11 Habits To Make This Your Best Year Yet
Something you should know about me — I love a fresh start. I’m the freak who actually sort of likes Mondays + their “new week” energy (shhh, don’t tell my coworkers), and my favorite thing in the world is the first page of a blank journal. Soooo it may not be surprising that I am obsessed with kicking off a new year and savoring all of its energy.
Each passing year provides a natural time to reflect, take inventory, and set intentions for what is to come. Entering 2020 felt especially vivid + reflective as it was not only a new year, but a new decade (um, whoa). I wanted to harness all of this “new” energy in order to make 2020 a year to remember.
To make sure I felt clarity + purpose as I entered this new decade, I sat down, brewed a cup of tea, and completed my yearly 6-step goal setting ritual to prioritize my intentions for 2020. But here’s the thing — while goals are powerful, they are nothing without action. So I wanted to introduce 11 simple (yet powerful!) habits that will help you uplevel your 2020 for your most abundant, healthy, joyful year yet.
Ya ready for this, friend? Let’s dig in!
1. WAKE UP AN HOUR EARLIER + FINE-TUNE YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
Mmmm, you’ve heard this before – but that’s because it matters. 2019 was the year I finally said “enough is enough” to my snooze alarm and COMMITTED to becoming a morning person. This extra hour in the morning provides space to practice a morning routine, slowly sip some coffee, structure the day, journal, fit in exercise… There is something so sacred about this quiet time and one of the biggest things I recommend for 2020 is waking up an hour earlier (you’ll get used to the early wake-up call after a few weeks, I promise!).
2. TAKE TECHNOLOGY FASTS + DEVELOP SCREENTIME BOUNDARIES
In this fast-paced world, it is crucial to carve out quiet, unstimulated space for balance, mindfulness, and creativity. There are many practical ways to disconnect: take one technology-free day per month, don’t look at any screens before 9AM, have phone-free dinners, etc. I also recommend setting time limits on certain apps to help you self-moderate your screen time (if you have an iPhone you can do this right in your settings!). Whichever way you decide to screen detox in 2020, find a method that works for you and add a regular technology fast to your day-to-day life.
3. TAKE A FEW DEEP BREATHS BEFORE YOUR MEALS
Mindful eating is something that is sooooo overlooked in the wellness space. We fixate on what we are eating, micronutrients, adaptogens, and any “buzzword” food fad — but we often overlook how we eat. How many times have you finished eating a meal and realized you didn’t even really taste it or remember it?
Here is a simple mindful eating ritual I developed that you can steal:
- Minimize distractions (that means turning the TV and phone off)
- Tangibly pause before you take your first bite and give gratitude for your food
- Inhale and exhale for 3–5 very deep breaths (this activates your parasympathetic “rest + digest” body response)
- Silently name and go through every single food item you see on your plate (ex: wild rice, cranberries, feta cheese, spinach, chicken, etc.). This is a subtle self-practice (no one will even notice you are doing it!), but by beginning your meal from this place of presence, relaxation, and intention, you can be much more joyful and present as you eat.
4. CURATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Reminder: you have full control over who you follow on social media. I challenge you to take a day or two going through your platform and fine-tuning the content you consume so that social media can be an uplifting (and not a draining) place. I actually love social media and fully enjoy it since I am very intentional with the content I consume on social media. I only follow accounts that I connect with, inspire me, teach me, and that ultimately expand my self-worth. Take control of what you take in, girlfriend!
5. UPLEVEL YOUR HYDRATION GAME
It’s not about how much water you are drinking, but how you are drinking it. Okay, okay – let me be honest: I already thought I was a water + hydration guru… but one book I read in 2019 completely rocked my world. I bought the book Quench off of a recommendation from a friend, and truthfully didn’t think I would learn that much. I mean, I already drank 100 oz. of water per day, sipped green and herbal tea often, and had my water bottle with me 24/7 —what else is there? Welp, turns out there is A LOT more to it. This book completely changed how I view hydration. Couldn’t recommend this book more if you’re ready to uplevel your health, mental clarity, and wellness!
6. TAKE ONE AFTERNOON AND MAP OUT YOUR YEAR’s HEALTH APPOINTMENTS
Oftentimes, self-care isn’t doing what you want to do, it’s what you need to do. My tip here is to take an hour or two and book all of your “basic” health appointments for the year at once. Personally, I include my yearly physical with my MD, my twice-yearly visits with my naturopath, and dentist appointments. Whichever appointments it may be for you, give yourself an afternoon to get it all set up. Not only do you get the first pick of appointments when you are ahead of the game, but you can enter 2020 knowing that you have your health basics covered!
7. TRY ONE NEW HEALTH + SELF-CARE MODALITY
In my integrative health doctorate program, I get to learn and practice countless natural healing remedies: reiki, acupressure, healing touch, aromatherapy, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation… There are so many incredible + natural forms of healthcare and I recommend you expand your views on healthcare by trying one new modality in 2020 to uplevel your health this year. If you’ve been following along on The Foundation Blog, you’ll know I am alllll about using these natural, powerful forms of healing (check out one of my most popular posts, 4 Acupressure Points for PMS).
8. DECLUTTER + MINIMIZE
Mmmmm, I don’t think there is any better time to clean up your physical space than a new year. It’s time to clear the clutter, rid yourself of excess, and create a home that feels calming + peaceful. But this task can seem sooooo overwhelming, amen? Simple solution: break it up! Assign a different room in your house to each month of the year. For example, I will be deep cleaning my entire kitchen in January, master bedroom in February, etc. Take your time, spread it out, and do it intentionally.
9. STAY ON TOP OF YOUR FINANCES
On my wellness blog, I talk alllll about nutrition, holistic self-care, mindset, natural beauty products… annnnnd finances??? Here’s the scoop: I think money is absolutely imperative in living your most vibrant life. One book I recommend to allllll my fellow 20s and 30s ladies is “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi. This book is money 101, but elevated up a notch or two. How to save, how to invest, which credit cards to get, how to pay off debt, etc. It is written in a very straightforward and “Oh! I actually understand this” kind of way. I highly highly highly recommend this book to anyone who is ready to take hold of their finances. (Peek at 3 other money books that I love here). Your dream financial life can be a reality — it just requires you to take the first step. You’ve got this, girlfriend!
10. TRY HABIT STACKING
How many times have you tried to implement a small habit and failed? Taking your supplements, flossing, meditating…you promise yourself you’ll do it, annnnnd 4 days later the habits have gotten pushed to the back burner. One of the only things that has helped me introduce new rituals is the practice of habit stacking. The idea here is that you “stack” a new habit onto one you already hold and do every day. By creating an addition to something you do regardless, it strengthens the neural pathway through repetition and association.
- Doing squats (new habit) while you brush your teeth (existing habit)
- Journaling (new habit) while you sip your morning coffee (existing habit)
- Meditating for 5 minutes (new habit) after you make your bed (existing habit)
This may sound too simple, but I swear it is so powerful!
11. STOP PLAYING SMALL.
How have you been holding yourself back? Settling? Taking yourself out of the game before it’s even begun? 2020 is going to be different, friend — harness your inner power, tap into your self-worth, and remind yourself that you deserve the life of your dreams. Whether that is picking an inspiring word for this year as your mantra, writing a list of affirmations on your bathroom mirror, or finally applying for that promotion you’ve wanted, 2020 is the year where you tap into your self-worth and manifest the life you desire (if you’re looking for a sign — this is it *wink*). Go get ‘em, tiger!