9 Habits That Were Game Changers For Me In 2016

1. Gratitude.
I practice this every day, but I’ll be honest and admit it’s an easy thing to do because I recognize and appreciate how lucky I am to live the life I do. I get to work from the comfort of my couch, doing something I enjoy, all while Harlow sleeps on my lap. How could I not be grateful?

But doing #2 makes being grateful extra simple.

2. Saying thank-you. For everything.
This was a tip from a book I read at some point, I don’t recall when I actually started doing it but it’s definitely become something that I do without even thinking. I thank my bed for comfort. My blankets for warmth. My fridge for keeping my food cold. My microwave for warming food up. I thank everything. And when you’re done scoffing (I eye rolled hard at this myself in the beginning) give it a try. It’s fun and starts to fill you with a gracious joy I can’t quite explain.

And once you find yourself thanking your sox for keeping your feet warm it will dawn on you how lucky you are to have feet that let you walk! And legs that are strong enough to carry your body. And you’re alive! And omg do you see how I fall down this rabbit hole of gratitude? But I have to admit, it’s a good hole to fall into.

3. Anticipating the day ahead.
I wake up every morning and imagine/dream/plan how I’d like it to go. I say out loud “today is going to be a good day.” But I don’t just say it, I believe. As we all know, sometimes shit just happens and rotten days will come. There’s no way around that. But going into a day armed with the confidence that it will be good always seems to help.

4. Mantras.
I have a lot of mantras. Some stick, some go, but all of them make me feel strong and happy just by thinking about them. One that I repeat daily, and write down weekly, (and have for several years now) is simply, “I live the life I want.” That’s it. But those words are always in my head.

That and “save the dogs.”

5. Giving back.
Have you ever heard the secret to life is giving back? Who knew it’s actually true. Here’s a little info I’ve never shared about my animal donations; I tend to send them at specific moments, usually when I’m feeling extra blue or hopeless about something in particular (because yes, even with all of my “rituals” and stuff, these days still come) and so I wait until I’m at my lowest to send money to the shelters because it always picks me back up. Every single time.

Once you start giving you’ll be amazed at what comes right back to you.

6. Doing Things With Intention.
I think this one started with pilates. The workout isn’t just about going through motions, or making it through class. But it’s doing things with a purpose and feeling your body react to it. What started in pilates has moved to other areas in my life. I’m constantly asking myself, “why are you doing this?” What is the purpose here?”

Asking questions like this also leads to…

7. Mindfullness.
Or being present. I really struggle with this, but am always working on it. I like to use my job (blogging, social media, shirts, blah blah blah) as a scapegoat. But we could all use jobs as our excuse, regardless of what area of your work you’re in.

Being mindful is a constant work in progress.

8. Giving off the right vibrations. 
Feel, think, and give off good vibes and that’s what you’ll get back. Call it karma, being kind, good vibes, whatever you prefer. This doesn’t always happen naturally for me, so again it goes back to being mindful and doing things with intent. I have to be very conscious about what I’m thinking and feeling to ensure the cynical, angry little voice in my head doesn’t run the show.

9. Understanding that success is abundant. 
You don’t have to hoard it, there is plenty to go around. I grew up very competitive, which often led me to situations where I felt super envious of anyone else succeeding at what I wanted to. I felt that anyone else gaining success had to mean it was being withheld from me.

But that’s not the way it works. The Universe is abundant and there is enough for all of us. Don’t believe me? Wish abundance and success for someone else and watch it come back to you.

I’m telling you guys, this hippy happy vibe stuff works.

All that said, I still have my daily mind battles. Moments of feeling like a total loser and failure. Times when I’m a complete asshole and I know I’m being an asshole, and yet I do it anyway.

I run hot-tempered by nature, my patience is low, and I get frustrated easily. I can be snappy, pissy, and go on the defense when it’s not necessary. I’m human, (sometimes a very agitated human.) So everything I mentioned above simply helps to keep me in check. Helps me to move just a little bit closer to the person I’d like to be, to the person Harlow thinks I am…

Most importantly, I know the Universe is on my side. So I should be too.

Cheers to a new year, I really hope it’s a good one for you.

*side note: My mom gets itchy when I talk so much about the Universe because she thinks it means I don’t believe in God. That is not true. I believe in a lot of things. Is that “the way?” Probably not. But it helps me be a better person so I’m okay with it.