Out With The Old, In With The New!

I love the beginning of the new year. It’s so full of possibility, re-focus and clarity. Although I’ve never been a huge fan of “New Year’s Resolutions," I do love to make big changes this time of year simply because it is such a fresh start! I don’t know about you, but I have noticed for myself that I am more likely to make great changes that last if I don’t over-challenge myself. Set reasonable goals that have big pay-offs!

Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. The clean-out. As I look at all the new items that have come into our home during the beautiful season of giving, the number one question I have is where are we going to put all the stuff??? Set aside a little time to do some clean out. Choose a drawer or a room to start with. The feeling of throwing away and giving away is so cathartic! Don’t underestimate the power of handing over bags of unused items to your local thrift store. The pay-offs: more space in your closet or drawer, the feel-good of giving something away that someone else may need, and if you want to go the extra mile, there’s also a tax write off!
  2. Regular quality time with loved ones. Whether it be a consistent date night with your significant other, one-on-one with kids, or a specific day every month you set aside to catch up with a friend over lunch, the huge payoffs of valuable real quality time with people you love is unmeasurable! Schedule it for at least once a month and be consistent!
  3. Eat better. Slow down and savor a delicious meal. Really make the conscious effort to pay attention to every flavor and spoil yourself with something amazing. While you’re at it, eat a little healthier. Make small changes… Your body will thank you for it. And yes you can do both! If the delicious meal you desire is a less healthy splurge, make that a once a week treat. Most importantly, drink more water! I am always shocked at how much better I feel just by changing the amount of water I drink.
  4. Get active. Find something that you love to do that makes you move. Hiking, biking, dancing, going to the gym… Whatever it is make sure you enjoy it and force yourself to do it for at least a month. If it’s hard to get going, pick two days a week and start with just 20 minutes… The payoffs: feel-good endorphins, health, strength.
  5. Reward Yourself. Set a goal to reward yourself with one special thing. Sometimes I do it for a daily goal and sometimes I do it as a long-term goal. For example, if I get all my tasks done during the day, I might reward myself with a dessert or a favorite show. If I want to buy something a little more spendy, I may make a challenge for six months and if I stick to it and I put some money aside every week I will reward myself with that special item or trip.
  6. Pamper yourself. Invest in good skin care, hair care, dental care. Remember that you have one body that gets you through this life. Treat it well!
  7. Make a kindness goal. Some examples: improve the life of somebody specific who really needs it, volunteer to help on a large scale with a food bank or a big brother/big sister organization or at church etc., make a goal to perform one act of kindness every day to a stranger, commit to paying a compliment to five different people every day. The pay it forward pay-off on this can definitely help make this world a better place. You never know how you’re going to make a difference or even save a life unknowingly.

Consider what you want to see different in your life. As life is slowing down in January, take this opportunity to start making new habits that pay off so much bigger than they cost. You are worth it. 

Carmen Brough

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