We’re all Everygirls here — we’re busy and we’re #girlbosses, but we still want to live our healthiest, best life. So I’m sure you can understand, and probably personally relate, when I say that I had the best intentions coming into 2019. I wanted to up my workout game, eat totally clean, and live 100 percent healthier. I had ambitious goals and the full intention of keeping them, but then New Years Day passed, the first few weeks of January came and went, and February rolled around faster than I could say, “wait, but I haven’t had time to sign up for a gym membership yet!!”
Well here’s what I realized, Everygirls: life shouldn’t be about limiting ourselves to strict, ambitious goals, it should be about balance. And I was a little overly ambitious, and maybe unrealistic, which set myself up for major failure. So, as February 1 rolls around, I’m reworking my 2019 resolutions to focus on the specific intentions that not only fit into my lifestyle without stress or anxiety, but that will actually make me happier. Here are the goals I’m sticking to (really!), and how I’m sticking to them:
Actually taking my vitamins
Vitamins don’t sound like a big deal. In fact, your mom has been reminding you to take them since they were in Flintstone form. But when I became too old for Flintstones and too busy to remember an extra step in the mornings, I lagged behind on my vitamin intake. I knew I could use a lot of help with gut health and might be lacking some important nutrients just based on normal lifestyle habits (I’m a vegetarian — I might be low in B vitamins, and live in Chicago, so I do not go outside in the winter). For years, I’ve known that I need to get on a consistent vitamin routine, but I just had no idea where to start and could never remember to take the variety of vitamins.
Enter: Care/of, the vitamin delivery brand taking over the wellness world and your Instagram feed. Of all the times I’ve tried to stick to a vitamin routine, this is the time that it truly stuck, because Care/of makes it SO. EASY. For one, their informative (and really fun) quiz let me know exactly what I need for my goals (like ashwagandha for reducing stress/improving energy), and for my specific lifestyle needs (like magnesium, since alcohol can deplete your body’s natural levels. I just love the occasional glass of wine, or two!). I knew exactly what vitamins were best for me.
Care/of also makes it extremely easy to stick to on a regular basis. Each day’s worth of vitamins comes in cute little packs (with a daily fact — that’s enough to look forward to!), that I can easily throw in my work bag or carry-on when I’m on the go. No more bulky pill boxes or “I don’t have time!” Care/of truly helped me stick to my 2019 resolution.
Luckily for you (and for me!), Care/of is offering Everygirl readers 50% off a first month of Care/of as part of their new year special with the code EVERYGIRL2019.
Eating leafy greens with two meals a day
So, yes, I wanted to eat 100 percent clean. Maybe one day I’ll get there, but after a few late night pizzas and chocolate chip cookies at the office, I realized that day is not now. What I can stick to, however, is just adding more plants to my diet, rather than focusing on what I’m forcing myself to completely take anything away. In addition to getting essential nutrients and vitamins from Care/of, I knew I could also be getting other essential nutrients from adding in more leafy greens. In general, I wanted to eat more plant-forward, meaning getting smart about how I get more plants into my diet.
In more measurable goals, I focus on eating a serving of leafy greens with two meals, every day, and it’s not as stressful as it sounds (promise!). I add spinach to my smoothies, put arugula on my veggie burger, or order a side salad with dinner. It’s actually so easy to do, and without even thinking about it, I’m filling up on healthy greens instead of a side of fries or white bread.
Focusing on self-talk
While I’ve always considered myself a (decently) optimistic, confident person, I’ve never realized the ways in which I was still holding myself back. I fall victim to occasional insecurities and self-doubt, whether it shows up in questioning my performance at work or whether or not I look good in a pair of jeans. Rather than complaining or feeling insecure, I force myself to say that I already am who I want to be. Let me explain: if I start to self-doubt at work before a meeting, instead of thinking I’m so inexperienced or I’m not prepared, I force myself to think I am proud of my achievements, and I am good at this. If I feel bad about myself after a few days of bad eating or missing a workout, I force myself to say I am beautiful and strong and healthy.
Sounds like something out of a puberty book for preteens, doesn’t it? I know, and yet it’s helped me change my negative thoughts into positive ones, and to actually manifest the person I want to be. Along with practicing gratitude and dedicating my day to a mantra, positive self-talk is the reminder I never knew I needed, and the 2019 resolution that will actually help me make changes through this year, and the years to come.
