There’s something so heartening about turning over a brand new year (and decade!) bursting full of possibilities and renewed excitement. It’s the perfect opportunity, both metaphorically and numerically, to capitalize on the buzz and begin implementing your wellness goals, realistic intentions, healthy habits, and holistic wellness routines.
But we all know the traps (and statistics!) that show how many of these good intentions start to fall by the wayside once the year is in full swing and those daily responsibilities haven’t gone anywhere! But we believe in the power of balance, ease, and turning that pressure dial right down and the same goes for your wellness goals and habits. Here’s what we recommend keeping in mind as you build those new habits and walk the path toward your best life, year, and decade yet!
1. Commit to a 30-Day Experiment
Even when you know what’s good for you and you have the best intentions—old habits tend to keep us doing what we’ve always done. Make a commitment to implement your new routine for just thirty days. This will help you navigate through the initial adaptation and resistance phase and give you a target date to review and decide if this wellness approach works for you and your lifestyle.
2. Start Smaller Than You Think
Whatever your wellness ambitions are, start simply. Instead of trying to completely overhaul every aspect of your mind and body—start with one or two things that are easy to implement, like going for a 10-minute walk during your lunch break, three days/week. Make sure you place the barriers to getting started low and that it fits seamlessly with your current lifestyle and schedule. Keep at it for your 30-day experiment and increase your effort (if you want) once it becomes second-nature.
3. Anchor Your New Habit to An Existing Habit
Referred to as “habit stacking”—take the cognitive load out of implementing your new habit by grouping it together with something you already routinely do. This creates a simple structure that sets you up for success. For example, if you never miss making your morning is coffee, put your vitamins and water next to the coffee machine and perform that new habit at the same time—you’ll never forget to take them!
4. Make a Plan for Obstacles
Every new routine will have obstacles along the way: whether you get extra busy at work, the weather isn’t favorable, unexpected costs crop up, or you’re just not “feeling” it. It’s not a matter of if obstacles will arise but rather when. Make a plan that supports your new wellness goal—here are some ideas:
Meal plan on Sundays if you want to order out less.
Pack your workout bag the night before so you’re ready to go.
Come up with a “Plan B” for weather: if the forecast is rain then hit up that gym session or Pilates class instead.
Look at your calendar the night before and if you know your day is looking hectic, commit to meditating first thing in the morning (and get up 10mins early if need be).
5. Prepare & Plan for The “Slump”
There's always a slump following the initial excitement and progress of implementing a new habit. Make a pre-commitment with yourself to push through the slump. When you are mentally prepared you'll be more likely to notice it for what it is and less likely to quit. Know that this “slump” period will pass, focus on making a little progress on those tougher days toward your goal (no matter how small), and have faith that things will once more become easier.
6. Embrace Imperfection & Patience
As with preparing for the “slump”—start your journey with a gentle mindset that has compassion for yourself. It’s easy to beat yourself up when you fall off the habit train but don’t worry—the most important part is having the courage to get back on, celebrate each day that you stay true to your word, and know that overall you’re headed in a positive direction.
7. Do What Makes You Come Alive
With all the wellness trends vying for your attention, it can be easy to fall into the “should” trap. But know that your new wellness routine is unlikely to stick if it feels like a daily slog. If going for a run is something you dread, a workout session at the gym sounds like torture, or eating that kale salad sounds uninspiring—give yourself permission to choose new habits that you actually enjoy, that leave you feeling empowered and that you look forward to resuming each day.
8. Stay Focused, But Flexible
Staying focused on your goal and being as consistent as possible is crucial to making any habit stick. But it’s just as important to have a mindset focused on being flexible throughout the process of reaching your wellness goal. Life is forever changing and so creating a rigid schedule, exercise regime, or meal plan will likely cause frustrations when the unexpected arises like an invitation to dinner, a weekend away, or sickness rears its ugly head. Keep focused on the long-term goal and don’t sweat the small bumps along the way.
9. Redesign Your Environment
Set up your environment for success too—that includes both work and home. Depending on your wellness goals, this could include things like removing unhealthy food choices from the fridge (and not buying them again), having a yoga mat at home for when the weather turns bad, ensuring you have the appropriate workout clothes washed and ready the night before, removing devices from your bedroom if getting better sleep is your focus, stocking up on your favorite CBD products for your medicine cabinet, or downloading that stretch or meditation app that everyone raves about. Support your intentions with the appropriate structure and you’ll stack the success odds in your favor.
We all deserve to feel our best and that includes you! Whatever you want to achieve with your wellbeing this year, we salute you for being in pursuit of living your best life and whatever challenges you face along the way, remember that every little bit of progress counts toward a healthier mind and body.