I want 2019 to be a huge year for me and everybody else. There are a lot of mixed feelings surrounding ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, but honestly there is no reason every year can’t be greater than the last resolution or no. This year improve your experience by investing in yourself, we only get one body and one life so we may as well enjoy it! A majority of people live in the pursuit of happiness, but many people aren’t doing things that make them happy. Let’s invest some thought on the front end to having a totally amazing 2019.
Here are 11 Self Care Life Hacks you can use to basically ensure that you will be a resilient purposeful unstoppable force of happiness and inner balance this year.
- Get to know your Best Possible Self of 2019.
Who do you want to be on this day in a year from now? What do you want to know? What do you want to be doing for work, for fun? What do you want to look like? What will matter to you? What will not matter anymore? Visualizing your best possible self in the future, or in a particular event or activity is associated with greater optimism. Whether you’re already kind of a badass, or you’re stuck in a rut this is a practice that will help anyone get where they are going and take enjoyment in who they are becoming.
2. Gain Awareness of your Habits and Patterns.
According to one of my favorite books, The Power of Habit, 40% of everything we do and think about during the day is a habit. If you begin to look at your routines and ask ‘why?’ you may find that it is simply because you have that you do. Changing a negative habit, or building a new one that will improve our daily life will impact our lives so significantly. Noticing and understanding a trigger to a regular and unwanted mood could change everything for you. The first step to doing anything with a habit is to identify it. A huge source of fulfillment and success in my life is pegging down a destructive habit and making it into something that serves me.
3. Monitor your screen time and blue light exposure.
Research shows some scary numbers about the amount of time we stare into the variety of screens we have available at all hours of the day. It is also showing mounting deleterious effects to our physical and mental health. Measure your screen time for a couple of days, you may be surprised. Consider how much time it makes sense for you to spend with your screens. Being aware of and potentially limiting your screen time and blue light exposure can improve your sleep and general well being. We are happier when we are putting effort towards meaningful projects or efforts, balance your time to create balance in your life.
4. Create Meaningful Accomplishments through Goal Setting.
Positive psychology says that pursuing goals is a cornerstone of high experiences of well being. Goals give us a reason to get up, a compass to travel by, and allow us to create a sense of accomplishment by our own volition. If you are new to goal settings, rack up some easy short-term goals to build momentum. Avoidance goals lead to negativity and failure more often. We are much more involved in goals when we are interested in them, and enjoy pursuing them. Personally, I have goals for pretty much everything I do, it is a way I add meaning to my life and work. I can always be certain in a decision that I make based on the service of a goal. I grew up an extremely directionless person, having lived the extremes I remain goal oriented as a conscious choice.
5. Drink water regularly.
You are 70-90% water, and your daily experience will be chronically enfeebled without ample hydration. When people tell me they don’t like water, I say “Would you drink water that has been sitting out for days?” Invariably they say, ‘no’, and I point out that if they aren’t replacing their water they are a cup of water sitting out. Works a lot. If you suffer from afternoon fatigue, headaches, stiffness, irritability or another symptom of dehydration you should drink a gallon of water every day for a week and see if anything improves. Once your body feels the magic of hydration, you may find plain water easy to drink or even enjoyable. I drink room temperature water by the liter at regular hours throughout the day, that change changed my life.
6. Take Time to Develop a Better Relationship with Your Physical Body.
How often to do you take note of your body, how it’s moving and how it feels? Pain is a tool your body uses to communicate with you and if you understand the pain you can listen to what your body is saying. If you are often stiff, or uncomfortable there is surely something you can be doing to thrive more easily and that will start with being able to feel your body. Spend a few minutes each day stretching, or even just breathing deeply. Notice your limitations and work on them. You are the expert of your body nobody else knows how it feels, it is your responsibility to keep tabs. In my
7. Expose Yourself to New and Potentially Enjoyable Activities
If you are a person who follows the same routines frequently or has trouble making yourself get out to move around and doesn’t have many enjoyable hobbies, trying new things can be an amazing experience. Try some lessons at a dance studio, revisit roller skating, rent a paddleboard, take yoga, attend capoeira, walk at a new park or volunteer on a farm. There’s an infinite number of things you can go out and try, communities out there are looking for new members and attendees like yourself. Not only is this stimulating for our brain, and body to do new things, but were more likely to find sustainable hobbies we enjoy and have a greater chance to make meaningful social relationships. Not all hobbies should be physically strenuous, but finding things you enjoy that can be playful and physical is essential also. The more new things you do, the more new things you will enjoy,
8. Start Thriving by Learning about and Managing Your Posture.
Posture is not something you just get from your mom, or something you just have because it’s like that. Posture is active and changing, it is the sum of the activity in your muscles as they act on your bones. I demonstrated in my own research that a 5-7 minute series of targeted movements performed roughly 3 times a week had a significant [ppsitive effect on the posture of 112 children aged 6-11. Amy Cuddy showed that doing a powerful pose for 2 minutes massively effects the results of an interview, and changes your hormone levels. In my opinion, your posture and the related function is going to be the single biggest determinant of your well being and physical capability throughout life. Utilizing control of posture to thrive life is a no-brainer, and I look forward to going deep with you on this in the future.
9. Practice Gratitude
Even if it’s for 10-30 seconds a day, find things to be grateful for. It can be hard occasionally or if you are just starting to find something worth appreciating, but every breath you take could be a gift if you want it to be. For less than 10 dollars you can order a 5-minute journal that will help you cultivate gratitude in your life. I wrote
10. Don’t Sit Still for Too Long.
Your body was made to move, and if you don’t use it you’re going to lose it. Nerve activity in your body reduces significantly after being still for 20 minutes. If you see yourself in your 40-80’s getting around without limits and enjoying the life you need to invest some time into moving. Anything, everything counts. Don’t just stand up and shuffle to the restroom, reach for the sky, stretch and twist your back, or do a short activating movement for some postural muscles (I’ll tell you later). Stretch in your seat, wiggle your hips, tilt your pelvis, shake your leg, or do some foot circles – literally anything. When I am reflecting on my own activities or coaching someone on their lifestyle I say, “What can we do to make it 10% more functional?”. Finding ways to inject short purposeful movements into less functional activities and duties can make a huge difference in how you are feeling in your free time. Ergonomics and moving for health are a couple things I’m looking forward to writing about in the future.
11. Meditate on a Regular Basis.
Many of the most successful people in the world meditate daily, they tend to meditate transcendentally. This is a specific technique you receive in private training with one of their practitioners, but anybody can meditate and nobody needs to teach you how. You can sit down and be still with yourself, focusing on your breath (the exhale especially), or your heartbeat. You can also download a free app like insight timer, or headspace and spend whatever amount of time you’re comfortable with on it. Benefits of meditation include stress reduction, greater emotional resilience, and the regulation of pain. Personally meditating was hard for me to start, but after a short amount of practice, I began to look forward too it.
I hope some of