At the beginning of 2018, I started the year in a low place. In reality, I had been feeling pretty down throughout all of 2017 for a number of reasons and realized that to start the year off on a better footing I had to make some changes. While they seemed small at the time, in reality, they have actually completely changed my life so far in 2018 and have made me so much happier on a daily basis. So in the hopes that these small changes might help your life too, I thought it would be worthwhile to share after I’ve been living with these life-changing alterations for almost half of the year now and I can tell you definitively, I’m 100 times happier today than I was on January 1st.
Stop saying yes.
This was my main goal this year and whoa has it made a difference. I’ve always been a “yes” person, often to the detriment of myself. The past few years I’ve taken on way too much, adding on unnecessary stresses to my life and I came to the realization that my life had become about quantity and not quality. This year, I started to say No to those things that I really didn’t have time for, no to the things I really didn’t like or care about and no to things that I knew would stress me out. It’s ok to not say yes to everything and that was a really hard lesson for me to learn.
I’m noticing just 5 months in from making a conscious effort to do this, I’m a million times happier. And even when I’m busy (which I still am) I actually enjoy what I’m doing and relish in the work that’s in front of me instead of doing stuff I hate and it’s made all the difference in the world.
Know when you can help and when you can’t, and need to walk away.
I had a family situation last year that I thought I could help with and in the end, I realized that I just couldn’t offer what was really needed. While I can offer support, at the end of the day we all make our own choices and lead our own journeys. Learning when you can actually help and add value to a situation versus when you really just can’t make any difference, is a valuable lesson. Learning to walk away when you can’t fix something is often a really hard and painful lesson, but sometimes, walking away is the healthiest thing you can actually do.
Be kind above all else.
I realized late last year when I was in a really sad situation how many people I didn’t know went out of their way to just be kind to me. When people are just genuinely kind to each other, it’s incredible how much tiny acts of kindness help when you really need it. I made it my resolution from then on to just be kind, above all else. Kindness truly changes the way you see people and experience things in life and if we could all just be a little kinder to everyone we encounter, the world would be a happier place.
Eat healthier for my body.
I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater, but this year I’ve really been focusing on eating for my specific needs and health. Genetically, I have really high levels of inflammation in my body (like off the charts high) so this year I have focused on eating more anti-inflammatory foods and foods that will help with that specific issue. I wouldn’t say I’ve deprived myself at all, but I have really taken a hard look at what I eat and what foods make me feel great and lower my inflammation levels and which foods do the opposite. After a few months of really making an effort, I have noticed my inflammation levels begin to go down which is so encouraging and I’ve lost some weight in the process even though I wasn’t trying to. I definitely don’t diet (I love food) and when we travel, I’m not worried so much about this but when I’m at home and have been able to really focus on it, I have and it’s made a huge difference. It doesn’t take much to really just think about what’s good for your specific eating needs and try to work more of that into your life – I promise, it will be worth it!