Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions, so why not make them worth it? We all get stuck in a rut, but there is no better time to turn a new leaf then a brand new year! Resolutions are not just a fad but a positive introduction into better decision making for the year to come. The possibilities are pretty endless with 12 whole months to explore and anticipate new and innovative experiences. Can you tell that we’re excited for what 2017 has in store? And you should be too. It’s your opportunity to turn things around. Apply for that new role, start that blog, sign up for that dance class you’ve been dying to take. Whatever you want to do, this is your year to try it.
I can go on and on about the hope for the future and continue to spew optimisms, but in reality, I know we have the same jobs, go to the same places, and see the same people as last year, so really what’s changed? Well, for one thing, you —you’re the change in the New Year, so why not start with the little things. Come up with a series of attainable goals you want to achieve, work towards these objectives, and let everything else fall into place. Here are five resolutions to start off your list. While these resolutions can apply to any aspect of your life, we suggest trying them in your work environment, because that’s where we spend the most time.
1. Time Management
When isn’t time management a good habit to practice? Not only does managing your time impact your day in a positive way, it also helps to keep you focused and on task, and as a result, lowers your stress levels since you’re increasing productivity. This year, rather than simply writing a list that focuses on time restraints, make your to-do list flexible. Give yourself more than enough time to complete the tasks you have lined up for the day. Don’t over-schedule yourself – you are superhero of the day, and if you’re realistic about your responsibilities, you can accomplish them all. As humans, we’re creatures of habit, which means the more your to-do list becomes a mini routine, the less stress you’ll feel throughout the day because your actions will become second nature.
To start, try taking 10 to 15 minutes each night to prepare for the next day. Arrange your agenda and consider the important tasks that need to get done and list them in priority order. To make the most out of your morning, prepare your lunch and pick out your outfit for the day ahead the night before – it’ll make your morning go that much smoother.
2. Meal Plan
Eating out has become increasingly more expensive and even more unhealthy – your wallet and waistline will surely agree. Meal planning goes hand-in-hand with time management and will do wonders not only for your health, but for your pockets as well! Eating healthier can give you boosts of energy throughout the day and is shown to improve your overall health and mood. If you typically ate out once a day, it will be hard to give that up completely. Start with preparing meals for a couple days a week, and as you get comfortable you can start prepping for additional days. Before you know it, you’ll be preparing an entire week’s worth of healthy lunches!
As a writer, one of my favourite things to do is write, and let me tell you, it’s a life saver! Not only does it help you organize your thoughts and stay on track, it encourages self-reflection. There are so many times I have gone back and read an entry I wrote in my journal and was able to see how far I grew as a person. Writing for you can be about anything – you can start by writing about the things you’re grateful for, positive situations or even negative situations, just make sure to incorporate a silver lining. Your entries don’t have to be pages long, an entry can simply be a couple of sentences. This process is meant for getting things off your mind and onto paper, so you can analyze what is happening in your life.
If writing in a journal isn’t for you, you can also try creative writing to relax and de-stress.
Write a short story, a poem, or even a note to someone you love. It’s always great to express how you feel, and nothing would be better in this technology-driven world than a handwritten letter.
Deep breath in…deep breath out…and repeat. It’s the best exercise for when you are feeling anxious, stressed or overwhelmed. Taking a moment to take slow, deep breaths will not only reduce stress in the body, but it will also lower your heart rate. In a busy day, it is easy to forget to take a moment for yourself, but it’s important to take the time to re-group and reflect.
This year, try to set aside a few minutes every day to stretch, meditate, and clear your mind whenever you get a chance. Taking a bath or listening to soft music helps me relax the best, but if you find yourself overwhelmed, take a break and sit outside in the sun or just try two minutes of deep breathing.
5. Take a walk
There’s nothing worse than sitting at your desk for hours at a time, with no opportunity to get up and stretch your legs. At some point during the day, get up and stretch your legs. Use this time to breathe deeply, disconnect from technology, and clear your head. When you can, make it a point to walk outside, as the fresh air, sunshine, and nature will help you feel calm and re-energized to continue the rest of your work day. Set aside some time in your work schedule to walk for 10-15 minutes each day, and take a break from your screen. By arranging a time to walk and setting a realistic time goal, you’ll feel more accomplished at the end of the work day.
And when you can, try to take a walk with the ones you love. It’ll not only give you another excuse to go out for a walk, you’ll be able to catch up and enjoy some quality time with those who mean the most to you.
By: Dia McLaughlin
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