We are a week into the New Year, and while most of us are in quite the daze, feeling somewhat overwhelmed and overworked from all that’s happened in 2016, it’s no time to throw our hope, courage, and hard work out the door.
To me, a New Year isn’t necessarily about sticking to a long list of resolutions. That can prove to be stressful at times. Instead, it’s about making your today better than yesterday, even in the smallest of ways. I’ve compiled a list of little adjustments that you can incorporate into your life to make everyday of 2017 better, no matter the obstacles you may run into. Life is not meant to be perfect, but you can make it work for you in the best way possible. Don’t just hope for a good year, ⇣ make it happen ⇣
- Find your happy place. As someone who has worked from home on/off the past few years, I can’t emphasize enough how nice it is to find a happy place where I’m not drowning myself in work or being a complete potato at home (don’t get me wrong, I love and fully embrace my potatoness). It’s very beneficial to have an extra place or two when you’re finished with work and you don’t feel like hanging out at home. Be it a coffee shop, gym, park, library, or honestly, even turning a space in your house into a little sanctuary – the list goes on.
- Make your mornings easier. This is something I’ve been doing since my college days, so I could sleep in a little bit longer each morning. The night before, I would lay out my outfit, turn the timer on my coffee machine, and have my lunch ready. You, your body, and mind will seriously thank you. Something as simple as this works wonders for lessening the stress throughout your days, and that kick-start in the morning makes even the longest of days go by faster.
- Spread the love. Do something nice for those you love and care about. The possibilities are truly endless for this one, including sending them a handwritten letter, crafting something, baking their favorite dessert, treating them to a coffee/lunch/dinner, etc. They’ll feel good. You’ll feel good. We all need some good feelings going around, right?!
- Set aside time everyday to do something that makes you happy. This is completely catered to you and what makes you happy, which is the most important thing ever! After all, we can’t go around spreading happiness and love if we aren’t personally making ourselves happy. I can’t tell you what that is, but I can assure you that if you take the time to do those things, you will thank yourself. It can be something very small like taking a walk or pampering yourself with a mask, or something greater like reading a book or cooking a new meal. For me, I love to write, cook, and spend time with my lovely boyfriend and three cats, so I make sure to do these everyday!
- Don’t feel bad about doing nothing. Let’s get back to my level of potato being 100. We oftentimes feel guilty when we aren’t being productive, but we need to stop doing this. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with relaxing on your couch and vegging out, especially if you’ve been working all day. I feel like society has drilled it in us to work, work, work – at your actual job and then when you’re at home. Stop. Just slow down, there’s no need to rush! As long as the other parts of your life are being filled with new and exciting moments, quit stressing yourself out about indulging in some down time every now and then! Take advantage of and appreciate these moments. You deserve it.
- Celebrate any win, small or big. No matter how small or big your accomplishments are, take the time to celebrate them! Even if this means treating yourself to some ice-cream, getting your nails done, or doing a little victory dance, you’ll feel happier and embrace the superpowers within you that have gotten you this far.
- Love yourself. This may seem like a simple statement, but it’s one that almost everyone fails to do, which isn’t necessarily our faults. Just like society has implanted the work/work ethic into us, it’s also pressed on the fact that we need to look and act a certain way, which is so, so sad. Stop worrying so much about how you look or act, unless it’s something you actually want to change about yourself for the better. I’ve taken this into account and it’s honestly made my social life so much better. I can leave the house without makeup and still feel beautiful. I can be the complete goofball I’ve always loved to be and not feel ridiculous or embarrassed about it. Why should I? Who are we trying to please, honestly? Take the time each morning to remind yourself how truly amazing you are: “I love my strength,” “I was blessed with great hair,” (yes, it can be something superficial, so long as it’s YOU) “I love my strong work ethic.” The list goes on, because there’s no limit to loving yourself.
- Learn something new every month. Last year, I turned 26 and it was also the first time I learned how to ride a bike. This past week, I started lifting weights for the first time. It’s honestly never too late to try something new, and you’ll feel pretty amazing doing so. I know I felt and looked like a little kid when I hopped on my big girl bike for the first time… ever. Thanks babe! There are so, so, SO many things in this world that we can learn and try, so make that happen for you every month.
- Exercise and eat better. I’m sure we’ve all heard this one time and time again, and it’s definitely easy to fall into the rut of binging on junk food and not working it off. Don’t get me wrong, I have chocolate every single day because I just need it OK, but I make sure to have a well-balanced diet that includes lots of greens and healthy fats! As far as working out, there are so many possibilities: yoga, pilates, running, lifting, cycling, dancing, sports… the list goes on. I’ve always been a yoga and pilates enthusiast, and I’ve recently started lifting to get toned and build up strength. It’s been brutal but I know it will be worth it!
- Go outside. That’s it, really. Take a walk in the morning and/or after dinner at night. Ride your bike for 10 minutes. Play Pokemon Go if that’s still a thing. It doesn’t matter what you do, just get some fresh air! Your body and mind will thank you.
I honestly could have made this much longer, but I hope you get the idea and leave feeling a little inspired and ready to kick some butt this New Year. Just slow down, hang in there when times are tough, and love yourself. What are some of your tried-and-true ways to kick butt on a daily basis?
Photos via Missguided & Dinosaur Coffee