I've always loved the idea of having a clean slate and the rush of starting something new, which is why New Years has been my favorite holiday to date. I remember getting excited to start fresh each January and I'd fantasize about this incredible, matured self I would transform into by the end of December. Now that I'm a little older, I've realized that it doesn't quite work like that. Becoming a better person or growing in whatever field you're in is an intentional decision you have to make on a daily basis. It's not a to-do list we can cross off but a lifestyle we should aim to adopt.
Now that we're a week deep into 2016, I've found myself without any New Year resolutions. There are many things I'd like to accomplish throughout the year but they're more like stepping stones that will lead me closer to my long-term life goals. So instead of creating a list of resolutions, I decided to jot down healthy habits I want to adopt that will continue past this year and hopefully stick with me for life.
Read more books
My boyfriend Patrick and I decided to challenge each other by reading at least one book per month. This might not be a huge deal to others but I haven't been reading nearly as much as I'd like. We all know that books are incredible resources filled with wisdom and magic and it's about time I dive back into it! One book I really enjoyed this past year is Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden. It's a pretty quick read that teaches you practical steps of eliminating procrastination and adopting habits that will help you reach your goals (it also happens to be very fitting to this post.) This was one of the few self-help books I read since I usually lean towards fictional reads. I'm definitely open to expanding my palette so if you have any recommendations, please send them my way!
Wake up early
I'm not a morning person by nature but after having 5am shifts at Anthropologie (read about it here), I've gotten much better at resisting the snooze button. Although I don't wake up quite as early anymore, I still love the peace and quiet that each morning brings. My favorite part is waking up to an empty kitchen where I can french press my coffee and make eggs with french toast. Breakfast is definitely a motivating factor for me ;) After breakfast, I usually have quiet time before jumping right into my project for the day. I find that if I have a productive start, it carries on throughout the rest of my day.
I used to create resolutions like go to the gym five times a week or lose x-amount of lbs by a certain date but I've failed miserably each year. Instead, I decided to just be active and do what I love such as rock climbing, hiking, paddle boarding and yoga. One fun activity I want to do this year is to go explore all of the best hikes in Southern California (and then some!) If you're actually enjoying your workouts you can easily adopt it into your weekly routine and overall lifestyle.
Invest into people
One thing my pastor always says is "invest into your 9 to 15," which means be active in the lives of the closest 9 to 15 people in your life. Whether its your coworker, classmate, family or friend, having a community is so incredibly important. With work, life and everything in between, relationships can take the back seat and fall low in our priorities. I've been guilty of being "too busy" for people in the past and I realized how wrong that is. Make your investments into people rather than things.
Whether it's time, resources or finances, I always want to be generous with what I have. I'm so blessed to be surrounded by so many generous people who have poured into my life and they are the ones who taught me the importance of giving back. Although it's not natural for me to be self-less, I always want to be carrying a heart of generosity and be in the habit of giving. If I ever forget, my first name Aerin means "sharing with your neighbors" so it definitely keeps me in check ;)
The beginnings of a new year doesn't mean a completely new start but it's about building on top of what you already have. Whether it's in your career or personal life, I hope you leave feeling encouraged to building healthy habits of your own. If you're looking for more inspiration to kickstart your year, here are some of my favorite posts: Jumpstarting Your Dream Career with Chriselle, Open Letter to the New Year with the Every Girl, and The Every Girl Reading Challenge. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful start of 2016!