Bookmark this page. Plaster these to your bedroom door. Tattoo them on your thigh. Whatever it takes to remember them. These are the 10 ways you are going to jumpstart your physical, mental, and emotional glo up.
(P.S. if you do tattoo these on your thigh, give me IG creds in APA format.)
- Drink more water. You need to be drinking water all the time, even if you’re not thirsty. IT WILL FIX ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS. Okay, maybe not all of them, but a damn good number of them. Wanna lose weight? Drink water. Want clear skin? Drink water. Brain not working on 10? Drink water. Sick of headaches? Drink water. Not enough energy in the day? Drink water. Irregular bowel movements? Drink water. Drink water. Drink water. You should be drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces of water (e.g. if you weigh 140 lbs, you should be drinking 70 oz of water a day). Make this easy for yourself. I know some people who like to set alarms on their phone so that every 2 hours, they drink Xoz of water. Find a cute ass water bottle that you know you can carry around, calculate how many times you need to drink it to meet your goal, repeat daily. Or, if you are like me and know you’ll probably forget it somewhere, I like to use a venti sized Starbucks cup. It makes it easy to measure (at 26 oz per iced cup, I need to drink about 3 per day to meet my goal), I won’t lose sleep if I forget it somewhere, and it really is the perfect accessory to any outfit. Find a system that works, a system you can stick to, and drink. your. water.
- Follow a regular sleeping schedule. Oh my goodness, I cannot stress this one enough. You thought the water one was bad. SLEEP IS SO NECESSARY. Being young and wild, you live to stay up till 4 am talking about the meaning of life while trashed and covered in chicken nuggets, or pulling all nighters in the lib because you were watching Shameless until 7 pm and finally decided you should get your shit together. Honestly, truly, these habits will mess you up. Your body is designed to take care of you, ya know, but without rest, it can’t do its job properly. When I started regulating my sleep schedule, my productivity levels sky rocketed, I had more energy during the day (without the help of caffeine!), more control over my emotions, more control over cravings, I was funnier, I was happier–I was just my best self overall. The second I stopped following my schedule, everything was just completely out of whack. I seriously could go on and on about why sleeping is so important, but I would rather you hear it from a professional than from a college kid in a coffee shop so please read this: !!!!!The Holy Grail of Sleep Research!!!!!!
- Commit to doing a specific task every. single. day. And no, drinking water and sleeping 8 hours a day do not count as your “specific task.” I mean an extra lil thing just for you. Whether it’s reading a Bible verse every morning, listening to a TED talk on your way to work, or journaling every day. Anything. Life is unstable. It’s important to create one little habit that increases your sense of control over your life. That way, even on days when you feel like your world is doing back flips, you can count on your one little thing. It gives you a sense of purpose, discipline, and stability when your days seem to be lacking any or all of the three.
Tips on selecting your “thing”:
(1) choose something that will not take up too much time/effort as that will deter you from completing it on strenuous days
(2) if you forget to do it one day, you don’t have to make up for it, just pick up right where you left off. If you build a debt for yourself, you’ll be more likely to give up on it.
(3) bonus points for choosing something that ensures positivity (e.g. every night before bed, reflect on 3 blessings in your life/positive moments of your day) or something that improves physical health (check out oil pulling because it may or may not change your life)
(4) link your new habit with an already established habit to increase commitment
(5) choose ONLY ONE thing to commit to. While I understand the possibilities are endless, and you may have trouble selecting only one, it’s super important not to over-commit.
- Change something about your appearance. Now, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a drastic change like dying your hair purple or getting a back tattoo. A physical change can be as small as painting your nails darker than you normally do or wearing shoes that are ~sooo~ not you. You’re making a lot of habitual/attitude changes this upcoming year, and sometimes it helps to change externally to reflect these internal changes. It serves as a physical reminder that you are new this year.
- Reconnect with at least one childhood friend. One of the best features about this goal is that you can repeat it as often as you like, and it just keeps getting better. Reconnecting with friends you haven’t spoken to in years can make you feel the way you do when you look at an old photo–you are brought back to that moment in the past while simultaneously existing in the present. You sit and recall all your good memories (maybe a little of the bad ones), you laugh at how silly you were for thinking certain things were so important, you catch up on eachother’s life paths, but most importantly, you see growth. It’s a sort of comfort that allows you to see how far you have come despite what you have been through.
