1. Stop worrying so much about what other people think.
How many times have you missed out on something because you feared what others would think? How many times have you wanted to say something, wear something, do something, go somewhere, be something, yet stopped yourself in fear of judgment and criticism from others? Start focusing on doing the things you want to do and being who you want to be, regardless of another person’s thoughts on it. Who are they to stop you? Who are they to criticize or mock you? Don’t hide your knowledge or skills, don’t hide your creativity or authenticity. Don’t hide parts of yourself just because you’re afraid of somebody else’s disapproval. At the end of the day, these people have no business in how you choose to live your life, so don’t waste your potential caring about their opinions of you.
2. Start practicing self-care often.
Self-care doesn’t always mean trips to the spa for pamper days or retail therapy. It can be as simple as reading your favorite book, taking a walk in nature, or making a cup of tea in your favorite mug and taking five minutes to yourself. We get so caught up in our busy lives that often we forget to take time out to pause, to relax, to refresh and reflect on ourselves and our lives. It’s so important to be able to allocate time to practice self-care, whether that’s half an hour a day or a few hours each week to spend doing the things you love to do.
3. Remove toxic connections from your life.
Let’s all make this the year where we remove all of the negative connections from our lives. If you have someone in your life who makes you feel extremely drained and negative every time you spend together, maybe it’s time to reevaluate the relationship. Learn to let go of past friends, ex-lovers, and people who you’ve been keeping in your world due to obligation or habit. Instead, make way for new, positive, and authentic connections that align with who you are and what you value in life.
4. Take some time for personal reflection.
It’s so easy to just go through life without asking yourself if what you’re actually doing is negatively impacting your life. We’re often so caught up in our work, relationships, friendships, and events that we rarely stop to question if the choices we’re making are good for our physical and mental health. Think back on the past couple of years and reflect on the choices you have made and ask yourself the following questions: What made you feel the happiest? When did you feel the healthiest? What moments stand out the most? What did you struggle with or what moments didn’t you enjoy? Write some things down and pinpoint moments that didn’t make you feel good, the moments that didn’t add value to your life, the moments that you feel regret, shame, or guilt and ask yourself, Am I still repeating this behavior? If so, it may be time to start being more mindful about how you’re living your life and think about what changes you can implement to better yourself.
5. Organize and declutter your space.
Having a clear, clutter-free, and organized space can be something that is often overlooked yet contributes so much to your sense of peace, happiness, and overall mental health. Take some time each week to clean and organize your desk space, your room, or your house for the following week. You’ll be surprised how clear your mind becomes when the environment that you surround yourself in is no longer disorganized.
6. Prioritize more time for the ones you love.
Taking time out to spend with those you love is a guaranteed way of making your life so much better. Don’t get so caught up with prioritizing work and everyday mundane tasks, that you forget to prioritize the things that actually matter. Make some plans each week with your family or close friends in order to keep a healthy work-life balance and to give you something to look forward to.
7. Pick three main goals for the year and actively work towards them.
At the start of every new year, we often get so consumed with making new year’s resolutions and goals for the year. We put so much pressure on ourselves to set out to accomplish everything on our lists, which often leaves us feeling completely overwhelmed. Instead of setting impractical and unachievable goals this year, choose three attainable goals and break them down into smaller tasks each month. This way, you’ll focus on doing smaller tasks each month that will eventually lead to achieving your three main goals at the end of the year.
8. Start a daily gratitude journal.
Each day, list three things that you’re grateful for in your life. It could be having a loving and honest relationship, having an enjoyable day at your job, being able to call a family member, or even something as small as watching your favorite tv show. Whatever it is, over time you’ll start to notice that you’re focusing on the positives and the things you’re grateful for instead of all the things you’re not.