I am absolutely brilliant at making fabulous and impressive life-improving New Year’s resolutions. I am also absolutely brilliant at failing to do them beyond 1-2 weeks. That’s right, I don’t even make it until February 1.
I like to blame my busy life; hubby, 3 animals, 5 kids (2 of whom are home-schooled), therapy sessions for the kiddo with autism, school events, after school activities/sports, church, Bible study, housework … The list goes on.
However, if I am honest with myself I have never been great at committing to huge changes in habit, because that is essentially what a New Year’s resolution is; changing habits in a big way.
I am here to offer 4 simple changes that you can easily implement. If you are anything like me then I highly recommend tackling 1 at a time and making it a goal to achieve all 5 by the end of the year. This is far less discouraging than tackling all 5 at once and failing because you are overwhelmed.
1) Be Intentionally Kind to Someone
This sounds obvious, but it is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Everyday make a conscious effort to smile at someone, hold the door, buy someone a coffee, ask your co-worker how things are and actually listen to their answer without rushing off, or whatever else you can think of! This will boost you day and the recipients day!
2) Take a Long Walk Once a Week Outside
30-60-minutes outside will clear your mind and help get some exercise in! It is very refreshing! You don’t have to get fancy. I just stroll along my neighborhood. This is also a great way to meet neighbors.
3) Once a Day Turn Your Phone, Tablet, Computer Off For an Hour
Spend time without texts, emails, and social media to distract you. You will feel refreshed and you will be amazed what you can accomplish in that hour. For example, reading that book you have been meaning to for the last 2 years!
*Personal note: When I started to consciously turn my phone off in the evening, I found myself more calm and less unreasonably angry and snappy.
4) Create Morning & Nighttime Routines
This life change will be the biggest effort, but it is doable and worth it.
Take a moment and think about what you can do every morning to start your day off positive.
For me, I get up and shower while the kids are all still sleeping. Being able to get ready in the quiet and peace helps me to wake up slowly and not feel rushed. This is important to me. Does this mean I have to get up 30 minutes sooner? Yes, but it is well worth it if it means I am less crabby.
Other ways to start you day off right: meditate, yoga, read, do a devotional, sip your coffee in the quiet …
Now I want you to think about how you can make bedtime more restful for you. I suffer from massive insomnia. I have found that having a nighttime routine helps decrease my time tossing and turning. I am also more likely to sleep longer stretches before waking up.
A routine also helps my children develop healthy habits. The goal is for all of us to be less stressed and better rested.
Need some ideas? How about dimming the lights, turning off the tv, drinking a cup of herbal tea. Maybe you are into aromatherapy . There are plenty of scents meant to calm and promote relaxation. Meditation is another great option. Really there is no wrong answer. Just find a routine that benefits YOU and stick with it!