Some days, we’re really motivated at work, eat super healthy meals, feel naturally energized even without a 2 pm coffee, and are at a constant Elle-Woods-getting-into-Harvard-Law kind of peppy. Then, there are the days where we’re counting down until 5 pm while putting off our to-do list, grabbing a Chipotle burrito for lunch (you do know guac is extra, but this day calls for it) and having our 2 pm coffee at 1:30. Many of us call these days “life.”
But imagine a world where all your days feel energized, ecstatic, and happy — no, this isn’t Legally Blonde 3, it’s your actual life. Whether you’re looking to be healthier, get happier, or just trying to feel like you’re kinda doing the adult thing right, there are tips and tricks you could do today that will give you the kind of happy, motivated, healthy days that Elle Woods felt post-trial. Eat your heart out, Warner. Here are 13 things you can do today to have a better week.
1. Make your bed
It’s just a minor step in your day, but it makes a huge difference in your life, according to Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World. Completing a small task first thing in the morning will make you feel accomplished, setting the tone for the rest of your day and your week. If it’s a weekend, consider changing your sheets and washing your pillowcases and blankets — clean bedding is the perfect fresh start for the week ahead.
2. Select a mantra
We’ve talked a lot about mantras and the benefits of finding the one that works for you. Whether you need to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, or you need a go-to phrase that provides a little pick-me-up when the workday gets busy or your kids are driving you nuts, find a mantra that you connect with, and repeat it to yourself when you need it throughout the week. Wake up every morning with your mantra in mind instead of your usual to-do list.
3. Meal prep veggies
Even if you’re not a big meal prepper, having veggies ready throughout the week will ensure that you choose healthy options, even when you’re in a pinch. Chop up cauliflower, dice onions, and wash lettuce to save you time during the week. Cooking healthy recipes has never been easier! If you are an avid meal prepper, spend a couple of free hours making delicious and healthy meals that can be reheated or repurposed for days. Try recipes that are low-carb, vegan, or made with a crockpot.
4. Schedule exercise
We schedule meetings and appointments in our calendars, so why not schedule workouts too? Depending on what’s going on for the week ahead, book pilates classes and hot yoga for the next few days instead of waiting until the day of/before. If you work out on your own, still put it in your calendar and honor it like you would any other meeting or appointment. Scheduling ahead of time ensures that you make the time to workout and will hold yourself accountable. Grab your iCal and your running shoes, and get ready for a week of fitness.
5. Set goals for the week
Knowing your goals in advance will make you more productive throughout the entire week. Think about what you want or need to get done over the next few days, including making a list of must-dos you’ve been putting off (i.e. scheduling a doctor’s appointment or cleaning out the fridge), as well as something you want to do but have been putting off like starting a meditation practice or pitching a new project to your boss. Also, think about specific health goals — run .5 miles more, lift the next heaviest set of weights, or eat greens with 2 meals a day. A week feels doable, so the goals are easy to reach, and you’ll feel so accomplished, you’ll keep up with the goals even after this week is over.
6. Indulge in self-care
Because sometimes we just need to totally recharge, and what better way is there to recharge in 2019 than self-care? Spend some time caring for yourself, whatever that means to you. Whether it’s putting on a face mask, playing with your dog, or going on a hike, spend some time doing something that ignites your energy instead of drains it. Listen to music you love, cook a food you enjoy, or call your best friend to reminisce on funny memories.
7. Clean your makeup brushes
Say it again for the people in the back: you need to be cleaning your makeup brushes. Regularly. It’s perhaps the easiest hack that will give you better skin over time because the bacteria that build up on the bristles can clog pores and cause acne, dullness, or inflammation. Give your brushes a deep clean every couple weeks with makeup brush cleanser. Your makeup and your skin will look better.
8. Take 30 minutes to clean out your inbox
I’m a big fan of spending off-time and weekends doing non-work things (because mental health is a thing and we all need a break!). But if you spend just a half hour to go through your emails and get your inbox down to zero (or as low as you can get it), it will make you feel much more accomplished and less overwhelmed when starting work the next day — no Sunday scaries here!
9. …and then disconnect from your phone and computer
But once that 30-minute timer goes off (because you know I’m setting a timer or else 30 minutes turns into three hours), take a break from technology and unplug. A digital detox is not only crucial for your physical health (extended screen time can affect sleeping patterns, weight, and overall health), but it’s crucial for your sanity. A window of time dedicated to stepping away from screens and the ability to be reached at all times gives you a sense of peace and quiet that we never truly have with our iPhones in our pockets. It will lead to greater productivity in the moment and greater happiness over time.
10. Do a DIY beauty treatment
Grab your apple cider vinegar and your egg yolks because the best beauty treatments you can do can be made from ingredients in your kitchen. Not only will a treatment make your skin glow or your hair lush for dayz, but being able to make your own product will increase confidence as you figure out what exactly works for your body rather than trusting formulas in bottles and tubes. Try a DIY face mask or put olive oil in your hair for a shiny mane.
11. Check your bank statements
Because financial self-care is still self-care, you should be regularly checking in on your financial status. Go through your bank statement to make sure you recognize all the purchases, track what you’re spending money on, and use an app like TrueBill to track your subscriptions. Have a good understanding of not only your general financial status but where your money is actually going to will help you make smarter decisions throughout the week, whether it’s walking to work instead of Ubering or packing lunch instead of that Chipotle.
12. Lay out your vitamins for the week
If you’re anything like me, your pill situation is not a simple one-multi-vitamin-with-breakfast kind of deal. It’s a personalized vitamin routine, complete with beauty-boosting and gut-fixing probiotics. In 2019 when the options are limitless (and healthy!), why not add in some extra supplements that are backed by good research or recommended by your doctor or health coach? But a hefty supplement routine can also mean extra time spent remembering which pills you took and racking through cabinets to find the right bottle. Make it easy by sorting vitamins by days of the week for the next 7 days in a pill box so you won’t have to think twice, even on the busiest days (I’m nerding out over this super chic pink one).
13. Put something on your calendar you’re excited for
While it’s important to fill up your schedule with to-dos like business meetings and workouts (remember #4!), it’s also necessary that you’re scheduling things you actually love and enjoy. Whether it’s Bachelor Monday or after-work-drinks on Thursday, make plans with people you love that you’ll be looking forward to all week long. Even if most of your girl gang are last-minute planners, try planning hangouts ahead of time so you’ll have something to look forward to. It will make the mundane moments of your Monday seem so much less, well, Monday-ish, and instead of dreading the start of the new week, you’ll be looking forward to it.