Motherhood + Life

Simple Habits for Staying Happy and Healthy in the New Year

December 21, 2020

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The countdown is on as we kiss 2020 goodbye and ring in the new year. 

I’ve shared a lot about how this past year has challenged me and helped me to grow in ways I never expected (keep an eye out for my 2020 recap podcast and check out the latest episode about how I use constraint for good).

Today, I’m sharing some of the habits (or resolutions if you prefer) I’m focusing on as I enter the new year with greater clarity, determination, and resilience. 

#1  IF YOU THINK, DRINK!

Hydration is a simple way to make a dramatic improvement on your physical and mental health- being properly hydrated has many benefits from maintaining a healthy weight, to clear skin, to eliminating brain fog. With running a business, homeschooling, and all of the other commitments I have throughout the week, I don’t dedicate a lot of time to other health goals. I’m always looking for easy ways to get the greatest return and drinking enough quality water is one habit I started intentionally forming this year that I’ll continue into the new year.

My hydration hacks!

  • Set your goal- mine is a gallon of water a day because I’m currently doing the 75 hard challenge and also because I’m pregnant and need the extra hydration. Pick a container to use and know how often you need to refill it and at what times each day.
  • For example, I use a 32 oz Nalgene and drink one in the AM, one around lunch, another after + throughout the evening hits my goal. 
  • You could use a bigger container or smaller – I find it easiest to stick to the same one and to use a *clear container so you can SEE how much you are drinking throughout the day. Straws are also helpful to keep the sipping up throughout the day. You can also use the 24oz mason jars and a dry erase marker to track how many times you fill it.

Water quality matters! Make sure you’re drinking filtered water. I love using a counter-top gravity filter (like this one I use) because it helps my kids to get their own fresh water throughout the day without having to bug me for each refill.

Don’t forget your largest organ, your skin! 

I recently learned about how most lotions contain water which actually pulls hydration from your skin (because water attracts water) from Jaime Cross of MIG Living. She introduced me to her lotion bars made of beeswax (and they smell amazing) that you apply fresh out of the shower to lock moisture in — and I’ve been hooked on them ever since!

 

#2 WRITE IT OUT.

I’ll admit, I used to think journaling was either immature (like a teenage girl diary) or a bit too “woo woo” for me. I was also completely wrong.

Earlier this year, before COVID really hit, I was feeling stuck– it was just a tricky stage I was at with the ages of my kids, the pace my business was growing, juggling all the work/life things…  and it was the middle of the winter in Michigan. Out of a bit of desperation to get some clarity, I ended up jotting down notes late one night and created what has become my monthly journaling ritual that has had a really significant impact on my life.

The best part is, you don’t need a fancy journal or to learn a new system. Just a pen, some paper, and some clear space to really think. Though, if you do want more structure to your planning, I highly recommend the customizable planners and notebooks from Erin Condren

I go into detail about my clarity-creating monthly journal ritual and how it all works in my podcast so I won’t dive into it all here– if you listen and implement, I’d love to hear the results it has had for you! 

I since have expanded my journaling to include a brief morning habit that looks like this: First, I review my calendar for how the day looks, overall. My calendar is pretty robust since I started implementing a time management system called Monday Hour One (I’ll share more about this in a future podcast and will be interviewing the founder in January). After looking at my day, I jot down these three things:

    • NEED- What do I need to do today? (These are things you really do need to show up for like appointments, meetings, and tasks that absolutely must get done).
    • GREAT– What would make today great? (Think, how could I feel really good about this day? It might be a feeling you have, a nagging to-do finally crossed off, or enjoying a family dinner).
    • LET GO- What is one thing, to-do, burden, thought I can let go of today? There has to be something weighing on you- it could be small or big. Whatever it is, give it up to God, the Universe, your journal pages– whatever makes you feel good- and start your day with space & clarity.

#3 PROTECT YOURSELF AND THE EARTH

There are plenty of little swaps you can make that will benefit not only you but the entire planet, for example, swapping out disposable masks for reusable masks. Check out Debrief Me which is planting a tree for every mask sold, or these masks from Baby Jack & Co. that have fun prints for kids and come with a lanyard so they don’t lose it at school or on the playground.

#4 CREATE CONSTRAINT AND CHALLENGE

I talk a lot about this concept in this podcast episode and I know what you’re thinking- “Really Emily? After a year like this, you’re telling me I should manufacture MORE hardship?” Well, yeah. I guess I am.

The concept is based in Stoic philosophy, something I really started reading and studying this past year. Overall, actively seeking out challenges and motivation to keep yourself disciplined will create more resilience and fortitude for the obstacles ahead (and we’re not done with them just because it’s a new year; I believe life is a string of obstacles). 

Like I mentioned, I recently started the 75 Hard Challenge, and while I’m not the most hardcore at it (I chose easier workouts/diet), proactively choosing to be consistent with multiple habits for 75 days straight has already made me a stronger person.

Many self-help gurus will preach that you shouldn’t set big goals and you should be kind to yourself. I agree, always be kind to yourself- but be tough on yourself too! I believe holding yourself accountable for growth and greatness is self love & kindness. So go big on your resolutions this year- set lofty goals and strict boundaries. Decide to set intentional habits and stick to them. Joining challenges like 75 hard or Whole 30 or whatever will personally motivate you can be a really helpful way of sticking to it. Rarely does playing it safe or small move the needle of progress enough to create real change in our lives. Head on over to the AMPLIFY Show where I break down this and other thoughts and plans for a great new year (and if you do- please subscribe & leave a review- it will really help my podcast to grow and to reach more people!). 

You don’t have to start fresh on January 1. I’ve implemented most of my new habits and goals mid-November so I could “warm up” leading into the new year. And if you fail – I’ve already slipped on 75 Hard a couple times, which technically means I’m supposed to start over but I am not turning back, and ultimately, I get to make my own rules 🙂 – start anew the next day (or hour). Journal that sh*t out and keep on going. 

Here’s to your greatest year yet. I’m cheering for you!

Emily

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