Well here we are, already into the second month of 2018! Why is it we are always surprised how quickly time flies? If you haven’t done it already, it’s not too late to set your goals, create healthy habits, and find ways to get what YOU want out of life.
We’ve come up with a few tips to help you get on track:
1. Set Realistic (and obtainable) Personal Goals
Setting realistic and achievable goals for your physical and mental wellness is an important step toward kick-starting your best year yet. Setting goals triggers positive behaviour changes and keeps you focused on the steps you need to take to make those changes.
Keep your goals realistic and achievable. It will be far more satisfying if you set smaller reachable goals and build up to the BHA (big, hairy, audacious) goals as the smaller ones are achieved. Remember to keep your goals visible by writing them on a piece of paper for your fridge or creating a motivational wallpaper for your phone screen or computer. And lastly, share your goals with others to keep yourself accountable.
2. Help Someone
There is a Chinese saying that goes a bit like this, “If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody”. It’s so simple. Help someone…. even in a small way.
Focus on doing something for someone else. This could be by giving your time through volunteering in your community, or by supporting a cause or charity that aligns with your own beliefs or experiences. It could even be offering to cook a meal for a friend you know is feeling a bit overwhelmed by life. Helping another person will give you a warm fuzzy feeling that is guaranteed to put a smile on your (and their) dial!
3. Say Thank-you
Did you know that being actively thankful can improve your health? A 2010 study by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D, a USA-based expert on gratitude, found that people practicing gratitude reported experiencing higher levels of positive emotions, feeling more alert, alive and awake, experiencing more joy and pleasure, and feeling more optimism and happiness.
I’m sure you have heard this before but the simple act of keeping a gratitude journal can work wonders. Prompt yourself each day by asking yourself what you are thankful for today…if you’re at a loss it could simply be the fact that you have the mind and ability to even write what you are grateful for! Put the answers in your gratitude journal and stick in visual triggers like photos, notes or quotes that will spark your feelings of gratitude.
And lastly, smile at people and say “thank you”. Or send a quick note or a text message to show others how thankful you are for things they do. Those simple words of encouragement can make a person’s day (or week!). Try it and see what happens.
4. Write a not-to-do list
I love this one. Not to do lists are often more effective than TO do lists, and the reason is simple….. what you don’t do determines what you DO! Does eating junk food make you feel sick? Staying up late to binge watch your favourite TV shows leave you feeling exhausted, distracted and stressed at work? Starting your work day by reading emails leave you feeling stressed and chasing your tail all morning?
Set up your Not To Do List by adding anything that keeps you from achieving your goals. List out any actions or behaviours that contribute to you feeling stress, disappointment, regret, anger or overwhelmed. Add any distractions that you want to avoid, including using your phone, spending time on Facebook or wasting time randomly surfing the internet (we all do it!).
Place your Not To Do List in a prominent spot at work or at home so you can see it daily.
5. Set up your Environment for Success
Design your work environment in a way that contributes to meeting your goals and avoiding distractions. Turn off notifications on your computer and mobile phone and consider how noise impacts on your work… some people enjoy listening to music while they work. Bring light into your work space and if natural light isn’t an option, bring in a lamp. Get some greenery into your work space to help create an environment that feels welcoming, inspiring, fresh and colourful (just remember to water the plants!). Listen to and read content that inspires you or makes you happy. Check out some motivational podcasts, read some inspiring books or blogs, watch some stand-up comedy videos on your lunch break or read a biography of a person who inspires you.
Never sit for long periods of time glued to your desk or computer. Make an effort to walk around, stretch and get some fresh air during the work day.
And once you are home, find your own special way to relax. Is it through music, a good TV show, a massage or just finding a quiet place where no one can disturb you for half an hour? We all need a way to quickly de-stress, so figure out what that looks like for you and make it your go-to when you get overwhelmed.
6. Only Allow Positive Thoughts
Negative thoughts bring negative energy!
Get rid of any negative thoughts as soon as they enter your mind and instead fill your head with positive thoughts like, ‘I’m going to enjoy this year’, ‘I’m going to grab opportunities’, ‘I love working with my team’ or ‘I’m going to use my spare time productively’.
Choose to have an excellent year!