Hey there, friends! Happy Friday! Today I’m sharing 5 healthy changes I’m making to my life in 2018. Over the last month, I’ve implemented these changes and I already have noticed a huge difference in my day-to-day life! Read on to see what I’ve been up to, and comment with your own New Year’s resolutions or goals below!
Honesty zone: I’m not a disciplined person. While I’m definitely good at faking it, it’s an area of my life I’ve wanted to change for a long time. So, being super Basic/American, I made these changes a New Year’s Resolution! I decided that 2018 is my year for DISCIPLINE. I started off my January with FIVE changes in habit that have been incredibly positive.
If you live in Washington, DC (or another major metropolitan area), I’m sure you’ve heard about the Whole30 craze. But just in case you haven’t: Whole30 is a short-term nutrition reset, designed to put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal the digestive tract, and balance the immune system. The process involves cutting out multiple food groups that are potential harmful (sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol). If that list sounds like a lot, well . . . it is. There is added sugar or gluten in nearly everything, and so the cleanse is a challenge not only to giving up the guilty pleasures, but also to being planful in meal preparation.
Not gonna lie, I NEVER thought I would try this 30-day cleanse. I had multiple friends try it, and it sounded way too hard. It would be CRAZY to give up the cream in my coffee, taco Tuesdays or ice cream for a full month, right? Yet at the end of 2017, I recognized that my relationship with food needed to change. So at the beginning of January, I embarked on the Whole30 journey.
The best part of Whole30 was that I was incredibly conscious about everything I was putting into my body for an extended period of time. It gave me time not only to physically reset, but also to examine when and why I was craving and eating certain foods. When I reintroduced each food group (which, if you’re doing Whole30, I HIGHLY recommend you do slowly and carefully!), I was able to assess how it was affecting me. I learned that I have a slight sensitivity to wine and also to gluten. I also, even more importantly, created a healthy discipline to not just grab a sugary or carb-y snack when I was bored or having a bad day. And the cherry on top? I lost 13 lbs. in 3 weeks. Huge win!
Does this next one make it sound like I’m 7 years old again? Evan and I both were noticing that we felt totally exhausted at the end of each day, yet we were going to bed later and later. By the end of 2017, we were in serious need of a vacation. A true vacation will have to wait until May, but setting a nightly bedtime has been a huge improvement in our life!
What we do to stay discipline with this one is pretty simple: Evan has an alarm set for 9:45pm. When it goes off, we stop whatever we’re doing and start getting ready for bed. We usually actually crawl into bed around 10pm and then we spend 10-15 minutes just winding down, snuggling and talking.
It has made a huge difference in how we feel as we go to bed (never rushed!) and allowed us not only to get more sleep, but also to spend more quality time being together. As weird as it sounds, setting a bedtime is an awesome way to end each day well.
Millennial problem alert! For the last few years, the first thing I always do in the morning is grab my phone. Uh oh. That is never a start to a good day. I usually end up spending more time than I intended scrolling, and I also feel stressed about seeing other people’s progress and get overwhelmed by all the things I need to do. When I heard Jenna Kutcher mention that she keeps her phone in a different room than she sleeps to prevent that early morning scrolling, I decided to adopt her habit!
Now when I wake up, I take about 5 minutes to stretch and mentally prepare for the day. Then I get up and GET GOING (keep reading to hear about the rest of my morning routine). I’ve saved so much time and feel way better about the start of each day. It was SUCH a simple change, but I had become so addicted to my phone first thing in the morning that it actually was a big challenge to change.
As a follow-up to my early morning phone ban, I also have been taking time to quiet and focus my mind before I dive into the day. This has required getting up a little earlier and being more disciplined in how much time it takes me to do morning things.
So, as soon as I’m out of bed, I get myself a big glass of water or cup of tea, and I spend just a few minutes mediating (I highly recommend the app Headspace if you’ve never mediated before, and there is a great free trial!). After spending a few moments quieting my mind, I read. I’m a Christian, so this is often a time I spend reading the Bible, reflecting on my life, and praying. Whether or not your spiritual, I highly recommend personal reflection as a daily habit. There is SO much in our life that distracts and clouds what is really important, so spending daily time refocusing is incredibly important to your mental health!
Finally, after quiet time in meditation and prayer, I do about 30-45 minutes of yoga. Yoga with Adriene is a great place for beginner yogis, and this is often where I go! I’m also a runner, so Evan and I will sometimes workout after he gets home from work, but I still try and do yoga every day. Spending time in this combination of physical and mental activity is my way of taking care of myself in an intentional, disciplined, daily way. I have less aches and pains, AND my body is definitely stronger!
Last but not least: GOAL SETTING.
Over the last 3 years of owning a business, I’ve learned that there are positives and negatives to setting goals. Often, I will set goals that don’t align with a larger purpose, which have left me spinning my wheels. I knew sometime needed to change, but I also knew that having tangible goals was important to my productivity and business growth. Enter: VISION.
Instead of setting a bunch of goals for my 2018 year, I decided to cast a VISION for what I wanted my business in the future. This included three main areas:
From this vision, I came up with an action plan. I asked myself: what do I need to do to make these three areas a reality? I came up with super-specific goals for each category, and then action steps to complete the goal. I set due dates for the action steps, and have already moved toward success way faster than I have in the past. I feel way more productive on a daily basis, and also have tons of direction for the future!
If you struggle with goal-setting or having a clear vision for the future (even in your personal life!), I totally recommend taking time to consider what your dream/vision is for your future. Spending time dreaming up your ideal life will help you complete the right goals to get you where you want to be!
So, there are my 5 changes! Although it took some time and effort to make these changes (and they weren’t without their challenges and setbacks) I’m already feeling SO good about 2018. I have a lot of exciting things in the works, which I’ll be sharing throughout the year! As soon as NEXT WEEK I’ll be sharing about how my team is growing! So excited to share more!
What changes are you making to your life in 2018? Share in the comments!