At the turn of every year, we all want to make a fresh start. Finally, start crushing our goals and living our dreams like a rock star. But the reality is we have jobs, kids, bills, responsibilities, and change is hard. Like really hard. But what if I told you that you already have the tools to create a happier and healthier life right now, and it wouldn’t cost you anything? (Well maybe just a tiny bit!)
For the past few days, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember a time in my life when I was the happiest. Ironically, that was when we were going through our most difficult time ever, over seven years of fertility treatments. We wanted a baby so badly, but my body wasn’t cooperating. So what did I do? I focused on ME. I ate healthily, worked out, read, and of course, I worked. I wasn’t distracted by social media (that wasn’t invented yet) or smartphones. I read, slept, spent quality time with my husband, created rituals, journaled, and practiced gratitude.
Of course, once we were blessed with not one but two IVF miracles all of that changed. Gone were the days of taking care of me, and I lost the essence of myself. But over the course of that past three years (hello 40’s!) I’ve started to return to myself. Because we’re not lost ya’ll and we have nothing to find, we just need to return to our inner love.
So as I sat at breakfast with my family on New Year’s Day I made a list of the things I used to practice while we were in the middle of our infertility storm, and some new tips I’ve picked up in the past few years. Can you do all of them at once? Probably not. But just being aware that we all have the choice and the possibility to make positive changes in our lives is empowering.
And guess what? You deserve it. All the goodness you will feel, and the time you devote to yourself. Yes you.
And before you tell me, “I don’t have time! I work and have kids, and it’s IMPOSSIBLE.” I hear you. I used to say the same damn thing. But then I got wise and realized it’s my life and I’m capable of making time and making each day what I want it to be. So can you.
31 Simple Ways to Create a Happier and Healthier Life Right Now
- Declutter Your House – Every square inch. It’s true what they say if you’re closet is cluttered then so is your mind. I’m in the process of it right now and it’s addicting and so satisfying to my soul.
- Drink More Water
- Practice Gratitude – Gratitude helps you fall in love with the life you already have. Write it down every day and do it with your kids. Here’s the gratitude journal I created and use, or a free printable for you to try.
- Move Your Body – It’s so good for stress, depression, and anxiety. You don’t have to bench press, walk or do yoga. But do something, even when you feel like crap!
- Meditate – Yes you can still your mind, I promise. Here’s how including free apps. This is also my anxiety buster.
- Eat Healthy Foods – You’ll feel so much better without all that processed, sodium, and sugar-filled crap. Whole 30 isn’t bad!
- Read – And if you don’t read, listen to books.
- Do Something You Love Every Day – Even if it’s just for 10 minutes!
- Sleep More
- Plan a Date Night
- Put Your Phone Away at Home – I try to do this each day after school until bedtime. Disconnect your phone and charge your soul!
- Say No More – This is a biggie. Do what makes YOU happy, not what you are feeling guilty about. Also, say yes to yourself and your kids – there is a magic power in yes if it fills you with love not dread.
- Say Bye to Toxic People – This is a necessity, protect your space and mental health and ditch the drama!
- Listen to Your Inner Voice – Don’t ignore it, all of your answers are there. Here are some tips on how to get still.
- Call a Friend Once a Week – And actually get together! It’s life-changing to see someone in person and be able to feel normal.
- Declutter Your Social Media Feeds – You don’t have to follow people that make you feel less than, even if you know them IRL. Click unfollow. Do this on your email subscriptions too.
- Respond to Unkindness with Kindness
- Talk Kindly to Yourself – Speaking of kindness, you know that voice in your head that tell you how awful you are, look, sound? It sucks, and it isn’t you. When you hear it, tell it to stop and replace it with a compliment. Repeat after me, “I AM ___________”
- Make a Vision Board
- Invest in a Planner – This one isn’t free, either buy one or start using the calendar on your phone. Write everything down.
- Schedule Time for You – Whether it be workouts, meditation, a massage, whatever, put it on the schedule now!
- Journal – It helps so much to write out your feelings and keep track of your goals.
- Listen to Podcasts – They are so much better than the latest Ariana Grande song you’ve heard a million times. Also, there are great podcasts for kids you can listen to in the car! (Or you can listen to mine!)
- Play with Your Kids – I mean, not like Barbie’s – that’s the WORST! But play. Swing on the swings. Color, bake, do Lego’s, a puzzle a board game, it’s fun!
- Stop Playing the Comparison Game – Becky and Susie have completely different lives than us, and will never be like them. You know who we get to be like though? Us. It’s awesome too because we all have a unique gift that the world is just waiting to see!
- Stop Doing All the Things – So you can make room for what you want to do.
- Ask for Help – It’s not a weakness, we all need to bring back the village.
- Be Present
- Create Boundaries – Don’t answer work emails and texts unless you are actually on duty. Just because you have a phone doesn’t mean you have to work on days off. This goes for those energy vampires you know or the takers.
- Don’t Take Things Personally – Do you know how incredible it is when you realize that what other people say and do has nothing to do with you? Read The Four Agreements and you will totally be able to rock this skill.
- Meal Plan Like a Boss – And then prep like your life depends on it every Sunday. This is ridiculously helpful.
- Give More – Try and find a way to help someone or volunteer.
- Celebrate Failure – If you’re not failing you’re not trying to better yourself.
I’m sure if I kept trying I could come up with 33 more ways to create a happier and healthier life, but you get the gist. You don’t need a magic weight loss pill or two weeks at a wellness spa. (Actually, a spa sounds nice!) But what we all do need is more time and energy focused on us. Because we’ve only got one shot at this time on Earth. Let’s make it peaceful, full of love, self-compassion, and just more damn fun!
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