Your Best Month Ever with Do The Good Stuff and Emily Cook Harris

here’s YOUR Guide!

Getting Started

Welcome! We created this page to house the bounty of resources Emily has created to help make this month your best month ever. Scroll to find instructions for Week 1, habit inspiration organized by goal, tips for turning those habits into routines, and much more!

CHAT WITH EMILY & THE COMMUNITY

Before you dive in, be sure you’ve joined the DTGS Slack Community to get access to the weekly chats we’ll be having with Emily. Once you join, we’ll invite you to the #your-best-month-ever channel where you can post questions for Emily and the rest of the Your Best Month Ever community at any time. Here’s when Emily will be logging on to answer your questions:

  • Sunday, January 6th @ 5pm PST

  • Monday, January 14th @ 5pm PST

  • Tuesday, January 22nd @ 5pm PST

  • Monday, January 28th @ 5pm PST

  • Monday, February 4th @ 5pm PST

Resources

Your materials are on there way and should be with you shortly! In the meantime, here they are for you to get familiar with. Print them if you want to!

  • Weekly Tracker – Use your tracker in the way that makes most sense to you! Add a sticker for every habit you complete. If you’re a planner, consider writing down the habits you’re working on in advance.

  • Healthy Habit Glossary Use this list as inspiration when you’re deciding which habits you want to attempt each week.

  • Weekly Check-InAt the end of each week, use this sheet to check-in with how you feel, what worked, and what didn’t.

How It Works

We know that if you want to upgrade any area of your life, it begins with your habits or how you’re spending your time and energy each day. For every healthy action you complete, you earn 1 sticker on your chart! It also equals progress towards the things that matter most to you. Win-win.

your goal for Week 1

Aim for around 10+ stickers total to begin. These can fall in the body, mind, or spirit categories or a mix of all three for your most balanced self! You’ll reassess for Week 2 to see where you’d like to put more focus, then adjust your personal sticker goal to fit your current interests & lifestyle. Remember – You can’t get it wrong!

  • Ex 1: If you want to cultivate a strong & healthy physical body, perhaps your week will have 5-7 stickers in the body category and the remaining split between mind and spirit.

  • Ex 2: If you feel pulled to cultivate a deeper connection to your true self, then perhaps 5-7 stickers are in the spirit category with the remaining split between mind and body.

  • Ex 3: If you’re looking to expand knowledge & skills this month, then focus 5-7 stickers on the mind category and split the remaining between body and spirit.

  • Ex 4: Feeling a little stuck and not totally sure yet? Go for a well-rounded chart! 3-4 stickers in each category and let it evolve as you go. The best way to learn about yourself is to dive in and just begin. And the truth is that we are our best when nurturing all three - body, mind, spirit. ♥

Bigger Picture

We want to focus our habits either based on:

  1. How we want to feel

  2. What we’d like to accomplish

If you’re feeling stressed out and would like to feel calmer and clearer in 2019, here are some habits to support that!

  1. Get moving! A workout is an excellent way to alleviate stress. You can even tailor it to what you’re specifically feeling:

    • If you’re feeling like your heart rate is already up, perhaps a bit anxious, then opt for something that will focus on your breath with slow & controlled movements. Think yoga, pilates, tai chi, etc.

    • If you’re in your head & overanalyzing, perhaps overwhelmed, then opt for a butt-kicking kind of workout where you can let off some steam and tap into your power. Think a run, kickboxing, strength training, HIIT, etc.

  2. Declutter your space. Visual messiness can make us feel scattered, so try the reverse! Get organized (your inbox, your desk, your sock drawer, anything) and simplify what you can. Notice how you feel more at ease and can focus your attention on crushing the task at hand.

  3. See what you can automate in your life to free up some mental space. The less decisions we have to make each day, the more energy we have for other things.

    • Ex: Healthy food feel overwhelming? Go to the grocery on the weekend & meal prep on Sundays so your meals are ready to go for the week!

    • Ex: Find a couple workout classes you enjoy and schedule them before the week begins so it’s mostly done. Just have to show up!

    • Ex: What about automatic monthly bill pay or rent/mortgage? And on the flip, see if there are monthly subscriptions you don’t need anymore & simplify!

  4. Get outside. Nature is incredibly powerful. Go for a morning walk, sit and read in the park, go for a hike, or listen to “Ocean Escapes” playlist on Spotify and pretend you’re at the beach (don’t knock it until you try it :)).

