New year, same beautiful you. But it still doesn’t hurt to refocus …
I feel like I would be the worst healthy lifestyle blogger in the world if I didn’t at least address New Year’s resolutions and goals at the start of 2018. I mean, seriously. I’m here to share my life, but I’m also here to provide a little value to you. And as I thought about how to best do the goals talk, I realized that I’ve actually written in years past some posts with ideas for unique or healthier resolutions that would still be worthwhile now — and these aren’t ones about slimming your waistline or losing 10 pounds. However, if you want to do things like lose weight or get flat abs, I’m all for that too. Yet, I find that we can get more satisfaction and overall better wellness when we strive to do things that are about our true well-being and internal focus rather than our appearance.
And before we get started, remember … when it comes to setting goals for the year, you should know that focusing on a few goals and fulfilling them truly is way better than trying to do too many goals and spreading yourself too thin to succeed at any. And if you’re not into goals at all, focusing on a feeling or even a motivational theme word is a great option too — all you have to do is choose the word and make sure your priorities and daily activities fall in line with the theme of that word. It’s an excellent way to focus, and your goals can fall under that word too.
2018 wellness goal ideas
Now, here are some ideas for great things to strive for this year, in order to feel your best from the inside out, some of which are new to the blog and some of which I’ve mentioned before and needed a little refreshing …
EAT FOOD WITH FEWER INGREDIENTS.
(On my list for 2018, for sure!)
When someone is trying to start eating healthier, I think the easiest thing they can do is to start eating foods that either (A) don’t have an ingredients label, like fresh produce or (B) have ingredients made from real whole foods, all of which you can recognize and pronounce.
While I’m not saying that you can’t have the occasional delicious Quest bar or protein shake or even massive slice of cheesecake, I’m saying that you should eat cleaner foods, with less processing, the majority of the time. In fact, by eating cleaner foods with fewer ingredients, you may even feel a boost of energy and drop in your weight, much more so than just by watching the calories of your food.
Try to make it a practice to become familiar with and assess the ingredients of your food, including condiments, salad dressings and frozen meals too. Of course, there are some super healthy veggie/greens powders and medicinal mushroom elixirs with lots of beneficial ingredients on the label, but those are not the norm. The general rule is this: the fewer ingredients, the better.
DISCONNECT MORE AND UNFOLLOW AS NEEDED.
(Something I’m actively doing.)
We all know that we need to spend more time away from technology, and I bet we’re all still thinking about trying to put that into practice or are dipping our toes in it. We all know it’s important to go on at least one phone-free outing a week, using that time to think quietly or talk to a friend too. And we’re all also hopefully realizing that what we see on social media is sometimes very staged and not reality.
That being said, I think we need to go further than disconnecting and taking social media with a grain of salt. I think we need to do the unfollow. I mean, if you’re an active Instagram or Facebook user, then you are probably following some accounts that are not only NOT serving you, but are making you feel bad about yourself or your life. While social media can connect us with other like-minded folks and provide inspiration, sometimes it does the opposite, and we have to realize that and take action to avoid any negativity. So here’s an idea: unfollow. (But like, please, don’t unfollow me hehheh!)
I’ve started unfollowing larger accounts that promote things I don’t believe in, or fellow bloggers who just don’t give me the warm and fuzzies and aren’t worth my limited time on social media. It’s freeing. It really is.
MEDITATE DAILY TO IMPROVE YOUR MINDSET.
(Something on my wish list for 2018, just like it was for 2017, but I never conquered it.)
I can’t tell you how meditation will change your life, because I don’t do it, but I’d love to. I think it would be awesome to have a moment to feel truly grateful, focused and grounded each day, by setting an intention and even positioning yourself toward more positive experiences post-meditation. Who wouldn’t want all that?
Anyone I know who has a daily meditation practice claims that it is life-changing, including all the leaders in the wellness and business worlds. And it seems like meditation is this totally free and accessible practice that we’re all just ignoring, when we should totally be embracing it. I so want to. But of course, getting started is the hardest part, and for me, finding a quiet moment in my very busy mom life with a little baby.
Apparently, there’s no right or wrong way to do it, you can even do a guided meditation by downloading a podcast or even follow a tutorial on meditation for beginner’s. No matter what, the idea of spending time with yourself and your mindset is not a fad, it’s here to stay.
KEEP YOUR IDEAS IN CHECK WITH A BULLET JOURNAL.
(Something I did during 2017 and loved, but didn’t talk about much.)
Remember when I first mentioned the idea of a bullet journals in my goals for 2017? Well, these task-oriented and planning to-do list journals became super popular a couple of years ago and there are even entire Pinterest boards devoted to the best ways to do them. I started a bullet journal at the beginning of 2017 and used it every single day up until I had Baby Brady at the end of September. I never shared what my bullet journal looked like on the blog, because it was nothing as attractive as the ones you see all over the Internet, but it worked, it worked, it worked.
