Are you a New Year's Resolution person? Personally, I'm not. My yearly "reset" is more around the kids going back to school in August. I get motivated to "change my ways" when we're all transitioning into new experiences. I also like to do my "spring cleaning" after school is out for summer break. But I'm weird.
Let's go back to the New Year's Resolution thing. Did you know there's a popular top 5 list? Here they are:
- Lose weight / Exercise (these were actually #1 & #3)
- Improve finances
- Stop smoking
- Manage stress better
- Get a new job
Huh, not a big surprise really, except maybe the smoking one. I mean, I don't even know anyone in my life that smokes (anymore). Do you? So other than number 3, there's nothing that stands out as super interesting. And here's where I dislike the concept of "New Year, New You!": it's all propaganda.
Would you like a new job? Sure? Maybe? Are you realistically going to get a new one? Eh.... maybe? If you're self motivated to job search, fix up your resume, actually apply then take time off to interview, then yes, maybe you'll find yourself climbing that corporate ladder.
Are you going to lose weight? Eh....maybe? If you're self motivated to make a grocery list, stick to it, maintain a healthy relationship with food, and limit eating out.
Are you going to improve finances? Eh....maybe? If you discipline yourself to leave your debit card at home, invest a percentage of your paycheck, if you stop "nickel and diming" your cash away on meaningless Amazon purchases.
I'm not trying to be a DebbieDowner here. I'm actually a glass-half-full person. BUT "New Year, New You?" is not a good mindset. It's just not going to happen. Not during a dreary January when it gets dark at 4:45 and the temperature hovers around 34. No, you'll find yourself spending that extra holiday money on fattening potato chips or winter beer from Trader Joe's, snuggling on the coach, and dreaming of retirement in Bali.
But let's take the 2021 away from the equation. (Because let's all acknowledge the
shit show 2020 was). NOW -- Let's keep the "NEW YOU" portion of the phrase. THIS. THIS part is doable if we don't focus on the New Year reset.
5 BETTER TIPS TO FOCUS ON to change yourself from the inside out:
- Get sleep
Yes, we know the house is quiet at midnight. But it's not good for your body. (Y'all I'm preaching to myself here.) Let's focus on one simple thing you can do to improve your health, and that's setting an alarm to GO to bed. Start with 15 minutes earlier each week until you're going to bed at a reasonable time for what your body actually needs. Function better on 8 hours of sleep? Try to reset your sleep schedule to be snoozing by 10pm.
- Drink More Water
Trying to lose weight? Start first with drinking more water. Invest in a fun water bottle. Decide how you LIKE to drink your water -- room temp? super cold? with lemon? If we're honest with ourselves, we all need approximately a gallon a day. And no, coffee doesn't count.
- Talk to a friend on the phone or in person every day (NOT TEXTING)
Whew. This one sounds hard. But it's SO GOOD for our mental health and stress management. A good friend is priceless. Even a 10 minute "friend maintenance" check in. Genuinely ask your friend how they're doing. Then listen to their answer. Investing in relationships take time and work, but it's time better spent than scrolling social media and seeing the highlight reels of people you don't even really know.
- Find an accountability partner
Money? Exercising? Healthy eating choices? What we really need is someone who is keeping us accountable and that we can be honest with. Maybe this is a financial planner who will help guide you each month where your money needs to be. Maybe it's enrolling in a class like Financial Peace University. Maybe it's hiring a personal trainer or joining a fitness group with a coach, like The FastER Way to Fat Loss. Whatever it is, you're not going to last until you TELL someone else what you need help with.
- Put down your phone
Many people hate their jobs because they follow us home. With technology at our fingertips, computers that fit in our purses, and WiFi on airplanes and restaurants, our work literally never goes away. Add to that a culture of immediate gratification and our clients or bosses believing that emails are text messages. We've been brainwashed to believe we need to answer everything within minutes. This is simply not true, and it all starts with one person putting boundries on their worklife/homelife. So, set timers and abide by them. When you pull in your driveway, turn off your laptop. Put your phone up in a basket away from you hands and back pocket. I promise, THIS small change might actually be the ONE thing to help YOU be a NEW YOU this year. A happier you. A YOU that can actually focus on all the other things.
Any then, Eh....maybe your new year will actually be pretty amazing. Here's to 2021. It can only get better, right?