As the new year begins, you know what that means — many of us are taking time to reflect on the past and setting goals for the future. But before you go crazy with unrealistic goals, let's talk about how to improve the most important aspects of your life slowly yet effectively.
While it can be challenging to completely overhaul our routines, taking a more moderate approach can make a big difference over time. One of the best ways to do this is by turning our past patterns into healthier (and smarter) choices — one step at a time. Take the routine you already have and modify it.
Maintaining better physical health is one of the goals most of us set for ourselves each January. Whether that’s sporadically purchasing a gym membership (see you at Kamps classes) or suddenly becoming vegan — physical health is a great start. One surprising way you can improve your health is through your sleep habits. Simple changes such as going to bed just a few hours earlier can really impact your motivation and energy levels, and propel healthier choices. Allow yourself to do what is necessary to stay healthy like walking that extra mile or attending that cycling class at the Nicholas Recreation Center you’ve been dying to try.
Another way to start the year off right is by setting goals for your mental and emotional well-being. Standard remedies include practicing mindfulness, journaling or seeking out therapy or counseling. Start small — take your daily walk while listening to your favorite podcast or call a family member during a coffee outing at the Memorial Union and make it a permanent part of your routine. Everyone is fulfilled in different ways. Brainstorm ways to determine what fills your cup and makes you happy.
Add the screen time setting to your phone, ask that person to coffee, take the class you've always wanted to take, apply for that job or internship, cut out toxic relationships (stop texting that ex) and pursue your goals.
By setting goals that are impossible to achieve overnight, you’ll find yourself discouraged and will fall right back into old habits. Instead, implement modest changes that will enable you to achieve greater success in the long run. Lasting, meaningful change takes time.
Start this year off right by telling yourself there is no limit. The only thing limiting you is yourself — you are worth it. Make 2023 your year. It's the year that you can set and reach your goals. Putting in the hard work and dedication necessary, and being bold and courageous will help you make the most of every opportunity.
Stop comparing your goals to the goals of other people. Remember that as long as you are being true to yourself, that version of you is enough.
The new year is a great time to reflect and start fresh. By turning our comforts into more restorative options, we can improve our overall well-being without feeling deprived or restricted. Starting small will ultimately yield big results. Remember that progress, not perfection, is what's important. So, let's make this year one of slow and steady self-improvement and have a Happy New Year!