New Year’s Eve is the day family and friends gather around to plan and dream about the possibilities the next year may bring. You might have heard the common phrase, “New year, new me” or “next year is my year”. It’s lovely to aspire to change and picture the “what if’s”.
However, not every start is pleasant or inspiring. Most movies romanticize the concept of do-overs to the point it appears a character changes their persona and life in the blink of an eye. Overnight success is not the rule but the exception.
Try to focus on making small adjustments to your routine that make it easier to transform yourself. It’s all about the daily habits that build up to positive and lasting results.
1. Replace An Unhelpful Habit
Before digging deep into what to change for the new year, ponder on the daily habits, you do today. A habit can be good or bad. You may make it a habit to scroll mindlessly through your phone or read the news. Maybe it’s a habit for you to binge shows on streaming services or
For any unhelpful habit that you engage in, there’s a productive habit that can be enriching and fulfilling. Categorize your habits, how they affect your life, and their alternatives.
2. Swap Away: Food
Let’s be critical here, diets are brutal to follow and unrealistic. So if you want to be healthier- whether that means losing weight, consuming less sugar, or increasing vegetables and fruits in your diet-it’s crucial to start with a growth mindset.
Allow yourself to swap certain food items that are challenging to leave. For example, if you’re at the grocery store and cannot fathom leaving without purchasing desserts, google the recipe. Make your favorite dessert at home from scratch with alternative ingredients. Not only will most people walk away from that process, but even if you do it, the dessert will be healthier prepared at home.
Similarly, opt for almond creamer when you reach out to buy creamer. White bread can be replaced with vegan bread or whole wheat. Stop yourself from saying, “I can’t eat this..” to “how can I make it healthier?”
Sure, it’s a slow step but rewarding in the long run.
3. Walk It Out
Walking around the block is an underrated form of exercise. But, don’t let people tell you that walking isn’t enough.
Experts say a brisk walk for thirty minutes can help a person burn extra one-hundred calories per day. Imagine if you committed to walking that distance at least four times a week?
So, walk around the block the first day. Observe how you feel afterward and repeat this the next day. After the fourth day, note this simple habit’s physical and mental changes. To make the habit more appealing, browse through podcasts and choose which to listen to on your way.
4. Listen To Podcasts
As mentioned, you can listen to podcasts as you complete another habit. Podcasts range from topics and can aid a person’s mental as well as physical health. There are countless experts sharing their opinions of politics, health, economy, crime, daily news, and so much more. Anyone that requires a bit of inspiration in their day can listen to self-growth podcasts.
Whatever topic you consider valuable, it’s out there for you to listen to. Tune in when driving to work, walking, exercising, or going to the bathroom. Anywhere you go, and whoever you’re with, podcasts are there to explore. Immerse yourself in the world of knowledge with little effort. By far, the biggest quirk of podcasts is that it’s a practice that can be paired simultaneously with any habit in this list.
Drinking a can of soda seems easy enough. Rarely does one complain when one has their favorite drink. Just as swapping foods, replace soda, liquor, and other soft drinks with water. No one is asking you to drink a gallon a day, but consider starting by drinking one liter a day.
Water helps transport nutrients in your body. It also helps maintain your body temperature, may reduce appetite, energizes muscles, keeps skin healthy, and improves both kidney and bowel function.
Now, if you cannot drink water on its own at the beginning, add berries, lemon, or mind for some flavor. These ingredients will help you transition from reaching out for drinks high in sugar to listening to your body’s needs. Sparkling water is an excellent alternative to soda. While it has bubbles, the sugar doesn’t come with it.
Did you break your piggy bank on Holiday gifts?
Regardless of your financial situation, there’s room for improvement in managing money. Find an area where you can spend less money. If you spend money on expensive cosmetics, clothes, or shoes, where else can you buy these items? Write a list of stores that offer quality products at a lower price.
Budget everything. Know what you need to spend in a month while decreasing unnecessary purchases. Before every purchase, ask the magical question: “Do I need this or do I want this?” There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself once in a while, but when it interferes with your goals and plans, then there’s a problem.
For people who quickly veered from budgeting, make this habit a game. Propose a reward in the form of vacations, clothes, or anything of your preference. Outline how many weeks the budget should cover, the quantity you’d like to save, and what your savings will do for you. Once you reach your goal, reward yourself.
Be careful, however, with rewarding yourself early on and forgetting to continue budgeting throughout the year.
7. Learn A New Skill
Choose one day a week, or how many you’d like, and learn a new skill.
If you were ever a person that lied on a resume claiming to know Excel, it could be an opportunity to take up this skill. Or start learning how to create media content with the help of a video production company.
Learning a skill, like most habits in this list, will require patience and consistency. Take, for example, learning a new language; time and practice will be your best friends. Acquiring fluency in a language means taking lessons and putting in the work. The best approach is to choose one day of the week where you can dedicate time to learning the new skill.
Avoid overwhelming yourself with loads of information and go back to the basics: why do you want to learn this new skill? Also, ask how learning this new skill will help you. A friend might come in handy when you need a buddy to be a reminder of its importance.
8. Have A Hobby
Sometimes a simple distraction from routines is enough to spark creativity in your life. Preferably, have a hobby that is fun, different from what you do at work or school, and one that you enjoy.
Hobbies are more than just an activity to take our minds off responsibilities. They give you a new perspective depending on the hobby you enjoy. Hobbies reduce stress, boredom, likely require you to learn new skills, and may place you in social settings.
A hobby can include but is not limited to reading, writing, cooking, exercising, traveling, knitting, photography, teaching, and more. Those who enjoy reading can find many interesting stories on The Doe. The collection of anonymous real-life experiences from people all over the world is sure to keep you entertained.
Word of Advice
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Be patient with yourself. Quitting is easy, but always ask, “Why did I start?” Hang motivational quote posters if necessary or write why the change this year is essential. Today, not tomorrow, write a letter to yourself explaining all the things you want to change. Describe what the best version of yourself looks, acts, thinks, and feels like. Save nothing to the imagination in this letter.
Address it as “2021 me to 2022 me” and seal it in a box.
When 2023 comes around, open it and figure out if you did what you promised the former self you would do. Of course, it’s scary to fail yourself, but writing it all down is a way to hold yourself accountable.
Today, not tomorrow.