New Year, New You: 15 Life Changing Habits to Adopt this Year!

January 21st 2018

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“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

Earlier this month I talked about a habit I wanted to break however, I failed to mention some habits that I feel would be good to pick up! So, I decided to compile a list of 15 healthy habits that I feel are truly life changing and could really turn 2018 into a year of great changes!

  1. Mediation– Meditating has been a part of my life regularly for the past 2 years. When I first started, I thought the whole practice consisted of sitting on the floor looking spiritual and relaxed. I actually found that the practice was a lot more difficult than that. It is about quieting mind chatter, acknowledging that thoughts will come up, and letting those thoughts pass without you getting absorbed in them. I find this is a great practice to get into because it really translates well into real life situations like stress management and conflict resolution.
  2. Drink more water– I am still working on this one. The most common water formula is that you should be drinking “8×8” or eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. However, there are apps that give you a more concise number based on your height, weight, average activity level, age, etc. Staying hydrated not only keeps the body lubricated for all systems to run properly, but it also helps flush the system of toxins and clear the skin!
  3. Exercise regularly– This is a practice that is way easier than people make it out to be. Exercising regularly doesn’t mean going to the gym every day. It means taking small chunks of time to be active. If the weather is warm, take a walk or ride your bike to a nearby Starbucks instead of driving! If you’re going to binge a show, do simple floor exercises with the TV or computer on. I watch live streams a lot and I usually strap on ankle weights and do some leg lifts and crunches throughout!
  4. Be aware of spending– This year I started a spreadsheet for my spending. I’m not sure I will commit to it fully but it has really opened my eyes to how much I spend on food compared to anything else. Being aware of how much you’re spending and where the money is going can really encourage more conscious decision making when spending.
  5. Make your bed– This one is so simple but makes the hugest difference. When I make my bed, I feel like I have to actually get up and be productive. When my bed is unmade, nothing is stopping me from just laying back down in the covers and becoming a blob. Keeping my bed made not only makes my space feel infinitely cleaner, but also helps me feel motivated to get my day started. I’m working on getting more into this practice this year.
  6. Take notes– It sounds silly, but take notes whenever you can. If you and your friend talk about a movie you want to see, write down which friend and what movie so you can actually make plans to see it. If you think of something you need to buy, but don’t have the money to buy it, write it down so you don’t forget when you actually have the funds to spend. Taking notes on your day to day life can really help you stay on top of what is going on in your own head.
  7. Know your intake– Counting calories isn’t for everyone so this isn’t exactly the practice I am suggesting you pick up, but I do advise you to know your intake. You don’t have to add up every calorie that you eat but be mindful of what you are putting into your body. Being aware of carbs and sugars and ingredients can really be a good way to ensure that you are putting the right fuel into your body. I’ve made so many more well informed choices with my food since I started reading labels more often.
  8. Don’t sleep the day away– I find that I am a thousand times more productive if I wake up early. You don’t have to wake up at 5 AM to be productive, but definitely don’t sleep the day away. I used to be a huge advocate for sleeping in and I do sleep in on some occasions but I have gotten into the routine of waking up before or at 8 AM most mornings. Starting my day earlier gives me more time to get stuff done and also leaves me feeling less sluggish throughout the day.
  9. Limit tech time– I need to get better at this one. I love social media and social media is also my job (I do social media for a performing arts center and I am also actively working to make my personal socials a career as well). I find that I spend a large part of my day on my phone or laptop or work computer getting work done as well as goofing off. I really want to get in the practice of putting my phone down at least 30 minutes before I plan to sleep so that I can wind down properly. Studies have shown that using a device right before bed can hurt your sleep. I am also working on limiting my cell phone usage when I am with friends and loved ones. Overall I want to be more present in the real world.
  10. Stop snacking before bed– This is a terrible habit of mine. I love to snack, especially chips and sweets. I often find that I eat when I’m bored which isn’t healthy and happens frequently at night when I’m out of good stuff to watch online. I am trying to cut off eating by around 8 PM. Not snacking before bed not only helps avoid weight gain from storing calories that aren’t being expelled, but also helps with sleep.
  11. Journaling– I have been a lover of journaling since I was really young. I have journals from my middle school self where I would write poems and bits of my “wisdom” and stories and my thoughts. This habit of journaling has been an on and off thing throughout my growing up and I would totally recommend keeping a personal journal. A personal journal doesn’t have the same frills and embellishments of a blog and doesn’t have the audience either. My journal is way more candid and blunt than my blog. Although I try to be as transparent as possible on my blog, I find that my journal is a place where I don’t have to censor myself for an audience.
  12. Weekly Tidy– Weekly tidy is a practice I developed after moving back home after my freshman year of college. I can’t say I’ve been 100% dedicated to it, but I am working on it. Essentially, my weekly tidy is when I set aside one morning before I do anything else to just tidy my room. I use the time to put things back where they belong and essentially reset. It isn’t a full clean with dust rags and vacuums, but just simply a re-sorting to maximize my organization and productivity. My weekly tidy days are usually either Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday because those are currently my work free days! However, I start a new freelance job on Tuesday so depending on how that goes, Tuesdays and Fridays are out.
  13. Plan things out– This one sounds really silly and obvious, but plan things out. Thoroughly plan things out and it will honestly change your life. To be more specific, I plan out productive days by giving myself a time frame. For example, go to yoga 7:30-8:30, get a smoothie, go to Target, be home by 10, rest until 10:30, do laundry, work out 12:30-1:30, take blog photos at 2….etc. I find that when I plan out a productive day with a time table, I get way more done. If being that specific with time isn’t your thing, just set a standard. Like, “I want to get all of my necessary productive activities done by 3”. Setting a time limit pushes you to get more done and slack less.
  14. Take more pictures– I am really committed to picking up this habit this year. I love taking and posting pictures and I never feel like I take enough when I am out with friends and making memories. I consider this habit “life changing” because ever since I started trying to take more pictures, I have begun to notice more of the beautiful things around me and the beauty in small moments. I don’t suggest getting in the habit of taking so many pictures that you are no longer present, but I do suggest taking a little extra time to find the beauty around you and capture it for later.
  15. Express gratitude regularly– Adopting this habit is probably the most life changing one of them all. It is so easy to assume that your friends and family know how much they mean to you, but sometimes saying it and showing it a little extra can really do a world of difference in their life and in yours. Reminding yourself of the reasons you have to be grateful really pushes you to do more every single day. Let gratitude motivate you.

This is just a short list of super simple habits to adopt, but there are tons and tons more I would love to share. What are some you think I missed? And give this a like if you would like to perhaps see a part 2 since I have quite a few more in mind!

Jess~

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jessofearth

Jess, 23, yogi, believer in things, book worm, shy, aspiring human of Earth. I like to spend my time on a yoga mat, with a pen in my hand, my nose in a book, or behind the lens of a camera. I love to write about anything and everything. Book reviews, travel diaries, and abstract thoughts~

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