  5. Increase productivity & focus by clearly identifying what needs to get done and when. Determine what’s high priority (do it today), mid priority (do it this week) and low priority (do it this month). It might the game changer you’re looking for.

    • Also a good time to notice what is within our control to make it happen. Vs. what is outside of our control & not to waste energy on it.

  6. Prioritize YOU time. Could be anything that is important to you and allows you to connect back to yourself. Stress is often a result of carrying the weight of the past or worrying about the future. It’s essential to do things that make us come alive in the NOW to snap back to the present.

  7. Schedule time to process life with a supportive / non judgemental individual - could be a therapist, a coach, a good friend or family member. This is ideally someone who helps give perspective and encouragement on your journey.

If you’re feeling low energy and want to feel more alert and focused for your day, here is a great place to begin!

  1. First look at the quality & duration of your SLEEP! Having energy during the day begins the night before.

    • See below for a variety of “evening routine” habits to implement.

    • Prioritize bedtime to ensure you get 7+ hours each night.

    • Keep a notepad by your bed as a way to empty any remaining thoughts and to-dos that you don’t want to forget. It serves a dual purpose of allowing you to relax into sleep as well as being a good jumpstart for the next day!

  2. Water! If you’re feeling low on energy, check your hydration. The goal is ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water (which is a good bit) so chances are we could all benefit from adding more water into our day. It boosts metabolism and improves mental clarity as well.

  3. Get moving! When we expend energy, we actually generate more energy for ourselves. A morning workout is a great way to jumpstart the day, but anytime that works with your schedule is a success.

  4. Look to your nutrition. Food is literal life energy for your cells. Make sure you’re choosing “nutrient dense” foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals. No foods are off limits. Just focus on adding in more of the good stuff.

  5. Reconnect to yourself and the things that make you come alive. Sometimes if we’re scattered or overworked, we can feel depleted of energy. Get back in touch with the real YOU - the moments that bring you joy and purpose. It’s essential to re-energizing you on your path.

    • Homework: create a vision board of images and words that inspire you. Could be people, places, or the best memes on the internet. Then look at one small way you can bring those things to life in your week & month.

  6. Check your circle of friends and those you spend time with. Are you surrounding yourself with energy givers or energy takers? Pay attention to how you feel when you’re around others and prioritize those people where you feel more energized after having hung out with them (not drained).

    • Also, we all differ in our needs to recharge! Some individuals feed off others’ energy like a good soul-to-soul conversation while some do better recharging alone. Experiment and see what suits you best. Could be a little of both!

If you’re looking to establish a new workout routine & healthy eating for yourself, we suggest starting here:

  1. Know WHY you want to do it in the first place – preferably rooted in how you want to feel or what would be different in your life by accomplishing this.

  2. Set realistic expectations for your new habits. You don’t have to do it all at once! In fact, we discourage it. Think sustainable and gradual.

    • Ex: If you’re currently working out 2x a week, aim for 3x as your new baseline. And if you’re feeling fancy go for a “bonus” 4th that’s low intensity like an evening walk. But no 0 - 6x as it’s too drastic of a change and won’t be sustained.

    • Ex: If you’re looking to upgrade your nutrition, begin with 2 new recipes a week & gather what you need in advance (the weekend is great for this). Think about it like refreshing your recipe library. With each meal you enjoy it gets carried forward into your weekly repertoire. Perhaps one week is breakfast focused, the next week lunch focused etc. Before you know it, you’ll have layered in numerous new recipes without an abrupt overhaul.

  3. With any new habit, the hardest part is finding the time. The key is to schedule it in! It should not feel like a guessing game whether or not the habit will happen. Yes things can shift, but those should be the exception and not the norm. If the plan is always changing then consider an adjusted approach.

    • Ex: If you’ve got 20 minutes for a workout a few times a week - great! Begin there. You can always fill in new and different exercises or increase the duration as you go along. But you can’t upgrade what you haven’t started.

  4. Variety and small tweaks are your friend!

    • Ex: If you currently run 4x a week (good work!) then perhaps you’d consider changing up what those runs look like for an additional challenge. You could switch up the route for new scenery, play with intervals, add in hill training, or make a new killer playlist. Consider adding 10  minutes of strength training to the end of a run for a small but powerful upgrade.

