It’s almost time to ring in the New Year. And this means we all start singing that same old tune of “new year, new me” mentality that includes losing weight and working on ourselves in the quest of self-improvement.
It is great to set goals. I am a huge goal setter. But the problem is that most of us fall through on the promises we make it ourselves.
This is why I believe in a little goes a long way approach when it comes to goals and self-help.
Instead of making a general large goal of weight loss, set small milestone goals like losing 5 lbs. by Valentine’s Day and 15 lbs. by Easter.
2020 brings with it a blank slate that allows us to press the reset button. And this can be applied to many aspects of your life: physical, mental and spiritual.
So instead of just making general goals that get lost out in the universe, try doing the following things that will help you work on you throughout the New Year.
1. Read A Book
Sure we all want a strong body—especially after the holidays. But there are lots to say about a strong mind. Workout the mind by picking up a new book.
Aim to read more in the new year.
This could be a book a month or as often or little as suits your schedule. This might translate to a few pages a night, but reading has so many benefits that even a little is worth it.
This includes reducing stress, increasing knowledge and improving memory. It also boosts creativity, helps you become a better writer and improves focus.
2. Walk More
Okay, so back to that fit bod goal.
Some stay committed to their fitness plans throughout the year and others who stop going to the gym by Feb. 1.
No matter which one you are, aim to walk whenever possible. This could be every evening after work. It could be even be used as the warm-up to a workout. It could be walking to the train instead of the bus or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
The point is if you can walk there, do so.
Walking is a great way to sneak in a mini-workout. We all know the health benefits like promoting weight loss, lowering blood pressure, improving memory, and reducing stress. But other surprising benefits include reducing sugar cravings, reducing joint pain and boosting immunity.
Have a feud or still holding a grudge? Let that shit go.
Those who practice forgiveness live more satisfying lives.
Harboring resentment and ill will recks havoc on our mental and emotional health. This includes promoting stress and anxiety and ruining self-esteem. It also increases the risk of depression.
But it also hurts physical health. Having hatred or being bitter raises blood pressure, which can affect heart health. It can also affect the immune system.
Having hate in your heart effects relationships and all that anger can cause you to focus on the past and not live in the present.
Forgiveness can be really hard to do. But recognizing that it needs to be done to heal various areas of your life is the first step. Reflect on the negative event or situation and empathize with the other person. Don’t focus on how they act or react, you are only in control of your actions and thoughts.
4. Have An Extra Glass Of Water
You already know that drinking water is good for your health. It promotes weight loss, aiding in getting rid of body waste. It stabilizing blood pressure for a healthy heart and hydrates the skin for beauty benefits. Water is essential for our lives, keeping our muscles and joints working.
Men are recommended to drink 15.5. cups of water, women 11.5 cups per day.
Of course, more should be consumed with exercise and for those breastfeeding.
Instead of saying you will try to drink enough water throughout the day, focus on drinking just one extra glass per day. Start the day off with a cup while the coffee crews. Have a glass in right before a meal. Drink one before bed.
Over time this will become a habit and you will notice you are drinking more water in general.
5. Try Something New
If you have things on your bucket list, now is the time to do. And really do it. Make the plans and set up things you have been wanting to experience. You only have one life, so don’t let it pass you by.
The chances are you probably haven’t skydived or taken that cooking class is because you are afraid or feel too awkward to come out of your comfort zone. But doing so increases creativity and productivity.
This can lead to more happiness, plus the feeling of accomplishment.
Trying things that are new means learning new things. This results in growth and self-improvement. You don’t need to do wild and crazy things unless you want to be a little wild and crazy. So go on and take that aerial yoga class or pick up music classes.
6. Do Something You Love
Make sure to take the time out to do the thing you love. Maybe this is a hobby or interest that has been shelved because of a busy schedule. Make this thing a priority—even if it means dedicating an hour to it once a week.
This could be anything from going for a run to reading, painting, playing music or just listening to music. No matter what it is we should be filling our days doing what we love to boost happiness.
7. Make New Connections
Some people feel like there is no need to make new friends if the ones you have are all you really need. And while you should value these relationships, there is nothing wrong without attempting to branch out of your typical friend circle.
Meeting new connections means being exposed to different people with differing beliefs, thoughts, and opinions who have been through different experiences. Again, there are lots to be learned here. And who knows, you might just meet your next best friend—or partner.
But meeting new connections doesn’t necessarily mean making friends. It can mean networking for job or business opportunities. So go to that work. mixer or update your LinkedIn profile.
The goal is to be open to meeting new people when it comes to personal and professional relationships.
8. Do Some Soul Searching
Self-improvement includes working on your spiritual aspect of life. Whatever you believe in, take the time to nurture this relationship with aims to better yourself.
You don’t need to believe in God, a higher power or aliens to tap into this. Do some soul searching and reflect on what you can do to have a more positive mindset, to be nicer to others or to help the community or environment out in a way you haven’t before.
Get rid of the negativity in your life and focus on your well-being.
It’s all about self-love and growth for the new year so namaste and keep the good vibes coming.
9. Save Money
Improve on yourself by improving your finances. After the holiday season chances are you are straight-up broke. But it’s time to make this year the year to make strides to get out of debt and start saving money.
There are many benefits to saving money. For starters, you never know when life will hit and an emergency fund is needed. This can be anything from your car needing work to lose your job and needed money to cover rent. It’s always good to have a rainy day account, so start by putting away a few bucks every paycheck. Don’t even think about it and by the end of the end, you will have a nice amount saved up.
Along with asking money, try to make one financial sacrifice a week or month. Instead of going shopping or eating out once a week, pocket that same to apply to paying off student loans or that credit card faster.
Pay more than the minimum on your credit cards each month, even if it’s just a little bit more.
Saving money will make you feel more prepared and give that cushion for when you can take the time to treat yourself to something worthwhile like that dream vacation.
10. Put Family First
In the New Year, aim to always put family first. This means taking the time to call—not text—your loved ones. This includes Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, and Dad. One day when they are gone you will regret not hearing their voice more or picking up the phone when they called.
Plan family outings and dedicate at least one weekend of the month to family bonding time.
And family is subjective. This could be your closest friends, fur babies, etc.
Value these relationships because at the end of the day it’s family who will always be there for you.
10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day, Catherine Winter, Life Hack
5 surprising benefits of walking, Harvard Health Publishing
Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness, Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayo Clinic
Forgiveness: Your Health Depends on It, Hopkins Medicine
Water: How much should you drink every day?, Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayo Clinic