(March 21st to April 19th)
Pick one small daily habit – as in, something that takes less than five minutes and is therefore maintainable – that forces you to sit still and be at rest for five minutes. It could be meditating, or simply turning off your music for three to five minutes when you’re driving, or taking a short break from your phone on your train ride home from work and simply staring out the window. You have no excuse – working something this easy and painless into your schedule should be no problem, and it’s a great way to get you to slow down and breathe for just a minute or two.
(April 20th to May 21st)
Start doing one thing per day that you tell no one about – just a secret you get to keep to yourself. It could be something health-related, like going on a walk. Or something creativity-related, like writing in a journal. Just pick something fun and good for your well-being, that you plan ahead of time to keep private, so that you know you’re doing it for you and only you.
(May 22nd to June 21st)
Start paying active attention to your negative self-talk. As in, search it out, listen for it, be constantly on guard so that if you catch yourself doing it, you’re aware of it and not doing it subconsciously. This will help you start to master it, instead of letting it master you. The more you try to pay attention to it, the more you will realize how much you were doing it without meaning to – and how much you can reduce it when you’re actually looking out for it.
(June 22nd to July 22nd)
Get a new notebook. You can find something cheap at any convenience store. At the end of every day, write down three things you’re grateful for that happened today. They can be small or magnificent. (If you’re not a night person, you can also do this in the morning and reflect on the day before). It’s simple, it’s manageable, it’s not time-consuming. It will help you to build the habit of reflecting on your own gratitude instead of dwelling on negative things for longer than you should.
(July 23rd to August 22nd)
Ask a friend to recommend a book to you that you’d never read on your own but that they think you’d like. Read as much of it as you can this month and, ideally, finish it if you have time. This will fulfill your love for experiencing new things – while also reminding you that you always have something to learn from everyone around you.
(August 23rd to September 22nd)
Do the smallest and easiest thing that’s on your bucket list right now. Much of the time, we think that when it comes to “doing something new” or “stepping out of our comfort zone” we have to go right for the most daring or intimidating thing. But it’s often so much better to start with the smaller or smallest step. So if you’ve wanted to try salsa dancing forever or you want to finally check out a meetup group, do it THIS MONTH. It’s certainly intimidating, but it’s also doable! And it will give you a lot more confidence.
(September 23rd to October 22nd)
Make a final decision on something you’ve been waffling on for a while. It does not have to be something huge, like “should I move to a new city?” Just pick a relatively small thing that you keep going back and forth on and finally commit one way or the other – it can be something as important to you as ‘should I ask for more responsibility at work?’ or something as seemingly carefree as ‘should I finally get that new bedspread?’ Just decide something – it will get you on a great track towards not being as intimidated by your own choices.
(October 23rd to November 22nd)
Give a genuine and well-meaning compliment to a co-worker or peer who you’ve always felt jealous of or competitive with. Do it for no self-serving purpose, just do it to be nice and make their day better. See how it makes you feel. If you hate it, just do it once a week this month. If you can stand it, do it once a day or every few days. Perhaps it will help you see how much better it feels to find a connection with someone than to only look at them as a threat.
(November 23rd to December 21st)
Write down a list of things you accomplished in January. Don’t be thrown off by the idea of ‘accomplishments.’ They don’t all have to be major things. They can be more minor-seeming things like I exercised once a week or I read twice as much as I normally do in a month. Write down accomplishments – big or small – that are specific and, ideally, measurable. Then think about what else you had wanted to do in January and didn’t. Write those things down for February, in order of importance. At the end of every day, force yourself to look over your list and see how much closer you got to achieving any or some of them. Use February as a month for you to be purposeful, active, and direct about your wants and goals, instead of just ‘seeing where the month takes you.’
(December 22nd to January 20th)
Like Gemini, pay attention to your negative thoughts and your negative self-talk. Your tendency to always expect catastrophe really messes with your well-being, especially because most of the time, you don’t even realize you’re doing it. So this month, try forcing yourself to 1) pay attention to how much you think negatively or think in terms of catastrophe and 2) force yourself to honestly play through those scenarios and how likely they are to happen vs. how much of this is just your brain searching for problems that are very unlikely to occur. This will be really good for your mental health and happiness.
(January 21st to February 18th)
Make it a serious goal this month to stop pretending like you don’t care about stuff. Just care about stuff. The things you’re passionate about, the things that make you happy, the things you want – see what happens when you are open and honest about wanting these things and caring about these things. Notice how much more human it makes you feel and how much more connected it makes you feel to others.
(February 19th to March 20th)
Read the news. Every single day. It doesn’t matter if it’s The New York Times or a website that other people tend to be ‘snotty’ about. Just spend ten minutes every morning trying to stay informed. You’ll find you have a lot more to say and a lot more opinions than you initially thought. And it will also just feel so good to be in the know.