Doing something active that makes me feel calm at least three days a week
Rather than focusing on the most intense workout I can find and feeling stressed when I don’t burn enough calories or feel sore enough the next day like I did in 2018, I’m prioritizing exercise that makes me feel calm, because I need more calm. Rather than my fitness goals revolving around solely “getting fit” or losing a certain amount of weight, I’m focusing on deceasing cortisol (a stress hormone) as my main fitness goal. For me, this means more calming yoga, more walks outside, and more barre classes (which feel more like fun than exercise to me). I’ll still add in an intense workout or two, but instead of being my main focus, it’s just a bonus.
I’ve also started to find more ways to help my muscles be stronger and healthier, without overworking them at the gym. I get Ashwagandha with my Care/of subscription, because yes, it helps decrease stress (I need that!), but it can also help in muscle mass and strength. Similarly, B12 is a vitamin that ensures the brain and muscles communicate effectively, helping to strengthen and heal muscles. Not only am I working out better, but I’m working out smarter.
Of course there are a lot of different ways to be healthy and a lot of different types of exercise that are better for different people. The only fitness goal you absolutely need is to be active in a way that makes you feel happy and centered when you end the workout. It’s up to you to determine what that workout is.
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep… no exceptions.
As a recent post-college grad, sleep has never been something I’m good at. I went from sorority parties to 8am classes without a blink (or closing) of an eye, going off six or less hours of sleep like it was no big deal. But, I paid for it during the day, often feeling sluggish or sick, and my immune system was not very strong. When I became a real adult (aka graduated college), I knew I need to give my body the proper sleep it needs.
In 2019, more than ever before, I’m prioritizing getting no less than seven hours of sleep over almost anything else. This means if I can’t get to bed on time and end up falling asleep later than expected, I’ll sleep in instead of getting up to workout. I believe that getting enough sleep does my body more good than a workout. It’s also helped me really prioritize getting to bed because I don’t want to miss my workouts or fail in my goal. Instead of scrolling through my phone or watching TV, I make an effort to get to bed on time every night so I can wake up earlier in the morning, but don’t stress it if I can’t.
Need help falling asleep? Care/of taught me that magnesium supplements can help ease anxiety, and even help you to fall asleep. Since I’ve started taking magnesium before bed, I not only fall asleep instantly, but sleep through the whole 7-9 hours like a baby.
Use more DIY in my beauty routine
I’m a self-proclaimed product junkie, and while I don’t want to give up my go-to peels, overnight masks, and beloved serums, I also wanted to take my beauty routine into my own hands, testing out new things that would work for me, and finding the ingredients I can make myself that could make all the difference. This challenge started with washing my face with honey, and long story short, I will never wash my face without raw honey again.
Not only are natural, DIY treatments so good for you, the process also has made me feel empowered since I’m doing my own research and learning new things about myself and my skin that I didn’t read about in a magazine or buy from a pop-up Google ad. Again, life is about balance, and I love experimenting with and researching new products. But adding in natural ingredients like honey, avocado, and apple cider vinegar in addition to my favorite products has made a HUGE difference.
Upping my water intake
I know, I know, this one’s always on every basic list of New Year’s resolutions. It’s even always on mine, every single year. But each year, I find new ways to drink more water and set new goals to keep my body in optimal hydration because it’s one of the most important things you can do for your health. This year, I’m focusing on adding lemon to my water — not only is it delicious, but it’s a rich source of vitamin C and acts as a digestive and detoxifying aid. Sometimes, I also add mint, ginger, and cucumber, which are flavorful, refreshing, and pack super nutrients and vitamins.
It’s a resolution I stick to because it’s not only good for me — it’s actually enjoyable. Adding good-for-you ingredients tastes so much better than just plain water, and to be completely transparent, I feel super bougie drinking fancy spa water! Besides just from what I can drink, I’ve added more foods to my diet with high water content like lettuce, melon, cucumbers, and zucchini. Not to brag or anything, but 2019 just so happens to be the first winter where my skin isn’t completely parched. It could be the honey, or it could be the all lemon water, but either way, these resolutions are sticking around long enough to become habits.
Get 50% off your first month of Care/of as part of their new year special with the code EVERYGIRL2019
This post was in partnership with Care/of, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.