“Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.” -Unknown
By Abby Bly
Follow Me on Instagram: abby_bly
Starting Your Journey
I never used to be a fan of New Years- some due to post Christmas depression, and some because New Years resolutions always seemed silly to me. Why only set goals one time a year? But the truth is, any excuse to seek growth and set new goals is good one, and what better time than the start of a new year? My only suggestion is to continue goal setting and holding yourself accountable all year long, not just on January 1st!
Following your dreams and achieving your daily goals is certainly not a one-size fits all endeavor, but hopefully some of my personal goals as well as materials that have helped me in my personal growth over the last year can help you, too.
It is important to remember that each of us are in our own stage when it comes to personal development. Whether you’re just starting out or have been on your journey for a few months or even years, there’s still so much learning and growing ahead!
Here’s how to make 2019 your best year ever:
1. Reaching Your Health/Fitness Goals
Striving to become more healthy and fit has to be one of the most sought after New Years resolutions, and with good reason! Of course we all want to look better and feel more comfortable in our bodies, but what’s even more important is that we feel good inside and take care of our health. This is your one and only body, and wanting to take better care of it is a great way to kick off the new year!
Pictured left is me in 2015, looking as bloated and unhealthy as I’ve ever been. Four years later, pictured right, I’m heading into 2019 in my healthiest body to date. Here are some of my tips and inspirations to reaching your fitness goals in 2019:
My favorite fitness bloggers:
Tammy Hembrow: I discovered Tammy during my freshman year of college, and I can’t even begin to explain how much her page has inspired me! Seeing her photos and videos pushed me to start my journey, and still keeps me motivated today! Plus- her kids are super cute!
She has a great fitness app and posts workouts on her YouTube channel as well. Tammy’s Instagram: @tammyhembrow
Dani Munoz: If you’re looking for an affordable fitness/nutrition guide that will show real results, Dani has several guides for booty building, nutrition, and whole body workouts at just $15! I’ve been following her Summer Body Guide for about 4 months now, and just purchased the Lower Body Guide Vol. 1. You can purchase her guides at: Danimunozfit Guides
Dani’s Instagram: @danimunozfit
I discovered @jujuworks a few months ago, and I love watching her “save for later” instagram tutorials. If you’re looking for daily fitness inspiration with some workout videos in the mix, I would definitely recommend her page!
Her Instagram page is linked above! xo
How I stay fit:
ClassPass: I just started using ClassPass for the first time in December and I love it! I love going to the gym and lifting as I’m trying to build my figure, but it does get old sometimes. At $35/month with ClassPass, I can switch things up during the week by going to yoga or a Pilates class.
If you’re not a gym junkie or you’re looking for a more interactive way to get fit, I would give ClassPass a try. The other great thing about fitness classes? Having an instructor and other class-goers will hold you accountable and guide you throughout your workout!
If you’re looking for a judgement free workout zone to start your fitness journey, I would definitely recommend Planet Fitness. They’re dedicated to creating a comfortable, non-judgmental environment for their clients, which is why I’ve stayed for almost two years now!
If you’ve ever walked into a gym for the first time and felt intimidated- you’re not alone. It can feel awkward and silly at times trying out new equipment and movements, but once you get the hang of things, you’ll wonder why you didn’t go sooner- I promise! And at just $10 for their basic membership, there’s no excuse not to give it a try. I love this gym!
Their Website: planetfitness.com
2. Drink Lots of Water
I know, this goes along with health and fitness too. But I like to list drinking lots of water as a separate category because even if you’re eating well and exercising regularly, drinking water might be missing from your daily routine.
I’m totally guilty of not drinking enough water, which is why this item is high on my list. I normally go through “phases” when it comes to drinking water; I’ll go through a period where I’m filling my water bottle several times a day, to barely having a glass of water by the time I go to bed.
One thing’s for sure, when I have a favorite water bottle that’s easy to bring with me, I tend to be much more consistent drinking water throughout the day! So, my recommendation is to go out and find a new water bottle that you love, if this is something you struggle with, too. I have a new Hydro Flask on it’s way in the mail to encourage me to keep up with this goal, but there are so many cute brands to choose from!
