The new decade is just around the corner. Something about it being 2020 makes it feel like a really big year. I’ve shared before that I actually really like new year’s resolutions. They get a bad reputation for being the time of year everyone does a crash diet and floods the gym for a month before going back to the same old routine. But you can’t achieve a goal if you don’t start it, and now is the time to start!
I’ve found that the most important part of setting a goal and sticking to it is to make it realistic. You are not going to work out every single day for the next year, so don’t tell yourself you will. But you most certainly can work out a few times a week this entire year, so why not goal yourself to that and see what you can do!
Here are ideas for 12 changes you can make this year to improve yourself in the new decade:
-Designate an hour each week to doing something for yourself. Whether its a walk outside, taking a bath, doing yoga, or getting a manicure– your most important relationship is with yourself, and you will be a better person for others if you make yourself a priority.
-Find a cause that is important to you and commit to volunteering or raising money. I coach and have raised money for an organization called Girls on the Run that is a running club for elementary school girls. It’s not always the most convenient thing to do, but a little bit of my time can make a huge impact on the girls, and that is worth every second.
-Evaluate where you are in your career. Where do you want to go next? This doesn’t have to be moving to the next level! The first step is being honest with yourself, and then communicating what you want to your leader and mentors.
-If you’ve always wanted to go back to school or start your own business, make a plan! What is the timeline you would need to achieve this? What are the first steps? What are the hurdles you have to face and how can you face them? Don’t let another decade go by wishing you were doing something else! (This is my key goal this year!)
-The most important part of our health is to be informed. Have you been putting off a screening or annual physical? DO IT this month. Schedule the appointment today.
-Diet and fitness are the biggest buzz resolutions this time of year, and it feels like everyone is on extreme diets that look really good on instagram. Remember this isn’t for instagram, it’s for you. Small, realistic changes are going to last a lot longer than a crash diet. Start with little adjustments– like packing a healthy breakfast, cutting out high calorie drinks, saying no to office sweets– and then keep adding onto that.
-For me, the biggest hurdle for a healthy diet is preparing. I commit to prepping all of my breakfasts, and 3 healthy lunches a week. This gives me flexibility for the times I want to go out to lunch or buy a treat, but keeps me in check!
-Find a type of workout that you at least sort of enjoy. This doesn’t mean it will always be easy or fun, but if you absolutely hate running, you don’t have to run. There are so many ways to get moving– whether its biking outdoors, going to a group fitness class, or doing workout videos in your basement. The right workout for you is what makes you happy and feel good about yourself.
-Commit to a set number of days to work out each week. Since I’m a runner, this is usually a monthly mileage goal. You don’t have to work out every day, and you shouldn’t.
-Start with tracking your spending for a month. Analyze where your money is going and determine which expenses aren’t worth it. This doesn’t mean cutting out everything that brings you joy– just assessing IF the things you are spending on are actually worth it.
-Set aside money from each paycheck for a 401k– if you don’t have one, start one. Even a little each month will compound when invested. The younger you start this, the more it will be worth one day.
-Be the friend that you would want to have. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and forget about the friends that are the most important to us. Put important dates for your friends on the calendar– remember their birthdays, anniversaries, a day that might be hard for them, and let you know that you are thinking of them.
Obviously, these would be a lot do do all at once! But you could totally start to tackle them one by one each month (there are 12 of them!). You don’t have to wait for January 1st each year to set a new goal.
What resolution are you going to make this year?