New year, new you. You’ve probably said this more than once over the years, with the hopes of achieving all the ambitious resolutions you set out for yourself.
If you’ve stuck to those goals, kudos to you. But if you’re still looking to find that “new you” you’ve been looking for, you’re not alone.
Maybe that list of resolutions was just too long to keep up with, or your targets were just too lofty to hit in 12 months. So how will 2019 be any different?
This time, start small. Just because gym memberships spike in January, it doesn’t mean you have to go all in during the first week of the year. Instead, set daily, weekly or monthly goals that are easier to track and achieve. After all, it’s a marathon – not a sprint.
1. A cup a day
If you’re an avid coffee drinker looking to cut down on caffeine, taking that afternoon coffee out of your day can help. Not only will it help improve your health, but it can save you money too. If you cut down on your dining expenses by even $20 a week and invested that money, it could grow to almost $37,000 over a 20 year-period. This is a reasonable resolution that you can easily keep track of – plus it can benefit both your physical and financial health.
2. Take 15 minutes for yourself
Schedule 15 minutes for yourself every day. You probably keep meaning to do this throughout the week but this year, actually do it. Whether you work from home or in an office, book off 15 minutes of the day to do something for yourself, whether it be for your mental or physical health. Take a walk, catch up on some reading or listen to music; this personal time can help you decompress. If you’re feeling ambitious, try setting aside 15 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon – you deserve it.
3. Walk more, drive less
It doesn’t have to be every day. Aim to walk instead of drive once a week, then work your way up from there. Whether you’re going to the store or you’re venturing into the downtown core, choosing to walk over taking a cab or your car is a small step that can help in a big way. You can also take the stairs instead of the elevator at least once a day. Walking can help improve your cardiac health as well as lower blood pressure and improve digestion. Plus, it can be a great way to clear your head after a hectic day.
4. Say “yes” more
This sounds like a big ask, but all it means is do the things that you’ve been putting off. If you’ve been avoiding that Pilates class you were nervous to try or you’ve been thinking about taking a course to boost your resume and credentials, it’s time to do it. Oftentimes, the things that both interest and intimidate us become the most valuable parts of our lives. So the next time you’re about to say “no” for no good reason, say “yes.”
5. Take note of your progress
It can take some time to get into a good routine, whether it’s walking more, removing one unhealthy part of your diet or trying one new thing each month. Next time you take that walk around the block to destress, take a picture along the way. Or mark down the days you skipped that afternoon coffee. They might not seem like big moments to document, but looking back at your accomplishments will help keep you motivated. Talking to an advisor can also help you track your progress and better reach your goals.
The first step is often the hardest, but starting off with small changes can help you achieve your goals in the long run.