The New Year is upon us, presenting itself as a fresh chapter in the book called "Our Life." Every year many of us try to figure out how to make the coming year the best one yet while reflecting on all of the things we didn't accomplish in the last year. Although we shouldn't define our lives by each year that passes, we can create a plan to have a killer year to come. But, instead of adding the pressure by making New Year's Resolutions, make this coming year about evolutions. Resolutions are often broken because they are intangible to sustain for an entire year (i.e., I will never eat sugar again). A list of evolutions is a positive reminder, meant to keep you on track rather than punish you for any decisions you have made in the past. To help you get a better idea of what we mean, we list ten New Year's Evolutions that will encourage you to create your best year ever through mindful acts of self-improvement and self-care.
1. Move A Little More
"Losing weight" is on most people's resolutions list. Instead of saying, "I need to lose ten pounds," focus on moving your body more. An easy way to do this is every day when you wake up, ask yourself, "How am I going to move today?" It could be anything from a 20-minute walk to a workout class, a hike or a yoga session. You don't need to kill yourself in the gym to accomplish a healthy lifestyle!
2. Add The Word Happy To Healthy Lifestyle
As with number one on our list, getting healthy is always a priority in the New Year. We witness this with how packed our gym's and workout classes are and the number of people in our lives that become obsessed with dieting and eating right. Although many are motivated within the first few months of the year, they usually give up before summertime hits because they are missing one significant component of living a healthier lifestyle: fun. Instead of obsessing over your caloric intake and spending an hour bored on the treadmill, think of ways you can have fun while transitioning to a healthier way of life. Maybe it's a healthy cooking class or a fun new workout group you want to try with a friend. Perhaps you are interested in taking a holistic nutrition course or starting a Saturday morning beach workout session with others. If it's fun, you are more likely to stick with it!
3. Learn Something New Every Day
We get so caught up in our day-to-day lives; we forget how important it is to continue learning. Watch a TED Talk as you get ready or listen to an educational podcasts on your car ride. An hour before you go to sleep, read a book instead of watching Netflix. If learning a new language is on your radar, purchase Rosetta Stone and spend an hour each evening committed to this task. Taking up a new trade is always rewarding, too and will make you feel more skillful and accomplished. All you have to do is address learning as a priority, and the ability to do so will thrive.
4. Try Something New
Trying new things gets us excited and releases those happy hormones in our brain. We often get stuck in our routine and forget that incorporating novelties is an important part of our everyday lives! Make a list of things you want to try that you have never done before. It could be boxing, horseback riding, rock climbing, an art project, or anything you want. If you are able, try to do one thing on that list each month, that's 12 new things for 2018!
5. Practice Gratitude
As part of your happiness movement, gratitude can do wonders. In fact, some studies claim practicing gratitude can make you 25% happier. Take that in for a moment. You can be 25% happier just by thinking of all the ways you are blessed in life. Try waking up each morning and writing down at least three things you are grateful for. This simple exercise is a great way to set the tone for your day, create positive thoughts, increase serotonin, lower anxiety and stress, and remind you that life is beautiful.
6. Stop Procrastinating
If you are sitting there reading this and thinking about all of the things you didn't accomplish in the past years, procrastinating is most likely to blame. For 2018, get things done and set goals for things you want to achieve. It could be anything from a hobby you want to start to a dream you have always wanted to do. Whatever it is, stop staring at it and make it happen! What are you waiting for?
7. Enjoy The Little Things
From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep we are always doing something. We jam pack our schedules, have deadlines, responsibilities, and endless things to get done. Make it a point to stop and smell the roses, literally. We get so caught up in our over-crowded schedules and to-do lists that we forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Take a little more time to look at the stars, lie down in the grass, or yes, smell the roses.
8. Be More Conscientious
They say being conscientious is linked to prosperity. Start by arriving on time, getting your things organized, and being more thoughtful of others. It's easy to forget these simple actions but switching your focus to being more conscientious could result in your success flourishing!
9. Take Care Of Your Relationships
When the New Year comes, most resolutions are fitness and health oriented. Don't forget about the relationships that are special to you. Nourishing these connections are just as important, if not more, than taking care of the wellness goals. It will create a confident and happy environment, you will feel good about yourself and others, and it will encourage positivity in your life.
10. Go Somewhere New
Yes, traveling somewhere new needs to take precedence on your evolutions list. Spending money on an experience has proven to make a person happier than spending money on materialistic things. Traveling somewhere new, whether it's by yourself, with your significant other, or the entire family creates lasting memories, the excitement of experiencing a novel location, and lights the spark of your inner child. Take time for yourself and your family this coming year.