There are a lot of New Year’s Resolutions that I totally laugh at. The whole concept of new year, new me sounds ridiculous and unattainable. Instead of making super drastic lifestyle changes (Who can realistically go to the gym every day if you never went before?? It’s crazy!), you need to ease in resolutions slowly. If you’re serious about ringing in 2017 with the new and improved version of yourself, start with these small steps to rework yourself into a positive state of mind and kick negative thinking to the curb.
Wake Up Earlier
If you typically wake up 15 minutes before having to run out the door, you’re starting your first moments of the day in a panic. If you’re scheduled to work at 9 AM wake up at 7. Give yourself an hour of “wake up” time and at least 15 minutes longer than you actually need to drive to work. (For example, my drive only takes me 15 minutes, so I give myself 30 minutes.)
All of this powers towards you feeling less stressed in the morning, and in turn, the whole day. If you’re not worried about where you left your favorite shoes or matching pants or how long you’ll have to sit in traffic, you’ll spend more of that time relaxed and at ease.
Drink Less Coffee
Sadly, this is actually true. If you’re feeling negative or down, it’s probably because you’re dehydrated. Think of it this way: our bodies are programmed to freak out when we’re low on water. Even if you’re just slightly dehydrated, you might experience bouts of negativity or irritability. Weird, but true. Instead of drinking two cups of coffee in the morning, trade one out for a large glass of water.
First and foremost, this will keep your bowel movements more regular (reducing irritability here, too) and keep your water levels good to go. On the flip side, too much caffeine can make you feel jittery and anxious, even if you don’t get the physical shaky feeling.
Actually Attempt To Exercise
I’m the queen of exercising once every other week. Can we not this year? Let’s actually make a promise to work out at least twice a week. You don’t even have to rearrange your schedule for that! Out of the 168 hours in a week, you’re sacrificing only two of them. Two of them. On a serious note, working out will naturally make you feel better.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, these are two hours that will reset your brain. If you’re stressed at work, use this time to take a breather. Some of us are lucky enough to have an onsite gym at work, utilize that time to walk on the treadmill after your shift. The first step for less negative thinking is actually the step towards working out – at least a little.
Make Your Own Food
There are a few things to stock up on before you can become a master of the kitchen: grab the $1 versions of all the spices you can think of. Stock up on flour, butter, and eggs. Invest in a crock pot (my personal fave is this four-quart slow cooker because it’s perfect for meals for one!). Is it expensive at first? Yes, but you’ll save so much money in the endgame and you’ll know what goes into your food, so you’ll be much healthier.
More importantly, making dinner will be something you get to do for yourself – which will quickly become your favorite part of the day. Being able to take Instagram pics of delicious food you made from scratch will fill you with more pride than the number of likes you’ll receive – though that will feel pretty good, too.
These four steps may seem small, and even a bit silly, but they’re foolproof ways to get you started on the track to positivity. The reasons these work so well are simple chemistry, put good in and get good out. Use these starter points, and allow yourself to mess up once and awhile – but keep in mind the longer you work towards them, the better you’ll feel. Maybe this year will be the start of a new you!