2017 is coming to an end. With 2018 just on the horizon, many people decide to start off the new year with one or more resolutions to live a better, healthier lifestyle. While we set our resolutions with firm intentions to keep them, they often fizzle out before they have a chance to stick.
Making a lifestyle change takes work. It takes some real dedication. And it’s really hard to do without some sort of a plan or method for accountability. There are so many great practices and tools out there that can help you implement and stay with your changes. Check out our 8 picks to help you keep your 2018 New Year’s resolutions.
Best Self Journal
Holding yourself accountable is much easier when you have a way to track your resolutions. The Best Self Journal can help you stay on track and recognize your progress. I just bought one after it came highly recommended by a friend, and I can’t wait to dive in. According to the Best Self Co website, the journal was “built around the success principles of positivity, productivity, and performance.” It helps you break down your goals into manageable chunks so you can be sure you are staying on track to meet them. There is a monthly, weekly, and daily section that asks all the right questions to help you get clear on your priorities and also give yourself some credit for all of the great things you are accomplishing.
The Miracle Morning is a book about morning routines and rituals. Hal Elrod writes about how creating and participating in a regular morning routine has positively affected his life, as well as many others who’ve adopted the practice. There’s also a Facebook group you can join if you’re interested in being a part of a community of others on the same Miracle Morning journey and receiving support. Over the past year, I’ve created a somewhat solid morning routine that has helped me in a multitude of ways. If you resolve to increase your productivity, start working out regularly, add more self-care into your life, get more in touch with your spirituality, or be more mindful throughout the day, implementing this tool is sure to help you with those goals.
If you’re looking for a new fitness routine, I highly recommend checking out your local Orangetheory Fitness studio. It should be pretty easy, because they’re popping up everywhere! OTF is heart rate based interval and strength training that uses a combination of treadmill, rowing machine, and free weights to give you a full body 60-minute workout. In an Orangetheory class you work to get your heartrate in the target “Orange Zone” for 12-20 minutes of each class. The theory is that hitting this target zone stimulates metabolism, increases energy, and creates an afterburn of 500-1000 calories for up to 36 hours. Science aside, it’s a challenging and efficient workout that is a great workout for all fitness levels as you can really go at your own pace.
Can’t make it to the gym? Don’t like group classes? At-home workouts may be for you. If you like yoga, pilates, or workouts where you don’t need shoes, try barre. It took me awhile, but I finally figured out that when I do exercises that suit me and my values, I actually enjoy working out! Barre3 workouts align with my value of mind-body focus and connection. Not only do you focus on your physical health, but instructors remind you to be mindful during the workouts and focus on your mental health as well. Barre3 Online has a nice interface that allows you to choose workouts based on duration, muscle group focus, props you want to use, and how you want to feel during your workout. You can track your workouts to see how many you’ve done over the past week or month to help keep you accountable. There’s a nutrition guide, weekly recipes, and a community platform as well.
Trying to eat healthier, save money on groceries, or make meal preparation easier? One of the practices I have really come to rely on is meal planning. There are plenty of apps and programs you can pay for that do a lot of the leg work for you. For me, I just rely on good ole pen and paper to organize a week’s worth of meals. I keep a list of go-to recipes and also have a well-organized Pinterest board with recipes I want to try. Writing out my meals and taking about half an hour to plan each week helps me choose more nutritious meals and refrain from in-store impulse buying. Tip: Try to use many of the same ingredients in multiple meals throughout the week. This cuts down on food waste and cost!
Looking for a way to better manage your finances in 2018? Mint is an online program and app that helps you keep track of your finances. With Mint, you can set up a budget, add your accounts, link to your bills, and track your spending super easily. Truthfully, you don’t have to do much after you create your budget other than log in to track things. Mint will alert you when you’re approaching or have gone over your budget for a set category. There are really nice little charts and visuals for those of you that appreciate that. Oh… and it’s free!
Digit is an app that makes saving money easy. Digit’s tagline is – Save money, without thinking about it.™ The Digit team has created an app that analyzes your spending, income, and upcoming bills to determine just the right amount for you to save each day. Every day, Digit moves a small amount of money from your checking account to your Digit account, and you end up with nice cash pile to put towards whatever you’d like. One thing I love is how my Digit account texts me everyday with my checking account balance and notifies me when a big withdrawal or check has cleared. You can even set up multiple accounts within your Digit account to save for things like your upcoming ski trip, a car emergency fund, or that high-dollar trip to the hair salon. If your resolution is to save more in the coming year, but you have trouble making a conscious effort to do so, Digit might be the tool for you.
One of the things I like to implement in my counseling practice is mindfulness. I often recommend that my therapy clients start a daily mindfulness practice and integrate it into their lives outside of the therapy room. Mindfulness practices are helpful if you’re resolving to focus on your mental health, be more present and grounded, reduce stress, manage emotions, or just have overall better quality of life. There are many different ways to get started with mindfulness. For me, I’ve found that the easiest way is with guided mindfulness meditations. It’s as easy as downloading a mindfulness app and setting aside a time everyday to focus soley on doing a mindfulness exercise. A good time to aim for is during your morning routine.