I want 2019 to be a year of cultivating healthy habits for myself. Especially since 2019 is bound to be a shaky year for me (I’m graduating in May and need a full-time job!), the more consistent I can make these habits, the better off I believe I’ll be.
7 Habits to Cultivate in 2019
- Write daily for at least fifteen minutes
- Read for thirty minutes, three times a week
- Meditate every day
- Cut down on drinking to once every other week, and no more than three drinks in one night
- Limit spending to essentials
- Cook seven meals a week
- Stay offline for two hours a day
1. Write daily for at least fifteen minutes.
If y’all are here, you know I write. I’ve struggled a lot with keeping a consistent writing schedule, mostly because life as a college student tends to have pretty irregular schedules. I find that 15 minutes of focused writing is ideal for me: it’s not enough time to get distracted, and it’s not too little time that the amount I write isn’t significant.
After a month or two or three or four, I’d like to up my minutes to fifteen minutes in the morning, and fifteen minutes in the evening. But little steps, first.
2. Read for thirty minutes, three times a week.
I love reading! Why don’t I do it more!! I’m trying to read twelve books this year, and thanks to Goodreads, I’ll be able to keep track (this isn’t sponsored by Goodreads; I just love Goodreads and would love for you to join me on there).
3. Meditate every day.
I downloaded Headspace, an app that guides you through meditations. I’ve have used it a bit since downloading it, and thanks to the app’s student discount, a subscription only cost $10 for the year. I think it’s a wonderful trial to see how helpful it is for me, and I love it so far. They have great packs focused on different topics, like creativity, productivity, stress management, etc. I’m excited to try them all out.
I’m still fiddling around to see what time of day is best for me, and I’ve currently decided that right before bed is not a good time (I always fall asleep). Next I’ll try mornings after my coffee to see how that is.
As someone who has a cluttered mind–whether it’s by stress-induced panic thoughts or constantly brainstorming for my writing–meditating is really challenging. I think I’m getting better at it, though, and it doesn’t feel as unnatural.
4. Cut down on drinking to once every other week, and no more than three drinks in one night.
Ever since I turned 21, I’ve been drinking a lot. When I say “cut down drinking,” I don’t mean a glass of wine with dinner can only happen once every other week. I mean the drinking you do before going out, or partying, or drinking to be belligerent. I’ve had some nasty hangovers and nasty mistakes that were made when drinking, and my mental health suffers even days following a night of partying. I’ve since concluded that I don’t like who I am when I am drunk, and I don’t like how I feel the next day.
There will obviously be exceptions–mostly when I’m going to Barcelona during Spring break–but I think three drinks is enough for me to feel relaxed without being drunk.
5. Limit spending to essentials.
Pretty straightforward here. I spent a lot of money in 2018, some of which was justified, most of which was not. I don’t want to waste money like that anymore. Essentials = toilet paper, shampoo, etc. Stuff that will likely run out every so often and I’ll need to restock.
Specifically, I’m going to try my best to go a year without buying new clothes (the exception: underwear and socks). Hold me accountable!
6. Cook seven meals a week.
I eat regularly when I cook meals. I don’t eat regularly when I don’t cook meals. I think seven meals a week–whether that’s one meal a day or two meals every other day–is doable for me.
7. Stay offline for two hours a day.
First thought: That’s a long time?
Second thought: Oh, my God, that is not a long time; I just spend a long time plugged in.
Airplane mode is gonna be my best friend. I want to devote one hour in the morning offline, and one hour before bed offline. I feel like I’m constantly inundated with information and notifications that it’s nice to…not have that.
And those are my 2019 habits. I’m not the best at taking care of myself, but these are doable and will help me be more mindful of how I’m doing, at least in the long run. What are habits you want to nurture in 2019? Feel free to share ’em in the comments; I’d love to read them.