2015 was a tough year. ISIS. Ebola, the comeback of Justin Bieber. You’d be forgiven for being a little depressed about the state of the world and hoping for some positive changes in 2016. However, since all of these things are out of your control, the only thing you have any real power over is your own happiness.
The first couple of months in the New Year are the perfect time to start making changes to ensure it’s your best year yet.
The challenge is on New Year’s Day we frequently make resolutions that we have great intentions of keeping but end up only lasting a week or two. Often these are unrealistic and are not lifestyle choices that are sustainable- Losing ten kilos in a week anyone? We’ve put together some tips for some small steps instead that are actually maintainable in the long term.
Stop putting off “the thing”
You know the thing. Everyone has one. The thing that you know you should do, that has to be done, but you just keep putting it off for whatever reason. Whether it’s asking for a well-deserved pay rise, getting a root canal or getting in touch with your estranged brother, it’s time to stop putting it off and just do it, Nike style. It may force you out of your comfort zone, it may challenge you, but getting that weight off your shoulders is a great way to ensure the New Year gets off to a good start.
Think About Your Health
The first week of the year is the ideal time to begin that juice cleanse whilst simultaneously running 15kms twice a day. Kidding. However, it is a good time to look at your health and establish if there are any changes you can make to improve your well-being for 2016. The most important thing is to have a realistic idea of where you are at. If you haven’t exercised for a year start with a 20-minute walk three times a week. If you’ve got the world’s biggest sweet tooth decrease the amount of sugar in your diet rather than trying to quit it completely. Limit your coffees to one a day instead of three. If you start by making small improvements rather than a complete lifestyle overhaul you’ll have a far greater chance of succeeding in becoming a healthier you in 2016.
Make More Effort with Your Family
Australians work some of the longest hours in the developed world with 1/5th of us putting in more than 50 hours a week. Couple this with active social lives, fitness routines, extra study or whatever else it’s increasingly easy to put off catching up with our family because we don’t have the time.
However, when you consider people on their death beds are rarely concerned with what they have achieved at work, but many biggest regrets revolve around not spending enough time with family then maybe it’s time to change your priorities. Make 2016 the year where you make spending more time with your loved ones the most important thing you do. Get together more. Create beautiful memories. Take photos. Display them proudly. You and your family members are not guaranteed tomorrow. Spend time with them whilst you still can.
Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime”.
We all know that travelling opens your eyes, empowers you and forces you to grow as a human. And what’s the point of working all year if we never get to enjoy the fruits of our labour?! Book that trip you’ve been dreaming off. Travel somewhere, anywhere. Experience a different culture. Travelling is the only thing we pay for that makes us richer.
Be Kinder To Yourself
Get into the habit at the start of the year to be kinder to yourself. It is simply the best thing you can do not only for yourself but for your relationships in your life as well. Invest in yourself by doing something each day that makes you happy. Have a long bath. Read a good book, whatever it is, make time for you. Appreciate yourself by taking a couple of minutes each day to be thankful for the good qualities you have. Speak to yourself in kinder tones and if you have made a mistake or are just feeling down instead of beating yourself up ask yourself “how would your best friend support you through that situation” and speak to yourself the way they would.
Get rid of anything you don’t use
You don’t have to go full minimalist and get rid of everything you own, but the start of the year is a good time to get rid of possessions that serve no purpose to you anymore. The general rule of thumb is his you haven’t worn or used an item in the last 6 months you’re probably not going to – except if they hold obvious sentimental value like a wedding dress or photo albums. Give your items to charity and start the year with a good deed as well.
Bring your memories of the time spent with your family or pictures of your dream holiday to life by transforming them into beautiful canvas prints with the Canvas Factory. Find out more here.