At the start of 2020, you likely set some goals for yourself (even if you didn’t call them resolutions — which is a smart strategy, since resolutions tend to fail). It’s understandable that in a tumultuous year, you may have let go of some healthy habits you committed to. The good news? Whether you struggled to find motivation during the coronavirus lockdown or had trouble focusing amidst all the distractions, it’s not too late to get back on track. In fact, starting small is the best way to make progress.
We asked our Thrive community to share with us the habits they’re committing to right now, no matter how small. Which of these will you take on?
Setting boundaries with work
“Working from home often leads to blurry lines between work and home life. I’m committing to not checking my email after dinner or during the weekends. Time away from work helps to keep me fresh and inspired, so I’m holding myself accountable to protect my personal time and space.”
—Blair Kaplan Venables, entrepreneur and marketing professional, Pemberton, BC, Canada
Starting the day with a dance party
“Over the past few months, I’ve been lacking motivation to prioritize movement. A friend of mine is encouraging me to dance every morning, and I’m finding that it really works for me! I put on a great song and just jump about like a loon for a few minutes. It helps set me up for the day, gives me good vibrations, and is definitely a healthy habit I’m sticking to. I probably look silly doing it, but waking your body up with movement can really shake things up and get you going in the right direction.”
—Ellie Weehuizen, freelance communications consultant, Brighton, UK
Making healthy eating swaps
“Over the past few years, I’ve been juggling the roles of a mother, wife, and a dental surgeon. Somewhere along the way, healthy cooking and mindful eating took a backseat. Thanks to the current lockdown, I have all the time in the world to revive the inner chef within me. I also have the joyful company of my eight-year-old son. While he decides which dish we should make, I browse through the recipes that contain healthy ingredients and even gently customize them to meet our health goals. This habit has helped us bond as a family, explore new dishes, and stay healthy.”
—Dr. Febin Mary George, dentist and researcher, Karnataka, India
Reading the Sunday paper
“I have recommitted to reading the Sunday New York Times every week — and not the digital version. I have my Sunday mornings blocked off to sit with the paper and a black coffee. I walk out to the street in pajamas and flip flops to grab the paper, sort the sections, and scan through for different human interest stories. I snap photos of articles that remind me of friends and then send a ‘thought of you’ text with the image. It’s a high-touch, low-tech, healthy habit that keeps my mind and friendships stimulated.”
—Donna Peters, career coach, faculty, podcast host, Atlanta, GA
“One thing I have committed to doing every day throughout COVID-19 is journaling. This has become a non-negotiable for me. Every morning, I sit down at my desk and write out what I am feeling, what happened the day before, or simply whatever is on my mind at that moment. It has helped me stay connected with my emotions and document this historic time in our lives. After getting everything down on paper, I feel that I can step into my workday with more clarity.”
—Melinda Jackson, publicist, Raleigh, NC
“One healthy habit I have committed to is to drink more water! Throughout lockdown, I’ve been exercising indoors, but the workouts aren’t as intense as the ones I was doing beforehand. I found that having less movement in my day made me less inclined to drink water. Now, I’m committing to making deliberate attempts to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day. My goal is that staying hydrated becomes a lifestyle instead of a routine.”
—Theresa R. Fianko, marketing communications, Dubai, UAE
Trying “Shabbat weekends”
“I’m a single mom of an eight-year old, and while working from home, I found that with work calls and extra commitments, it was becoming more difficult to spend quality time with my daughter, playing dolls and drawing together. I’ve now committed to ‘Shabbat weekends’ in our house. This means in practice (non-religious practice I might add, although it does soothe and invigorate the soul), every weekend we play or do fun and relaxing stuff together, without work. It forces me to get really organized, prioritize more, and spend uninterrupted time with my daughter.”
—Lisa Quattlebaum, leadership consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Having a consistent morning routine
“I’m committing to my morning trifecta: meditation, yoga, and gratitude. I’ve been practicing yoga every day for the past five years and when I added meditation and gratitude to the mix, I decided to piggyback those new habits on top of my existing one! It’s a win-win-win every morning, and I’m committed to sticking to the habit.”
—Shelly Nyqvist, travel coach, Helsinki
“I recommitted to a daily meditation practice when my brother was admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 mid-March. My daily practice kept my emotions level as I was receiving two daily updates from my family in Europe letting me know how he was doing. Meditating also allowed me to send out a continuous wave of healing energy to my brother aiding him in his fight against the virus. After fighting hard for six weeks, my brother’s lungs simply could not breathe on their own. To help with my personal loss and the world’s grief, I committed to a daily yoga practice. Peace within inspires peace outside.”
—D.K. parent education, Chicago, IL
Taking well-being PTO days
“Earlier this year, I decided to try a different approach to self-care based on my inner rhythm of productivity and renewal. I abandoned the concept of hyper-fragmented weekly goals and shifted to planning on a monthly basis. To make time to recharge, I blocked two days a month on my calendar for personal well-being. I now have scheduled time when I get to honor my body and health. I don’t stress anymore about trying to squeeze personal well-being needs in between meetings and other commitments. Instead, I look forward to those well-being days and the joy they provide.”
—Svetlana Dimovski Ph.D., executive coach, Arlington, VA
What healthy habit are you committing to right now? Share it with us in the comments!
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