It's a new year, which means many of us are thinking about ways we can live better in the 12 months ahead. But where do you start? In a world full of fad diets, busy schedules and concerns about the footprint we're leaving on the planet, it's enough to leave any of us feeling deflated before we've even begun the year!
Well, take a deep breath and relax. We've made it simple for you this year by breaking down 19 top tips to live a better life in 2019 (and beyond). Nothing unrealistic or unattainable, just easy methods to work into your everyday life to live better. From drinking more water to shopping sustainably, we've got the new you for the new year sorted. You're welcome.
1. Drink more water
We all know we need to drink lots of water to live better, but how many of us keep this routine up all year round? Most people are dehydrated the majority of the time, so don’t be one of them. Aim for at least eight glasses a day (more when working out).
Even if it’s just for a couple of minutes a day. Whether you’re on the train heading home or in a park on your lunch break, meditating will help clear your mind and stay focused on whatever tasks fill your day. Not a fan of meditation? Discover five alternatives to find peace in your day.
3. Exercise each morning
How many of us wake feeling foggy and reach for the nearest flat white? A short blast of exercise each morning will wake you up faster than any double shot could and leave you feeling energised for the day ahead, sans the 3pm crash. Check out our top five yoga poses for morning motivation.
4. Eat more fruit and veg
Another tip as old as the sun, but one too many of us forget to do enough of. Make sure the portions on your plate are veg heavy and eat those first. Otherwise, you’ll end up filling up on carbs or protein. Be honest, we’ve all done it.
5. Spend less time on social media
We’re all suckers for those likes and double taps (ahhh, social validation). But spending too much time in the weird and wonderful world of social media can leave us feeling insecure and burnt out. Make sure you’re having just as much fun in the real world as you are the virtual world.
6. Make more effort to stay in touch
When you are spending time on social media, make sure to use it wisely. Reach out to friends and family members you haven’t spoken to in a while. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy update, even just a few sentences now and then will be enough for your loved ones to be kept in the loop and to help you live better.
7. Drink less alcohol
Probably the best time to attempt this… when you’ve overindulged from the silly season. But instead of detoxing a couple of weeks and getting back into old habits, try drinking less alcohol across the year and notice how much better you’ll feel. Especially when you realise all the stuff you can be doing instead of nursing a nasty hangover.
8. Think before responding
We’ve all made that mistake. Received an email that’s riled us up the wrong way and responded without thinking, only to regret it seconds later. Try thinking before replying to emails and texts this year. Perhaps take a walk around the block first — you’ll be surprised how different you’ll feel when you revisit the message.
9. Listen as well as talk
Whether in a personal or professional environment, it’s always good to remember to listen as well as talk. Communication is a two-way thing, so make an effort to be the ears more often than the mouth this year.
10. Make time to get fresh air
Even if it’s a quick walk around the park on your lunch break, live a better life this year by taking the time to get fresh air each day. Not only will it encourage you to get more exercise, but it helps you clear your head and have a break from the screen. It’s also a chance to top up your Vitamin D intake (just don’t forget to slip, slop, slap).
11. Leave your comfort zone
The whole ‘do-something-every-day-that-scares-you’ thing might be a bit extreme, but it’s definitely worth leaving our comfort zones more often than we do to live better. Never been to a yoga class? What are you waiting for? Always wanted to learn French? Well, it won’t learn itself.
12. Travel more
Granted, this one’s time and money permitted. But let’s face it, we can always make more money — we can’t make more time. Make a list of all the places you want to travel to and at least tick off one or two this year. Even if you don’t want to use up your annual leave, make the most of public holidays with domestic getaways!
13. Keep learning
Kenneth H. Blanchard said it best: “When you stop learning you stop growing.” Keep growing! Start a new job or a part-time course to expand your horizons and knowledge this year. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Rubbish! You can always learn more if you take the time and put the effort in. Try it — you might surprise yourself.
14. Make more time for family
We all know how hectic life gets. Between deadlines and meetings to cooking and cleaning, there never seems to be enough time in the day — let alone time to catch up with family. Well, make 2019 the year you make the time. You’ll thank yourself for it.
15. Choose sustainable clothing
Are you someone that thinks about the way your clothing is made? If not, it’s time to start. Opt for clothing that’s made in a way that’s as good for the planet as it is your wardrobe. At Boody, our everyday essentials are made from organically-grown bamboo in the most sustainable way possible.
16. Write a to-do list the night before
How many of us get overwhelmed by how much we need to do in a day before we even start doing it? Take the time to write your to-do list the night before, so you can simply focus on working through it the next morning. There’s nothing more satisfying than ticking off a to-do list (or maybe we just need to get out more).
17. Get less screen time
Many of us struggle with getting enough sleep at night, and it’s not all down to caffeine. Too much screen time can keep us awake longer, especially just before bed. Try cutting down your screen time as you get closer to bedtime, ideally not looking at your phone at all at least an hour before you go to sleep. And we all know getting enough sleep is one of the top tips to live better.
18. Don’t forget to read
So, if you’re not checking your Insta feed or watching Netflix right before bed, what are you going to do? Well, remember those objects made up of paper pages and lots of words? Oh yes, books! They’re great to read just before going to sleep. They’re actually pretty fun too.
19. Laugh more
We get so caught up in all the things we should be doing more and less of each day, that it could be easy to forget to have fun. But what sort of life would that be? Live better this year and beyond by taking the time to laugh more. We promise you won’t regret it.