As we approach the end of the year, take a look back on the past 10 months. Maybe your year was better than you could have ever imagined, or maybe it’s been one of the rougher ones you’ve experienced. Whatever the case, there are improvements to be made in all of our lives. Whether it’s to provide you with a bit more excitement, make you healthier, or help you foster connection with others, now is the time to put your life improvement plans into action.
If you’re a smoker, you’ve heard it a million times—your habit is killing you. Make this the year you quit and stick to it. Talk to your doctor, tell your family and friends to keep you accountable, and give it your best effort to make it stick. If you’re having a hard time, look into e-cigarettes or vaping devices. Recent studies show they’re 95% safer than traditional tobacco products, and they still give smokers a feel that resembles smoking a cigarette—without all the toxic tobacco byproducts. Check out njoy.com and peruse their products. Your lungs and your family will thank you!
Even if you’ve had a really hard year, there are bound to be some good things you’ve experienced. They might be hard to come up with, but with enough brainstorming you’ll have a list of things to be grateful for. Finding perspective and focusing on the good things you have in your life will make you a happier and more positive person, which is something all of us can use, especially as we head into the New Year in a couple of months. Research has shown that gratitude is directly connected to our happiness and well-being, meaning we can totally change our outlook by practicing a little bit of thankfulness.
Become a Yogi
If you’ve never tried yoga, do it today. This ancient exercise practice is rife with health benefits, and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel once you start. Just a few of the benefits include heart disease prevention, better sleep, back pain relief, and even arthritis prevention. You’ll feel more centered mentally as well, especially if you incorporate meditation, meaning yoga can serve as a whole-body improvement.
Get Better Sleep
We’re a sleep deprived society, and it’s a sad fact. Inadequate rest means terrible things for the body: high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes are only the tip of the iceberg. Lack of sleep also does terrible things to your mental state. It ruins your memory retention, makes problem solving more difficult, and affects your concentration. Another terrible effect of lack of sleep? It kills your sex drive. If you know you’re not getting the right amount of sleep at night, do what you can to improve it. Leave electronics out of the bedroom, as the light they emit can really mess with your sleep cycle. Practice going to bed at least 30 minutes earlier, and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends to create a regular sleep schedule. If you can’t nap without messing up your nighttime sleep cycle, then do your best to avoid it.
Revamp Your Diet
If you know your diet could use some improvements, start today. The food we consume is directly related to our mood and, of course, our overall health. Plan to cook some healthy recipes this week, throw away any and all junk food, and avoid the drive-thru. Plan your meals for the week on Sunday, and always do some food prep. That way, you’ll avoid the temptation of grabbing something unhealthy on the go.
Try Out a New Hobby
Who said an old dog can’t learn new tricks? If you’re looking to get involved in a new activity and meet new people, there’s no better time than the present. Sign up to learn a new hobby in a local class; it could be pottery, painting, sports, or even cooking courses. Whatever it is, throw yourself into it and see what you learn about yourself.
Make a Point to Clean
Chaos of your space leads to chaos in your mind. If you’re an untidy person, make the effort to organize your life, starting with your desk at work, your bedroom, or your entire house. You’ll be surprised at the affect organization can have on your psyche, and you’ll end the year with a clear mind. If you simply don’t have the time, hire a cleaning service and make life easier on yourself.
If you’re looking to make some changes in your life before the New Year, now is the time to start. Figure out your goals and put them in motion today to make sure you end 2015 right.