facebook

How To Become Your Happiest Self & Live Your Best Life In 2019

Photo: getty
How To Be Happy & Live Your Best Life Using This Self-Care Checklist
Self, Health And Wellness

Feel good from the inside-out.

At the beginning of each year, many people create lists of resolutions that will help them be happier and become their "best self".

But what if it's not new resolutions you need to learn how to be happy with yourself and live your best life, but a self-care checklist?

Since I was 17, every January of the year found me with a laundry list of resolutions — from eating healthier and working out to spending less and saving more. What’s also been happening for the past 18 New Years is seeing the same list get flushed down the toilet by end of March ... on a good year. It’s mostly out by February.

My entire life, I’ve been a go-getter. If I had a target, I'd hit it. So what is it about these resolutions that caused me to keep missing the mark? I couldn’t help but wonder ... would a simple shift in wording — from "resolutions" to "self-care activities" — help me learn how to be happy and become my best self?

So for the first time last year, I started not with resolutions, but a self-care checklist.

RELATED: How To Totally Master The Art Of Being Happy In 6 Steps (Or Less!)

Sure enough, things worked more in my favor. I wasn’t able to scratch off all my self-care goals (Rome wasn’t built in a year either), but with 10 out of 15 down, I knew I was onto something that could work for me.

This year, I drank from the same fountain but created a more comprehensive plan. Doing these self-care activities will make me feel good and look good — from the inside and out — and following it can help you find happiness, too.

Here are the details on how to be happy and live your best life using this simple self-care checklist.

1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier

My alarm usually rings at 7 AM, but in 2019, it’s set for 6:30. Getting up a few minutes earlier not only helps increase productivity, but it also helps reduce stress levels which can. make you happier. When you wake up early, you eliminate the morning rush.

Furthermore, according to an article on The Sleep Advisor, "people who get up later in the day tend to focus less on healthy morning habits like hydrating and exercise, which oxygenates your blood and promotes healthy skin. Early morning risers can also use the extra time to exfoliate, moisturize, and cleanse."

2. Visualize more

In fact, do it weekly. I put visualizing sessions on my calendar, just as I would do for any other event or meeting.

Many of us tend to focus on visualizing the things we want in order to be happy — the car, the money, the love. And while that’s all great, in 2019, I also want to visualize the best version of myself: Me at most healthy, confident, patient, composed and happy state.

3. Floss every day

You may wonder why in the world flossing is on the list. Simply put, committing to doing one thing as simple (but yet as important!) as flossing, will encourage that type of disciplined behavior in other ares of life, as well.

Where there’s discipline, there’s follow-through. And that follow-through will trickle down into various other aspects of our lives and help you find the happiness you seek.

4. Don’t justify spending money

Don't say things like, "I deserve this!", because you also deserve a savings account. You deserve not to have stress over money because of impulsive spending.

Bite your lip and stay wise, if you want to be happy financially!

5. Improve the way you speak to yourself

Self-conversations are very revealing; they tell the story of how you really feel about yourself.

If you habitually refer to yourself as a "loser" or "idiot", no matter how playful the tone may be, it’s condescending and it will affect your self-esteem long-term.

Cut that out in 2019 and tell yourself things like, "I am smart. I am capable. I’ll figure this out," instead to boost your happiness.

6. Start a new hobby

And make sure you do it at least once per month.

Hobbies can include photography, baking, painting, DIY-ing, yoga, hiking, reading, sewing, origami, and gardening — anything that brings you joy and makes you feel happy.

7. Learn something new

Improve your current skills and learn new ones every week. You can never be over-educated. Challenges and novelties are key elements to happiness because the brain is stimulated by surprises.

So .... it’s no surprise that people who do new things on a consistent basis, tend to be happier than the ones who consistently stick to the familiar. In 2019, tackle a new goal or get a new hobby. Maybe now is the time to sign up for those Spanish classes or join that book club.

RELATED: 9 Simple Ways To Create More Happiness In Your Life — Every Single Day

8. Do something that makes you feel good every day

Whatever that may be! A long shower or bath, riding a bike, lunch with your girlfriend, watching a funny video or a Disney movie, rocking out to your favorite song, getting a pedicure, a hot cup of coffee, wearing a silk pajama or sequin leotard.

Make room in your day for 10 minutes of doing something that makes you happy.

9. Improve your posture

How you carry yourself tells a story about how you feel inside and how you feel about yourself. Your posture affects your attitude, so keep your back straight, chin up, and make eye contact with the person you’re speaking with; it denotes confidence.

Do that, and you’ll encourage the flow of positive, happy energy to circulate without any restrictions.

10. Create a playlist

If you want to be happier, making a playlist of upbeat songs that make you feel good is not enough. You have to change the way you listen to music, too.

For decades, research has been telling us that listening to uplifting music with the desire to feel happier can actually lead to greater happiness than simply listening to music for the sake of listening.

11. Bring more flower power into your daily life

Flowers do more than brighten up a room; they brighten up your mood, as well.

Participants in a behavioral study conducted by researchers at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital reported feeling happier and more energetic after looking at flowers first thing in the morning.

12. Make sure you have a yellow shirt in the closet

Color psychology tells us that happy people tend to associate their mood with the color yellow. So next time you feel down or lacking energy, harness the powers of the color of optimism.

Whether it's a yellow bed comforter, yellow pillows in the living room, a yellow shirt or yellow accents throughout your home or office — bring more yellow into your life!

RELATED: What Your Favorite Color Says About Who You Really Are

13. Disconnect

Stay off of all technology for a few hours on the weekend. This has been the most difficult, yet most rewarding, challenge for me.

14. Have more sex

A substantial amount of scientific research supports the link between sex and well-being. Sex lowers blood pressure, relieves stress and anxiety, lowers heart attack risk and, of course, counts as exercise. Without a doubt sex equals happiness.

And masturbation equals happiness as well! Chemicals released by masturbation include dopamine, endorphins, and prolactin. Dopamine triggers the pleasure centers of the brain and reduces stress. Endorphins reduce pain and contribute to happiness, while prolactin encourages better sleep. In men, masturbation also helps prevent prostate cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer in males, by flushing out carcinogenic toxins in the prostate.

15. Cut down on processed sugars and dairy

Aside from the health benefits, the lower inflammation risk and hormonal fluctuations can also lead to better skin, which can make you feel better about yourself.

16. Exercise 5 days per week

If you find yourself having to start from ground zero though, going from zero to 100 won’t be sustainable. So, start with seven minutes.

Google "7-minute workouts" and see how much inspiration you’ll find. I give it my all during those seven minutes, and the fact that I spend time working on my body and health — alongside the feel-good chemistry resulted from physical activity — makes me feel like a rock star.

And even though that workout is short, it contributes to my physical appearance. That helps my self-esteem and, as a result, I feel happier!

If you’re like me and haven’t had much luck with resolutions over the years, I encourage you to create a self-care checklist instead. Why? Because you deserve to be your best self and live your best life!

You can start with my list of self-care ideas above and add your own. And remember to always consult with a doctor first, whenever taking on new challenges.

RELATED: 10 Simple Ways To Feel Happier, Even On Your Worst Days

Alexandra Potora is an Image Consultant and coach. To learn more, visit her website.

Author
Expert