Everybody wants to lose weight in the new year, right? Everybody also wants to make more money and find a new boo (if the old one ain’t cutting it)! But are we thinking long-term about some of the unsexy stuff, the stuff that, ironically, makes us our sexiest, most confident and healthiest selves? If you’re anything like me, I'm sure it's been on your mind. Therefore, your to-do list just got a little longer. It’s all good though, heeding the following seven tips will hopefully pay off for you!

1. Health > Hair

Listen, I am you and you are me, OK? Like many of you, working out has long been a challenge for me, not because I didn't want to, but because it ruined my hair. I struggled for years trying to reconcile doing my hair at 8 only to have it destroyed by a spin class at 10. Making the call to protect my health at all costs in my 30s has meant (begrudgingly) finding some cute hats, wraps and scarves to get me through. Protective hair styles are also my jam, so on any given day you never fully know the state of crazy happening underneath. However, I do keep my follicles tight with It’s A Ten Miracle Hair Mask Deep Conditioner so the glow-up is real when my real hair is allowed to come back out and play.

2. A Beat Face Can't Beat A Clean Face

“Black don’t crack,” but only if you keep it moisturized! If you’d like to stay stunting with that Ten-Year Challenge, go light on the make up and heavy on the moisturizer. NARS has a really good one called Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. And since I'm usually my husband’s plus-one for red carpet events where “just moisturizer” won’t cut it, when I have dabbled in the occasional smoky eye or pouty lip it's vanished by bedtime. One of my fave drugstore scores, Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover by Neutrogena, makes sure of this.

3. De-stress In This Mess

All things Trump. The government shutdown. Breakup by text. Yo, it’s all enough to drive a sista crazy. To cope, consider going old school like me — start a journal! It’s free therapy! (Though if you could use a therapist, grab one of those too.) A journalist for 20 years, I collect adorable ones from places like Barnes and Noble or Target. But if you’d like an online substitute for say, Instagram, Penzu is great virtual journal to try.

4. Put Africa On Your Personal Map

Africa rising — for real. We don’t need an invite from Boris Kodjoe to roll to Ghana. West Africa — make that virtually all of Africa — awaits us with open arms. Over the past six years I have traveled to Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia and Senegal and never felt more beautiful, more at home, more seen or more affirmed as a Black woman. I think we all deserve to bask in that kind of light, don’t you? Check out trips to the continent from nomadhill.com to Travelzoo for a range of pricing options.

5. Get Back To Nature

Is it just me or does everything just work better when you’re fully plugged into your body? To ensure I’m giving my body the nutrients it needs and eliminating the stuff it doesn’t, I schedule some time with my a naturopathic doctor. As a result I start my year with energy that’s through the roof, I'm more focused and on top of my weight-management game. The vitamins and supplements in my medicine cabinet are on point. You can Google to find a doc who accepts your insurance or operates on a sliding scale and sites like wellness.com can help prep you mentally for the shift. 

6. If It’s The Clothes That Make The Man, It’s The Undergarments That Make The Woman

You read that right. If you’re in the market for an, ahem, tummy smoother, might I suggest Wolford’s? Spanx is cool, but it doesn’t work for every body. Wolford’s is French and their stuff isn’t cheap, but they do what they promise and then some.  Plus, they’re breathable and maintain their original shape over time. I’ve got a pair almost as old as my oldest son.

7. Sneaker Game Tight

Risking the health of our back and feet to rock the cute shoes with the heels is getting old. As I recover from a recent back injury, I've found myself following my sister-in-style Tracee Ellis Ross’ lead: it’s all about the sneaker. Options from Nike, Golden Goose, Adidas and Balenciaga ensure we maintain our style and our stride. Our feet say thank you.

Dionne Boldin, wife of former NFL star Anquan Boldin, is a fashion and lifestyle blogger, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist. She is an official fashion influencer for Atlanta’s Shops at Buckhead for the 2019 Super Bowl. 

Blavitize your inbox! Join our daily newsletter for fresh stories and breaking news.