lives or reaching our goals.
It is as if a new year has sort of just become a feeling and a hope more than an action. We sit and wait for things to fall into place as if the universe needs to give us permission to actually put in effort at what we want to achieve. I am guilty of this too. Instead of accomplishing the things I want to accomplish, I just sit around and “plan” and then I get super hyped about my “plans” but I never actually make a plan for those “plans” to become a reality. That is why I decided I’d throw a few hacks and tips I’m using this year to “turn my can’ts into cans and turn my dreams into plans” in the hopes that I will stick with them and help other people along the way!
- Journaling- I have recently picked up my journal and a pen and went back to basics. I started writing for my eyes only and putting down all I want to see manifested, down on paper. If you don’t like hand writing, start a word document! Just get into the practice of writing for yourself and using your writing as a space to think through the things you want to achieve, why those things matter to you, and how you feel throughout the process of achieving or accomplishing these things. Use your journal as a place to set deadlines and take notes if you need to do some research. Create a space for you to get everything sorted both in the logical sense and the emotional sense. I am trying to push myself to journal at least 2-3 times a week but I will hopefully fall into a rhythm.
- Make a Vision Board- I had a vision board I had sitting at my desk from about 2014-2016 that had pictures of people I admired, places I wanted to go, movies I liked, and quotes that resonated with me. I have since thrown the board away because I feel like the dreams I had back then aren’t what I want now. However, I have a giant cork board behind my bed filled with pictures and posters that are a bit outdated so I have been saving pictures and planning to turn it into a bit of a vision board. I plan to use it not only as a visual representation of what I want to do, but a tool to help me do those things. Whether it be pinning researching I’ve done about a place I want to go, or recipes of healthy dinners I would like to prep, the board is really going to be an ever-evolving thing I use to stay on track.
- Improve your sleep schedule- I had an amazing sleep schedule the first 8 or 9 months of 2017. Then, as yoga got more hectic and things in my life started to pick up, I lost that great sleeping schedule and began going to bed super late and sleeping until 10:30 or 11 on any day I possibly could. I even began skipping morning yoga in favor of sleeping more. This year, I am trying to get back into that improved sleeping schedule. I made a commitment to myself that I don’t want to wake up any later than 8 AM on any given day (perhaps allowing myself to sleep in more on Sundays, but still limiting the sleeping in.) Today, I woke up at 8 and now it is only 11 and I feel like it should be at least 2 or 3 with the amount of things I’ve already done today.
- Be held accountable- My friend actually just made a snap group of us and 3 of my other friends called “healthy lifestyle and such” where we send each other pictures of our food and workouts to keep each other motivated. I’m not sure how much the group will really catch on or if it is going to be used for its intended purpose (which it doesn’t seem like it will be), but it is a good idea. If you have something you want to do and you have a friend or family member who either wants to do it too or is willing to hold you accountable, utilize that! Having someone who is checking in to make sure you’re reaching for your goals is so valuable!
- Declutter your life- I don’t know about anyone else, but when my room is feeling fresh and clean, I feel 1000% more motivated to be a human being and get stuff done. When my room is cluttered and a mess, I become a bit of a sloth and just avoid all responsibility. I know it’s usually called “Spring Cleaning” when you go out with the old and in with the new, but a new year seems like a way better time to do that because if you start with a clean room or space then it truly is a “clean slate”.
- Force yourself to keep going- Don’t take this tip the wrong way, I’m not saying that you should make yourself feel like your goals are a chore. What I’m saying is, I’ve been reading and although people believe it takes 21 days to build a habit, many people say it takes 66 days so if you continue to push yourself to build healthy habits and you remain consistent, then what you want to accomplish will be less effort. For example, if your goal is to work out every day, push yourself. There will be days when you’re feeling sluggish and gross, but force yourself and you will be happy you did. It takes a few lazy days to destroy tons of progress, so as hard as it may be, force yourself to keep going.
These are just a few things you can do to help you stay on track with your goals this new year. What are some of the ways you’re committing yourself to goals this year?