  5. Assess how you did! End of week check-ins are key to reflecting on what worked, what needs adjusting, and what can be swapped for something new altogether. There is no failure. It’s all one big experiment to see what works best for you. Keep at it and find your ideal habits for your best month (& year).

Trick question. “What if I want to lose weight?”

  • It’s a common goal in the new year. But what we must first ask is WHY? Perhaps because you want to feel strong or confident in your skin, to have more energy, or to be able to run a race you’ve always dreamed of. Great! Now we are getting somewhere. It’s important to ask yourself these questions to get to the root… and THEN you can design your habits accordingly (based on how you want to feel or what you’d like to accomplish). It’s essential to establish healthy habits that are a true lifestyle you can sustain and not a crash course diet that will come and go.

    • P.S. Throw away your scale. For real. Measure your success by all the healthy habits you cultivate. In time you’ll see physical change as a natural byproduct of all these awesome habits, but it’s not the goal. YOUR ACTIONS are what matter! Do the work. Learn to celebrate the process. Every time you invest energy into being your best, you win.

Habits like Clockwork

We’re big fans of making our healthy habits automatic. Establishing morning, daytime, and evening routines are a great way to do so. Below are a multitude of suggestions of what that could look like for you. Highlight or make note of the ones that resonate! And add your own + share your wisdom with the DTGS community. We’re all in this together.

Want to have a more energized, productive, joy-filled day? Revisit your MORNING ROUTINE to get that jumpstart you deserve.

FOR YOUR BODY:

  1. Drink 8oz+ of water first thing in the morning (before coffee or food!). Could also do a glass of hot lemon water for endless benefits on top of just hydration.

    • Pro tip: Keep an empty glass next to the coffee machine or tea kettle so you remember even when you’re half asleep :)

  2. Get moving! Study after study has shown the benefits of morning exercise. You’ll enter the day energized, with mental clarity and focus, and you’re more likely to stick to it long term. [Evening workouts have a greater chance of last minute conflicts or a case of the “I don’t feel like it anymore.” We’ve all been there! Outsmart it with an AM sweat session.]

    • Pro tip: Don’t overcomplicate it. You can begin with 20 minutes in your living room, following along with a youtube video or fitness app (check out PUMATRAC for a familiar face ;)).  The most important thing is to set aside the time to get moving. You can upgrade the literal workout once your routine is established.

  3. Drink 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar + 1 cup water (to dilute) to assist with digestion and gut health. Best before food / on an empty stomach.

  4. Try a new breakfast recipe! Whether you’ve got 5 minutes or 35, there is always a healthy solution with a little creativity & planning.

    • Some of our go to’s: almond milk yogurt, oatmeal + scoop plant protein powder, fruit, scrambled eggs, a green smoothie… yum.

    • Pro tip: If your mornings are crazy, consider prepping the night before! Overnight oats or a smoothie in the refrigerator to grab and go could be your new BFF.

FOR YOUR MIND:

  1. Use the quiet hours before the world wakes up (or after work hours if you prefer!) to sharpen your skills or expand knowledge on a topic. Examples: getting savvy with finances from the help of a finance book, improving your side hustle with an online course, or learning a new language. Bottom line – follow your curiosities! You never know where they will lead.

    • Pro tip: Swap out 20 minutes of scrolling on social media for 20 minutes of almost anything else. ;) We’re a fan of the Duolingo app for language. [then watch flight deals to put your skills to the test :]

  2. Turn your commute into a classroom or pep talk with the help of a podcast, audio book, or an inspiring talk. The key? Must be a topic you’re really interested in or a teacher that resonates with you. Feed the mind! Knowledge (and a positive mindset) are power.

FOR YOUR SPIRIT:

  1. Instead of reaching for your phone or computer (the emails & Instagram can wait!), have some YOU time first to set the tone of your day. This is a big one for owning the day!

    • Our favorites: journaling, prayer, meditation, making a gratitude list, writing down some “I AMs” to build yourself up for the day and focus on the kind of person you want to be. Then you’re ready to shine.

  2. Create an inspiring morning playlist for yourself that puts you in a good mood. Can be anything! Maybe you like to get hype with morning hip hop. Or perhaps you like to ease into it with some acoustic tunes that give you peace & perspective. You know yourself best. Or create two so you can play it by ear ;)

  3. Step outside and take 10 deep breaths. Feel your feet planted on the ground. Connect inward and know that anything is possible.

