Inspiration

5 Simple Ideas for Your Best Year Yet

New Year’s Resolutions typically have the same tune every year: Eat healthier, work out more, check off your bucket list. But these goals aren’t always easy.

We came up with some ways to make your resolutions a little more doable by breaking them down into ideas. Make 2016 the best year yet.

1. Make lists.

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How do you get anything done when everything is important? Instead of getting overwhelmed by the countless things you want to accomplish, break them out into lists. Making lists creates bite-size goals to keep track of all the vital things you need to accomplish. Lists also quell anxiety and free your mind for other things like creativity.

Categorize your lists and keep them organized by updating them often. Explore apps for your phone or tablet to keep them handy, or go old school with sticky notes and a planner. Either way, make your lists visible and easy to edit.

Take this idea one step further with lists that fulfill your big-picture goals. Write down your creative ideas, dream vacations or personal improvements you want to accomplish.

2. Visualize the good things.

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Speaking of lists . . .

Take time to remember the positive, every day. The world can seem dark and gloomy if you overlook your good fortune. Find a moment in your day to write down your blessings. Find hope in the people, events and places that bring you joy.

Need a little more motivation? Read our blog post on better sleep and gratitude for some tips on how to stay grateful.

3. Say “Yes” to life experiences.

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There will be new phones every year and changing trends in clothing. But life experiences never get old. Instead of investing in material things that can be thrown away, look for opportunities to create memories.

Whether we realize it or not, we can bind our identity to the things we own. Remember what you value and plan around it.

Want some small-scale ideas?

  • Travel to see your family during the year for an extra treat.
  • Sign up for a cooking class with a spouse, neighbor or friend.
  • Join a book club. Bookstores usually have programs to help organize them, so if you don’t have a group already, you can still join one.
  • If traveling is difficult, sign up for online classes with sites like Skillshare or Lynda. They have a wide variety, from DIY and crafts to software and technology.

 

As C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

4. Take care of you.

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It goes without saying that staying healthy offers a better chance for a happier, healthier life. This includes physical and mental health.

It’s easy to say yes to meetings and conference calls, but when was the last time you sat down to enjoy a good book? When was the last time you felt like you were doing something good for your body or your mind?

Taking care of yourself requires time. Here are some examples of how to take care of you:

  • Give yourself five more minutes to make a healthy breakfast in the morning. It’s easier to maintain good habits when you start the day off with one.
  • Plan your meals for the week. You are less likely to eat poorly if you planned for your lunch beforehand.
  • Go for a walk after dinner. Not only are you helping your body regulate blood sugar levels, you’re getting fresh air and stretching your muscles. Bonus points if you go with a loved one to catch up on each other’s days.
  • Skip the late-night television and read that book you’ve set aside, instead. The quiet time helps you prepare for rest, and you get a chance to finally crack those pages open.

 

Though life often throws a curveball, you have an opportunity to do what you can for your body and your mind right now.

5. Keep moving forward.

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It may seem natural to dwell on what bothers you, but it takes a lot of energy and steals from the present joys around you.

Instead of reliving difficulties, take them as they come and search for what you can gain from each. This is the quickest way to turn something negative into something positive.

For example, a painful surgery might keep you from moving around. A positive outcome, though silly, could be the chance for you to catch up on your favorite television series.

It is rarely easy to embrace adversity, but you’ll find that the more you refocus on positivity, the quicker you’ll see the silver lining in any situation.

Final thought.

Remember that this year is not a race, competition or a measure of your worth. Take these ideas as a starting point for you to craft your goals. Personalize them until you’re satisfied and confident in the finished ideas. Whatever your goals are, this is your year. Make it the best one yet.

The information herein may not be construed as medical advice. The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. It should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. It is best to obtain medical recommendations from your physician.

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