It’s a new year…and a new you. Think of January 1 as the chance to recreate yourself, and become the person you’ve always looked up to or wanted to be. Or, as they say in the software world, ‘upgrade’ yourself. Lose all the habits that are holding you back, go after the dream that you’ve always postponed, and turn that ‘someday’ into ‘today.’
Here are some life tips to help you tackle the most important areas of your life. If you don’t get overwhelmed, distribute them over the year so you have two or three goals every quarter. For example, from January to March, focus on exercise, and then shift to another area once the habits are in place. By the end of the year you’ll be totally transformed—not perfect (no one is!) but definitely much happier and healthier!
Set regular quality time
We totally understand that you’re a busy parent, and that you need to work and run errands to keep the kids fed and clothed and the household running. But this year, make a conscious effort to have at least one hour of quality time with your kids. After all, your boss won’t fire you if you submit your report one hour later, and your clients won’t notice if you spend one hour less doing sales rounds. That hour won’t hurt your career, but it will mean a world of difference to your relationships with your family. It’s time to read a book, cuddle, ask them about their day, play a board game. It’s memories that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.
Exercise for 20 minutes three times a week
Statistics show that 6 in 10 people are overweight or obese. This leads to numerous health complications, including higher risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes, infertility, etc. However, just 20 minutes of regular exercise, three times a week, can already lower health risks. (Too busy to sign up for a gym? Try these 8 exercise videos for busy people.)
Eat two healthy meals a day
The word ‘diet’ can strike dread in the hearts of many people, so let’s start with this very simple resolution. If you can’t completely give up chips and pizza, at least resolve to make 2 out of 3 meals as healthy as possible. For example, have cereal or a fresh fruit bowl for breakfast, and a light grilled turkey breast for dinner. You have lunch to ‘indulge’ but at least you’ve already made positive change. (Read these articles for other easy ways to reduce fat and stop binging.)
Expand your network
Start by reconnecting with friends and family, even through phone or email, or social networking sites (just avoid these annoying Facebook habits). Try to set at least one day a month for coffee or a fun activity like bowling or movie night. Then, try to expand your circle of friends. Sign up a for a community class so you can meet people who share your interests but come from diverse backgrounds. Volunteer for an office project that will let you meet people from other departments. Or, stop and chat with a neighbor who you normally just wave at—you may have more in common than you think!
Learn something new each month
Never stop growing! Each month choose one topic or skill that you want to learn more abut. For example, this January you can decide to learn how to bake a pie. Or, in February, you may decide to read up on Art History—culminating in a trip to a museum or gallery. Then in March you can do something completely different and try windsurfing for the first time in your life. This is fun!
Photo from flickr.com