Habits are everything. Let’s make a list of the habits we are proud of and a list of the habits we are not so proud of. This year, continue to build those constructive actions that make you happy. Here, you will find inspiration for good habits to make and how to work on them.
1. Wake up with an intention -Will it be gratitude and happiness or complaining and dismay today? The choice is yours. Make the decision, and set an intention to stick to. Make it a habit to wake up like this.
2. Spend time with loved ones - Let’s put an end to the habit of blowing people off for work. Love and love and nothing else, is all we need. Workaholics (like myself) are prone to opting out of quality time. This year, put love on top.
3. Have Fun - What do you absolutely LOVE to do? Are you doing it? Like, ever? Well, you should be! This life is too short to not do what makes us happy. Get in the habit of committing some time to fuel your fun. Trust me, it’ll make it easier to focus in the long run.
4. Turn around the negativity - Beautiful people are having complainy conversations these days, so let’s put an end to it. Next time someone complains to you, it is important to be empathetic, yes, but it is also important to recognize the good in life. Try not to let the complainers bring you down. Even worse is negative self-talk. We are all guilty of telling ourselves we suck now and then. Let’s consciously make it a habit to notice the negativity and turn it around.
5. Stay Present - Want laser focus? Leave the past in the past, and the future in the future. Use what we have, do what we can, and know it will be enough. It takes practice to focus on the now. Make it a habit to notice what needs to be done to complete the task at hand. Also, noticing surroundings, internal sensations, and the beauty of life, will help to reduce stress and increase happiness.
6. Meditate with the dishes or with any mindless task. Walking to class, sweeping, brushing your hair, make it a habit to think presently and positively. Remind yourself of that intention you set. Too often we put ourselves down and compare ourselves to others. What we really should be doing is spending these times giving ourselves credit for all that we already are doing and letting go of thoughts that don’t serve us.
7. Brush teeth with some sweat - Two minutes of just standing there? Ever tried a wall-sit? Or calf raises? Even walking around the house? Habitually jumping into exercise mode right when your toothbrush hits your lips is a fabulous way to start and end the day right.
8. Have a nutrient dense breakfast - Studies are showing that a balanced breakfast low in fats and added sugars is beneficial when it comes to weight loss, energy balance, and cognitive function. Make it a habit to start off most days with something nutritious, such as whole grains and fruit.
9. Let Go Of the Past - Whether this means getting rid of all that junk under your bed or shaking off that horrible exam: Let. It. Go. It can be hard, definitely. You lost your favorite jacket? What good does it do pouting all week about it? And that clutter in the corner of your room? Now’s the time to toss it! If you’re not using it, might as well let somebody else use it. Let’s make it a habit to notice things that we are holding on to unnecessarily — whether that be emotionally or physically.
10. Laugh at Ourselves - Everybody makes mistakes, and it is ok to keep on smiling. Having a light heart can take a conscious effort, but over time, it can certainly turn into a habit. If you fall on your face in front of everyone, you can choose to be humiliated or humorous. I’m team humorous.
11. Make Your Bed -Life gets hard. What’s amazing about a properly made bed is that no matter how horrible, negative, stressful, and wacky the day might have ended up going, there will be a comforting sanctuary for you to crawl into at night. Tedious tasks, such as making the bed, are just the kinds of tasks worth getting in the habit of doing, for quality of life's sake. If you don’t make your bed, give it a go, it is the easiest way to feel better about yourself instantly.
12. Be Proud and Fearless -Decisions made to make someone proud. That someone is you. Have pride in yourself and your brilliant mind. Have the pride to be kind and make someone’s day. Or be able to step out of your comfort zone, and tell someone how you really feel. It can seem hard to make decisions. It is better to make a decision and be proud of it, than to suffer from indecisiveness.
13. Stop Swearing - Most of us don’t even realize we have dirty mouths until we become conscious about it. I recommend trying to do a push up every time you swear. Keeping a tally or putting change in a piggy bank each time you swear are also good ideas. When we realize that we have a problem, then we can make it a habit to not swear so much.
14. Take it easy on the weekends - I am sure you have daily expectations for yourself. But is it wrong to make it a goal to take a break? I think not. Getting in the habit of doing things daily is fabulous, but don’t torture yourself if you miss a day. Taking it easy on the weekends is a nice way to give yourself a guilt-free break. This habit consists of noticing when you need a little lazy time and surrendering to it, guilt free, and gladly. If you allow yourself a day or two off now and then, it will be easier to stick to long-term goals and habits.
15. Be the "youest" you can be - In the words of Dr. Seuss: "Nobody can be youer than you." Be who you are, and say what you feel. Those who matter, don’t mind. And those who mind, don’t matter. Let’s get in the habit of noticing what makes us special. We were all put on this planet for a different purpose. Let’s find that purpose and go forth passionately and curiously. Like my mother always said, “Habit is the best servant, or the worst master.” So every day should be New Year’s, shouldn’t it? Whether a certain day is for relaxing, cramming for an exam, or killing it at the gym, let’s embrace each day, for it is always a new one!