With the new year quickly approaching, many people have started to plan their New Year’s Resolutions for the year ahead. Are you still deciding your goals for the new year? If you need a bit of inspiration, keep reading to discover suggestions for some creative habits to take up this new year.

Start Journaling

Journaling is a way to start the year with some positive reflection. Journaling is a great tool to decompress and reflect after a long day, or it can be a productive way to start your day. What time of day and how often you choose to create journal entries are up to you. You’ll still reap the benefits of journaling whether you take part daily, weekly, monthly, or sporadically. The whole point of starting a journal is to reflect and set goals for yourself—a schedule can help but isn’t required.

Explore a New Hobby

The start of the new year is the perfect chance to pick up a new hobby. You never know how much you’ll enjoy doing something until you try it out, after all. There are many low-investment hobbies to pick up right after New Year’s. For example, if you’re looking for a relaxing hobby, try picking up needlepoint for beginners. The basic stitches are easy to learn and master, and you’ll be creating masterpieces in no time. There are many other relaxing hobbies to try this year, such as gardening, scrapbooking, crafting, putting together puzzles, and more.

Try Reading Every Day

Another way to get in touch with your creative side is to get into the habit of reading more. Try reading every day this year—even if it’s just a few passages each day. Reading more helps expand your vocabulary and imagination and helps you feel more creative. Additionally, reading is a perfect way to destress and do something enjoyable after a long day.

Learn Something New

Finally, try learning something new this coming year. Whether it’s a new skill, like cooking or baking, a new hobby, or a new language, there are many things to learn this year. When you take the time to learn and grow, you’ll have a more fulfilling year ahead.

Everybody needs a relaxing hobby or exercise to try out in the new year. That’s where these creative habits to take up this new year come in. Try picking up some of these productive and relaxing habits for yourself this upcoming year.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

People all over the country deal with long drives to and from work every day. Lengthy travel times often cause a lot of stress before the workday even begins. While avoiding extensive treks may not be completely practical, there are ways to make the journey more pleasant. If you’re looking to improve your daily travel experience, these are the best ways to make your long commute easier.

Have a Strategy

To ensure that your commute is as efficient as possible, do some planning and create a strategy. Your strategy can help you make decisions regarding your drive that can positively impact the rest of your day. For example, are there specific times or days where the traffic flow is lighter? Is there a toll road or alternate route that can get you there more quickly? A little bit of forethought into your commute can go a long way.

Leave Early

Long commutes are stressful enough. Don’t make it worse by putting yourself in the position to be late. Even though it’s tempting to sleep in, leaving earlier will give you ample time to deal with any unforeseen delays like traffic jams and road closures. Give yourself incentives to get going earlier, like stopping at your favorite coffee shop. As little as 15 minutes can be the difference between a good and bad day in the office.

Plan Hands-Off Activities

Finding ways to entertain yourself is one of the best ways to make your long commute easier. Of course, this can be difficult since driving requires so much of your attention. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your drive, plan some hands-off activities to pass the time. You can try many different things, like:

  • Playing music
  • Listening to a podcast
  • Downloading an audiobook

Opt for Alternative Transportation

Driving isn’t the only way to get to work. If you’re looking for variety in your daily commute, try using alternative transportation. Public transit takes the wheel out of your hands and allows you time to relax before your busy day. It’s also an excellent time to improve your electric bike’s range and get some use out of your battery-powered travel devices.

Even if you aren’t able to avoid your long commute, you can still do things to make it enjoyable. You don’t have to start and end your days on a sour note; taking a moment to personalize your travel time will help alleviate any negative emotions hindering your performance.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

Technology is an unavoidable medium today. As more people use their smartphones, tablets, or laptops for work and recreation, it seems the artificial world is as important as the real one. However, many researchers and behavior scientists consider this an issue for many users, especially teenagers and young adults. Read some of these top reasons to cut down on screen time to see why.

Worsens Eyesight

Naturally, staring at electronic screens for a long time worsens your eyesight. Staring at artificial light, small text, and small imagery causes eyestrain. Too much eyestrain puts more pressure on your retinas, worsening your eyesight as you age. Reducing screen time gives your eyes a chance to relax and recover. If you wear glasses or work on a computer, consider using blue light lenses to help mitigate the impact of artificial light on your retinas.

Impacts Sleep

As more people stare at their screens in place of a book, the artificial light makes your brain believe it’s still daylight, negatively impacting your natural sleep cycle. Even though newer technology offers nighttime lighting to reduce this issue, artificial light still affects sleep patterns. Also, multitasking on various apps increases the time you stay awake while you should unwind and sleep. Instead, put down the phone and try to get at least eight hours of quality sleep each night. There are many benefits of getting eight hours of sleep that you don’t want to neglect, like hormone regulation, a stronger immune system, and better decision-making.

