I can hardly believe that it’ll be 2021 two days from now as I’m writing this. This year felt both excruciatingly long, as well as incredibly quick, as it gave me more time to relax, but also gave me more things to preoccupy my mind and worry me. In my personal life, a lot happened this year, and I’ve changed for the better in several ways. If you’ve been following my Instagram, you might have seen that I embarked on a weight loss journey and have dropped 40 pounds since February (a blog post all about my journey will be coming soon). I’ve also picked up writing again, and have made reading a daily habit. I’ve let go of certain friendships and therefore made room for other people in my life. I also had to battle loneliness, social anxiety, self-doubt, and was forced to face triggers that had been reappearing in my life. Not to exaggerate, but I am 100% a different person when compared to who I was at the end of 2020. It’s incredible what a year can do.
I’ve taken all that I have learned this year and decided to create a list of 8 healthy habits to implement in 2021. The new year. A fresh start, hopefully, for all of us.
I’m not perfect, however, and I don’t implement these habits every day or even remember doing them all of the time. In fact, I’ve been the opposite of productive this winter break, chilling in my pajamas and cozying up with a book from morning until night, and it has been absolutely wonderful. I haven’t even thought to write a blog post or get my life together–which is a good thing, actually, to rest and lean into what you want now and again. But, throughout 2020, I have been incorporating these habits into my life as much as possible, and will continue to incorporate them into the next year. They have helped me grow and have turned me into the stronger woman that I am today.
10 healthy habits to implement in 2021
1. Read fiction
For the past few months, I’ve been reading like crazy. In fact, I’m so close to reaching my goal of 50 books this year, which is the first I’ve read that much in a year since 8th grade. I have allowed myself to immerse in the creative worlds and stories and I absolutely love the feeling of being carried away by the pages. Reading engages me more than any other hobby, besides writing an intense scene in my book. I feel like a child again, reaching for the books that truly call to me in each given time, whether it’s a thriller, a fantasy, a cheesy romance, or young adult novel meant for teenagers. Since getting into reading for fun again, I’ve felt more creative, excited about life, and my mind feels clearer. Also, establishing a consistent hobby just for me has helped empower me and make me feel all the more independent.
Soon, after I finish my reading challenge (I want to be fair to 3 other books I’m reading!), I will be posting my favorite books of 2020 onto this blog. So, be on the lookout for the best book recommendations ever for 2021.
A year ago today, I never worked out. Maybe once every two weeks, but nothing more than that. At this point, I can’t imagine not exercising at least 5x a week. Although I don’t always look forward to getting out of my pajamas to go run or lift weights, I always feel so good and empowered afterward. As I mentioned in my introduction, I have lost 40 pounds since February, something I didn’t even know I could do. I started exercise not even with the intent of loosing weight, just to improve my health and to form a healthy habit while in quarantine. But now, I am at the best shape of my life, which has helped me feel more confident, has improved my mental health, and has given me a sense of self-empowerment. If you want to get into exercise, I’d recommend walking, going on brisk jobs, or turning on a 20-minute workout video on Youtube–all of these helped me establish a habit of exercise.
As I mentioned before, I’ll be sharing my weight loss journey on here soon, which will cover all that I discussed above more in-depth, as well as how I lost 40 pounds. Stay tuned for that!
3. Tap through emotions
I used to just sit with my emotions, let them grow and expand as time went on. Soon enough, they’d engulf me in a deep pit or an out burst. Now, thanks to the power of EFT tapping, I can tap through my emotions in a few minutes and carry on. EFT tapping has been such a blessing, especially because I’m an empath. Incorporating daily, or even weekly tapping has helped me immensely sort through my messy feelings. Read more about EFT tapping in my post: A dive into EFT tapping, and how it has helped me.
4. Spend more time in silence
After my trip to Getaway, which I talked about in my post The importance of silence, I discovered my immense admiration for silence and being in nature. While I don’t live near a lot of nature such as at the Getaway, I love to sit outside with just my thought and a cup of coffee and simply be present. I allow myself to smell the air, feel the breeze on my skin, listen to the birds chirp in the distance. I’ve also been listening to forest and nature ambience during the day.
