We all want to be our happiest, healthiest and best selves. But changing our lives for the better can sometimes seem like a massive task. That’s why it can be helpful to commit a month to getting your life back in alignment. A month of self-care and of giving our body and mind the attention they deserve. A month to dedicate to ourselves and our goals in life.
It’s just one month, but it has the potential to be a lot more. In fact, research suggests that it takes 21 days to form a good habit, making a month the perfect amount of time to start practicing strategies for long-lasting positive change. Here are a few tips on how you can usher in a new you with your best month ever:
1. Give yourself a re-boot
If you’re starting from a point of stress and burnout it’s going to be hard to try and transform your mindset. When we’re exhausted, we easily fall back on old habits and routines, even if we know they’ll make us feel worse in the long run.
That’s why the first step to having your best month ever is to give yourself a reboot. If you can take some time off at work, use it to kickstart your month by escaping your everyday routine and doing something that will replenish you.
Make plans for a getaway with your family or partner, take a trip to your favourite spot in nature, or if you can, consider going on a retreat. Yoga, meditation and other retreats have been shown to have long-term benefits on your health. Plus, they allow you to meet like-minded people that are there for the same reason as you are – self-growth. This creates an incredible shared energy that you can bring back home and apply to your everyday life.
2. Get the basics right
If we want to become our best selves, getting the basics right is essential. Simply by getting the right amount of sleep and exercising and eating well, you can reduce stress, improve your concentration and lift your energy levels. In other words, they’re the foundation for creating positive change in all areas of your life.
Yet while food, exercise and sleep may be the obvious pillars of good health, modern life can get in the way of getting these basics right. It’s important to create proactive strategies so you can make clean eating, exercising 30 minutes a day and getting eight hours of sleep an ingrained habit.
This may mean making a meal plan for your month, making a set time to routinely go for a walk or jog and turning your phone off before you go to bed. It may be difficult at first, but it will get easier once you begin to feel the benefits.
3. Feed your mind
With your body feeling rejuvenated, it’s time to reset your mind. With proven benefits for concentration, mental health and self-discipline, mindfulness has become the latest health buzzword. But what does it mean to integrate it into your daily life?
The truth is, we can engage in mindfulness anywhere and everywhere – it’s simply the exercise of becoming more aware of our surroundings and what is happening in the present moment. But to help it become a habit, try a month of actively setting aside time to practice it, either through meditation or during specific activities.
Mindful eating, for example, is a great way to integrate the practice into your daily life, as it engages all the senses. While eating and drinking, pay close attention to the smells, colours, flavours and temperatures in your meal. This not only trains our mind to be more conscious and aware, it can also be a powerful tool in developing good eating habits, thus helping us to achieve our clean eating goals along the way!
4. Practice what makes you happy
So far, I’ve suggested some essential, ubiquitous tools to achieve healthy living and wellbeing. But positive change also means finding your unique source of happiness and growth. Use your month to evaluate what makes you truly happy and try to line these observations up with actions.
This might sound obvious, but it’s a fact that our aspirations in life aren’t always reflected in our actions. We might know that spending more time with family or engaging in our favourite hobby makes us most happy, for example, but instead of actually doing these things, we spend our leisure time watching TV or checking social media.
Executive director of Stanford’s design program, Bill Burnett, argues that one of the key factors to living a meaningful life is connecting the dots between who you are, what you believe and what you do. Consider what each of these points mean to you and use your ‘best ever’ month to create congruence between your values and your actions.
5. Don’t forget that life’s all about balance
Ever heard the phrase ‘everything in moderation’? A healthy, happy lifestyle is all about balance. I don’t just want you to have the best month ever, I want you to have the best life ever. This means creating a lifestyle that is sustainable. So, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, remember to reach out if you need guidance or support and let’s see where a single month can take you.
Stay well and here's to a Joyous June!
x SAM x