New Year, New You. Ugh, we've heard it all before. Every January to be specific. But trying to create major change for a new year based on the idea of a "resolutions" rarely works. It's about really taking a step back to see how and where you can enhance your daily life.
I get it; thinking about your whole entire life can be a little overwhelming. I mean, there's work, family, friends, life, health, home and all the nuances involved in each. So don't freak out and don't haphazardly create unrealistic resolutions that you're likely to bail on before February is here.
While we're all in different life places, I have a feeling adhering to the following six things will begin to improve your life.
1. Create short term to-dos, and long-term goals. OK, deep breath. Sit with a blank sheet of paper (or the notes section of your phone) and make a list of all the crap you need to get done in the next week. That stuff always bogs down our brain from digging deeper to the real stuff. Now that you've cleared that clutter -- and can start checking those items off -- think about longer term goals. Maybe it's planning a girls trip or a solo one, launching a new business, reading one book per month, committing to a yoga schedule or re-evaluating big relationships in your life. Really think about it, be honest with yourself (this is key), and write that sh*t down. The act of writing it makes it real, and seeing these goals is a constant (nagging) reminder to make it happen. Start integrating steps to get there in your weekly to-do lists. Be relentless.
2. Get moving. I'm not saying you should go from couch potato to an ambitious marathon runner -- though, mega props if you want to! -- just commit to get your tush moving. A healthier body is really a healthier mind and happier self. Head to the gym, try a dance class (I'm fully going to try a beginners hip hop!), even have a dance party in your pajamas. No judgement, just move that body. And, don't do it with the aim to solely lose weight. Do it because it feels good, because it's time for you, and because it will make you stronger and healthier.
3. Compliment yourself. I swear women can be our own personal version of the movie Mean Girls. Remember where they all stand in front of the mirror and insult themselves? I hear women get on themselves all too often. And, let's be honest: it's usually from women who look fab, who are smart and talented, and have so much going for them. Break the negative cycle and be proud. It's not being boastful or arrogant; it's simply being proud of your accomplishments.
4. Sleep more. Are you running on empty? There's no way you think think clearly, smartly or efficiently if your brain is only moving due to an influx of caffeine. Commit to an early bed time (currently trying to take my own advice!). Personally, our biggest challenge are our little ones -- our girl is constantly making excuses to get out of bed. We now firmly say, "this is adult time," (an idea from a counselor, and recently mentioned in a parenting book), and keep repeating it without engaging her. It's been a process, but it's working. Of course we all go through crazy times where you have to give up some sleep to get it all done, but get back to your routine as soon as possible.
5. Read, watch or listen to something powerful. While number two might be all about moving your hot bod, this is all about exercising the brain, while also doing something totally selfish (yep, it's OK, and actually a good thing, to be selfish sometimes). Reading, watching or listening to something motivational, powerful or relaxing (try a meditation app!) are helpful ways to unwind, recharge and get you thinking about parts of your life you weren't even considering (I love books that so perfectly relate back to something going on in my world).
6. Say NO. For me, 2016 was the year of saying NO... and you know what, it's been incredibly liberating. Saying no really means saying yes to something else. It's easy to want to be helpful and default a "yes" to help others but without sounding terrible, you're doing that to your own detriment. You're saying no to you, your family, your dreams, your goals. Try to find a balance and go for it!