...Now that we are in the third month of the year, how are you really doing with your wellness goals for 2023? Grab a cup of café con leche (coffee with milk), get comfortable, and set aside 10 minutes to pause, read, and learn how to put your new habits into practice in living a healthier lifestyle this year.
When I moved to the big city of Houston nine years ago, I learned the most important lesson: your environment can really impact your physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Before I moved from the east coast, I had a long-going routine when it came to taking care of myself. It was a luxury and a privilege to have this, so when these areas of my life were challenged in many ways, I truly was not prepared to make the changes I needed to adapt. Such is life, right? We go through so many different transitions, seasons, and changes in a year that sometimes we can lose sight of our healthy habits. The good news is that His goodness and mercies follow us all the days of our lives (Psalm 23:6)! So, don’t give up quickly friend… today is a new day. Take control of where you can, and I hope these three suggestions below can guide and encourage you to take the next right steps in creating a supportive space and carving time for your wellness goals this year!
CLEAR THE CLUTTER
One of the biggest observations I have personally made is that clutter = chaos, and chaos can lead you to not making the best choices we intend to make. A cluttered closet, pantry, fridge, and even your planner can influence the choices you make for that day. You do not have to go from 0 to 100 in clearing the clutter but start small by choosing one area a day or week to focus on.
For your closet, it can be clearing the clutter of clothes you haven’t worn in a year or more, clothes that do not make you feel your best, categorizing them, or even creating a capsule wardrobe can help spice things up. Another fun tip could be organizing your workout clothes where they are easy to grab and go so it is motivating to see you have something to wear to move your body comfortably! As you head to to your pantry and fridge, organize it to where you can visually see the healthier options! Planning some time to restock or throw out anything you feel needs to go can set you up for success.
Lastly, your planner can probably use some decluttering. Are your days filling up to the brim because you are saying yes too much? In the next section I will talk more about carving out time, but here I want to emphasize that your time is valuable! One of my greatest convictions in this life is that I want to love and serve the people around me well. I have learned and am still learning that as you seek to be well, you love well. I have learned the hard way that loving from a place of burnout will not benefit me or my sphere of influence. This is not to say that we cannot be flexible, but instead taking the time to step back and see if you can clear some clutter in areas that are not serving you well anymore.
“Set time aside for the things that matter to you, are high priority, and stick to them” -- a phrase I like to use and write in my physical planner to remember daily. Some people prefer a calendar on their fridge, a sticky note that is visible, or reminders on their phone to remind them of what is valuable to them. Maybe you can dedicate specific days or times that you know you are committed to for certain life giving activities. A few weekly rhythms that I admire from close friends have been setting every Tuesday night aside for a weekly date night to invest in their marriage. Another couple I know uses Saturdays as their sabbath – a time to rest and recharge. They all do their best to not compromise these commitments and you truly do see the fruit from it all!
For my husband and I, we plan for our wellness goals with creating small healthy habits on a weekly basis due to our schedules – also with a three-month-old this season we sometimes plan and adjust on the daily basis, and that is where life just currently is. We do have other areas that are scheduled ahead, and we try our best to not compromise those because we know it is best for our family. Whatever season you may be in due to work, family, health, or life in general, there is grace! If you continue to make small changes by setting aside time, it can go a long way when it comes to building the healthier habits you are aspiring to develop.
For your home, first start by looking for a spot that will bring you joy to be in and that works practically for anyone else that lives in your household. It does not have to be a whole room; it can be as simple as the corner in your bedroom or living room. Once you find that space, start clearing it up, then add all the special touches to it that will encourage you to use the space for the wellness of your mind, body, and spirit. I personally like to add some plants, have affirmation cards that reflect scripture, and have all my workout gear nice and neat with no clutter in a room in our home. I do want to add on that your home does not have to be the space where you work out or read/journal.
Maybe the space that brings you joy is the outdoors, and you love running or walking on a favorite trail or sitting outside on a bench at the park. Creating space can also be your choice of a gym or fitness studio that you attend on certain days of the week. During college, my home was very limited, I shared a bedroom with a roommate, and for a while I would go to a coffee shop to read, study the bible, and journal. Again, not one space fits all practically, and you know what works best for you in the season of life that you are in.
Earlier, I mentioned that small habits can go a long way. Currently I am reading a book called “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I really love how in the very first chapter he says, “Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.” I could not agree more with this statement! There is nothing wrong with writing wellness goals for the year, month, or week. Goals are great, but if we do not make the adjustments or changes that we can make to set ourselves up for success it can be difficult to see these goals come into fruition. We can become frustrated with ourselves not knowing why we cannot walk out the healthy lifestyle we long for.
I am a firm believer that creating systems like making small changes daily in any of the three suggestions above can truly encourage us to seek wholeness for our well-being. I am far from perfect. Some weeks I have been able to accomplish what I hoped for in the week, and there have been many weeks where it is the complete opposite! However, instead of kicking rocks all day, I can pause, reflect, and observe these different areas and make the adjustments where I need to. Overall, my hope is that if you have been trying to start somewhere to get your wellness goals going and these three different components were an encouragement to you as it was to me. Every day is a new morning filled with God’s mercies to start over. He truly cares about your well-being! One of my favorite scriptures says:
“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together — spirit, soul, and body — and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable.
If he said it, he’ll do it,”
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
As I reflect on what is written, I pray that as you read this, that we all may grow in holiness and wholeness as we seek to better ourselves in spirit, soul, and body… not just for our benefit, but for the glory of God!
To learn more about wellness in mind, body and spirt -- head to https://liftandlovewell.co where Jenn shares more tips & encouragement through her platform.