If 2016 is your year to be healthier and happier, take comfort in knowing this doesn’t have to happen only via big, life-altering changes.
In fact, you can drastically improve your happiness and well being by just making lots of small changes that will add up over time.
Use these seven ideas as a place to start, and incorporate one or two a week. By the end of February, you’ll have a new series of habits that will put you well on your way to being your happiest, healthiest self!
Get up Earlier – Start with just 15 minutes earlier. Set your alarm, and get up when it goes off. The extra 15 minutes will be enough so that you aren’t rushed, you can set up your day and get organized (both mentally and physically), or you can get a head start on your long list of to-dos for the day. Starting out with a good, fresh perspective that involved seeing the early morning hours will do wonders for your state of mind and productivity.
Go outside – whether you go outside for some exercise to spend some time in nature, or just to sit on your porch and drink coffee in the morning, the fresh air and sunshine will give your body a refreshing boost of energy (and even a dose of Vitamin D), which will help propel you the whole day through. Check out 5 ways to motivate you to exercise outside!
Indulge in your guilty pleasure – Stop having “no foods,” or ‘bad foods.” Instead have foods that you indulge in only once in a while and that are that much more delicious because of how infrequently you eat them. Don’t use these foods as a reward or only on days when you burn a lot of calories, just sit down and have your treat, with no guilt.
Find your mantra – You are probably familiar with the power of words, but have you heard of the power of words and repetition, as they relate to you? A mantra is a positive, motivating statement you repeat regularly to yourself. It may be something you say every time you are feeling down, every time you look in the mirror, or every time you are trying to overcome a particularly challenging situation. Do some research and find a mantra you could use to motivate yourself and start incorporating it into your life every day.
Just move – Forget about resolutions and weight loss goals, gym memberships and promises of how often you will work out – just move. Get up and move every hour (at least), start the day with stretching and movement, and as you are more easily able to commit to this, transition into regular exercise routines, choosing an exercise method you can maintain and do consistently.
Let it go – whether it’s a grudge you’re holding against someone else, something you regret, or a grudge you are holding against yourself, find the space to accept, forgive and move on. The longer you hold on to these negative energies, the more they become rooted inside and the greater their negative effects. Make this the year you let it go, accept it as the past and then move happily forward.
Eat good food – Even if you start with eliminating one food you shouldn’t be eating and replacing it with one new good for your food, this can go a long way in improving your energy, state of mind and self-confidence. As you accomplish one, continue to make changes one at a time until you are consuming a cleaner, healthier diet overall.
Also check out 8 Things That Lead to Happiness!