Inhibits Social Skills

You’ve probably heard from a parent or teacher that staring at your phone is rude. That’s because more time spent on your phone or online inhibits your social skills. This may seem like a catch-22 if you’re the type of person to engage with others online, like through chat rooms or video games. However, online communication is not the same as in-person communication. Strong interpersonal skills are critical for overall life skills. Don’t manifest an anti-social personality from overusing your electronics.

Affects Mental Health

Another top reason to cut down on screen time is that it affects your mental health. Social media has created new worlds and means of communication for millions of users, but it also has led to some unwanted side effects. Mainly, many users report higher feelings of anxiety and depression from social media due to cyberbullying, body shaming, and loneliness. Many social media platforms exhibit an artificial sense of life that many people feel negatively impacts their worldview. You can easily avoid this by reducing screen time and spending more time living your life. If you still feel depressed or anxious, consider talking to a therapist for guidance.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

Joy is the inner expression of happiness. We all need joy in our lives in some form or another. Experiencing moments of happiness, pleasure, and joy helps lower stress levels and gives us the ability to show up for ourselves and our loved ones. Check out these simple ways you can bring joy into your life.

Challenge Yourself

Think of a project or a skill you want to learn. Taking some time every day to practice, whether it’s hours or a few minutes, can get you closer to a goal you’ve always wanted to accomplish. Mastering a skill or finishing a project you’ve been putting off will give you better self-esteem and a sense of pride.

Get Inspired

Engaging in creative pursuits can bring more pleasure into your life. Allowing the world to inspire you can make you more creative and will open your worldview. Participate in activities that maybe you meant to try, but you haven’t taken the plunge, like meditation, a dance class, or performing. Don’t be afraid to explore any avenue that sparks your interest.

Treat Yourself

You can also find ways to reward yourself after a hard day at work or celebrate an accomplishment. We reward others and celebrate their milestones easily, but it can sometimes be hard to justify a reward or gift for ourselves. But it doesn’t have to be lavish or even cost money at all. Even treating yourself with inexpensive items, like cookies or a nap, is a way of telling yourself you deserve nice things, too.

Engage in Play

Setting goals is nice, but so is playing for the sake of playing. We shouldn’t base everything in our lives on productivity. Set some time aside to play purely for enjoyment. Play with your dog, draw a picture even though you’re not a good artist, or take a break from working to dance to your favorite song for a few minutes.

All these simple ways to bring joy into your life are attainable—right now, even. Which do you think you’ll try today?


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

Some people believe that they will need to change their life completely to create a more sustainable lifestyle. This is simply not true. There are always small and easy actions you can take to create a more sustainable lifestyle. If you want to help the world around you, check out these lifestyle changes for greater sustainability.

Shop at Thrift Stores

So many people do not realize that clothing manufacturers have a detrimental effect on the environment. To make clothing quickly, clothing manufacturers pollute water, contribute significantly to carbon emissions, and release many chemicals into the air. Shopping at thrift stores reduces the need to produce new clothes, so when you go thrifting, you are not supporting these manufacturers and their harmful environmental practices. Additionally, there are many ways that thrift stores help the community, so thrifting is an excellent way to help the environment and the people around you.

Purchase Reusable Products

Reusable items are an excellent way to save the environment from harmful plastics and man-made materials. Instead of Styrofoam cups, try reusable bottles. Instead of plastic forks, opt for metal ones. When possible, opt for reusable products rather than disposable items.

Conserve Water

There are many ways you can conserve water around your home. For example, never let the faucets run if you aren’t using the water. Even simple actions such as taking shorter showers can help you conserve water and aid the environment.

Choose Paperless Options

Since many people own electronic devices, many companies offer paperless options. These options are excellent ways to reduce your paper usage. Additionally, you can send your shopping receipts to your email instead of printing them.

Keep in mind that these are only a few of the lifestyle changes for greater sustainability. Every day, people make choices that either help or harm the environment and the world around them. Remember to never underestimate the small choices because even the smallest changes can make the biggest differences in helping the environment.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

That first step of deciding to start a fitness regime is one of the hardest ones to take. However, setting specific and attainable objectives is the best way to keep you on the right path. These aspirations are why goals are essential for fitness success.

Start Small To Achieve Something Bigger

No matter the goal, it’s vital to shoot for something small that you can accomplish right off the bat. Formulating a plan of action gives you the momentum to move forward and attain the long-term goals that are more challenging to reach. If you try to push yourself too far and end up failing, it might make quitting feel like a viable option. Additionally, focus on completing one goal at a time, or else you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed. Giving yourself several benchmarks is the opposite of starting small, so avoid that line of thinking.

Enjoy What You Do

While starting a fitness journey can be grueling, it’s exceptionally arduous when you force yourself to do things you don’t enjoy. Therefore, try some new pursuits if you have a sense of dread before even beginning—you might end up liking it! If you don’t like running, avoid the treadmill and opt for a bike or an elliptical. It’s easy to see others do certain exercises and think you can follow suit, but it helps if you enjoy doing that activity.

