Don’t call it a resolution, because I’ve been doing it for years (sung in my best LL Cool J voice)!! Haha! Today’s post is about a combination of things you can do to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle. This is my go-to method anytime throughout the year when the wheels start falling off my life (we’ve all been there), but it’s particularly helpful when starting a new year. This is a personalized set of really basic things that I came up with many years ago, but when combined and done faithfully every day, they always transform my life and get me back on track. My body will feel better, I’ll get more restorative sleep, and I’ll be much more focused and productive. It’s also essential for me to do these things before starting any new workout regimen.
I’m a HUGE believer in the concept that if you do anything every single day, for 21 days in a row, it becomes a habit. All the things on my list are excellent habits to create in order to give yourself a healthy foundation to be successful, no matter what your goals are. Obviously, there are always life events that throw us off schedule. Trust me, as a mother of two and someone with a chronic illness, nobody understands more than me. It’s precisely because my routines are so often interrupted that I came up with this strategy in the first place. Whenever I find myself out of sorts, I always go back to these basics and start fresh again. When I commit to this list for 21 days, it always works for me 100%. Since I’ve found these little life tweaks to be successful for me, I thought I’d share them with all of you too!
To reiterate, these are super basic concepts… the magic happens when you commit to doing them all. So, let’s do this together!
1) WAKE UP EARLIER
** Some of you may already do this, but for a lifelong night owl like myself, it always proves to be the hardest step because mornings are not my friend! My kids wake up around 6:30a so it’s best if I’m up by 5:45a… uggghh!
2) MAKE YOUR BED
** Yes, it’s more aesthetically pleasing to have your bed made but I also feel there’s a mental switch that happens too. It’s like a definitive sign that you’ve moved on from sleep and are now going about your day. If the bed is made, there’s less temptation to jump back in it!!
3) STRETCH YOUR BODY AND SIT IN SILENCE FOR 10 MINUTES
** I do this right after I get up and make my bed, but before I head downstairs. I lay on the ground and do some basic stretches to get my blood flowing and joints moving. Spending 10 minutes doing this in silence while I mentally prepare myself for the day ahead has been life changing. I’m too anxious of a person to truly meditate, so this is the closest I get.
4) START EACH MORNING W/ A CUP OF HOT WATER, LEMON & PINCH OF CAYENNE
** I know that a lot of people do the hot water and lemon thing, but I also stir in a decent size pinch of cayenne pepper too. There are many health benefits to this simple drink, but some of my favorites are that the hot water is hydrating and soothing to your digestive system after a long night’s rest; the lemon helps to digest the toxins and make your pH level more alkaline; and the cayenne pepper jumpstarts your metabolism.
PRO TIPS: (1) Always drink with a straw so the lemon doesn’t erode your teeth. (2) I’m not a coffee drinker, but if you are, drink the lemon water before your morning coffee.
5) EAT A LEAFY SALAD FOR ONE MEAL PER DAY
** Not only is this healthy, but having at least one big dose of greens during the day makes my digestive system work so much better. An alternative to this is a green smoothie. I prefer the salad because it’s much more satisfying, but if I’m in a pinch I’ll buy a green juice on the go.
6) DO NOT EAT AGAIN AFTER DINNER TIME
** Another one that’s easier said than done for a night owl! My family is usually done with dinner by 5:30p each night so if I’m still up working at 11:00p, I get sooooo hungry!! This is a huge step though. When I strictly follow this rule, I sleep way better and don’t wake up with any bloating.
7) NO PHONES OR COMPUTERS FOR AT LEAST 60 MINUTES BEFORE BED
** Just turn them off! Ideally, it’s best to read a book or magazine right before bed. But we all know that I LOVE watching television sooooo… that’s usually what I’m doing (wink). BUT, I have finally trained myself to turn off the TV before I actually fall asleep. You may hear my husband rejoicing because this was his biggest pet peeve of me (hahaha)!
8) GET CLOSE TO EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP PER NIGHT
** Are you laughing out loud like I am?! Obviously, we’d all like more sleep and the differences are unmistakable when we manage to get it. My body feels better, my metabolism is faster, my skin is clearer, and I’m able to accomplish more because I’m alert and focused. I recently read an interview with Jennifer Lopez, the famous actress, singer, producer, designer, Mom and the list goes on… point being, she’s very busy. She said that sleep is vital to her and she gets eight hours of sleep per night on weekdays, and 10 hours on the weekends. SAY WHAT? I don’t know how in the world she manages this, but I’m taking notes!! For me, this can only realistically happen a few days out of the week, so that’s the goal I reach for. If I can get eight hours, three times in a week, I’m doing pretty well.
SHOP MY LOOK:
This list can be challenging for me at times, but definitely manageable. The positive changes I’m rewarded with at the end are well worth any struggles. Currently I’m on DAY 15 of this method and there’ve only been a few days where I didn’t complete all eight things. I’m already feeling so much better!! Do you have similar protocols that you follow to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle after the new year? I’d really love to read what concepts you find successful so I can incorporate those too. Please let me know if you decide to try this for 21 days because I’d love to hear your results!
Thanks so much for reading and sharing this article! xoxo, JB