Believe it or not, we’re already one month into 2018 and those resolutions you set last December are now being put to the real test. If you, like many hopeful goal setters, vowed to be happier in the new year, then you’re probably now figuring out how to achieve that feeling of well-being by finding balance in all the busy parts of your life.
Happy people know that it’s important to allow equal time for work and play, but it’s not enough to have a killer job or a packed social calendar; to achieve true happiness, you have to be up for all that life throws at you, and that means being mentally and physically strong. To truly ensure you spend the next 11 months living up to those awesome resolutions, follow these simple tips to be happy, healthy, and motivated all year long:
1. Start every day off right. Let’s be honest: that first less-than-healthy habit is always the start of a slippery slope. It’s so much easier to justify an afternoon candy fix or a nighttime ice cream overdose when you start your day on the wrong foot food-wise. Nip this problem in the bud before it begins by having a healthy, balanced breakfast to quiet hunger pangs and set you up for success. Not a breakfast person? Then be sure to have plenty of nutritious snacks (like fruit and nuts) on hand in case you crave a bit before lunch.
2. Schedule stretch breaks. It sounds simple, but just calendaring time to step away from your computer can make a huge difference in how you feel, both mentally and physically. Get some coffee, shake out your wrists, or sneak in some steps by taking a walk around the block.
3. Rethink your idea of exercise. If toiling away on the treadmill makes your skin crawl, then it’s time to find an activity you actually enjoy (and actually do). Dance, sports, yoga, and even brisk walking all count as exercise, so experiment and find a way to move for at least 30 minutes every day.
4.Take time to unplug. Being constantly connected can be completely exhausting; find a few minutes (at least!) each day to put your phone away, shut the laptop, and enjoy the world around you. Walk to your coworker’s desk rather pushing “send” on yet another email; meet a friend for coffee and leave your phone in your bag; have a group dinner and ask everyone to put their phones out of sight during the meal – you’ll be amazed at how much life you can miss staring at a screen.
5. Say thanks. Just because Thanksgiving is a single-day celebration doesn’t mean we should reserve our gratitude for just one holiday. Studies have found that feeling grateful can boost your mental and physical health – and it provides that nice warm fuzzy feeling we all love so much. Try keeping a gratitude journal, making a point to say a heartfelt thank you to your servers and baristas, or simply thinking about all the things you’re thankful for. Just a few seconds of appreciative energy can totally shift your mood.
If you haven’t exactly been nailing your resolutions, don’t stress – just start following these simple steps and see how much better, more balanced, and prepared you’ll feel. And just one more bonus tip for you: If you haven’t gotten quote with Metromile to see your savings, get one now. Eliminating that one major financial headache known as car insurance from your life will go a long way in improving your mood and putting a bounce in your step. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018!
Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.