It seems confusing to get started, but it’s really not. You just need to grab a notebook and get going. What I loved about bullet journaling was not just taking note of the things I completed, but also planning for the future and keeping track of blog ideas too that I could come back to and revisit. Here’s a great explanatory article on why and how to start a bullet journal. All I can say is just get started and see how you like it. I plan to restart one soon and maybe it will be cute enough to share this time. (Here are some good ones.)
MINDFULLY EAT WITH NO DISTRACTIONS.
(Something I’d love to do more of, but is not so easy with a little babe around.)
Okay, this may be the hardest one of the bunch for me personally, especially now that I’m usually rocking a baby while eating one-handed or shoving food down my face as fast as I can in anticipation of said baby waking up.
But really, when was the last time you sat in silence, without a computer, phone or TV and enjoyed your meal to the fullest? Me? Like never. They say that eating and focusing on each bite is the best way to truly enjoy your food, discover new flavor profiles and achieve an amazing fullness, without ever eating too much. I guess you could also call it eating with intention. I like the sound of it and would love to see more of this in my life.
FIX YOUR UPPER-BODY MOBILITY AND POSTURE.
(Always on my list, and something I try to work on before every weights workout.)
Can you take your right arm up and over your right shoulder behind you, then take your left arm behind your lower back and have your hands touch in the middle of your back? Not so much? Guess what? That means you have poor shoulder mobility, and the majority of us do. If you spend time each day opening up your shoulders with W to Y moves or shoulder dislocates (OMG, check out that link, because it’s an oldie but a goodie), you can free up some movement and mobility in your upper body and even improve your posture. (You’ll need resistance bands, like these.)
It’s not sexy, nor all that fun, but it’s a way to start feel better, stronger and more efficient and even support your workouts. The better shoulder mobility you have, the better your pull-ups, push-ups and overhead pressing will be. Perhaps you can set a goal to do one mobility exercise for 10 reps every morning after you finish your meditation?
TAKE ON A SERVICE MINDSET FOR OTHERS.
(I’d love to spend time on this somehow in 2018 outside of my immediate family.)
This is one that I’ve mentioned before, and to a degree, is one that I’ve done unintentionally now that I’m a mom and in the position of a caregiver 24/7 — because before now, I was much more inwardly focused.
What I’m trying to say is that most of the time, we’re worried about what’s in it for us. And that’s totally normal. But what if we approached more situations thinking only about how we could make things easier, better or more fulfilling for other people involved? I’ve always practiced this when teaching group fitness classes, because I know I’m there to help participants get a great workout in, and it’s not about me at all. But I know in other parts of my life, I’ve typically been a bit more selfish. I want to work on it, and perhaps you do too. Maybe you can volunteer, help out a loved one more regularly or just be open to doing more for other people and not expecting anything in return. Pay it forward!
Other wellness goal ideas …
- Try a new-to-you healthy food each week to expand your palate. Now here’s the deal: most healthy and fit people have a rotating set of a small group of foods that they always eat, because they know how to prepare them, they know how they make them feel and they are healthy and delicious. And that’s AWESOME! However, you want to make sure you aren’t missing out on anything new you may like, because you are so set in your ways and you want to make sure you aren’t deficient in a variety of nutrients by eating too small of a rotation of food. I’m not saying go out to the nearest fast food establishment to try Cheetos fries or anything, but make sure you swap a new green into your salad, purchase a new spice, or maybe even order a meal kit delivery service to test out, etc. Start with one new item a week and enjoy.
- Clear out your space, to clear out your life. During pregnancy, I read Marie Kondo’s book and totally cleaned out our house and belongings. It was amazing, and I’ve kept some of those minimalism practices in play. I highly recommend doing it. Cleaning out your closet, your home, and even cleaning up your desk are not just aesthetically pleasing, but the act of them actually helps you to have a clearer mind, which means you can be more creative, thoughtful and open to new things — and that’s healthy! What do you know that you have way too much of that you need to purge? Choose one category and go to town on editing that item in your life. Also, be more mindful about what you buy and what you keep in your house and space, so that you truly love and treasure all of the things that you own.
- Improve your sleep. Focus on fixing your sleep environment. I miss good sleep. Sleep is everything. If you haven’t ever put thought into how you’re sleeping, just do it!
- Drink more water. Because hydration matters!
- Lift weights at least twice a week. Everyone can benefit from some form of resistance training.
- Stretch, stretch, stretch.
- Move more. Read more. Be positive. And be yourself!
And I think that’ll about do it for now.
The start of the new year does not mean that you need to change yourself or totally change your life, but it is a great time to refocus and perhaps make an effort to improve parts of your life that need a little tender-loving care with these wellness goals. You can do it!
Here’s some more goal inspiration for you, where some of these ideas came from …
- Four healthy summer goals you could be making
- Five healthy New Year’s resolutions you could be making this year
And here’s to an awesome year for us all! Be good, my friends!Need some inspiration for wellness goals for 2018? Check out these ones on A Lady Goes West today ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What’s a goal you have for 2018?
What’s one thing you accomplished in 2017 you are super proud of?
Have you ever created a theme word for your year? What was it?