One of the great things about a new year is the fact that you can look at where you’re at, decide where you’d like to be, and then make a plan to improve yourself. It’s true that you can set goals anytime of the year, but the advent of a new year provides you with a convenient time to reflect.
As you consider what you want your life to look like in the coming year, it makes sense identify areas that could use improvement. Here are 6 ways you can improve your life in the coming year:
1. Get More (and Better) Sleep
Studies indicate that sleep is important to our health. Sleep affects physical and mental health, and it impacts your mood. When you have had a good night’s sleep, you are more focused, more energetic, and better able to cope with the challenges of life.
If you want to improve your life moving forward, changing your sleeping habits is a seemingly small move that can have big results later. Take the time to identify your ideal sleep arrangement, and then do what you can to stick with it.
2. Help Others
You might be surprised at how much you can improve your life by helping others. Make it a point to give back to your community during the coming year. Whether it’s volunteering an hour or two each month at a local shelter or food bank, or whether it’s helping out at your child’s school, giving back can be a way to feel good about yourself, and connect with other people.
If you don’t have the time to volunteer, consider increasing your contributions to a worthy cause. Financial generosity has a way of coming back to you in a good way, and you can feel good about supporting something you value.
3. Build Your Relationships
As an introvert with mild ADD, I have a hard time making friends. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy human interactions at times. Humans are social creatures, and even the anti-social among us need some relationships to fall back on. Look for ways to build your relationships. This doesn’t mean that you need to make more friends (unless that would enrich your life). Consider building on the relationships you already have, deepening them and making them more meaningful. Whether it’s a relationship with a significant other, a child, a parent, or a friend you wish you knew better, building your relationships can enhance your life and provide you with support when you need it.
4. Learn Something New
Learning something new can be a great way to improve your mental faculties and feel a sense of accomplishment. Everything we do doesn’t need to have some monetary value. Consider learning something just for the enjoyment of it, or for the knowledge. I want to work on a new language in the coming year, and take voice lessons. These things won’t improve my business, but they will enhance my life.
5. Adjust Your Diet and Exercise
Physical fitness should be a priority. You might be surprised at how more physical activity, combined with better eating habits, can improve your life. Adjusting your diet and exercise routines can provide you with a huge boost in your mood, energy level, and health. An investment in your health is a big deal, and it can have far-reaching consequences.
The good news is that you don’t have to make huge changes immediately. In fact, you are probably better off if you make your changes gradually. That way, they are more likely to “stick”. Start with small changes so that you aren’t overwhelmed. As the year progresses, though, you can make bigger, more dramatic changes.
It’s so easy to forget to relax. I often find myself frantically rushing from place to place. At some point, though, it’s time to unwind. I try to take time to relax every day. Sometimes it’s something I have to force myself to do. However, I always feel better able to cope with stress and anxiety when I’ve had some relaxing me time. Make sure that you schedule in more time to relax in the coming year, and you’ll be amazed at how your life improves.
How do you plan to improve your life in the coming year?
I want to get more sleep this 2014, but being both a student and a blogger can make that hard for me to achieve. I’m still trying to find ways on how I can both study well and make my blog better without stressing myself too much.
Too often it’s a balance issue. Good luck finding the right balance for you in 2014!
Sleep is certainly something I need to be more consistent with. Apparently the average healthiest amount of sleep is upwards of 7 hours, and less than 9 hours.
Relationships and learning will circulate around my writing/blogging and pursuing freelance work. But I’d also love to be a better friend, son, nephew and brother to my loved ones (not that I’m horrible!).