9 Habits to Get Your Year off to a Great Start

If there’s one thing you should know about us here at aSweatLife, it’s that we love to focus on our goals! Starting in the fresh new year of 2023 is the perfect time to get a plan together for the things we want to accomplish. Instead of focusing on resolutions of habits we want to break, we’re focusing on habits we’re building that spark joy in our lives. We’re taking stock of the year behind us and pulling out the best lessons learned. We’ll use these to determine which habits will help start our year off right! Below, you’ll find a glimpse of my year-end review and some tips to get your year started successfully. 

happy person in the new year

1. Make plans, but give yourself grace when you have to pivot.

There’s no one tougher on you than you! Trust me on this — I know firsthand how hard it can be to pivot plans, especially big ones. I spent the entire first half of 2022 planning for my family’s relocation from Chicago to Miami. By the end of June, I realized all my planning was in vain because the move wasn’t happening. I was tough on myself, journeying through all the stages of grief. As I reflected on everything that happened, I realized I should’ve given myself more grace. I was mourning the loss of a plan that didn’t come to fruition — but, what if instead, I framed my mindset in advance to have the understanding that goals can and will change? Had I done that,  I don’t think I would’ve taken the change in plans as hard.

2. Reward yourself for every accomplishment, especially the little things.

When just making it through the day is a challenge, it’s important to celebrate the small wins! One thing I leaned into this year was doing something for myself every day. Many days that small something was drawing a bath with bath salts, a face mask, a candle, and a glass of wine. The reward doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant but it should make you feel special and appreciated.

3. Start with small changes because they can lead to big growth.

One tactic for accomplishing your big goals is to break them down into smaller goals or tasks. This has been scientifically proven as an effective method. If you precisely target the behavior you’re trying to implement, you can create little goals that are easier to achieve. As a result, accomplishing these mini-goals delivers immediate benefits and helps you feel successful. 

4. Don’t give up, even when that feels like the easier thing to do.

This advice can be challenging to receive, especially in times of hardship. I want to gently acknowledge that everyone’s mental health journey is unique to them. Humans are a complex mixture of their biological and genetic makeup along with their exposures and the experiences they’ve faced. I’ve absolutely had my share of bad days in 2022. From the loss of a family member, getting COVID, the loss of my job, and a period of being displaced from my home — I’ve definitely seen better days. Despite the trials and tribulations I’ve faced, I have no intentions of giving up. My goal is to maintain a positive outlook, and I encourage anyone who finds themselves feeling like they want to give up to reach out to others for help and support.

5. Recognize your stressors and find stress solutions.

Life is much easier to navigate when you can accurately identify some of your stressors. Since stress is both a physical and emotional response to a situation, the toll it takes can be very serious. Reducing stress is a key part of wellness. Situations can and will arise but knowing how best to handle these is important. 

6. Understand that practice makes perfect and the beginning is the only place to start.

Even the most gifted and talented people see growth in their craft the more they do it. Fashion, makeup, managing others, and writing are all things I look back on and see clear development. Taking fashion risks and stepping outside the box is something I’ve done since high school. As the years have gone by, I’ve only gotten bolder and more confident with my fashion choices. With makeup, we’ve all had to make some of the classic mistakes along the way — but that’s the best way to learn. From foundation that doesn’t match to forgetting to blend into my neck, I’ve done nearly every beginner blunder and used those experiences to eventually get it right. My management style has transformed so much from my first managerial position at age 21. I learned many lessons along the way from how to appreciate my employees, to appropriate behavior and perceptions, to earning respect. When it comes to writing, the more I do it, the easier it is. I saw popularity in some of my early pieces and I’ve been chasing that success and will continue to write for years to come.

7. Lean into being your authentic, genuine self.

You’re the best “you” the world has to offer! With that basic understanding, you can focus on becoming the best version of yourself. Doing things that spark joy and make you happy will help you build a fulfilling life. It’s challenging to refrain from comparing yourself to others and other people’s lives. Everyone’s situation is unique to them. When it comes to social media, it’s important to realize the public face that many people portray isn’t an accurate depiction of what’s actually going on in their lives. It’s the highlight reel of the best, brightest moments. You should never compare your darkest day to someone’s brightest day.

8. Ask for the things you want and need.

If you don’t ask the question, the answer will always be “no.” For most of my involvement with aSweatLife, I asked if there was more I could do. Over the years, my role and contributions have continued to grow and change and I look forward to seeing where 2023 takes me! This also applies to asking for help. When you’re ready to tackle some of your big goals for the year, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out assistance to help you accomplish them.

9. It takes on average 66 days to successfully build and maintain a habit — make today day one.

Staying consistent and committed to the new habit is the key to success. When you start any new habit, think about how it’ll make you feel to reach your goal. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you make along the way. Recognize that no one is perfect. 

I look forward to making 2023 the best year yet, and I hope the habits above help make it your best year too!

At Home Live

About Kensli Diggs

Kensli Diggs is a mom of 2, raised on the southside of Chicago. She has an MBA in Hospitality with years of experience in the industry from working in casinos, to operations in hospitality interior design, to events. Some of her favorite things include cold pressed juice, journaling, and completely changing up her look every month or so. Yoga is her preferred form of fitness and she’s recently incorporated sound baths into her meditation practice. She is most passionate about reducing food waste, building friendships, and learning new things. When she’s not working out or mom-ing, you can find her listening to a good audiobook.

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