It’s time to put aside your regular New Year’s resolutions. Every year, you most likely write out goals – from exercising to eating healthy to losing weight – feeling motivated to accomplish them in a year. The first few days, maybe even weeks, you start off strong. But, then, as the months go by your resolutions are no longer a priority. It’s something you figure you can do next year.
Instead of focusing on short-term goals, start thinking about what you want to implement into your life for years to come.
Here are four things you should consider for your New Year’s resolutions.
1. Develop a learning mindset. Living in an ever-evolving world, you need to have an attitude of growth. No matter what walk of life you are in, you should commit to a lifestyle of learning. The moment you stop learning, you stop growing in your personal and professional life.
Carve out time to read a new book in your field of expertise, sign up for a professional development class or dedicate time to develop a skill. Many people may think there isn’t enough time in the day to learn something new. However, the average person spends over two and a half hours each day on social media. Think about cutting out an hour of that time to further develop your skills.
2. Prioritize rest and breaks. It can be easy to fill up your schedule with busywork or tasks without setting aside time to rest or get enough sleep at night. Yet, studies show that you are more prone to health problems or mental health disorders when you don’t get proper rest.
Recharge by cultivating healthy habits (exercising, eating healthier, taking deep breaths and spending time alone), practicing gratitude and getting enough sleep. When you have a break, whether from school or work, actually take time to do things you enjoy or travel somewhere new. Remember – deadlines, tasks and projects can always wait. It’s more important that you take care of yourself rather than stress about everything around you.
3. Spend time in nature. Being outside can make a difference in your overall quality of life. When people spend at least two hours outdoors each week, or roughly 17 minutes a day, it boosts their mental and physical health, according to a study done in the United Kingdom.
Eat lunch with a friend or coworker outside, go for a run around your neighborhood, find a new park to discover, or hold a work meeting or study group outdoors. A slight change to your regular routine can make a big difference in your life.
4. Be around loved ones. In the past few years, we have learned not to take anything for granted, especially quality time with our friends and family. Studies released this year continue to show an increase in mental health problems, especially among younger generations, due to isolation or feeling alone. This is why it’s important that you prioritize time with people you care about and who care about you.
Being around friends can increase your sense of belonging, boost your happiness, reduce your stress, improve your sense of self-worth and promote your overall health, according to the Mayo Clinic. Try to schedule weekly time with someone close to you to do something you both enjoy.
The weeks leading up to a new year can often be filled with excitement. Many people see it as a start to a fresh season. When you write out your New Year’s resolutions, be sure to stay focused on implementing habits that will yield long-term results – not quick fixes. And, don’t forget to ring in the new year surrounded by loved ones.