Have a Long-Term Outlook

The mind can be a significant deterrent to your fitness voyage, especially if you don’t receive the instant gratification of immediate results. Giving yourself a long-term goal will get you to push your mind past any short-term obstacles. Joining something like a long-term fitness challenge keeps your eyes on the prize and may give you an extra incentive when you’re struggling

Understand That Setbacks Happen

Inevitably, a setback will happen along the way of your fitness journey. It’s nearly impossible to eat clean, work out, and sleep on a consistent schedule, so don’t let a bad meal or a week off from exercising make you pack up shop. You’ll be surprised how quickly that extra baggage might fall off, considering most of it is probably water weight.

Don’t Overexert Yourself

If you have that setback, you might feel the pressure to fix the problem quickly. However, that leads to overexerting yourself, which may cause burnout or a severe injury. Even if you are frustrated, you need to stay within your limits, or you’ll end up paying for it. Always listen to your body, so if you feel a strain and some pain, rest properly and don’t push it.

The reason why goals are essential for fitness success is it allows you to concentrate on the target. Moreover, it puts things in perspective when those roadblocks occur.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

No matter how much we enjoy our jobs, burnout happens at some point. We can only give so much before needing to step away for a bit. Watch for the signs you need a break from work, so you’ll know when to pause for a while and come back refreshed.

Frequently Sick

Try as we may to be superhuman, our bodies know when we’ve had enough. Stress and burnout lead to a breakdown of our immune systems, which leads to illness. When you can’t stay healthy for long periods of time, it’s time to take some time off.

Frustrated Often

It’s normal for frustration to happen occasionally on the job. However, if frustration has become a part of your daily routine, it’s one of the signs you need a break from work.

Low Energy

Burnout can make you feel like you have zero energy—no matter how much sleep you get. You’ll be exhausted and crave naps at every opportunity. Exhaustion and low energy are a result of too much stress. Recover by taking time away from work and catching up on your sleep.

Lack of Focus

When your focus is gone, you aren’t doing the company any good. When you can’t focus, you become exhausted over simple tasks, and your memory is terribly short and scattered. This lack of focus and a sign of burnout. It’s time to take some time away.

Poor Performance

Perhaps the worst product of burnout is poor performance. Rather than being the result of an unqualified employee, it’s usually the result of an employee who does too much.

When performance is down, it can feel like we must stay and work. However, taking some time away will help us get back to our normal selves again so we can perform well.

Feeling Withdrawn

Withdrawal is another sign of burnout. If you started your job feeling energetic and you couldn’t wait to socialize with your coworkers, and you now do everything you can to avoid socializing, you’re experiencing burnout.

All of the signs we mentioned sometimes lead us to believe it’s the worst time to take a break from work. After all, most of these symptoms lead to us not doing as well as we usually do.

You’ve earned your PTO and it’s there for a reason: to give you a break. There are times in each company when stepping away isn’t a good idea. Still, there are plenty of times when it’s safe to leave and come back refreshed. Consider the timing, your performance, and how the company is doing before taking time off. Always remember that your physical and mental health comes first.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

While physical activity works to put the body in motion and burn energy in the form of calories, it’s vital to consider the efficiency at which your body achieves caloric burn. Maybe you enjoy a quick morning jog throughout the neighborhood to get your blood pumping or an evening aerobic workout to help you wind down from the day’s stressors. Despite your preference, both times of day have their advantages. For that reason, it’s time to delve into the top reasons why morning exercise is beneficial to the body and how it affects your day.

Increased Alertness and Focus

Your body produces cortisol, otherwise known as the “stress hormone,” that usually increases during the morning and drops later in the day. You can take advantage of that period with a morning workout that fits your body’s hormonal fluctuations.

If you have trouble focusing throughout the day, an exercise program that fits into your morning routine can improve attention, visual learning, and decision-making.

Increased Energy

An established exercise routine is a fantastic, natural option for boosting energy. During a session, oxygen and nutrients move through your body, making their way to your heart and lungs and improving your cardiovascular system. Exercise can also improve stamina, contributing to a more energized day.

Influences Healthier Food Choices

Getting up to complete a workout may seem like the most challenging part of your day, but achieving the goal early on sets the tone for the rest of the day. You can establish a healthier mindset that can lead to healthier food choices to fuel your body.

Improved Sleep

An early workout can aid in getting a good night’s rest. Once you train and accustom the body to waking up earlier to accommodate for physical activity, early light exposure can promote higher melatonin levels at night. Higher melatonin levels assist in better, deeper sleep with fewer awakening periods.

Bodies are unique in how they react to outside factors. From the food that fuels you to the activity that moves you, your body has a marvelous way of telling you when it likes or dislikes something. Your body has plenty of reasons to benefit from morning exercise, so grab those running shoes and get ready to take on the day!


Authored by Inspire Your Journey