- Travel somewhere–anywhere. Leave. Your. Freaking. Comfort Zone. Remember when I mentioned growth a few sentences ago? Yea. This is a sure-fire way to do that. Leave what you are used to, for a little bit, and just go somewhere. And don’t you dare give me that “I don’t have enough money to travel” bs. I’ll shut you up really quickly. Here are ways I have saved money and traveled cheap:
(1) How many times did you eat out this week? Huh? Yea I thought so. Stop eating out for 1.5 months. Literally. 6 weeks. You’ll see how much money you save.
(2) Every paycheck you receive, set aside 10-25% of it solely for your “I need to get tf out of here” piggy bank.
(3) Flying is convenient, but expensive. Try Amtrak, Greyhound, or Megabus. The trick to getting the best deals is to be flexible with travel times. I’ve seen a Megabus from Chicago to Ohio for $5. Yes, you read that correctly. $5. Granted, it arrived at 4 am in Ohio, but big deal. So yea, you may have to be stuck on a coach bus for a day, but hey, it cost you less than Chipotle.
(4) You don’t have to book a 5 star hotel. If you’re doing this whole traveling thing right, you shouldn’t be spending more time in your living accommodations than is necessary for sleeping and showering. Book a hostel, check out Airbnb, couch surfers, etc. (Caution: pls read reviews ty ilysm)
- Take yourself on a date. Oooo la la! This is my absolutely one of my favorites. This may sound totally weird to you at first, but I promise if you do it a couple times, you will grow to love it as much as I do. I started taking myself out on dates when I wanted to try a few new restaurants with my friends, but our schedules always seemed to conflict. I would wait so long that before I knew it, the “new” sushi place, is about a year old, and I still have yet to set foot in it. So I stopped waiting for my friends. If I wanted to go out to dinner, I was going out to dinner. Once I started doing it more, I got better at it–really. I would dress up really nicely (makeup, hair, and all), take myself out to nice restaurants at prime dinner time, and bring none other than a book to read. Leaving my phone in my bag was KEY. I treated it like a real date, you know? I am my date, and I want to give myself my undivided attention. Not to mention, I really adopted a “treat yo self” mentality. Who says you have to wait for a man to spoil you? Hell no, girl, go get yours. You deserve it, Mamas 💄💄💄
- Forgive. <–THIS is how you really start fresh this year. Forgive the friend who betrayed you. Forgive the ex that destroyed you. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. Let it go. Dissolve that bitterness and resentment that’s weighing on your shoulders. And while you’re at it, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made whether in relationships with others or in your own relationship with yourself. You may not always be able to receive forgiveness from someone you have hurt, and that guilt can darken your days. You’ve grown from the mistakes you’ve made. You’ve learned. Stop beating yourself up, make peace with your past, and move forward.
- Distance yourself from ambiguous characters. You know exactly who I am talking about. You read that line and immediately someone popped into your head. We all have someone that can make us feel happier than anyone we know, but they can also destroy us in ways we never thought possible. I know you put up with the bad because the good is just so worth it, but you have to ask yourself: is it REALLY worth it? Is the good worth all those tears your pillow has collected? Is it worth all the friends’ times you wasted complaining about this person? Is it worth the crap they made you believe about yourself? Is the good really that good? Chances are, if you answered “no” to one or all of these questions, you’re in a toxic situation. It doesn’t matter if they have been in your life for 2, 5, or 10 years. Just because they’ve been around for a while, doesn’t mean they should continue to stay around. You deserve to feel loved, appreciated, and admired without the painful prelude. I know how deeply you care for this person, but it’s time you start caring for yourself more. Walk away from people who mean well, but can’t stop hurting you. Surround yourself with a strong, CONSISTENT support system: people that see your value all the time–not just when it is convenient for them–and always give you the love you deserve.
- Be open to different images of success. I know you imagined yourself to be in a totally different place in your life right now. Maybe you didn’t get into the grad school of your dreams. Maybe your career choice has proven itself to be a lot harder than you expected. Maybe you are realizing it’s going to take a lot longer than you thought to get to where you want to be. Whatever the case may be, don’t let the burden of your own expectations for yourself destroy you. You don’t need to have your whole life figured out right away, you just need to have your next move planned out. Take it step by step. Adjust your life plan to allow yourself some wiggle room. Understand that life isn’t always going to work out the way it did for your parents or your friends. If it did, it wouldn’t exactly be your life then, would it? Your path is exactly that–yours. Stop comparing your “struggle” phase with someone else’s “success” phase. Respect your journey.
That’s the key to having it all:
stop expecting it to look like
what you thought it was going to look like.
-Sex and The City