Today is the perfect day to pick up some life habits you can actually keep up with. Calendar-wise, it’s perfect timing: At this point, New Year's resolutions have once again become well-intentioned yet far-fetched dreams—but before you get bummed out, please remember that February is the birth month of Audre Lorde, inventor of 'self-care'. I’m very much into her definition of it, which prioritizes self-preservation over marketing buzzwords. After all, sustainable habits require sustainable processes that’ll push you towards becoming your best self, and for me, The Best Utibe is more organized, takes care of her skin, and can maintain an energy level that doesn’t leave her winded after walking up a slight incline. As with all good habits, it’s best to build slowly and steadily. I like to check in with a list to make sure I’m not letting life take me by the reins. Start here, and embellish where it makes sense:
Wash your face as soon as you get home
A while ago, Ashley asserted that the best time to start your nighttime skincare routine is as soon as you get home, and I’m starting to think she’s right. Each time I postpone, the chances of falling asleep with my makeup on increase by about...3 million. My bed is a Venus fly trap for tired, foolish makeup wearers. I’m more inclined to actually do it if I have a makeup removing combo I look forward to using. Right now, that’s Pai’s Rosehip Light Work Cleansing Oil, followed by Milky Jelly Cleanser, but last month it was Holifrog’s Balmy Cleanser followed by Klur’s Gentle Matter Cleanser. As I like to say around these parts: Do you, friend.
Work out at least once a week
Hard at first, and then fun! OK, not fun per se, but definitely rewarding. Each weekend morning, I try to fit in an elliptical workout with a mix of incline and resistance, followed by a cycle of weightlifting, and 10 minutes on the Stairmaster. I go hard on Saturday so I can take it easy the next day, but also with the full knowledge that I may not make it to the gym during the weekdays. It still surprises me how one to two hours of effort over the weekend can make a world of improvement in my energy and anxiety levels throughout the week.
Make a to-do list for the day ahead
This can be done right before you leave work, on your commute home, or in your Notes app before you go to sleep––regardless, I highly recommend. Being able to see everything required of me each day keeps my workload manageable, while allowing me to consider my long and short term professional and personal goals. Also, writing lists in notebooks...is great? Using a gel pen to cross off tasks on beautiful, minimalist stationery incites a euphoria only rivaled by sea salt chocolate chip cookies and getting money from my grandma in an envelope.
Keep an eye on your budget
Budget apps like Mint and podcasts like Optimal Finance Daily can help you get started, but so does keeping tabs on things you already know are a money suck. How many times a week are you eating out? Do you really need to Uber everywhere? And when are you going to finally start your Depop account?? From time to time, I ask myself these questions, and strive to provide answers as truthfully as possible to embolden myself to make smarter money choices.
Time yourself to tidy up
After the face-washing comes the room-cleaning—but it doesn’t have to be too time-intensive. As my nighttime retinol and moisturizer soak into my skin, I give myself about five minutes (or like, one moody listen of Linger by The Cranberries) to hang up the clothes piling up on The Chair, put away miscellaneous products strewn about, and make my bed so it’s extra cozy when I go to sleep.
If these habits come across as a no-brainer...you are doing SO amazing in life sweetie. Take your Gold Star (here you go), and then head to the comments to share your own bare minimum good habits.
Photos via ITG