new year, new goals. so often, though, we focus our goal-getting efforts solely on physical appearance. but why? why limit ourselves to one solitary aspect of goal-setting when there are so many other fulfilling objectives to accomplish?? what would it look like if you set a different type of resolution this year? what if, instead of obsessing over dropping 10 pounds or toning your tush, you set out to achieve mental health + happiness? we’ve got the blueprint for a happy new you this year.
[organize your space + conquer your clutter]
there’s just something about clearing our clutter that gives us all the good feels. we get it: life happens, clutter piles up. and especially after an often hectic holiday season when the remnants of Christmas are abound throughout the house. but taking the time to organize everything is beneficial for more than just aesthetic reasons. it can help reduce anxiety + depression, boost your productivity, inspire better sleep + eating habits, even encourage you to exercise more!
the goal: devote one month to this project, then choose one day per week during that month to organize a certain area of your home. clear out + donate unworn clothing from your closet, clean out the cupboards + fridge for a clean slate in the kitchen, organize your important papers + magazine clippings in our fit filer or super cute file folders. by breaking it up into bite-sized sessions, this potentially big job will be much less intimidating. once the month is up + your home is blissfully de-cluttered, assign one day each month to ensure it stays that way.
[exercise for endorphins + slash stress]
we rarely think about exercise as anything other than a means to a skinnier (rear)end, but by doing so, we really sell ourselves - and the benefits of exercise - short. this year, why not reframe your thinking + make those workouts less about losing weight + more about happiness-inducing endorphins? instead of dragging yourself to an exercise class you dread, try out one of those new studios that’s caught your eye, like rowing or boxing or aerial yoga. when you love your workout, you’re more likely to go consistently, which means you’ll be getting a healthy dose of endorphins on the regular. and since exercise metabolizes stress hormones in your body + increases anti-anxiety hormones, you’ll also be reducing stress. sounds like a great reason to hop on the treadmill to us!
the goal: start out with our 6-week COMEBACK program to ease you back into the workout world with manageable 15- to 20-minute routines you can do anywhere, anytime. there are even healthy recipes to help you kick off the new year on a healthy note.
[master meal-prep with happy foods]
the best thing you can do to keep your mood elevated: eat a wide variety of healthy, nourishing foods. you always hear that food is medicine, and we couldn’t agree more. so when the prescription is happiness, we like to avoid sugary treats + junky processed snacks + load up on foods that inspire mental well-being. folic acid-loaded spinach alleviates depression + reduces fatigue, the omega-3 fatty acids in foods like salmon also improve your mood + fend off depression, choline in egg yolks helps keep your mind + memory happily sharp, magnesium-rich beans keep you full of pep + energy, coffee helps lower depression, vitamin c in oranges increases collagen production (because we all know a glowing, wrinkle-free face makes us happy - that’s just science).
so how does one go about shunning fast-food + sticking to the healthy stuff in today’s busy, go-go-go world? meal-prep is a must. when you always have a quick, healthy option at home, you’re not as likely to fall prey to that taco bell tempting you on the way home from the office.
the goal: set aside a couple hours to prep all your dinners for the week on your off day. and if you’re feelin’ particularly on top of things, prep your lunches as well! our favorite way (ok, we’re biased, but still…) to keep our prep organized: our eat fit kit meal-planning + grocery-shopping notepad. a week’s worth of meals on one side + a grocery-shopping list on the other means you can jot notes + keep track of grocery needs as needed throughout the week - and it’s all in one spot. sounds like a recipe for meal-prep success to us!
[journal for the health of it]
we know we brag on gratitude an awful lot, but that’s only because it’s a total game-changer, and we’d be remiss not to shout it from the rooftops for everyone in the world to hear. practicing gratitude helps you sleep, encourages you to sweat more, improves your relationships + even boosts your immunity. in one 10-week study, participants who wrote about gratitude each week were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. they also exercised more + had fewer visits to the doctor than those who focused more on writing about sources of aggravation.
the goal: pick out a good notebook or journal + spend 10 minutes each evening reflecting on your day + the things you’re grateful for in your life. our fitspiration journal is designed specifically for jotting your gratitudes daily.
[focus on the family]
as our kids get older, it can be more difficult to connect with them. between their schoolwork + friends + seemingly ever-present social-media taking up much of their time + attention, you may feel like you never really talk to them at all. one way to stay in tune with them: regular check-ins throughout the week. find a time when everyone is home + not so busy + sit down for a face-to-face chat (aka, the original FaceTime) - even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes. ask your child questions, encourage them to talk with you about their interests, keep the lines of communication open. this will ensure that you regularly have positive interactions to temper the inevitable moments of frustration that tend to accompany dealing with an adolescent. that will mean happier kids AND happier parents.
the goal: make it a point to sit down + have dinner together at least 4 nights per week - and more importantly, make it a no-phone zone. pick up a fitspiration tracker for your tween or teen, or a happy tracker for younger kids to include your children in your gratitude journaling habit. with your child’s permission, go through their tracker together + compare notes with your own gratitudes + thoughts.
which of these goals will you aim to achieve first this year? let us know in the comments!