Happy 2019! As we run, walk, or maybe even crawl into the New Year, we often begin with a desire, if not a definitive plan to make lifestyle improvements. Once and for all, we’re going to tackle that cluttered home, lose those extra pounds, or find the career where we’ll truly find fulfillment. Despite our good intentions, we may quickly find ourselves overwhelmed and frustrated as we set lofty and often unrealistic goals. Without a thorough assessment of our needs, wants, and resources, we can often fail to achieve our intended lifestyle improvements. The New Year offers an excellent opportunity for a fresh start and a reexamination of our goals and choices. As we begin 2019, I encourage you to look at your life with a critical eye and decide what you need to, want to, and are willing to try to work to improve. Here are 19 suggestions for 2019 that can help. Through these, you can improve your chances of lifestyle balance, goal achievement and of living the life you want and deserve.
1) Spend some time alone. Get to know yourself without the influence of others. You might find you like your own company.
2) Learn and practice Mindfulness. Work on being in the present rather than allowing yourself to dwell in the past or anticipate the future.
3) Set boundaries with others, be they family, friends or coworkers. Do not accept disrespect.
4) Allow others to help you. They’ll feel good and you may get some much needed relief.
5) Get up and move! Take the stairs, go for a brisk walk, do some jumping jacks, practice yoga, ride your bike. Find a way to move your body. Simply moving briskly 20 minutes each day can help decrease anxiety, depression and relieve stress.
6) Don’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t accomplish everything you planned each day. No one does. Work on small, realistic, attainable daily goals. Small achievements reinforce us, leading us to want to strive for more.
7) Help someone else. You’ll feel good and they may get some much needed relief.
8) Surround yourself with supportive and loving people. Make good choices about with whom you choose to share your world.
9) Work on clearing away physical clutter. You’ll be amazed at how this can lead to increased productivity and decreased anxiety.
10) Decide what changes will make you the happiest in the coming year. Prioritize those.
11) Give yourself a time out. When you feel overwhelmed, take 10 minutes alone to regroup. Close your eyes and breathe.
12) Stop comparing your life, body, career, children, house, relationship, etc., to others. You are a unique individual and deserve to be treated as such.
13) Look for opportunities to enhance parts of your life you never considered. Read more. Learn an instrument. Take a break from social media. Volunteer.
14) Share your intentions to improve your life with someone. You’re more likely to achieve goals when you tell someone else.
15) Take risks but don’t be careless.
16) Let go of regret and grudges. These simply expend energy unnecessarily and increase stress.
17) Have high expectations of others, both personally and professionally.
18) Be honest about your present circumstances. If you’re feeling anxious and depressed, seek help.
19) Finally, as the great Maya Angelou said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” Let’s all seek to do the same in the New Year.
Best wishes for a wonderful 2019!