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Affordable Ways to Maintain Your Commitment to Improved Self-Care

By Sheila Johnson, ZENthusiast

A new year offers a chance to turn over a new leaf and start fresh. Many Americans make resolutions as they enter January, often intending to improve self-care by making plans to eat healthier or exercise more. Making a resolution is one thing but keeping it is another, and you may find your commitment to healthier living waning as the year goes on. It doesn’t have to be that hard to keep your goals in the new year and beyond—and it also doesn’t have to cost loads of money. Check out the below budget-friendly tips for maintaining your resolve in the months to come.

Start journaling to track your progress

In order to stay on track with your resolutions, whatever they may be, hold yourself accountable. A journal is a great way to track your progress and stay motivated. You just need a cheap, simple notebook you can jot down accomplishments like that sweat-inducing yoga session you completed on January 1st. Another option is to download a journaling app like Day One, which lets you add metadata like step count and currently playing music, and it even allows for password protected entries. When you’re feeling unmotivated, you can look back at your past accomplishments and regain inspiration.

Find a form of affordable exercise you genuinely enjoy

If you want to make physical activity a routine part of your life for years to come, you need to make it enjoyable. These days you don’t have to spring for pricey gym memberships to break a sweat. You can join an outdoors running group in your area, for example, or follow yoga tutorials online. Yoga Wake Up prepares you for the day ahead by providing audio-guided yoga and meditation sequences to wake up to. Yoga has many health benefits, increasing strength, flexibility, and coordination. It’s also easy to practice anywhere and everywhere—all you need is a yoga mat and comfy workout clothes that let you move freely.

Make cooking a fun hobby, not a tedious task

Dietary changes are another common resolution. Maybe you've decided to cut out soda or want to decrease your sugar intake. Whatever your plan, cooking at home will help you get there. Studies show that home-cooked meals are more nutritious—plus, cooking for yourself is cheaper than going to a restaurant or ordering in. Look to apps to make the process less tedious and more enjoyable. SideChef gives you many recipes to choose from and you can simply follow along with your mobile device as you cook.

Embrace cost-efficient ways to improve mental health

Improved self-care isn’t just about physical aspects. You can also take steps to improve your mental health without paying big bucks for in-person counseling. Online therapy through platforms like BetterHelp are more affordable than face-to-face models and also provides greater flexibility. You can also take steps to improve emotional wellbeing by practicing meditation. The practice has been shown to decrease anxiety and stress, and even lower blood pressure.

Think outside the box to get the gear you’ll need to meet your goals

Whatever your goals may be, you will likely need to buy some equipment to get you on track. Say you want to create healthier breakfasts you can eat on the go—you might opt for a smoothie maker. Alternatively, if you’ve decided to take up jogging, you might need new running shoes. When looking for such products, check out online e-commerce platforms, where you’re likely to find promotions, cash-back offers, and other deals. Check in with friends that have similar hobbies. They may have gently used equipment collecting dust in a closet and they'd be more than happy to see it get a second wind with a buddy looking to achieve a new goal.

Be patient as you kick off your new year’s resolution journey. If you have a setback one day, don’t let it derail you completely. The above tips will make the process easier and keep you motivated. Keep your eyes on the prize—improved self-care—and remember that by continuing on with these behaviors, you are paving the path to a healthier, happier you.

Sheila was a success story in the corporate world, but her health was another story. She left the corporate world to start her own business, on her own schedule. The newfound freedom and flexibility enabled her to prioritize her health by practicing a daily self-care routine. Learn more about Sheila at wellsheila.net.