11 Little Changes To Get Your Year Back On Track

changes, empowered year, new year, getting back on track, woman in road
Paula May

It’s the beginning of February, which means you’re either a month in on those New Year’s resolutions…or, if you’re like most, you’ve had a few slip-ups. (Hey, we’re human! It’s okay!)

But if you’re desperately wanting to right yourself and get back on track, here are some little changes to make in your every day:

1. Unfollow negative feeds.

You don’t realize how much negativity you’re absorbing until you purposely create distance between yourself and something (or someone) you read/interact with/spend time with/see etc. Creating intentional space allows for positivity to cultivate within you, and gives you room to explore your own thoughts and perspectives, without the opinions of others.

In simply unfollowing or removing toxicity from your day-to-day experience or social media feeds, you will be able to uplift and inspire yourself into more positive life changes.

2. Make a to-do list.

I’ll leave this open-ended so that you can create whatever list fits you best, but making a list will help you to be purposeful. Maybe this is a list of cleaning tasks you have to do around the house, work related activities, personal goals, etc. Just make sure to write them down. This will not only give yourself the satisfaction of crossing each item off as you go, but will make sure you actually remember and achieve them.

3. Change every negative comment into a positive one.

If you’re about to criticize your reflection, instead find one attribute that you like or are proud of. If you’re about to speak negatively about a coworker, say something that you appreciate about them. If you’re thinking something defeating, remind yourself of how far you’ve come.

This may be hard at first, but it’s incredibly rewarding. In changing the way you think and speak, you’ll unconsciously shift what’s happening to, and around you, to reflect that.

4. Instead of speaking in anger, write.

So maybe you had a big fight with your significant other, maybe you’re peeved at your boss’ new decision, maybe you’re just having a crap day. Whatever you’re going through, I encourage you to write instead of speak.

Sometimes when we’re mad we just blurt out whatever we’re feeling—and this can damage relationships, hurt us professionally, or create tension that we don’t want to have.

So instead of just word vomiting, take your frustration and articulate it in a letter. Write directly to your boss, your friend, your husband/wife, even yourself! Getting the words out there will help you release and perhaps even begin to heal.

You don’t have to give the person the letter (and frankly, I’d advise you not to!) but the act of letting those emotions be felt and expressed is crucial. Later, you can go back and rewrite the letter or address your anger in a more healthy way (if you really want to send it).

5. Unsubscribe to unnecessary emails.

I don’t know about you, but when I see more than 50 emails in my inbox I get overwhelmed. And granted, I don’t get that many emails…but still. It’s a lot.

A cluttered inbox can add unneeded stress to your life. So, when you have a spare moment, sift through and unsubscribe to things that you don’t care about, don’t need, or don’t find yourself even remotely interested in. This will significantly lessen your email load and make your work day feel more manageable.

6. Set a reminder to pay your bills.

Or anything, for that matter. If you’re a normal human being, you have a lot going on. To avoid overcharges, late payments and chaos, set a reminder of when you need to pay your utilities, your rent, your phone bill, etc. This will eliminate the remembering factor (which, let’s face it, is hard) and will make sure your payments are completed on time to avoid unnecessary fees.

7. Sign off of social media for a two hour period each day.

This might sound crazy, but honestly, it’s not that bad. Maybe while you’re getting ready in the morning you do so without checking emails, scrolling through Facebook or Snapchatting your friends. Maybe you go for a walk after work without texting, posting a photo, or answering phone calls. Whatever works for you, just make intentional time for non-technology-filled activities.

This will make your day feel more wholesome, well-rounded, and also lessen the unnecessary comparison and pressure that social media often brings.

8. Plan your meals the weekend before.

Whether this is meal prep, grocery-list-making, or legitimately writing what you’re going to have on the calendar for the week—thinking ahead can save you so much time. If you know what you’re going to eat the weekend before, you can grab the ingredients quickly at the grocery store. No more standing there scrolling through Pinterest recipes or meandering down the aisles looking for something that sounds good. Now you can get in and get out.

If you meal prep, you can even make and prepare your food so that all you need to do during the week is grab a container and go. However this planning works for you, the time saved is so incredibly valuable.

9. Create a reading list.

Reading is so underrated and so necessary. Whether it’s cheesy romance novels, the newspaper, a collection of poetry—make sure to create a list of material you can’t wait to dive into and set aside time to read.

The act of creating a list will hold yourself to your goals and help you make time for leisure reading, which is so important, especially in this technological age.

10. Set aside one hour per week for creativity.

(Or more. Way more.) Creativity is essential for personal growth and happiness. Start small, and as you find room in your days for projects, add more time.

Though it may seem like you have so many other things to do, or that there are ‘better’ or ‘more productive’ ways to spend your time, taking time for art/writing/music/etc. will build you into a better version of yourself, plus make your days more fulfilling.

11. Do one spiritual thing for yourself each week.

Maybe you’re religious—spend some time in the word, go to church, meet with friends for a Bible study. Maybe you’re not religious—practice early morning yoga, go for a walk in the woods, meditate. However the word ‘spiritual’ resonates in your life, make space for that each week.

Being in tune with yourself, with your higher power, with the universe will help to keep you on track, motivated, positive, and at peace, even when life gets crazy. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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