This isn’t a traditional “travel” post, but putting these 9 habits into action in 2018 opened up COUNTLESS travel opportunities for me. Not only did these tweaks to my everyday life enable me to travel more, but I also improved my mental and physical well-being, improved my personal relationships, and experienced life to the fullest!
While there are always opportunities for self-improvement, I whittled down an extensively tried-and-tested list to these 9 to hopefully inspire you to live your best life this year and every year moving forward!
*WARNING* This post is lengthy because I am truly passionate about all of these habits. If you don’t read the entire thing, at least scroll through the headlines and pick one or two to read and put into action this year!
1. Meditate Daily
I finally committed myself to a daily meditation practice first thing each morning through a popular app called Headspace. I began to notice a continual improvement in my mood, my stress, and my ability to remain calm, cool and collected in most situations. I feel in control of my emotions, which has helped improve my personal relationships as well as my own sense of well-being.
As much as everyone wants to improve their physical well-being, I finally found success in my physical improvement once I got my mental well-being down. You can’t improve your outside if your inside is all stressed out!
2. Keep a Journal
Just as important as practicing daily meditation has been for my mental health, I’ve noticed similar benefits from journaling as well. Whether I sit down and recap my entire day, or write down my goals for the week, or just things that are bothering me, I truly feel like I am clearing out “headspace” when I write it all on paper.
3. No Social Media Before 9 or After 9
This is a rule that I had seen others do and was really intrigued by. This habit has earned itself a spot on this list because it simply MAKES SENSE.
I used to wake up and after snoozing a few times (cut that sh*t out too!) I would open up Instagram and BOOM! The first thoughts entering my mind for the day would be comparisons of my life to the seemingly perfect lives of everyone online. It was the same thing for me every night before bed. How unhealthy is that?!
Cutting out social media before 9 and after 9 has not only improved my mental well-being, but it’s awesome how much time I have back in my day to put to better uses! Clean up your phone by moving all of your social media apps onto a second screen in a folder. When you don’t see these little icons every time you open your phone, you naturally start to think less and less about them. While you’re at it, delete the ones you don’t really need!
4. Follow the 80/20 Rule
This one is pretty easy to understand, but slightly harder to follow. Simply put, 80% of the food you eat in a given week should be healthy, whole foods. Add more leafy greens, fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains to your plate, and cut back on the heavily-processed, artificial ingredient, fried or sugar-laden “foods” as often as you can. If you can make 80% of your meals healthy and nutritious, then you have tons of wiggle room for your 20%!
I learned about this habit from Helen Hall, who runs an amazing Instagram account that is full of health knowledge and inspiration. I do my best to stick to this rule, (I definitely have entire cheat weeks though) and it made me feel my healthiest and helped me achieve my fitness goals.
5. Follow the 5 Second Rule
No, not the one about eating food off the ground. This 5 second rule was coined by Mel Robbins, and is super easy to follow and put into action. As Mel states in her book, “if you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.”
Basically, for anything you want to do (or don’t want to do but need to do) count down 5-4-3-2-1 and just do the damn thing. I have put this rule into action and stopped snoozing in the mornings, made myself finish that insane workout, crushed those lingering items on my to-do list, and more. You’ll be amazed at all you can accomplish if you just give yourself 5 seconds and DO IT.
6. Surround Yourself with Positive People
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn. Who do you want to become? Cut the hateful, the gossip, the drama, and you’ll automatically cut a lot of negativity out of your life.
When you surround yourself with positive, encouraging, and inspirational individuals, you will find your life moving in all these directions. Happiness is contagious, so match sure you’re around the right people to catch the right feelings.
7. Break a Sweat Everyday
This should be a given, but it’s made my list because it is so important. Build a habit of crushing a daily workout, and you will reap benefits on every level possible. I’ve become obsessed with breaking some kind of sweat everyday, and go a lil stir-crazy if I don’t get moving! Having a strong workout habit has improved my sleep, my energy, my confidence, my ability to accomplish goals, etc. Working out has also improved my cravings and made it easier to follow the 80/20 rule, win-win!
8. Be Present
We all know that time is our most precious gift and resource, and yet it is so common for us to disrespect each others’ time by being distracted, by being on our phones, or by not truly listening. When we are distracted, we are not only cheating others, but ourselves as well. How can you fully experience anything if you aren’t present in the moment?
So, be present. Leave your phone on silent. Listen to those around you. Leave your stress at home (or in your journal!) Your experiences will be richer, your relationships will be deeper, and your accomplishments will be stronger.
9. Take the Leap!!!
Perhaps the most exciting habit of them all, is to do what you want to do. Take the plunge. Get out of your comfort zone! Do those things you’ve always dreamed of. We all have our bucket list items that we keep putting off until “one day” but let me tell you this, there will never be a perfectly “right time” to do something crazy. You have to make now the right time and just go for it!
I’ve seen this inspirational quote floating around, and it always gets me thinking: “If it scares you and excites you at the same time, it probably means you should do it.”
What are your daily habits or rituals that have made a positive impact on your life? Share with me below! Let’s help lift each other up in 2019!
Happy trails and happy travels,