I originally had 10 habits for this post but I suppose 9 fits quite nicely. Just before the new year rolled around, I became more and more proactive at finding productive, healthy and self-loving habits that I wanted to implement and focus on in 2019. Despite this, I do advise that if you want to start making changes to your life, you should start now. I had a set of my own personal reasons for when I did.
These habits that I chose are a combination of the things I experimented with in 2018 as well as just things I would like to refine, to become more consistent as accomplishing. If you’ve read my February goals post, you’ll know that consistency is a huge goal of mine, not just this month, but for the rest of the year. And these 9 habits make up what I believe to be the foundation of a healthy, consistent but also joyous life.
If you’ve been following me since last year and reading my posts, you’ll know that I’ve mentioned meditation a billion times. In my favourite podcasts post, my life-changing habits, anything and everything, you name it, meditation will be at the forefront of my mind. With that being said, meditating regularly is something I’ve struggled with. I try and tell myself I can’t find the time, but the reality is I’m not making the time. I’m not fully invested. So, this month I’m going to bring it back to basics and start with meditating for 5 minutes a day.
“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering a quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day” – Deepak Chopra
Drinking more water
There are times when I tend to forget how necessary water is for living things to both survive and thrive, and I forget too we, as humans, are included in that. On a busy day when I’ve got paperwork to do, appointments to attend and people to see, drinking water is the last thing on my mind, let alone a necessity. Yet, I know when I’m drinking water, I’m less fatigued, I have more energy, my mind starts working at its full capacity, and my quality of life is just better. Again, this habit has been another struggle so I’ve set myself two mini goals every day to help me accomplish this. To drink 500ml from 9am to 3pm, and another 500ml from 3pm to 9pm. So far, it’s both a work in progress and achievement.
This isn’t a habit, as such, but more of an aspect of my life that needs a bit more refining. I consider myself quite lucky to have inherited genes from my dad’s side of the family, I’ve never had acne or skin issues. Though I do have sensitive skin, with freckles scattered across my face, a birthmark on my cheek and several darker sunspots. Ever since I started religiously taking off my makeup every night, cleansing and moisturising I’ve noticed, not just a difference in my skin, but in the way I feel. To me, taking care of my skin is self-care. I feel better and more like myself on the bad days.
Podcasts are something that I’ve well and truly fallen in love with, all over again. This time last year, I became obsessed with podcasts, I was listening to almost everything I could get my hands on to, from philosophy to Greek mythology to mindfulness, self-care and meditation. It was a wonderful period of discovery and learning. And like with most things, I fell off the bandwagon. I got busy again with life. But now I’ve decided to make it a permanent habit, if you will, where I listen to a podcast on my commute to work. Not only does the time seem to travel faster, but I’m always inspired the moment I step into work until the end of the day.
This is a habit that I neither struggle with or want to refine, it’s just something I want to ensure that I keep doing because it brings me so much joy. Last year was the first year, in many many years, I properly invested time into reading, and so found the genres that I enjoy. Since I’m still exploring, I find myself drawn to different authors and writing styles, and I can’t wait to update you on all the great books I’ve been reading this year. So far, I’ve read, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Sixth Day, Daring Greatly and The Monogram Murders. And currently I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love for the second time.
Following on from last year, my goals this year is not only to be grateful but to make a conscious effort in doing so. I find that gratitude is a lot like inspiration, it can be fleeting at times and only arrives at certain moments, when we’re happy or during a life-changing phase. But to cultivate gratitude on a daily basis requires practice, it requires being able to see the silver lining in the bad days and to appreciate the little things we take for granted. Every day I focus on one thing that I’m grateful for and feel the immense joy that gratitude brings me, I live within that moment and appreciate it for what it is.
This habit goes hand-in-hand with gratitude, to be in tune with the present moment and appreciate it for what it truly is before we move towards the future. Over the years I’ve come to realise how mindlessly I was living, I was always moving towards the next big thing, the next goal, the next step, the next big life change, without actual, true consideration of what I was doing at that moment in time. Knowing that the past is but a trace and the future unknown with the present moment being the true gift, shook me to the core. It still does.
This would be the first habit that is completely new for 2019 and I’ve many thoughts about yoga over the past year. A lot of them encompass defeat and the image of me being too caught up in my thoughts and being unable to focus, so of course, yoga wouldn’t be for me at all. Oh, how wrong I was. Over the past few weeks, I’ve practised yoga in a simple way for about 20 minutes a day until I felt all the kinks in my body and heaviness dissolve away. And I enjoyed it, compared to the image of failure I had in my mind before, yoga ended up being a calming, relaxing and peaceful practice that I to cultivate more regularly.
Pilates is something that’s a perfect match for me, compared to the way I felt about yoga, pilates was fast-paced, it involved more body movement and ended up giving me the results I wanted in 2018. Until I let laziness overwhelm me and soon after the physical results of my hard work slipped away. In 2019 I’m hoping to be more consistent with this practice, so far I haven’t had much luck because of how sore my body becomes after which means I skip days to heal, then workout and before you know it I’m in a cycle of working hard then skipping. This time around I’ve decided to lessen the pressure on myself and be in tune with how my body feels and work with it rather than against it.
What are your 2019 goals? Is there anything, in particular, you’re working on or would like to accomplish? Let me know in the comments below!!
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