Happy new year, everyone! Over the holiday season, I really like to indulge. I love eating cookies and baked goods, sipping on hot chocolate, devouring holiday feasts, and drinking more red wine than usual. The whole month of December is pretty much a write off for me when it comes to sustaining a healthy routine. From holiday parties to baking more than I do all year, and time off spent eating and watching Christmas movies rather than hitting the gym, it’s really no surprise that I don’t feel my best post-holiday season. But with the start of the new year, it’s time to get my health back on track.
Here are 7 ways I plan to get back into a healthy routine.
1. Create Health Goals (Both Physical and Mental)
Whether it’s getting to the gym X times a week, setting one day of the weekend aside for self-care, starting meditation, or cutting out refined sugars, creating health goals is key to getting back into a healthy routine.
Having health goals ensures you know what direction you want to go in when it comes to your physical and mental health, and they give you something to work towards. Make your health goals realistic. If you’ve never meditated before, you might not want to set a goal to meditate for an hour every day. Start with 10 minutes or even 5 minutes and work your way up. If you usually go to the gym 0-1 time per week, you may feel like a failure if you set a goal to go every day and don’t even make it 3 times. Set health goals that are realistic for your lifestyle right now. You can always work your way up to bigger ones once you’ve hit your smaller ones!
2. Stick to a Schedule
As an entrepreneur, my daily schedule changes every day. Sometimes I’m home all day, sometimes I’m running from meeting to meeting, and sometimes I’ll have last minute lunch plans I need to work in. I like that not every day is the same, but I also like having some structure in my work life.
One of my goals is to stick to more of a solid schedule this year. Sometimes it’s just not possible, but I want to plan out my weeks ahead of time as much as I can. Having a schedule helps my productivity and stress levels because I know I can get everything done and work in my most pressing deadlines.
3. Create Healthy Sleep Habits
I’ve always been a huge fan of getting lots of sleep. I’ve never been one of those people that can sleep in until noon, but I like to get to bed early so I can wake up feeling fresh and still have the whole day ahead of me.
Lately though, I’ve been going to sleep later for one main reason – my phone. I’m going to start putting my phone away a half hour before I go to bed (at least) and I want to put it in another room while I sleep. Instead of diving deep into the interwebs before going to sleep, I want to read a book or magazine, or journal. I know these things help me relax much more than scrolling through Instagram, which is a pre-bed habit I need to kick!
I also don’t want Instagram and emails to be the first thing I check in the morning. I was listening to the Don’t Keep Your Day Job podcast by Cathy Heller and she had Jenna Kutcher on talking about how to set and achieve goals. One piece of advice that really stuck with me is to create before you consume when you get up in the morning (so go work on a project or write a blog post before you check your social media and emails). I love that!!!
4. Practice More Self Care
Self care is so important for your mental health. I think a lot of people ignore self care these days or think it’s silly and self indulgent, but for me, it’s something I’ve realized really helps me. Whether it’s taking a night to myself to binge watch a TV show, heading to a yoga class, treating myself to a new sweater, taking an afternoon to clean and declutter my room/apartment, or enjoying a hot cup of cocoa (with no distractions or multi tasking whatsoever), it’s the little things we do to take care of ourselves that can make all the difference.
Related Post: 7 Little Ways to Treat Yourself This Winter
5. Eat Clean
I love food. LOVE it. But the older I get, the more I realize how much food really affects my body, energy levels and mood. So many foods are capable of making us sluggish and causing inflammation, especially the ones packed with refined sugars, unhealthy fats and carbs, and salt.
I’m not going to say I’m going to eat a salad for every meal, that’s just not me. But I am going to be more conscious of what I put in my body. Something that has really helped me is meal planning. If I wait until I’m hungry to eat, I often end up making something quick and unhealthy like pirogies or white pasta, but when I plan out my meals, I eat much cleaner.
Go to the grocery store with your meals for the week planned out. Try to plan out meals where you can use the same ingredients so you’re not buying a million different things. I’m on an avocado kick right now, so for breakfast I make avocado toast with hummus and tomato and for lunch I make shrimp and arugula salad with avocado and tomato. Make sure you can work in the same ingredients to multiple meals!
6. Read More
This ties into healthy sleep habits, but I really want to read more this year. I feel like this is always one of my goals going into a new year, but I think reading is a crucial part of a healthy routine. Especially as a writer, reading more can only increase my knowledge and vocabulary. I’ve definitely been slacking on reading before bed (which is pretty much the only time I have to read!) so it’s a must for me as we head into the new year!
Related Post: 7 Books Every Creative Needs to Read
7. Keep Active
I used to be really motivated to go to the gym and run on the treadmill all the time. But now, it’s kind of boring to me. Although I still love running from time to time, I feel like I get more of a workout (and am more excited) to go to a spin, yoga, or Pilates class. It used to worry me that I wasn’t motivated to run so much anymore, but now I realize that just like our taste buds and fashion sense, our fitness needs change too.
Keeping active and working on my strength is really important to me, and I’m aiming to do some sort of fitness/workout class 3 times per week. Other than that, I’m going to walk when I can (instead of driving or taking transit), and I want to get outside more! Since I work from home sometimes I don’t even go outside everyday (especially during the winter months), but I’m going to make it a point to ALWAYS get outside a least one time per day!
Are you feeling like you need to get back into a healthy routine right now? What are some of the things you’re doing to get your health back on track? Let me know in the comment section!
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