As the year of 2019 comes to an end and you begin to prepare for the next year, you may be looking forward to implementing new goals and resolutions. Here are five simple ways you can change your lifestyle for the better.
1. Prioritize exercise & implement healthier food choices
Instead of turning to fast foods which may seem like the more convenient option, look into consuming plant-based and organic products. Knowing nutritional foods are going into your body, you will feel much better about yourself. This also goes for exercise: staying fit and active is empowering and will help you feel more self-confident.
2. Start meditating
This practice may be difficult to start, but remember: consistency is key. Before going to bed or right when you wake up, sit upright and close your eyes for just two minutes. Focus on your breathing and clear your mind. There are no negative consequences that follow meditation, so just try it!
3. Start journaling
Seriously. I've been journaling for years now and it's something I would highly recommend to everyone. Journaling is just ranting about your problem on a sheet of paper, scribbling your negative emotions away. Why keep the emotions cooped up inside of you? Think of it as sharing your secrets with your closest friend, with the added bonus of knowing that what is said in the journal, stays in the journal. If you're someone who wakes up early in the mornings, try setting goals you want to accomplish by the end of the day. If you're like me and would rather catch more sleep, try writing at night before bed and reflect on your day. Ask yourself: how can I be a better person tomorrow?
4. Make the effort to read daily (and commit to it!)
Let's face it: reading is often overlooked by teenagers and it's something many of us want to avoid. We make excuses to avoid reading; we might have too much homework that night or we might be too tired. However, the point is not to read as much as possible, but rather, to be consistent about it. Even ten pages a night will accumulate and will bring benefits in the long run. And if that doesn't seem doable, try 5 minutes.
Reading opens our minds to new ideas and perspectives. If you really think about it, a book is a compilation of someone's best research, wisdom, and knowledge. Years of their efforts are put into that book, and it's available for you in an accessible format. Due to these reasons, books are arguably the cheapest and most efficient ways to learn.
5. Go on a social media cleanse at least once this year
A social media cleanse is exactly what it sounds like: deleting social media apps for a set amount of time. Yes, the idea may sound frightening. But trust me, it will be worth it. From all my friends who have went on these cleanses before (myself included), I have yet to hear negative feedback about their experiences.
A cleanse can be just two weeks without Instagram or any other app you spend too much time on. You will find yourself being more engaged in actual relationships with others and the time that would normally be spent on social media would go towards an activity that is more productive and beneficial. It's a good way to refocus your goals and your priorities. You have a life to live; not everything is behind that smartphone screen.