Its that time of year again when I asses my life and go “wtf happened here?”
If you are anything like me, January can historically be a hard time as a slew of poor holiday eating choices, loads of money spent on gifts and crappy cold weather have finally taken a toll.
I usually feel like there is so much pressure to make a clean start of it and get my act back in gear that I exist in a state of anxiety and resolutions list making from mid-November until the ball drops on the first of the New Year.
While all that stressing and worry may sound like fun (yea right), this year I have decided to get rid of all that garbage and be kind to myself.
Resolutions can be helpful to some, but many time they just seem like lofty goals that put on more pressure then actually help foster positive change.
You can also choose to love yourself in 2017 by practicing these 5 non-resolutions New Years changes.
1) Allow Yourself Some Guilt Free Extra Shut-Eye
I have never regretted getting good sleep. My whole day has a better outlook when I feel rested and alert. When the midwest winter hits, I always feel like a baby sloth who cannot get enough of my toasty bed. Usually I am pretty hard on myself if I yearn for that extra time between the sheets. I internally would say things likes “don’t be lazy” as I forced myself to get up early on weekends or shy away from naps – but in 2017 NO MORE. The colder weather is harder on me mentally and physically and I have found that I actually need the sleep. I’m not being lazy, I’m trying to give my body what it is craving. Let yourself get a little extra sleep this year and see how it changes your energy levels and mental clarity. Also, don’t be scared to push yourself to question why you have the natural inclination to do certain things. Trust your intuition and don’t feel bad about it.
2) Save that Dough – You’ll Thank Yourself Later
Financial independence is a real, plausible thing. The more I save, the better I feel. This year I am working even harder on some side hustle and pairing down my costs to try and save more then ever. I also called up my fiduciary and made sure I was contributing exactly what I should be towards my retirement funds. Sure it took me about a day of prep and some after meeting work, but now that its all set up – I will be golden for the whole year. Get your finances in order, set aside a little extra and get financially stable in 2017.
3) Cheaply Treat Yo Self – Know When to Spend a Little
I am a HUGE fan of having fresh flowers in my apartment and watching movies in theaters. Both pastimes aren’t very expensive – maybe $5-10 dollars, but always puts a smile on my face. Regularly making time to see a new movie at least once a month or making a habit of selecting an arranging a fresh bouquet is a little something I can look forward to that also boosts my mood. Think of a few little luxuries as a reward to keep on track with savings goals. Giving into a little treat now, can keep from going a spending spree next payday. Find ways to surprise yourself and put your interests first.
4) Identify Something you Have Always Wanted to do and Stop Making Excuses to Not Do it
I am hellbent on getting more travel under my belt in 2017. Every year I say that I want to travel more and then the work and social obligations and other excuses creep in and I usually settle for maybe two trips for the whole year. This year I am plunging in to make my travel lust a reality. I am getting a travel rewards point credit card to help score some free flying mileage and signing up for cheap flight email alerts through my fave travel sites. I got rid of my gym membership in order to save that extra $40 per month to go towards a travel savings account that I set up. I registered for free hotel rewards accounts so all my overnight stays can add up to complementary hotel rooms. These tiny actionable steps help me feel like I am working on accomplishing my overall goal of travel, even if I am not currently in another country on a lovely trip. This feeling of success keeps me positive that I can accomplish my dream this year to be taking at least one out of state trip every two months. Get on one of your own “must-dos” and find small actionable ways to work on making it happen.
5) Find One Way you Love to Get Your Body Moving and Work It- You Don’t Have to Kill Yourself to get Healthy
I have kinda been in a health slump recently. It has taken me some time, but I finally decided to make 2017 a year of full wellness exploration. One of the areas that I want to grow more is feeling comfortable in my skin and seeing how powerful, graceful and lovely my moving body can be. I used to really like dancing and learning new choreography, but as I got further away from feeling in optimal health – I didn’t feel inspired to bust a move. In an effort to reconnect with my body, I decided to sign up for a drop-in dance class pass at a local fitness studio. Everyone’s idea of a good workout can be different, but I really believe in the power of finding a way get sweating that suits your skin.