5 Tips to a Healthy Happy Self to Kick Start the New Year

New year...a fresh start.
Image credit: Max Pixel
A new year..and a fresh start.

One of the usual new year's resolutions we all make is to start living a healthy lifestyle. Most people either register at a gym or renew their membership seeing if they can follow through on an active lifestyle for the whole year or at least shed a few pounds of their unwanted bulges here and there. Some take the zen approach and try to throw out bad habits that they feel are harming them. Either way, starting the new year with a fresh perspective is a good thing for all. No harm in making an effort to live a clean and healthy life. But, making an abrupt 360° turn may be too much. Let's try and take baby steps then, we can progress more and more until we reach the goal we all want to achieve.

Not only should we try to achieve a healthy body but, a sound mind as well. Although being physically healthy does work wonders psychologically such as boosting our self-esteem, there are certain activities that we can do to enrich our inner selves creating a balance between the mind and the body and our soul too.

I, too, have thrown out some bad habits of mine. For people who do know me, some can say I have changed a lot from my younger days when I was out all night partying. I was a heavy alcoholic drinker back then (drinking at least every night) but, now I only drink a glass or 2 on occasion (with a gap of 4 months or so). I have to commend myself that I was able to break a bad habit or maybe I just grew out of it. What I do know is I listened to my body. The hangovers were getting worst each time, so I decided to go cold turkey. It was the best decision I ever made. I feel healthier because of it.

So, for all of you, I'd like to share some tips that have worked for me when I made the decision to live a healthier lifestyle. Hopefully, they can help you as they have helped me.

Take a look: 5 tips for a healthy happier you to kick start the new year...

1. De-clutter.
To take out all that negative energy of the past year, one has to de-clutter- remove all those that you consider unnecessary. First, de-clutter your home. If you weren't able to do it during the holidays which is usually the time I clean out our closets of clothes that are outgrown or are not used anymore to give to charity, you can start now. I know pre-loved items have sentimental value and may be hard to part with but, think of all the people out there who may be in need. Think that of all the smiles and memories they can have with your pre-loved items. It's worth it to share.
Make a box for items that can be recycled for future use by your family and another for recyclable items that can be brought to salvage shops or recycling centers. Good for the environment and you can earn a little extra cash for ice cream.
After your home is de-cluttered, sit down with a piece of paper and a pen, and start reflecting on your life and the future of your family. Write down all the unnecessary habits you and your family may have and take a mental note to change that. It could be as simple as screaming at your kids and your temper, drinking too much soda, or even eating out too often. From time to time, you can look back at that list you made to see if you made some progress throughout the year.
I started this New Year de-clutter habit several years back with cleaning out my home at first. All the unnecessary items I put in boxes and gave away to the needy. Clothes, bags, shoes, accessories, recyclable bottles and cans, even some appliances. And when I was I done with that, I took a mental note to de-clutter my life. I decided to stop buying alcohol, to going out late, and to try and focus on my relationship and making a family. What was great was my partner and I moved into our new home on a January so, it made all the difference. By moving into a new house, I focused on decorating our new home and so the part of going cold turkey became really easy as I put all my energy into our home. Thinking of a future was a great turn around for me and I was able to stop from thinking of hitting the new hot spot in town.
Usually, welcoming a new and positive change in your life may change your perspective and help you move away from bad habits that you may find difficult to move away from. I found that when you decide to focus on making a family, you will do whatever it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.

2. Stop one unhealthy habit.
This is simpler than it sounds. If you are more adventurous, you can try to kick the habit of a bad vice- go cold turkey. Going cold turkey is the only way to kick a bad habit. There are no shortcuts and in reality, they never work.  If that isn't your agenda, then there are many other bad habits that are easy to stop, refrain from, or maybe lessen. For example, my partner is like every other Filipino who likes to dip his cooked meat dish in soy sauce with vinegar/lemon juice and minced wild pepper or shrimp paste with a little lemon juice. All that salt. I don't have that habit. I like my meat dishes to taste good as is without any of that unnecessary sauce or dip. With the rise of kidney problems among the Filipinos because of their high salt intake, I told him he had to try and limit that type of habit. Currently, he only does that when the meat dish served is really bland.
Another is sugar intake...cut down on soda, sweets, or for many Filipinos rice intake. My son doesn't eat candy (this is the reason he has healthy white teeth) mainly because no one in the household eats candy and we don't eat a lot of chocolate (I love chocolate by the way). As for soda, I do drink soda which my son likes to take a taste but, I serve him milk instead to take his attention away from the soda.
Aside from food habits, you may also want to stop some bad behavioral habits too like procrastinating, impulse purchases, or mine- not keeping my promises as much as I can.
Let's make these life-long habits.
Image Credit: Pixabay

3. After throwing out one bad habit, take up one healthy habit.
There are a lot of simple healthy habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle that is not difficult to do and won't take up a lot of your time. One of them is drinking a glass of Luke warm water first thing in the morning before eating breakfast. By doing this, you cleanse your body of impurities and speed up your metabolism at the same time. Another is putting gadgets away from your bed to get a good night's rest. The body needs to rest and sleep allows the body to heal on its own. Never underestimate the power of sleep.
Others may want to enrich themselves spiritually if not, mentally. Reading books, meditation, yoga, going to church- these are all activities that are very simple yet, provides a healthy state of mind.
If you are striving for a more active lifestyle meaning more physical activity from a sedentary lifestyle, aside from buying a membership at a gym, you can start at walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator, adopting a pet (pets are great companions when you want to start being more active), or simply heading out to the park with your kids. If you have the budget, you can buy exercise equipment and workout at home. For me, I prefer going outside to get some air. Sometimes a change of scenery does wonders to the senses. Anyway, it's up to you decide what's best for you.

4. Continue with what you are passionate about.
Doing the things you are passionate about makes a happier and better you. No need to change the things you love...better yet, you may want to amplify it. A simple hobby that you love such as gardening, paragliding, photography/art or maybe tasting candy from all over the world may turn out to become a blog or maybe a book. You can invite the family to join you, your kids to take part in these things. As they say, the more, the merrier and it makes the experience even more delightful.

5. Always make time for yourself.
I don't mean sleep. I mean taking the time to pamper the most important person- yourself. Moms need this and I'm not wrong to say that. But, taking 30 minutes a day or an hour a week will work wonders for you. Get a mani-pedi, a massage at the spa, a new hair color at the salon or a simple hot oil procedure, a cup of coffee at a local cafe to read a magazine/newspaper, or a well-deserved glass of wine. Whatever you do, make sure that after doing it, you feel refreshed, decompressed, and lighter on your feet. I know for a fact, just a little pampering will put a smile on your face. A happier less stressful you is a more healthy you.
Good luck!
"New Year Resolution" by Cydcor
is licensed under CC by 2.0

I look forward to what 2018 has to offer. Our closets have been cleaned offering more space, my home de-cluttered, I'm starting my glass of water before breakfast habit, will lessen my coffee intake and late nights, will continue my blogging (bought new accessories for my PC), and will decompress with a salon hour each week. Of course, as my son is the center of my universe, he will forever be by my side. I have a feeling that this year will be another great adventure.

Have a prosperous New Year!

* All images taken are labeled for commercial reuse.


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