With January right around the corner, we start to reflect on the past year. How did we do? Moreso, we start to make our new list of what we are going to accomplish next year. The good ole’ New Years Resolutions.
We can easily run through the obvious choices:
- Lose Weight
- Save Money
- Learn a New Skill
While these are all fine and dandy, let’s have a gut check: How often do we actually follow through on these? Heck, some people stop going to the gym after February (guilty).
Because we set these lofty, albeit admirable goals that are so left of center from our normal lifestyle that maintenance is nearly impossible.
How about this:
Let’s roll into 2019 by choosing a few smart and realistic habit-changes that will ultimately lead to long-term success?
1) Find a book you love and read one chapter per day – Don’t go after a book that you “should” read. Find a book that interests YOU, fiction or non-fiction. Sometimes I look at books and immediately think “This is going to take me a while.” But consider the old adage “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Find 20-30 minutes in the morning or evening to read one chapter a day. It’s a lot less daunting and you’ll be soaring through multiple books before you know it!
2) Minimize – This isn’t a one-day event (although if you want it to be, have at it). But make a conscious effort to, over time, donate or throw away old clothing that no longer suit you. Clean out your junk drawer. Tidy up that catch-all countertop we all seem to have. I recommend this book to provide a *spark* of inspiration.
3) Listen to your body – This can be interpreted in many ways, but to name a few…If you’re tired, take a nap. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re not hungry, don’t. If you feel anxious or finicky, take a walk outside. Our society is “go-go-go” and we tend to push off our body’s natural alert system because we just HAVE to get that errand done or finish that report. Your body tells you what it needs, just perk up your ears.
4) Do hard tasks first – Both in your personal life and at work, we all have a to-do list and we tend to push off the monstrous tasks until the end. Don’t. The rest of the day will seem easier once you’re done, AND you’ll get a jolt of accomplishment by knocking it out first thing.
5) Stop living for the weekends – One of my favorite pieces of advice. We all consider the weekdays reserved strictly for work, school, and maybe that dreaded spin class your friend makes you go to. Why? Who made that rule? Plan a Wednesday hangout day with friends. Sign up for a weekly art class. Burn your yummy smelling candles. Pop open that expensive bottle of wine you’ve been “holding onto for the right moment” The right moment is now!
6) Sleep more – I had to throw this one in – it’s an oldie but a goodie. It blows my mind how many people do not get enough sleep per night. Some people take pride in being able to operate on 4 hours of sleep. Maybe your body is “used’ to that lifestyle, but try adding 1-2 hours to your current sleep schedule. Get yourself ready for bed earlier. This will also eliminate the need to always take lunchtime naps in your car; yes, I’m looking at you.
7) Try brain dumping – This sounds goofy but it is surprisingly effective. If you ever have felt overwhelmed by your to-do list or feel like you’re going to forget something, try this: Keep a notebook next to your bed or coffee table. Every morning or evening before bed, write down EVERYTHING that is swirling around your brain. Every. Thing. Not a formal to-do list, but an uncensored internal monologue that you have with yourself constanly. Something like this:
Haven’t taken dog outside yet
What am I going to get my sister for her birthday
Need ideas for that
What am I wearing to work tomorrow
Did I do laundry
When do I have time to do laundry
It looks a little goofy, I know. But it will lift a heavy weight off of your mind. Putting thoughts to paper is going to make it way easier for you to prioritize your day, rather than freaking out about what you’ve forgotten. Cross off tasks (and worries) off as you go.
8) Explore more – This will differ person to person, but it is so important to step outside of your comfort zone and see what else is out there. This could mean a monthly vacation to a new state, a 2-hour road trip to a new city, or even trying a new restaurant every week. Our world is so big – take advantage of every opportunity you get.
These aren’t crazy things, right? I’m not telling you to wipe out your pantry of all things sweet and delicious. I’m not saying you should workout 6 times a week and join an expensive gym. These are little adjustments to your daily routine that are easy to pick up and at least try! Choose one or a few to adopt for 2019, and heck, add a lofty goal in there too. Why not?
If your goals don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough, right?