Guest Columnist Summer McKeen: 10 Life Changes You Should Make This New Year

Summer McKeenPhoto Credit: Shore Fire Media

Routines are a very healthy thing to practice. I mean, every morning I wake up, drink a glass of water, respond to emails, and try to get my butt to the gym. It hasn’t always been this way… I had to make small changes every once in a while to get to where I am now. I’m still working to make more changes, but it is a gradual process! And, when you start small, bigger changes aren’t so hard to go through. Here are ten changes I’m making for myself and think everyone should try out.

Summer McKeenPhoto Credit: Elias Tahan

  1. Invest in reusable items like bags, straws, water bottles, and jars! I think by now, we’re all aware that each one of us has an important role on this planet to care for it. It’s a very simple change, but it can really make a big difference. Plus, nowadays, you can get the cutest reusable items. I have a rainbow hydroflask that I take with me everywhere I go and I love it.
  2. Put your phone on the other side of your room before you get into bed at night. I can’t tell you how much sleep I’ve lost having my phone plugged in right next to my bed. For some reason, it seems my phone suddenly gets 10 times more interesting when I’m supposed to be sleeping… *insert eye roll* I’m sure you can relate. Don’t let your phone keep you up all night!! Plug it in across the room!
  3. Smile at people you pass while you’re out. When a stranger smiles at me, it seriously makes my day. Be that stranger! Why wouldn’t you want to spread joy throughout the world? We definitely need more of it! Plus, it’ll make you just as happy to do it.
  4. Switch out cow milk for a non-dairy alternative. I think this is a good idea, because drinking milk from a cow adds so many extra hormones into our body that we don’t need. Making the switch will help clear up skin and honestly, probably help your mood too.
  5. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you usually do. Now, I am SO not a morning person, but every time I make myself wake up early, I thank myself for it. Once you get out of bed, you feel that morning energy and it’s awesome. At least for me, I feel so motivated to get things done and have a great day. Also, it gives you extra time in the morning so you aren’t rushed.
  6. Check the news at least once a week. We all share the same planet, so we should all listen to each other. Not only are you in the know, but it can be eye-opening and helpful to understanding others that may not be in your circle.
  7. Ride your bike to school or work. This may be out of the question for people living in snowy environments, but to those who aren’t… do this! It’s really nice to get out into nature, you get in some exercise for the day, and you aren’t adding more pollution into the air by driving your car!
  8. Call your mom and dad! If you live with your parents, make a little time to be with them. But if you live away from them, call them every once in a while. It’ll make you both happy and feel cared about.
  9. Drink as much water as possible every day! Water has SO many benefits. We as humans need it! So get your reusable water bottle, fill it up with some good water, drink it and refill it all day!
  10. Become a clean person. I mean hygiene, technology and your living/work space. Shower! Brush your teeth! Put deodorant on! Decluttering your phone or laptop frees up space and makes things more simple. Living in a clean area leaves room for inspiration and a clear head. Plus, you’ll hardly ever lose things if your place is always clean.

Summer McKeenPhoto Credit: Hudson Taylor
That’s about it! These changes aren’t super hard to make, so I know you can do it. Just take small steps and you’ll really go places. If you’re already doing some or all of these, go you!! Keep at it! As for me, I’ll definitely have to continue to take my own advice on some of these. Happy holidays :)

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