There’s something about a new year that helps me refocus and refuel. It’s like writing in a brand new notebook — is it actually any different than the old one? No, it’s not. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t *feel* different, and — when it comes to setting New Year’s Resolutions — sometimes even a fake fresh start is just enough to help you along.
So, what are some stellar New Year’s Resolutions that aren’t weight loss? I’ve got a few favorites that are both totally doable and can help you build your dream life.
Save Some Extra $$
We live in a money-driven world. While we believe in making The Wildest accessible AF (aka, useful no matter how much or how little money you have), we recognize that saving a little extra cash can be a good thing for pretty much everyone. Whether you spend it on a mini-vacation, a nice dinner, or just dump it into your student loans — saving money in 2019 is probably one of our favorite goals.
HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN: It’s time to build a budget and stick to it. (But seriously this time.) You can use a free app like Mint to help you manage your money or write it out on paper, but the important thing is to be proactive about your cash.
We pay all of our bills biweekly (like a paycheck) even when they’re due monthly so we have a better idea of what money we have leftover every paycheck. To do this, we average out the cost of our monthly bills and divide it in half. We typically round up by a little bit (to make sure we’re never under) and let the excess build up over the course of the year. We’ve done this for 5 years now, and we’ve had a little bit of money save up at the end of each year without even knowing it. Sometimes it’s only a hundred dollars or two, but one time we ended up saving $600 without even knowing it. Our electric company sent us a check, and voila! (Relatively) painless savings.
Another easy way to save money? Try switching your bank account to Simple. Simple is a mobile-only online bank that has zero fees and built-in budgeting features. You can use it to create multiple savings goals at once, and it will start “withdrawing” from your Safe-to-Spend balance everyday to hide money in those goals without you even noticing. I’ve used Simple to save for a trip to Toronto, a trip to New York, a new camera, and so many more things with ZERO effort.
Improve Your Mental Health
Making time for real self-care and promoting good mental health is a huge priority of mine for 2019. In today’s world, it’s easy to get caught up in a toxic whirlwind — whether that’s relationships, social media, or something else entirely — which is why it’s so important to be your own advocate. You deserve to take care of yourself.
“Self care is self-maintenance.”— Jill Grunenwald, author and body liberation blogger
HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN: Therapy and medication are both totally acceptable (and wonderful) options for taking care of your mental health, but they’re not always available for various reasons.
Make sure you’re practicing positive habits that are *actually* helping you cope. (There are a ton of not-so-great habits pretending to be good, so this article is a great place to start.) This could mean getting outside, eating less junk food, or simply taking Vitamin D. Sometimes wellness looks like a bunch of small steps that add up toward progress. (And yes, taking a break is absolutely self-care.)
Remember, protecting your mental health can also mean making some tough decisions. Reducing the amount of time you spend around toxic people is incredibly difficult but so rewarding, and it might be time for you to reconsider the people you surround yourself with in the future.
Another easy way to introduce research-backed self-care into your daily routine is by using a free app like Shine to send you self-care reminders. Plus, they’ve got some great advice (like why it’s okay to choose hibernating over hustling) that can help you make self-care more of a conscious choice than just another thing on your to-do list.
Drink More Water
Hydration is everything. Dehydration can negatively impact everything from your physical performance to how your brain functions (seriously). Studies suggest that water intake plays a role in headaches, your mood (yep), and your kidney function — aka, boosting your water intake can help improve your body’s ability to detox naturally.
HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN: There are so many different guidelines for how much water you should drink every day. Some people swear by eight 8 oz glasses of water daily, but others recommend a little more — 91 oz for women and 127 oz for men. Generally, let thirst be your guide. If you’re not sure if you’re hydrated, a good way to check is by looking at your urine. (The National Park Service even has a handy-dandy chart that makes it easy!)
Personally? I’m a huge fan of carrying around a reusable water bottle that I refill throughout the day. Even if you’re only using one plastic water bottle per day, that still adds up to a lot of plastic waste that isn’t great for the environment. I try to use a bigger water bottle than most people — that way it’s easy to track how many I’ve had throughout the day.
Plain water might not be your jam, but don’t stress about where you get your hydration. Several studies suggest that there’s no real difference between caffeinated vs non-caffeinated beverages on hydration, or caloric vs non-caloric beverages.
No matter what your New Year’s Resolutions are, remember not to stress. It doesn’t matter whether or not you achieve everything on your to-do list. Aim to pursue progress over perfection, and let’s enjoy this journey together.