The New Year is often that time when you see the opportunity for a fresh start. Personally, I am not the biggest fan of the typical broad goals people tend to make this time of year. This may be resolutions like losing weight, getting more organized, learning a language, reducing debt and expenditure, following a Paleo diet or going to the gym three times a week.
I am not trying to say that these are not all good objectives; they are wonderful ways to improve and build on the lifestyle you want to achieve. I have, however, noticed (as I am sure you have too), that two weeks into the New Year most of you will go back to your old habits. That time spent contemplating a long list of resolutions was wasted and worse yet, when all the promises you make to yourself fall by the wayside, you are left with unnecessary guilt and shame.
Why put yourself through that? How about making a resolution not to make resolutions anymore? Or, if you feel the need to accomplish set some goals for this year, how about making goals that are worthwhile?
With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite resolutions I feel are worth striving for, and keeping through 2017 (and beyond):
- Begin Each Day In A Positive Way.
Make time to pray, meditate on spiritual matters, or for some thoughtful introspection. Read a motivational quote or make a few notes in a gratitude journal. Even if you are rushed, spare a minute to take several slow, deep breaths to stay in the present moment and begin your day with calmness.
- Drink More Water.
From aiding your concentration to improving your complexion, water has so many health benefits. Staying well hydrated with pure, filtered water is your ultimate detoxification tool! Despite this, many of do not get sufficient water into their systems on a daily basis. Make an effort to hydrate yourself more often in 2017 along with the other beverages you may be consuming.
- Learn Something New.
This could be as simple as learning a new word to increase your vocabulary. Or you might also want to try taking a class, trying a new sport or hobby or learning to play an instrument. What it is is immaterial, just get out of your rut and try something different that excites you.
- Do Something On Your Bucket List.
Conquer a fear. No excuses. Just do it. Make a plan to cross something off your wish list this year. Envision your ideal life and take one step this year to making it a reality.
- Be Kind To You!
Sometimes, we really can be harsh on ourselves. Beating yourself up about that silly mistake really achieves very little, and may be detrimental. One of your mantras or goals for this New Year could be to be kinder to yourself. Tell yourself the same advice you would a friend: so what you made a wrong turn today – you’re only human. Laugh it off and let it go.
- Let Go Of Those Negative Nancy’s.
You know the people I am referring to, those frenemies you have that suck all the joy out of your life. Say good-bye. Don’t surround yourself with people you secretly despise. As part of this resolution you could work on no longer feeling the need to be a people-pleaser and learn to say no.
- Invest In ‘Me Time’.
Sometimes you forget to make time for yourself even though it is just as important as getting on with your busy modern lives. Taking some time to just relax and unwind is great for recharging your batteries and for peace of mind. Work this into your schedule! Every week dedicate an evening, or an afternoon, or a day or whatever you can to this all-important ‘me time’ so you can have some much-needed time to relax, restore and reconnect with yourself.
Let someone cut in front of you in the grocery line. Compliment someone. Offer to help an elderly person. Tell people you love how much you appreciate them. Do volunteer work that will make a difference in someone’s life. Send a card or bouquet of flowers to someone who is depressed. Make someone’s wish come true. Make eye contact and smile at people. Not only does smiling make you feel happier, but it also has a knock on effect to those around you.
- Send A Hand-Written Note.
There is truly something really meaningful about receiving a handwritten note, especially in today’s tech-centric world. Whether you do it once a month or more often, put a smile on someone’s face by sending them a card to tell them they are on your mind. Whilst a comment on Facebook or text message is nice, a handwritten card shows you are really making the effort.
It becomes so easy to focus on the negatives in day to day life, even if it is not your intention. This can cause anxiety, stress and general unhappiness – everything you definitely do not want to create in your life. So, instead of always emphasizing the bad things in your day, make a conscious effort to seek out the good. It could be as simple as managing to leave work on time or that you bumping into a friend unexpectedly. Change your perspective to highlight the positives in your day and you will experience a lift in your overall mood. Take the time to remember how lucky you are. Realising all the positive things in your life will support a shift in mindset and outlook. Remind yourself of something you are grateful for in your life every day. You are so lucky.
All those pennies that are gathering dust in your top drawer can really help make a difference to someone else’s life. Drop them off in a charity box and donate them. Clean out your closet and donate your clothes. Volunteer. Find a cause you love or feel passionately about and give of your time and/or your money. Giving to others and those less fortunate in all ways feels soul satisfying and is a reminder of your blessings. Every little bit helps.
- Spend Time Outside.
Apart from your daily commute to work, many people rarely spend time in the great outdoors, especially if you live in an area that experiences a cold, dark winter. Spending time outside has being linked to a host of health benefits which is why being struck by the blues during the cooler months has become a common occurrence. Whether you choose to take a brisk stroll on your lunch break or taking the longer route home, scheduling some time outside into your daily routine will reconnect you with nature, invigorate the senses and lead to an overall feeling of well-being.
The New Year should afford you the opportunity to grow, strengthen, improve and set yourself up for success. Embrace the opportunity to reflect on where you have come from and what this past year and brought for you. Now is the time to grab on, commit to you and live the life you have always dreamed of.