I’m a big advocate for making gradual lifestyle changes rather than drastic ones. Quitting unhealthy habits cold turkey never worked for me and I always ended up rebounding worse than before. Cue images of forgotten lemons for what should’ve been morning lemon water, sadly withering away in the produce drawer of the refrigerator.
It took a long time of gradually shifting things before it became easier to make better choices with my diet and lifestyle habits. The best thing you can do is be aware of your goals and determine what steps you can take to work your way there.
The best news is that since we’re now in a new year (and a new decade!!) it’s the best time to start implementing our new goals.
The first thing to do is to take inventory of your current lifestyle, habits, and health. Where are you now in life? What would you like to see change? For example, I’m still not super happy with the state of my skin. I’m still experiencing breakouts and can’t find the root of the issue. Also, I constantly fall off-track with my mindfulness/meditation routines, and I’ll admit I spend WAY too much time on my phone and watching Netflix when I could be doing much more productive, life-enhancing things.
I want to take a new approach to my blog in 2020 as well. Being a stereotypical Capricorn (where my astrology nerds at??) I’m quite a perfectionist. I’m very goal-oriented but also admittingly afraid of failure. Coming across as unsure or unknowledgeable is something I consciously and subconsciously avoid a lot – I’ll admit it! But I realized that one of my favorite parts of following ‘influencers’ and people who post content on blogs & social media is watching their journeys of trial, error, and success.
For too long I’ve held off on posting things because I didn’t feel like an expert enough on the topic and I realized that learning as I go along is the exact reason I wanted to start this blog!
SO, I’m taking the health trends and lifestyle swaps that I’ve tried to implement since first starting this blog and I’m doing an inventory. I want to decide which things are going to help me reach my ultimate health and wellness goals as well as which things are holding me back – and you’re going to be able to follow my journey and learn from my trials & errors. The best part is that we can do this together! We can – and most likely will – have differing goals. That’s totally ok, and I encourage it. Everyone’s lifestyle is unique and that’s a beautiful thing; what you need to work on is probably different than what I need to work on.
Here’s how you can improve your lifestyle in 2020 too.
Take an inventory of your life and routine.
What are you happy with? What is keeping you from being the best version of yourself?
Here’s what I’m considering for 2020:
- I’m happy with my increased ability to wake up early. It’s taken a while but I’m finally able to wake up at 6/7 am. I do, however, need to alter my morning routine to fully capitalize on waking up early.
- I’m happy with the way I incorporate activity into my lifestyle, but I want to be more consistent with it. I’ve begun jogging on weekends and walking outside several times per week, but I want to stick with it. I also feel like I need to switch up my approach to going to the gym.
- I need to change the level of care I put into the food I’m eating. I have begun to rely too much on processed items and have neglected to add fresh, nutritious, whole foods & veggies into each and every meal. I need to reassess the balance of my diet. I’ve also been letting my sugar addiction control me and it’s wreaking havoc on my skin for sure.
- Decrease the number of inflammatory foods linked to acne: dairy & sugar especially.
- WATER. I have a bipolar relationship with water. Some weeks I’m incredibly on top of my hydration, other weeks it’s like I need to force myself to gulp down a glass of H2O. I need to be consistent.
- Mindfulness & self-improvement. Do you know what Oprah, Bill Gates, Tony Robbins, Joe Rogan, Jerry Seinfeld, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Ellen DeGeneres, and many other successful people have in common? THEY. MEDITATE. DAILY. People seem to associate meditation with intense yogis when, in fact, the people who need to meditate most are those who deal with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I want to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into my daily routine, ideally in the morning. I even have a Tuft & Needle pillow to use! [Article on my experience with the Big Quiet mass meditation coming soon]
- I need to feed my brain more. Less time mindlessly scrolling on my phone or watching Netflix, more time reading, writing, drawing, creating, etc. My weekly screen time reports are quite honestly embarrassing. I don’t know how I spend so much time on my phone every day.
It’s a lot, but if I give myself the entire year of 2020, I know I can accomplish all of these goals. You can do the same! All it requires is a few minutes of mindful consideration.
Consider the big picture, then break it down into manageable goals.
This might require some research, and to be honest, this is where it should become fun and exciting. If you’re truly working on goals that are helping bring you towards your highest self, you will most likely be interested in learning the ins-and-outs of what you need to do.
For example, I want to truly embody a holistic lifestyle as much as I possibly can. I want to utilize the benefits of lemon water, apple cider vinegar, natural supplements, and more in my morning and afternoon routine to honor and fuel my body. To do so, I need to research the best kinds of supplements, ideal morning routines, and more. Something I’m really considering is swapping my coffee with an alternative like Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee. Why? I think I’m way too sensitive to caffeine and I might be experiencing adrenal fatigue from it. Solution? Have a natural coffee alternative several times per week! Does this mean I can’t walk into a Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks and order a cold brew? No! It just means that I’ll be more aware and conscious of the fact that coffee contributes to a less than ideal version of myself [one whose digestion is ruined the second I ingest a cup of coffee #TMI].
Figure out what you can REALISTICALLY do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to work towards your goals. Start small and increase your goals as you become more comfortable with them. For example, begin committing to a walk/jog outdoors twice per week. Then move it to three times per week, or eventually four or five – whichever frequency allows it to feel like a lifestyle rather than a chore. I’m starting with a goal of one “5k day” per week in 2020. I want to incorporate walks outside every week as well. Yes, it will be cold, yes it will be worth it. If I only fit one in per week at first, that’s ok!
It’s crucial not to be hard on yourself if you fall short of your goals, but it’s important not to give up or take it as an excuse to move totally backward with your progress. If you’re trying to cut down sugar and decide to eat half a cake one day, that’s FINE! You didn’t fail, and quite honestly I fully expect to continue eating cake and cookies. The difference is that my new lifestyle will change the frequency that I want to do so. If I have more sugar than desired one day or week, I’m not going to just say ‘oh well’ and proceed to eat every cookie in sight because I already messed up my weekly goal.
This is where the concept of moderation and balance becomes very important. As you begin shifting your lifestyle, you need to be really aware of what a healthy balance means for yourself. This has to do with diet, exercise, habits, and more. If something feels like a constant struggle, maybe it’s not something worth trying to fit into your life. Be easy and accepting with yourself while continually trying to reassess and improve.
This was kind of a brief overview of my plans for improving my lifestyle in 2020 as well as how you can do the same. I’m looking forward to going more in-depth with my lifestyle swaps and writing about my experience meditating more, getting less screen time, being more consciously active, and changing my diet! I keep needing to remind myself that I’m just a growing, learning human, as we all are, and it’s ok to mess up along the way.
Cheers to the new year around the corner, and if you’re reading this in a different month, remember it’s never too late to reassess your goals! 🙂