Hello everyone! It`s a new year, and with that, we get the whole “new year, new me” shtick. Personally, I`m not one for resolutions, as I believe we often aim too high and we set ourselves up for disappointment. I mean, if you`re a couch potato you`re not going to go to gym 350 out of 365 days. However, I believe in making small changes that make you a better person. Realistically, you`re not going to be a new person just because it`s a new year. Instead, you should try to be the best version of yourself. Because chances are that when you`re feeling good about yourself, everything will fall into order. So here are my tips for making sure you live 2018 at your full potential.
1. Start living in the present
How many times do you hear yourself saying: I`ll be happy when I have X amount of money, or I`ll feel good when I lose this much weight? Although there`s always room for improvement, focusing on a specific goal might make you lose sight of the beautiful journey you`re having. Take time to appreciate what you have. Celebrate your small achievements because they`re the ones that motivate you to reach your end goals. Sadly, we are so focused on living a potential ideal life that we don`t realise we`re already blessed with what we have.
2. Practice gratitude
You can think of this as an extension of your first step. Like I said earlier, once you live in the present you start counting your blessings. But keep in mind that happiness can`t be measured in objects. So while you should feel satisfied with the fact that you have a roof over your head or a killer pair of shoes, be mindful of everything surrounding you. Feel blessed because you have a loving family and good friends. Cherish that smile that stranger gave you. Actually, be more observant of the little good things that strangers do for you because kindness is a rare thing these days.
3. Declutter your life
Minimalism is a movement that has been taking the world by storm. And whilst I`m not fully on board with it, there are certain aspects that I try to incorporate into my life. Like decluttering my life. I recently decluttered my wardrobe, and I can`t believe how much shit there was in there (pardon the language). There were tonnes of clothes from when I was skinny, making me feel like a failure. Those clothes weren`t motivating me to get fit, they were a reminder that my health went to hell. And let`s not go into the beauty declutter (always check the expiry date, kids).
This year I also want to declutter my life from negative people. Sadly, you might have them in your life too. The ones that always gossip and like to put others down. The ones that say that they`re your friends, but they give you back-handed compliments every time you meet. They might be old friends, co-workers or even distant relatives. But the thing is you don`t need them in your life, regardless of the status. Life`s short and you should spend it with people that make you feel good.
4. Keep a budget
I know that a lot of people think that a budget is boring and that hard-earned cash should be enjoyed. I agree! A budget, however, keeps you in check. It does not mean that you have to live like a monk, it just makes you prioritise your spending. I used to spend so much money on food at work because I was too lazy to bring lunch. But now I have better meals, and I can use the extra money on something else. A budget helps you realise which are your important expenses, and from there you can decide your end goals. Do you want to save for retirement? Do you want an expensive vacation? Then cut the crap and use your money on something you`ll actually enjoy.
5. Try something new
Here`s the deal: I am a shy person, and I hate being in the spotlight. And chances are I`m not going to join a motorbike gang overnight (despite loving Sons of Anarchy). But I`ve seen a quote on the internet that really put things in perspective:
” A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.”
I want to try more things that will get me out of my comfort zone. I`d love to take some dancing lessons and fix the problem of my two left legs. I`d love to learn a new language or learn how to sew. You can try something small, like cooking a gourmet meal. If you`re successful, you might have a new skill to add to our resume. And even if the results are bad, at least you know you`ve tried it. You can move on or try harder.