Everyone’s heard the same advice: Eat healthy, drink water, exercise daily, and get enough sleep. These habits are crucial, keystone habits for health and happiness, but they’re also common sense. For more nuanced advice, check out these eight life-changing habits that will make 2019 your year.
First, some honorable mentions:
- Arrive 10 minutes early to everything
- Use moisturizer with sunblock
- Ask for hugs from your friends (physical touch is important)
1. Be nice to yourself
Self-love can be hard, especially when you’re pushing yourself to improve. Try to challenge self-critical thoughts and use positive affirmations, like “I’m smart,” or “I’m beautiful”. Self-love doesn’t mean ignoring your faults, it means looking at the big picture acknowledging that you can be wonderful even with them. Did you answer that question wrong? You’re still smart! Do you have belly fat? You’re still beautiful! A couple flaws or mistakes don’t cancel out all your strengths.
2. Wake up early
Waking up early gives you a jumpstart to your day. You can get ahead on work, plan out your day, or, as recommended farther down this list, you can practice your hobby, read, or just enjoy some quiet time.
If you want to wake up at 7am and are currently waking up around 9am, set your alarm for 8:45am, then 8:30 a few days later, gradually working up to the desired time. Keep your alarm far from your bed so you don’t snooze it and pass out.
3. Set aside 30 minutes a day for a hobby or passion
With busy schedules, it can be hard to make time for our passions during the week. Make time for your hobbies by setting aside 30 minutes every day. You’ll be much more likely to keep up this habit if it’s the same time each day. It doesn’t have to be 3pm on the dot – it could be after dinner, or before you start work in the morning.
4. Cultivate self-awareness
Next time you have some solitude and room to think, whether you’re walking somewhere, eating breakfast, or taking public transit, analyze different aspects of your life and self.
Are you pursuing your career path because you’re genuinely interested in it, or because you want the status and pay check? A lot of college students strive for careers that don’t suit them due to a lack of self-awareness.Someone who views themselves as passionate and nurturing might pursue teaching, not realizing that they’d detest the intense amounts of public speaking and conflict resolution required for the job. The more you know about yourself, the more prepared you are in choosing a career.
Do you wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident? Can you be yourself around your friends and significant other without feeling judged or belittled? Are you using your time effectively?
5. Don’t going online one day a week
Give yourself a break from emails and social media by unplugging at least one day a week! See how much you notice its absence. You might not miss it at all.
6. Make time for loved ones
It’s easy to get caught up with your life and forget to keep in touch with friends or family. So remember to call or spend time with whoever is close to you – your parents, grandparents, or friends who live far away. Relationships are some of the most important things in our lives.
7. Read every day
Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, reading expands your worldview, vocabulary, and imagination. Set aside a little time to read and chip away at your t0-read list. If you have difficulty reading written words, check out audiobooks or podcasts.
At this risk of contradicting everything I just said, don’t get too caught up in self improvement. If constantly trying to improve yourself is stressing you out, don’t worry about it! To quote Mr. Rogers, “I like you just the way you are.”