Living my best life. What does that even mean? Is my life perfect in every way? Actually, it’s far from it, but I honestly could not be happier. As 2017 came to a close I began thinking of all the ways I could build a “perfect” 2018. Not “perfect” like an you see in a magazine or on someone’s Instagram feed, but perfect specifically for me. According to Merriam-Webster, perfect is defined as “satisfying all requirements; corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept.” One thing I always do before the start of a new year, is write a list of goals and reflections; this year my theme was New Year, New You and here are the eight things I came up with:
1. Make a list of 10 things you currently love about yourself.Whether it is your wit, your glowing skin, your sense of empathy for others, find at least 10.
2. Make a list of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) goals. This keeps you from setting goals that become frustrating or leave you feeling discouraged. Yes, you can set a goal to lose 50 pounds in a week…no babe, you will not succeed.
3. Come up with a healthy eating plan and meal prep for the week. Just planning out your dinners takes the stress out of cooking. Maybe find some new recipes to try. My two new favorite cookbooks are Simply Keto by Suzanne Ryan and the Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook.
4. Write down at least one thing you are thankful for each day. This always helps me maintain a positive attitude.
5. Exercise daily. Move. Move. Move! Make exercise part of your to-do list and check it off each day; your body will thank you and so will your mind. Need a little external motivation? Sign up for a new fitness class or find a workout partner— accountability is a huge part of success. Need a little extra motivation? Treat yourself to a new workout outfit or running shoes!
6. Set aside at least 10 minutes of time for yourself each day. It is so easy to get caught up in work, studying, other people’s needs, etcetera, but time for yourself is crucial. How can you be the best friend, spouse, co-worker, role model, etcetera if you have not recharged your own batteries. Just do something that you love each day. My favorites include: getting my nails done, reading a devotional first thing in the morning or before bed, writing my to-do list for the next day, face masks on Sunday, or just reading my favorite blogs.
7. Get organized, whether it is buying a new planner, making to-do lists, meal prepping for the week, or cleaning your house/office, de-cluttering your life makes a huge difference in your work, interaction with family and friends, and your overall sanity and mental clarity!
8. Smile more! The world needs more smiles— trust me, it is contagious.