3. Daily Meditation
What even is meditation? I found myself asking this question again and again when I first started my journey of self improvement. I struggled to understand the purpose of meditation, let alone how to use it to my advantage. And once I finally did, I “didn’t have time” to sit down and meditate, even when I knew I needed to.
To me, meditation is simply taking the time to quiet your mind and connect with yourself, your purpose, and universal intelligence (if that’s something you believe in, in some form or another). Spending even 5 minutes a day in a quiet place, eyes closed, focusing only on the movement of your breath can make a huge difference in your daily life. If you’re having a hard time getting the hang of meditation, guided meditation can be really helpful. There are several guided meditation apps and videos out there as well as meditation classes. See a couple of my favorite guided meditation apps below!
My favorite guided meditation apps:
Headspace: Headspace is a great app for those practicing meditation at all levels. When I first started out, their guided meditation exercises helped me to focus and connect more each time I sat down. I would highly recommend this one for beginners!
Another favorite is called BetterMe: Calm, Sleep, Meditate: I found this app recently and have been trying it out for a week or so and honestly.. I love it! It has several meditation “Journeys” and other exercises to relieve stress, calm anger, and fall asleep faster. It does come with a yearly fee, but it seems well worth it! I’ll keep you all updated on my success with the app as I continue with it.
As of recently, I’ve involved journaling into my meditation practice, too. I’ll write down something I’m grateful for, some positive affirmations, or even something that’s bothering me before/after I meditate. This helps to keep track of your thoughts and really allow you to use meditation for clearing your thoughts and finding peace within each situation. What’s even more fun is getting to choose a cute journal!
4. Self Improvement Books
If you’re looking to start shifting your mindset while getting a daily dose of motivation, I would recommend looking into some “self improvement” books. I know some people think that the notion of “self help” is corny, but if you’re really looking to make some improvements in your life, you might as well give it a try.
If you’re not big on reading (I’ve never been a reader) then audio-books are a great option. I typically like to listen while I’m commuting to work (I’m usually in the car for around 2 hours per day). It’s also a nice change when you’re not in the mood to listen to music, or need a motivational boost throughout the day. I enjoy listening to my books on the audible.com app, but a hard copy is great if you’re a traditional reader!
Jen Sincero is one of my favorite authors of all time. Not only is her You are a Badass series inspiring, but her books will give you the much needed “kick in the pants” to stop making excuses and live your best possible life. My favorite thing about her audio-books is that she reads them herself, so you really get a sense of her perspective and get to know her.
The original You are a Badass has helped me with my confidence in ways that I will be forever grateful for. If you’re struggling with self love or being motivated to live your fullest life, I would definitely recommend. This was the first of Jen’s books that I listened to, and I’m so happy I did!
Next, You are a Badass at Making Money is one that I re-play over an over again. Whether you’re struggling with debt, feeling guilty about wanting to make more money, or simply need some insight on how to increase your income, this book is amazing. I’ve been able to manage my money and understand how to achieve financial abundance through this book, and I’ll never stop listening.
Finally, her most recent book, You are a Badass Every Day, is a great place to start if you’re looking for a “short and sweet” book that will help you shift your mindset and affirmations. It’s only around and hour-and-a-half long, and has several great exercises on how to be a badass every single day.
This last book is one of the first I ever listened to, and one of the main reasons I started my “self-help” journey. Girl Code by Cara Alwill Leyba is for the girly girl who needs that extra kick, inspiration, and motivation to be everything that she wants to be. Even if you’re not super girly, there are many great lessons in this book for aspiring female entrepreneurs. This is one of those “feel good” self improvement books for me. I’ll play this one if I’m having a tough week or need some words of wisdom after a long day.
One Last Tip:
The most important part of implementing your resolutions is to stay consistent. Instead of looking at your whole list of goals, see how you can implement each one into your day in small pieces. If you bite off more than you can chew, you may end up feeling discouraged. Once these items become a regular part of your day, they won’t seem so daunting!
Leave your New Years resolutions down below and let me know how you’re revealing a healthier, happier you in 2019!
Happy New Year!
– xo, Abby