How's that saying go again, "new year, new me?" Although motivating, life doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes, we set our expectations too high or forget to check back in with our goals. And that's totally OK. What matters most is our desire to grow, no matter how small the steps are. And springtime is a great time to make some minor adjustments.
So check back in and be honest, yet gentle, with yourself. If you need a little inspiration, here are a few things we're focusing on this spring:
Detox your home
Enforce a "no shoes inside" policy
You don't want to drag your dirty foot cages into the place you spend 80% of your time in, right? But, it's not always that's easy... lace-up boots, I'm looking at you. Well, the science is in, folks, and it doesn't look pretty. Think E Coli and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, yuck!
Fill your home with plants that improve air quality
Admit it, you've been eyeing those boho plant hangers, and now you have an excuse for them! Plants boost mood, help lower stress, and remove harmful impurities from the air. If you're new to the plant parent life, a few easy-to-care-for options include the Snake Plant, Corn Plant, and English Ivy. Pet-owners, beware: Look for air-purifying plants safe for pets before bringing home your new plant baby!
Freshen your space by opening windows and shades
Believe it or not, indoor air pollution is often worse than outdoor air pollution. Getting in the habit of opening your windows more often may boost your mood and improve the air quality inside your home by pushing out air pollutants. And who doesn't want to listen to that lovely Cardinal duet in the morning?
Declutter your mind
Focus on the present
Mindfulness is a trending topic nowadays, but it's actually a practice that originated around 2500 years. But hey, we get it. Life can be busy between work, that 5 PM yoga class, and cooking dinner for the family. But there are large bodies of research out on the benefits of mindfulness, impacting aging, immune function, mental clarity, and more. So breathe in, breathe out, and take solace in the present.
Try writing in a daily journal
Journaling is a great way to build a stronger connection with yourself. When pen hits paper, new insights can emerge, helping you understand a part of yourself differently. If you're new to journaling, an easy way to get started is with gratitude. Try this: Every morning, write down three things you're grateful for. Before bed, repeat the journal prompt again. Did a stranger smile at you on the street? Did your dog jump on the couch to cuddle after a long day? You may be surprised by how much the little things in life become the big things.
Practice being more decisive
Decisiveness is a skill that can be cultivated with practice. If overanalyzing, procrastinating, and relying on others to make a decision sound all too familiar, then maybe it's time to consider putting in some self-work. Consider starting with small decisions like choosing what's for dinner. Over time and with repetition, you'll realize how much more energy and productivity you've acquired by making consistent and intentional decisions.
Spring clean your diet
Cook meals at home as opposed to eating out
If you live in a vibrant city, the temptation to eat out is REAL. But it doesn't have to be once you see how much extra money is in your bank account at the end of the month. Plus, there are often a lot of hidden fillers, saturated fat, and sodium in restaurant food that can be avoided if we cook at home and know what we're putting in our bodies. We know how good that local Neapolitan pizza tastes, but maybe try skipping it this month. Life is about balance, after all.
Eat more in-season fruits and vegetables
You know the saying, "keep your friends close, and your farmers market closer." No, just us? Well, seasonal produce is not only more nutritious for us, but it's also cheaper, better for the planet, and helps maintain a more comprehensive array of vitamins in our diet. So on your next grocery trip this April, add artichokes, spinach, beets, and pears to the list!
Replace junk food with healthier alternatives
Your favorite ruffled potato chips are salty, crunchy, and loaded with sodium and fat. A simple swap with an equal crunch is a bell pepper with your favorite hummus. Smart hack: keep a fresh jar of cut veggies in your fridge so that it's easy to grab and go. Convenience level, achieved.
As you move into a new season of growth, focusing on your home, mind, and body can go a long way. And remember, the small steps matter and, when done consistently, are the catalyst to an improved way of living. Happy spring cleaning, friends!