Looking to cultivate healthy DAYTIME habits?

  1. Carry a reusable water bottle with you.

    • Because it’s better for the planet than plastic.

    • The visual reminder will encourage you to drink more water throughout the day.

    • You can keep track of your intake better! The individual goal is to drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. So for a 150lbs person, the estimated daily goal is 75 ounces of water. If your water bottle holds 25 ounces then you can aim to fill it 3x to meet your hydration goal! And earn a sticker :)

  2. Go for a walk outside at lunch (weather permitting). Fresh air and movement are great to clear the mind and keep perspective.

  3. Take a 5 min break and call or text someone you love - tell them how awesome they are! It will make you feel just as good.

  4. Order or prepare a big salad for lunch! Think lots of veggies & greens (bell peppers, cucumbers, peas, green beans, spinach...), a healthy fat (avocado, nuts, olives...), and protein (beans, lean meat, eggs, quinoa...). Mix & match to create something delicious.

  5. Snack on fruits and veggies throughout the day. Simple and packed with nutrients.

  6. Kick the soda habit and swap for water (or sparkling water if you still want the bubbles!).

Want to wind down after a busy day? Revisit your EVENING ROUTINE to ease yourself into sweet slumber.

FOR YOUR BODY:

  1. Best way to make an evening workout happen? Schedule a class! Make it fun by trying something new, recruiting a friend, or hitting up your favorite neighborhood studio.

  2. Experiment with a new healthy dinner recipe. Can also make enough for an easy lunch the following day (sneaky meal prep!).

    • Pro tip: Aim to have dinner at least 2-3 hours before bed for better digestion.

  3. Care for the body! Foam roll for 10 minutes, take a yin yoga class (the slower kind :)), or soak in an epsom salt bath to ease sore/tired muscles.

  4. Explore the world of decaf tea. Chamomile is a favorite for a calming evening routine.

  5. Get to bed on time to ensure you get at least 7 hours of sleep. The evening wind down routine helps with this. Sleep is ESSENTIAL to your health, so be sure to clear your evening tasks to make it happen.

FOR YOUR MIND:

  1. Create an “off hour” mark at which you don’t answer any more work calls/emails and can put down devices & mentally close the work tabs in your brain. Voice it outwardly if needed! Then think of all the amazing ways you can use that reclaimed time to be more fully present. Boundaries + mindfulness for the win.

  2. Swap mindless TV for a documentary on Netflix or Ted Talk you’ve been wanting to watch. We’ll say it again - follow your curiosities!

FOR YOUR SPIRIT:

  1. Wind down with some creativity! Get out markers for evening doodling or colored pencils for your adult coloring book. It’s surprisingly calming and enjoyable.

  2. Create an evening playlist that gives you those chill vibes. Doesn’t have to be classical music (but it can be!). Set the background music for how you’d like to feel. (pairs great with your coloring session :))

  3. Invite a friend over for dinner. Nourishing food + inspiring conversation is good for the soul.

  4. Put down phones/devices 45 minutes before bedtime and set the mood! Light a candle, dim the lights, and get ready for bed as if it were the turn-down service at a hotel. Put a mint on your pillow if you must ;) But changing the visual environment helps to drop some of the day’s stressors and ease you into slumber.

  5. Allow yourself to dream… take out a journal and write. Here are some prompts to assist:

    • List the top places you dream of visiting. And believe you’ll get there one day.

    • List 4 things that you’re proud of (best qualities, accomplishments, etc).

    • Write down a few of the happiest moments of your life so far. See? When we focus on the good things we’re reminded just how beautiful life already is.

Weekly BONUS POINT! (One for each week)

  1. List 5 things that you enjoy doing. Where you feel energized or in the flow. Or it’s just fricken fun. See if you can work some of them into next week’s healthy actions!

  2. What is one area of your home or office that could use some extra care? Nothing like cleaning out a closet, sock drawer, or desk to create space & refresh energy!

  3. List some ways in which you can love others. Let those in your life known they matter to you, or spread some kindness to a stranger. No amount is too small. Go!

  4. What do you want to be known for? What legacy do you want to leave? Use this reflection to guide you as you create future goals and habits. Your actions should all point back to this bigger picture as you move forward into the rest of 2019.