Flipping the calendar page to January feels optimistic – like it’s time to start fresh. If starting the new year armed with resolutions to get to the gym, lose 10 pounds and meditate daily have left you feeling like a failure in past years, this might be a good opportunity to approach this year differently.
Instead of creating list of things to add to your already busy life, consider creating a list of physical and mental habits that aren’t doing you any favors and make this the year of letting them go.
This year, let go of stiff and zombie-like.
Yes, by now we’ve all heard that sitting is the new smoking but it’s not the actually sitting that is the problem. It is the lack of movement. Humans are physically engineered to MOVE.
If you are able, alternate sitting and standing throughout your day and make a commitment to get up and move at regular intervals. Go for a short walk or stretch, whatever it takes to keep loose and engaged (movement is good for your brain too).
Let go of the screen and bank a good night’s sleep instead.
If you are so addicted to technology that the last thing your eyeballs see before drifting off to sleep is the glow of a phone, tablet or TV, it’s time to shut it down.
You don’t need it to fall asleep. You don’t need to check email right before bed. And you do not need to get in one more Clash of Clans raid before closing your eyes (you know who you are).
All that emitted blue light throws off your sleep hormones and keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep. Turn it off and put it away an hour before bedtime. Your body and your brain will thank you in 2018.
Let go of being “busy”.
Trying to squeeze every last drop out of every day as we rush from one thing to the next without a moment to think or breathe does not make us better people. It is stressful and it affects our health. Stop cramming your life full of tasks and appointments that provide no value in your life.
Being stressed out and having a super packed schedule are not badges of honor. It’s time to stop treating “busy” as a virtue and place true value in attaining calm. If you are relaxed as those around you are losing their minds doing silly time-consuming “stuff”, you are #winning.
It’s all about priorities. If it doesn’t help you achieve your goals (and it’s up to you to figure out what those are) or it doesn’t bring you joy, let it go.
Let go of spending too much time on social media.
Sure, it’s nice to see what relatives and friends you don’t see often are up to but the moment it makes you feel like you aren’t a good enough human, put it down and back away.
Remember: what you see on social media is just the highlight reel. It’s not real life.
Sure, the glossy, pretty stuff gets posted – but it’s never the entire story. The perfect smiling family backpacking through Utah doesn’t show the freezing, rain soaked night spent fighting because everyone was so miserable.
You don’t need to measure your life against the highlights of someone else’s. Let the comparisons go and live your own life (happily).
Let go of Negative Nellies.
Are there people in your life who drain you mentally and/or physically? Are you spending time with people who criticize and judge your every move? Do you have a friend who never has anything positive to say and whose presence feels like a heavy, wet blanket?
Sure, we all have bad days. Negativity in itself isn’t the problem. We all have moments, we’re only human. However, spending time with another person should not be exhausting every time you see them.
Make this the year you surround yourself with people who make you feel warm and fuzzy, valued and loved. Minimize time spent with those who do not.
Let go of thinking Perfect = Happy.
All day we are bombarded with images and sound bites of “perfect”. They are called advertisements and they have been staged and photo-shopped to make everything they contain seem ideal. Perfect does not exist. It is not real and it serves no purpose in our lives.
You are who you are and that is all you will ever be. You don’t need to be what another deems as “perfect” and you don’t need perfection to be happy. This year, feel free to fail, make mistakes and embrace the less than “ideal” (whatever that is). There is no right or wrong here – only what makes you happy and unique. Enjoy your imperfect self. If the people around you don’t embrace your uniqueness, re-read #5. . .
Instead of resolutions and additions to your life, it might be a good year for subtractions. Consider where your mental and physical energy goes (or doesn’t exist) and let go of habits that do not channel that energy in a beneficial way.
Happy 2018 and we hope you have a great year!