Making more time for silence has helped me process thoughts and emotions, while also calming me down and bringing me to a peaceful headspace. For me, daily quiet is a priority, as it helps free me from the business of each day. I definitely recommend making quiet time, or time in nature, a habit this year.
5. Be honest, set boundaries, and know your worth
This year, I did quite a bit of experimenting with being more honest and setting healthy boundaries. Having been a people pleaser all my life, I finally realized that I had my own worth and could say “no” when I wanted tot –I didn’t have to just agree with everyone and take things. It wasn’t easy–in fact, it was very uncomfortable a lot of the time. But, by making it a habit to be more honest, speak up about my beliefs, and be authentic and real around the people I love, I’ve noticed my relationships strengthening, and I’ve grown closer with people while also letting go of others who didn’t truly value me. One thing I’ve learned is that while it hurts to be walked over, YOU can stop people from doing so by standing your ground and making them go the other way. My life has changed so much because of my increase in honesty and boundaries.
6. Reach out to others and make time for people you love
For quite some time, I have struggled with spurts of loneliness. Seemingly coming from out of nowhere, I’ll feel overwhelmed by an intense need for human contact. I’d wait for people tor reach out to me, and grew sad when they didn’t. One day, however, I picked up my phone and reached out to someone about a book I was reading that reminded me of them, and another person about a Youtube video they’d like, and so on. I didn’t reach out with the intent of filling the empty gap in my chest–I truly wanted to talk to them. I started to reach out to other people first and make time for our conversations. And guess what? They started reaching out to me, too!
If you’re wanting to expand your relationships and feel more secure in the ones you have, try reaching out to others this year, and ask about them. Bond over something y’all both have in common. Call them, even, and simply catch up.
But also, remember tip habit #5: set boundaries, too. Don’t waste too much time on people who don’t make time for you. This is something I’ve had to really learn this year, myself, and incorporating it has done wonders. You are worth something.
For more on this topic, check out my post: 5 mindsets for building confidence in yourself and in your relationships
I don’t know about you, but I feel most alive when I am working on something larger than myself. That’s why, I set a goal to write 1,000 words a day for the first 30 days of 2021, just to push myself to create something. For the month of November, I wrote 1,000 words a day for NaNoWriMo, and while I didn’t write every day and around 15, stopped completely when I hit a bump in the road, I noticed that I had been writing more and more each day, the longer I did it. One day, I wrote nearly 3,000 words in one sitting, something I haven’t done in quite some time. When I pushed myself to be creative, I ended up being even more creative each time I sat down, which sparked curiosity, a newfound love for interesting stories, and more energy in myself. Perhaps this year is the year to create a little more, or dive into a new hobby, whatever that may be.
8. Treat yourself to good hygiene and nice clothes
This one might sound a little odd, but all my life, I’ve never bought myself good hygiene or nice clothes until 2020. First off, all of my money was spent on books, and second, my family was fairly poor when I was growing up, my clothes hand-me-downs or picked from thrift stores. Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t have a lot–I had more than enough, and I was incredibly blessed as a child. But, I grew up differently than some of my friends, and looked at nice clothes as a luxury more than a need. I never bought myself a pair of jeans, or a date-night dress, until this year. Instead, I wore faded clothes from years prior, their holes sewed up and a belt to hold them up.
Same with hygienics and makeup. I didn’t buy lipstick or cuticle cream or nice face wash until this year. I had to overcome the mindset that I was unworthy of those things, or that I didn’t need those things.
I started making it a habit of going out and buying myself things to look nice, and to feel good. Doing so made me feel empowered, and now I have nice clothes that flatter me, and hygienics to fix me up. Now, I’m not recommending blowing all of your money on things, haha. However, setting time aside to pick out good quality items for you is such a sweet gesture to yourself, in my opinion.
I hope this year goes smoothly, and I hope it’ll be full of personal growth, self-empowerement, or love. Then again, times are still strange, so allow yourself to move at your pace, and do what you can in this moment.
Wishing you a wonderful New Year,