For many of us, 2018 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2019! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January and February for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

You’re ready to start the new year, and regardless of how kind 2018 may have been to you, you’ve gotta love the feeling that comes with a fresh start. It’s a throwback to the first day of school, a moment when you were able to sharpen those pencils and pack up your new backpack, check out a new classroom and make new friends. Since most of us miss out on those exciting BTS vibes as grown-ups, we have to savor the echoes of them at the start of a new year instead. We don’t want you to let those high hopes go to waste, so we’ve chatted up a group of lifestyle experts to get their thoughts on what you should do at the start of 2019 in order to make the rest of the year the very best one yet. Keep scrolling to learn more.

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1. Start a vitamin habit. “Getting all the nutrients you need is essential for staying healthy, but nobody eats perfectly all the time, especially in winter, when our diets tend to become less colorful,” co-founder and CEO of Care/of Craig Elbert says. “Vitamins can help fill in the gaps and are an easy habit to incorporate into your routine that can have a big effect on long-term health.” Make it your mission to adopt a vitamin regimen in the early part of the year so you can feel your best going forward.

2. Talk to your boss. Now is a good time to open up the lines of communication with your supervisor, according to LinkedIn career expert Blair Decembrele. This is especially important if you have expectations of a raise or promotion over the course of the year or if you’re hoping to start working from home or on a more flexible schedule. The earlier you can get those ideas on the table, the better.

3. Test out new elements to your routine. Try a new wake-up time. Push all of your meetings to the afternoon. Eat two big meals per day instead of three smaller ones. Give yourself permission to try new routines early in the new year. Co-founder and CCO of therapy brand Myodetox Vinh Pham suggests leaning into the many pieces of advice that you can get from social media. Trying something for a few days doesn’t mean you’re committed to it for life, and it may make you happier or more productive for the rest of the year.

4. Schedule down time. After the chaos of the holiday season, it’s natural to slip back into the rush of your over-scheduled day-to-day routine come the new year. Resist the urge. According to founder of Ballet Fit Theory at Fit Atelier Sophie Folts-Mercure, actually scheduling your down time is a great way to help stop the madness.

5. Make a list of 12 people you want to get to know better. And then get to know them better. “Branch out in the new year and get to know people from different fields and friend circles, and grow relationships with people in your line of work,” founder and CEO of INKED by Dani Dani Egna tells us. “Create a calendar reminder at the start of each month to get in touch with each of these people to meet for coffee or drinks!”

6. Identify your food triggers. We’re not fans of restrictive diets, but we do totally support you if one of your goals in this new year is to increase your wellness — and food obviously plays a major role there. A great first step, per registered dietitian nutritionist and senior director of nutrition at Habit Lisa Talamini, is to think about some of the patterns that typically trigger you to go for foods that only make you feel icky. “When you identify your triggers, you can find a way to combat them, like bringing a healthy snack if you’re going into a stressful environment or moving further from the candy bowl at work,” Talamini says.

7. Practice gratitude. “Focusing on gratitude is a major game changer to help you find balance in 2019,” NYC certified health and autoimmune paleo coach Annika Schimmer tells us. “It can be as simple as thinking of five things you are grateful for each morning.” Cultivating gratitude habits early in the year will help you maintain a healthy perspective for months to come.

8. Break down your financial goals. Feeling overwhelmed by your big picture money-related aspirations? No worries! Maura Cassidy, vice president of retirement and small business at Fidelity Investments, recommends breaking down those big goals so you can more easily track your progress along the way. Figure out what you might realistically be able to save or pay back in three- or six-month increments, then celebrate those smaller wins to help motivate you toward the bigger ones.

9. Block off time for exercise. Stop thinking in the abstract about when you might have a few minutes to get your body moving and get into a routine of scheduling that time more specifically. Women’s health expert and founder of BINTO Suzie Welsh suggests noting this in your calendar as “self-care” to keep your mindset around exercise positive. “By blocking off time each day and pre-paying for any classes, you’re more likely to stick with the routine throughout the year ahead,” she says.

10. Spend money on others. Push past your financial fears and insecurities and remind yourself that money can actually be used to spread joy. “Spending on ourselves is great — and necessary,” Qapital chief behavioral economist Dan Ariely says. “But scientists have found people often report being happier when they use your money for others.” And don’t you want to have the happiest year ever?

11. Set boundaries. Saying “no” doesn’t make you negative. “Learning to say ‘no’ is one of the most important skills,” says health coach Gabriella Truglio, the head of the wellness program at The Yard and founder of Tru Haus. “Say ‘no’ to the things that don’t serve you and say ‘yes’ to the things that scare you and that you’re passionate about. The beginning of the year is a great time to take the jump.”

How do you plan to start the new year on a high note? Tweet us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)