healthy habits

New Year New You: How to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Were you one of those people ringing in the New Year with a hearty round of, “Good riddance, 2018!”? Did last year leave you a bit battered, bruised and discouraged ?


You’re not alone. Plenty of people were grateful to see the back of 2018. Not every year goes according to plan. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from the bad, remember the good and be thankful for personal growth.


While resolutions are made with the best intentions, healthy habits are far more achievable. Research has suggested that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. 2019 can be your best year… that is, if you’re willing to:


  • do an honest stock-take of your life
  • think about who you want to be, and
  • implement some healthy rhythms


This isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it if you don’t just want to survive, but thrive in the year ahead.


Invest in yourself this year by focusing on these 5 healthy habits:


1. Slow down


healthy habitsEasier said than done, right?


Life can be a rat race that often pressures you to pick up the pace. Before you know it, you’re burnt out, bent out of shape and just plain over it. Things that used to refresh you no longer do. Why? Because your tank is running on empty. Or, as mom used to say, “You’re running on the fumes of an oil rag!”


Our world is always demanding more of us. More time. More money. More attention. More energy. But we can’t give what we don’t have. If you want to be the best version of yourself this year, you need… to slow… down… A mechanic can’t take a look under the hood of a moving car.


Sometimes slowing down means saying, “no.” Know yourself and know your limits. Even if it means disappointing one or two people. You don’t have to say “no” forever. Once you refill your tank, and once you find some balance, you’ll be able to gauge what to say “yes” to.


Rest, refresh, repeat.


2. Declutter your life


healthy habitsNothing gives us that fresh-start feel quite like a good decluttering. But sometimes we need to declutter a bit more than just our homes.


Is it time to declutter your calendar? There are always going to be important commitments and things you have to do. But sometimes our calendars have no breathing room, leaving us rushed and drained. It’s about balance. Do you really need to attend that function? Are you sure you’re going to benefit from having those people over? Should you rather skip the next girls night and enjoy a night in instead?


Perhaps you need to declutter your social media feed. Tired of seeing overly negative messages filling your newsfeed? Follow accounts that will enrich your day with positive messages, like Humans of New York, Awesome Earth or even Dogs of Instagram!


Lastly, and perhaps most importantly… maybe you need to declutter some people. Toxic, negative people can drain you. And if your emotional tank is in the red… well, that just doesn’t bode well. You probably have some idea who those people are in your life. This doesn’t mean that you need to cut people off entirely, but you may need to decide whether some distance will help establish healthy boundaries.


3. Invest in relationships


healthy habitsNo man is an island. We need people around us who will build us up and bring out the best in us.


This year, why not invest time and energy into building healthy relationships? Identify two or three friends who fill your emotional tank. Not sure who those people are? They’re the ones who tell it to you straight with your best interests at heart. They’re the ones who make you feel lighter, not heavier, after spending time with them. They’re the ones cheering you on. Schedule in a weekly or monthly coffee with those friends.


If you have a partner or spouse, make it a priority to schedule regular time together. Life gets hectic sometimes, especially when you have kids. Make date night non-negotiable. You will see the results when you look back at the end of this year and see how your closest relationships have thrived.


All because of a habit to make time.


4. Find a new hobby


healthy habitsWhat refreshes you? What gets your juices flowing? What makes you feel alive?


Figure that out and make it a hobby. Life can become a steady stream of to-do-list based busyness. We need to inject it with fun, colourful, refreshing activities.


Dying to try a Zumba class? Get a few friends together and book a session after work. Always wanted to write? Start your own blog. Haven’t drawn or painted since high school? Now’s as good a time as any. Itching to get out into nature? Set your alarm and go for that weekend hike.


As with everything else, we need to make time for hobbies and tank-filling activities. This may mean a little less screen time or hours wasted in front of the TV. Find a friend in your life who has similar interests and keep each other accountable. Healthy habits are better formed with friends.


No more procrastinating!


5. Schedule Me Time


Possibly the most important habit that you could form this year: Me Time. Not to be confused with selfishness and not to make you feel guilty.


You. Need. This.


The people you love deserve the best version of you. Which is why time spent on your own occasionally is the best thing you can do for them.  Make it a habit to book time for you before you book time for others.


Schedule that manicure or that overdue massage. Get those highlight touch-ups. Spoil yourself with that outfit you’ve been saving for. Go and see a movie on your own! Go for an early run down by the beach and enjoy a solo post-workout breakfast.


Less people pleasing, more Me Time.


The beauty of all these good habits is that they are all completely doable. All you need to do is make them a priority. Here’s to your best year yet!

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