Do you remember your 2022 New Year's Resolution you made? You probably don't, I know I don't and that is completely fine. My resolutions throughout the years were always a very long and tiring one and to be honest, I don't really remember what my 2022 resolution was. But what I do know is that after a year full of stories, the last thing I need is to dread myself into making yet another new year's list I'm only gonna ditch the third month into 2023.
As a person who has (serious) trouble keeping things in order and gets distracted easily, here is what I have come to realize: I don't need to wait until the first day of 2023 for me to start a new habit or lifestyle. That notion has stopped me from starting a lot of self-improvement regime just because I feel like I had to "wait" for the perfect time. "I'll do it after my college assignments are done", "I'll start listening to podcasts next month", "I should really start a healthy diet, maybe next Friday would be awesome".
With that in mind, I started these three things the moment I had the chance to:
Yes, I know, you've probably heard this a bazillion times, but journaling helps. I've been struggling with heavy emotions and I didn't know how to 'let things out'. I asked around for some advice and one of my best friends recommended me to try journaling. It's pretty simple, you can write early in the morning before your day starts or late at night after your day pretty much ends, or both!
If you'd like to try journaling, I highly suggest using these prompts:
- Daily affirmations
- What would make today great?
- 3 things I'm grateful for today
- What made today great? / How could I have made today better?
Try giving yourself an achievable goal when you first start: journal for two days straight. When you succeeded, add more days to your goal: journal for five days in a row. I find that these small goals help me stay motivated because it's easier compared to jumping deep on my first try like "journal for a full month". You don't have to write too many things in your daily journals, the key here is consistency rather than quantity. Another suggestion I'd like to make is pay attention to the difficult feelings you experienced throughout the day (if any) and try to write it down like how you would rant to your best friend. Usually what happens after pouring it all out is that I realize how certain things shouldn't have had that much power over my moods / feelings and it helped put everything into perspective—a rather logical one.
Journals / 2023 Planners recommendation:
Carta & Co. Pablo Hardcover Notebook (IDR 129,000)
Big Little Things Undated Planner (IDR 120,000)
Now calm down, I promise we are not jumping into something hardcore. One of the reasons why I was able to start exercising regularly was because my boyfriend taught me easy ones, and because I needed something easy and quick for starters. It was excruciatingly hard at first as I'm not used to doing any of these (and of course I complained) but it gets easier day by day.
1. Leg Raise (x12)
2. Side and Rear Leg Lifts
(12x per leg per side, so 48 in total)
Because I am still very much a beginner, I do not use a resistance band (yet).
3. Sit Up (x12)
For those who struggle to do sit ups in the correct form, you can refer to this video. Also, I used to tuck my feet under the sofa when I first started doing sit ups just to get myself accustomed with the movement.
4. Squat (x12)
I usually let out a small scream by the time I got to 8, it makes it more bearable. Source: trust me.
3. Putting happy songs into your playlist
Yup, you read that right! A happy playlist goes along the way. I am sure everyone can relate to the experience of listening to a melancholic playlist and then not being able to escape the mood. But, according to research, even how we perceive the world around us can be influenced by music. A study in 2019 showed people with and without depression both felt better after listening to happy music. With that being said, putting together a playlist of happy and energetic songs is a very good choice. Oh and play that every morning! Maybe don't make just one playlist but make a few and do a playlist rotation kind of thing. Good luck!