Although I’m not usually a huge resolutions gal, at the beginning of 2022 I made a list of basic changes that I wanted to make in my life. These aren’t really goals but simple habits I want to incorporate into my daily life. This helps me to let go of the pressure of making “New Year’s Resolutions” and the disappointment that I won’t be able to achieve them.
We all know that the past year has brought us more challenges than we ever imagined, as well as a completely new way of life. It’s a great time to review our lives and make changes. Personally, I want a more fulfilling and wholesome life. These small steps have helped me figure out how to do that.
1. Make a plan for drinking more water
For what seems like a lifetime, I’ve been telling myself to drink more water. It’s something I struggle with every day. At the beginning of January I bought a half-gallon water bottle that I called “motivational”. I’ve never felt so hydrated. I aim to consume 64 oz per day. To ensure that I am hydrated before I have my first cup, I make sure to drink at least 20 oz of water each day.
2. Take the time to do what I love and truly enjoy it
We are entering another year and we need to find new ways to entertain ourselves. I want to be able to spend more time doing the things that I love. It feels like I used to read, learn, and make art all the time when I was younger. But now, I find that I am exhausted and just want to binge-watch Netflix. I make a conscious effort not to be too busy to create the creative outlets that I love. I also work hard to improve my skills in illustration and cooking.
3. Get more balanced meals
Instead of setting a New Year’s resolution to “eat healthier” or lose weight, which is a bad idea and makes me feel worse about myself, I decided to cook more healthy and balanced meals at home. This means that I incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my meals (trying to have at least one serving of each meal), and make simple substitutions such as regular pasta for chickpea pasta, or regular tortillas to low-carb versions. Also, I try to avoid relying on processed foods. I’ve also been trying to make most meals at home. I love it!
4. Get up earlier
This was, hands down, the most difficult change I have made on this list. I’ve never been one to rise in the morning and I’m a terrible sleeper. However, when I do get up early, it is something I enjoy. I enjoy having more time before work to start my day slowly and then allow myself to get up. I am trying to do that every morning. Problem is the actual act of getting out of bed and opening my eyes. Slowly but surely, I’ve been setting my alarm earlier. I’m working to get out of bed more often before I go to work. Perhaps I will be able to add a morning exercise! This is where I dream big.
5. Instead of checking my phone, read before you go to bed
I have a bad habit. I like to scroll on my phone all night. Instead of saying, “I won’t go on my phone before I sleep!” (which would be a terrible statement), I’ve decided to replace that time with reading, even if only a few pages. Because it can be held in bed, and it is backlit (no need to read light), my Kindle has been crucial in achieving this.
6. Include more movement in my daily routine
Another modified version of the classic New Year’s resolution “workout more” that doesn’t work for me. In the simplest possible way, I’m trying to add more movement to my daily life. It could be a full-on workout. But, I’m just trying to move more.
7. My WFH space needs to be upgraded
With no return-to-the office date in sight at the start of the year I decided it was time to upgrade my work-from home space. A laptop stand, keyboard, mouse, and mouse were some of the items that I purchased. They have made my life so much easier. The new setup has made me more productive and it makes me feel like I have somewhere I can go, instead of just opening my laptop anywhere I want it to end the day.
8. Every day do something for your mind
We often set goals for our physical health when a new year begins, but we don’t think about what we can do to improve our mental health. Given the events of 2021 and what we are going through now, I felt that it was the perfect time to review my life and make a list of the things I need for the coming year. I am trying to keep it simple. I read more, incorporate yoga and meditation into daily routines, take a break when I need it, and color and journal to help me relax.