Today I’m sharing a few ideas for kickstarting the New Year.
I shared something like this on my newsletter last January (sign up here if you haven’t already!) and thought it would be fun to expand it into a blog post this year.
Say what you will about New Year’s resolutions being fleeting, but I, for one, have been craving a cold hard RESET. I love a “start afresh” moment and the buzz that comes with turning over a new leaf. I’ve almost come to romanticize January, as silly as that may seem.
Andrew Huberman said it best (of course he did) with this tweet the other day:
Obviously, we don’t need to wait for the new year to roll around to make changes. We can (and should!) jumpstart a healthy habit anytime we want! But I think there’s something invigorating about using the new calendar year as a clean slate.
(By the way, the Huberman Lab Podcast is an excellent resource. Dr. Huberman is a neuroscientist at Stanford and covers health, science, and psychology topics. I have learned SO much from him this last year.)
In terms of my own personal goals: my big mission this year is to start waking up early. I love the idea of waking up before the girls to get my life in order and write in silence. Currently, we’re still getting over being sick, so I am punting the project to next week. But I am absolutely DESPERATE for tips, so if you have them please don’t be shy! I am the most insufferable non-morning person I know, so to say this is going to be an uphill battle is an understatement.
A few other goals: read 50 books, run more, get a pull up (this is a carryover goal from last year that I refuse to give up on, lol). More writing, less scrolling. More playing, less complaining. And more beach walks. Plan an anniversary getaway. Also, I’m giving up ice cream for the year (I don’t want to talk about it) (Gelato in Italy doesn’t count).
At the end of the day, the goal itself isn’t as important as the steps you’re taking to achieve that goal. Those systems that you implement into your daily routine are what change you. I’ve said it before: tiny changes add up.
This list isn’t all encompassing, so please don’t take me too seriously (I hope you never do!). I just thought it would be fun to share a few ideas to help kickstart a healthy (or healthier) lifestyle.
I can’t think of a better way to kick off a new year than by reading Atomic Habits. James Clear walks through a myriad of tactics for forming good habits in a practical, concise way.
One of the biggest questions that Clear poses in the book that always stuck with me is this:
How can I create an environment that will naturally bring about my desired change?
Keeping this question top of mind has helped me design a daily routine that pushes me towards the type of person I want to be.
I found this book enormously helpful and recommend it to anyone looking to make a change. I may reread it myself this year.
This bullet point is, admittedly, new to me. I’ve never been the type to stick with a planner–not even in college which, come to think of it, explains A LOT. Every year I buy a planner and use it for 3 or 4 weeks at a time before trashing it completely in July. Last year, though, I stuck with my little Moleskine planner for most of the year. I really liked having a visual of everything down on paper (Type A’s everywhere are rolling their eyes, I know).
This year, I wanted something more comprehensive to help me organize blog content as well as my personal and family life. I decided to take the plunge and invest in a customizable spiral planner from Golden Coil. I chose a layout that has a weekly schedule on one side and a to-do list, habit tracker, meal planner on the other. There’s even a spot for priorities and gratitude which I, of course, love. I took great pains to color code it and set everything up in such a way that will, I hope, keep me on track.
At the risk of sounding dramatic, I don’t think I could have survived early motherhood without the Peloton app. The Peloton app provides thousands of on-demand workout classes in nearly every fitness discipline: strength training, yoga, stretching, cardio, barre, HIIT, boxing, and, obviously, cycling. The instructors are AMAZING and the workouts are HARD.
I love that I can stack the classes in line with what my body needs that day OR just press start on a 20 minute ride and get a major sweat in a short amount of time. There are tons of workouts that don’t require equipment, so all you need is your phone and a tiny bit of space.
To take a nod from Atomic Habits, using the Peloton app for my workouts has automated my fitness routine. It’s taken all of the guesswork out of it. I simply choose a class, press start, and just follow the instructor. It’s my way of serving my body each day, taking time for myself, even if it’s just 15 minutes.
If you’re on the fence about Peloton, just try it for a month. It’s hard not to feel motivated once you start because the app does such a great job of tracking your progress and celebrating your milestones.
We did an overhaul of our supplement situation last summer and decided to start taking the AG1 powder from Athletic Greens. I did a bunch of research on various greens powders before finally taking the plunge with AG1 (they are pricey, so I was hesitant for a long time). In the end it was their ingredients page that sold me. This page gives a breakdown of all of the vitamins, minerals, whole food nutrients, probiotics, and adaptogens used in the powder and WHY each ingredient is good for our bodies.
It’s been about six months, and so far, we’ve been super happy with it. I wouldn’t say it’s foolproof, per se; nothing seems to be a match for Year One of Preschool Germs. But outside of the handful of times we’ve been sick, I feel like an olympian, lol (less bloating, more energy, etc).
I wholeheartedly believe this. But I also think investing in your health can be a way to motivate yourself to rise to the occasion? I view supplementation as a bonus, a complement to a nutrient-dense diet and healthy lifestyle.
If you’re interested in trying AG1, use this link to get a free bottle of D3/K2 drops and 5 travel packs with your first shipment. I love this deal because D3/K3 are one of the only ingredients not in the greens powder, so we just mix the drops right into our greens when we take them each morning.
Outside of the AG1 powder, we take fish oil, BCAA’s, electrolytes on sauna or sweaty workout days, and magnesium powder with our tea at night (I LOVE this one because it has a few types of magnesium and L-theanine in it). Obviously, I’M NOT A DOCTOR–these are just a few things that work for us. Of course, do your own research!!
Another tip I learned from Atomic Habits: if you want to form a new habit, take the friction out.
In this instance, if you want to start eating cleaner, more nutrient-dense food, stock your fridge with ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare foods that will take the “friction” out of mealtime (“friction” being deciding what to eat, gathering ingredients, making the food). The idea here is to make it as easy as possible to nourish your body with the foods you want to be eating.
If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know I am vigilant about drinking a green smoothie every day. I love to prep a few weeks’ worth of ingredients at a time to store in the freezer in mason jars. So each day, I’ll dump the contents into a blender with ice and water and almond milk and blend it up. Prepping smoothies is my way of taking the friction out of the healthy green smoothie habit. (Here’s an old blog post about how I prep).
I use this grass fed beef chocolate protein powder from Be Well by Kelly. It’s super clean, filling, and tastes amazing. I wrote up a full review of it here, but you can use my code RUTH for $5 off your order.
When it comes to healthy meals, I’m looking forward to working my way through this list from Half Baked Harvest.
At the beginning of each year, I choose an amount of books I want to read that year and then break it down by month. This gives me an idea of what kind of pace I’ll need to keep in order to reach my goals. It’s not really about the number of books, but I think it takes a bit of discipline to develop a love of reading.
The best way to get into reading is to read great books–groundbreaking, I know. I always keep a running TBR (“to be read”) list so that I never run out of things to read.
It’s a pre-weekend pick me up: just a little note with links to the latest blog posts, what I’m reading lately, and products I’m obsessed with. Think of it as a friend dropping off a surprise latte in the morning--you know?