Level Up! 10 Life-Changing Habits To Adopt In The New Year

January 10, 2019  |  
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New year,  new you? Yeah, it sounds good, but making major changes can be a bit intimidating. Here are a few simple but life-changing habits to help you kick off the new year and truly transform your life. Take it slow initially and in no time you’ll reap the benefits of integrating these practices into your routine.

Afro woman reading book

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Read

Pick up a book. Find something that interests you—something you can get lost in. The benefits of reading are endless. Not only is it relaxing, but it also stimulates the brain and can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Reading is also contagious. If you read, those around you are more likely to read as well.

Real African Woman Portrait on Picnic Party at Park

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Practice Gratitude

Gratitude goes beyond saying thank you to others. Gratitude is finding appreciation and contentment in the things you have and your circumstances. Reciting positive affirmations is a great way to practice gratitude and can help combat those nasty, negative thoughts that can seep in. For every negative thought that surfaces, try to counteract it with a positive one. This practice can enhance self-esteem and self-acceptance.

Waking up on the right side of the bed

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Wake Up Early

Getting ready goes beyond getting dressed. Give yourself time to prepare for the day. Early for you could be 5 a.m. or 7. Whether you have kids to get ready, you like to brew a cup of coffee or take your time doing your makeup, create a positive morning ritual and give yourself enough time time to complete it.

Portrait Of Smiling Beautiful Woman Holding Exercise Mat While Standing Against Curtain

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Exercise

It’s plain and simple: Exercise improves sleep quality and energy levels. It reduces the risk of disease and health complications. It can improve skin health and is directly linked to weight loss. It makes you happier and helps to combat depression and anxiety. Try walking around your building at lunch, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Start with 30 minutes of physical activity a day and track your improvements. The results alone will encourage you to do more.

Young woman looks confidently at the camera

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Schedule Quiet Time For Yourself

Quiet time is so important. You don’t have to call it meditation or consider it such, but that is what it is. Taking time alone to quiet your mind, silence thoughts as well as outside noise will reduce stress. Such tension is linked to inflammation in the body, which leads to disease. Meditation improves mood, mental strength, and focus. It improves the ability to deal with adversity and reduces the reliance on other unhealthy habits, like emotional eating or smoking.

Woman drinking tap water.

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Drink More Water

Skip the soda and juice. The body is more than 50 percent water, so hydration can definitely affect your productivity and brain function. Drinking water is just good for you, plain and simple. It boosts the immune system. It helps to maintain regular bowel movements and to flush out toxins. It promotes weight loss and weight management. It can also prevent and treat headaches.

Young woman inside home wearing sweater drinking from a mug

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Take Breaks From Social Media

Whoever said “comparison is the thief of joy” was right. Studies show that social media can be harmful to your mental health and lead to depression and increased anxiety. Experts recommend disconnecting every so often. It’s okay to log out, or turn off your notifications. A lot of phones now monitor your screen time, which can give you a good picture of how much time you’re spending on social media.

We hope everyone's hungry!

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Eat Well and More Often

The body needs fuel. You wonder why you’re so tired throughout the day but your first meal was at 2 p.m. What we get out is a direct result of what we put in, and that goes for everything, including our bodies. Low blood sugar, a result of not eating, can drastically affect our mood, energy and mental stamina. Eating sugary foods and unhealthy items throughout the day can also cause spikes in blood sugar, which lead to hard lows and fatigue. Stock up on granola bars, nuts, fruits, yogurt, items that have nutritional value, and they will help you to maintain optimal energy levels throughout the day.

Happy African American woman taking notes in a notebook.

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Write Stuff Down

There’s something beautiful about capturing a thought on paper. Making physical lists is also a great way to organize and prioritize things if diary style isn’t your thing. Are you a sticky note person? Do you keep notes in your phone? Many swear by bullet journals. If you already jot things down, try taking it up a notch. Buy a cute new notebook or agenda. Get more detailed. Writing your thoughts and feelings down however you see fit will relieve stress. Keeping a journal of some sort to look back on can also help you gauge your progress.

Three friends talking in the bus

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Listen More

Don’t speak over others and actively listen when someone is talking. Let people complete their thought before you answer. This shows respect and that you value what the other person is saying. Try pausing for five to 10 seconds before you speak to really formulate an appropriate response or statement. This especially comes in handy during heated conversations and will help you to become more self-aware.

You can train your thoughts. You can change your attitude. You can transform your life.

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