When the new year approaches, we all seem to step back and evaluate our lives in a much more detailed way. It is in December where we really think about who we are, who we’d like to be and how we will achieve it. Many of us will be enjoying Christmas eating and drinking with our families, hibernating in the house as a last celebration before starting a blank slate in 2018.
Deciding to start fresh and make lifestyle changes in the new year can be daunting, but it can also be a great way to leave our old ways behind and begin again- renewed and healthy.
The mistake many of us make from the off is to try and overhaul every single aspect of our lives in
one day. The issue with going cold turkey on your old habits is that we end up concentrating so much on the changes we make that we are unable to just enjoy the new year in all it’s glory. We end up focussing so much on what to eat and how many hours to exercise that we cannot turn these changes into habits and they fade away within the first few weeks of January.
Making changes in your life is hard. It requires focus, determination and a willingness to succeed. If one of these factors isn’t strong enough you won’t be able to make the changes you want in life.
That’s why instead of thinking big and changing your diet, exercise, habits and fashion sense all in one day, you need to start with small steps and work your way up to making every change you wish for. You will see that by doing this it is much easier to handle all the challenges that life brings and you will be a better person by the end of the year.
Here are some of the changes you can start thinking about making in the new year.
Appreciate what you already have
Before you start changing everything about yourself and the way you live: it is important to take a minute to think about the positives and be thankful for the way your life is right now. You might not have an instagrammable life every single day like some people: but there are things you do have that would make even those people jealous. Think of your family, the friends you surround yourself with and the person you love. These people choose to be around you just as you are at this moment. And then think about the other parts of your life. You may already have started trying new foods and exercises, and maybe you’ve swapped out the cigarettes for Vapor Vanity. Even if you haven’t reached your goals yet, you have laid that foundation and you have made the effort to change. Before you change anything else, be happy with what you have.
Don’t be afraid to express
If you see someone on the bus who has a lovely coat or dress: don’t be afraid to let them know. The idea of complimenting a stranger is an odd one to say the least, however you will be expressing your thoughts and also making someone else’s day better. Sometimes speaking your mind is the best way to make you more confident and can be a great way to keep your mental health in check. You’ve probably heard that one of the worst causes of stress related illnesses and anxiety is holding emotions in and not talking to people when you are struggling with things. This is the time you need to learn to open up, pay a compliment or express your concerns with a friend. You are not alone in this world and sharing your thoughts and feelings can turn you into a much more open person overall.
Yes, we know. Learning how to love ourselves is probably one of the most difficult things in the world. We tend to see the flaws in ourselves and judge ourselves much more harshly than anyone else would. This can damage our self esteem and make us feel inadequate very quickly. To love ourselves we need to stop focusing on the negatives and look at the positive things instead. Take a minute to look in the mirror each morning and spot 3 things you like about yourself. It could be the way your eyes compliment the shirt you are wearing, your smile, or even something bout the shape of your body. Get out of the habit of pointing out the bad, and point out the good instead. You will in turn step out of the house feeling much more confident and happy in your own skin.
Make time for the people who matter
You might be familiar with the following scene:
You come home from work and say hi t your family members or partner. Then you cook dinner for the family, ask each other about your day, wash up and sit in the living room on your phone catching up on social media.
Do you see the issue here? You might spend 10 minutes talking to your loved ones, but then the rest of the evening is spent with you all sitting in the same room on your phones or devices. Break this habit and instead turn your phones off, being out a board game in the evening and make some time to actually speak to your family and get to know them better. Take some time to reconnect with old friends and see if they are free for a coffee. Take the time you would normally spend on social media to call your family and ask them how they are. It will change your perspective and really allow you to see what is truly important in life.
Change your routine
One of the most difficult things we deal with is boredom. When you find that the days are melting into one because you do EXACTLY the same thing each day: you know that you are wasting the time you have on this earth. Humans only live for 70-80 years. Which might seem like a long time but in the grand scheme of things it’s a blink of an eye. What you make of your life will define the footprint you leave behind for the future. Rather than waste the days away doing the same thing over and over again: try something new. It could be that once a week you go to a yoga class or a sport class in the evening, or maybe you decide to travel for a month around Europe. Take some time in 2018 to try something new every month. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, just challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and experience life at its fullest. The result will be that you feel alive and invigorated.
We never stop learning new things. It could be something academic, something about the world or simply a story from a stranger. We learn new things every single day and it is these things which shape the kind of person we are and allow us to make the most informed life decisions we can.
Take some time today to either talk to someone new or read an article about something you’ve never learnt about. We spend our lives taking in information and the more we learn, the more we can grow as a person. See from someone else’s perspective and you may be surprised and what you learn about yourself in the process. You may even find that a new person has just the right advice for an issue you are facing in your life or business.
Never grow up
It seems weird when we think back to being a child, wishing that we were adult. Once we get into adulthood we will often change our view and wish we were children all over again. Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean you have to act like one. Take some time at the weekend to do something you used to do when you were a kid. It could be painting with your fingers, playing football in the garden or even making friendship bracelets. It might seem like a weird thing to do but it can take your stress away for a moment as you mentally rewind the clock to your childhood days. Sometimes we need to be fun and do silly things we don’t have to feel like we must sit in silence and read the newspaper every evening. Do what you love to do and don’t worry what anyone else may think about it. You are your own person and you deserve to have a little fun. And if it snows in the week leading up to Christmas, don’t just tut and worry about how icy it will be in a few days: get out there and have a snowball fight! Love your life and have some fun in 2018!