It’s December, also known as that time of year where you accidentally see the “2018 Goals” note in your phone and cringe - how did things fall so far off track? It takes a lot of work to build a habit and better yourself, and if you fall off the wagon even just once, it’s a lot harder to get back on.
Here at RRG, we’re all about seeing the glass half full, so let's end this year on a positive note - and even better, propel ourselves into the new year with a renewed sense of optimism. If you start on your goals today you’re much likely to stick with them through the New Year. Starting the year in the right direction already will give you the practiced perseverance to stick to your goals, even when things get difficult.
So without further ado; here are 10 Ways to Finish Strong in 2018 (and make 2019 your most successful year yet!
1. Get Up Early
When your alarm goes off at 6 am, get up. Immediately. I mean it. I know it’s cold out and now more than ever your bed has become a cozy abyss you would love to sink into. Please for the love of yourself, don’t. Research shows people who get up early are happier and more successful, so plug your phone in on the other side of the room, get up, and get to it.
2. Drink More Water
This is the easiest goal you could set for yourself with drastic health benefits. Buy a reusable water bottle to keep at your desk, and drink some warm lemon water right when you wake up to help your digestion throughout the day. Your skin will thank you, you’ll find sticking to your diet is less difficult, and making one healthier choice (like swapping out sugary drinks for plain old H2O) will motivate you to continue to chose better for yourself, not to mention the money you’ll save long term by lowering your consumption of sodas and sugary coffees!
Don’t click out of this article and roll your eyes. I know, I know, you don’t have time. Your brain never stops running, you couldn’t possibly sit there for five minutes with your eyes closed just breathing and emptying your mind right? Well, friend, this is why you woke up at 6:00 am. When you consider the amount of time we spend mindlessly scrolling through social media, you absolutely have 5 minutes to spare for your mental health. Find a guided meditation you like, and get it done before any of your other responsibilities. Studies have proven meditation to be a vital tool for mental health. Here’s a list of 20 ways meditation can improve your life: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/feeling-it/201309/20-scientific-reasons-start-meditating-today
If you’re still skeptical, just set a timer and enjoy the quiet, no humming, gongs, or chanting required.
Writing daily is a habit you can develop to become more creative, grateful, and successful. It doesn’t have to even be coherent. Some days, I wake up and open my journal, doodle a sunflower, pack up and move on. Other times, I have to set a timer to stop myself from writing the next great American novel. At the end of the day, or even just the end of the week, revisit your journal and reflect. Record moments to be grateful for, interesting thoughts, conversations that challenged your views. The best way to grow is to constantly reflect and find exactly where you are in life.
5. Move Your Body
Another piece of advice you’ve read a thousand times before, for a reason. Finding a way to move your body more daily will make you happier and healthier, simply put. Try online yoga videos, pilates, Orange Theory, Pure Barre, swimming, jogging - whatever peaks your fancy.
Jogging makes me feel like death. I do not like it, so I do not do it.
Don’t move your body to become a supermodel, do it so that you can live longer and feel better. My favorite way to get moving is weightlifting in the morning, when I get home after work I take a long walk, and before bed, I do either restorative or vinyasa yoga depending on what my body needs. It’s all about finding what makes your body feel good and challenging, and what makes you excited to exercise. Every day I look forward to going to go lift and be better at it than I was the day before.
Also, whatever your choice of exercise, try to get it done in the morning. You’ll be more likely to actually do it with no excuses, you’ll make better food choices all day, and you’ll be full of endorphins when you start your work day!
6. Pack Your Lunch, and a Book
Remember when you said you were going to spend your money wiser, eat healthier, and read more this year? Knock out three birds with one stone every single day during your lunch break. The average restaurant lunch will cost you $12, compared to the average $4 per meal when made at home. If you’re not careful you could spend up to $3,000 on work lunches in a year. That’s insane. So pack a lunch, which you know is healthier than the china buffet, and bring a book. Take your lunch hour to regroup and nourish yourself. You’ll be more productive, healthier, and wealthier. Maybe a bit smarter too.
7. Keep A Schedule
Google Calendar, Bullet Journals, Daily Planners, whatever your planning vehicle of choice - take time once a day or once a week to set out your goals and responsibilities. Track your finances, set your appointments, plan your workouts, your social engagements… by taking the time to write your week you’re setting yourself up for success by honing your attention and being aware of your day to day habits. Those that keep a schedule are usually less stressed and have a better work-life balance - who doesn’t want that?
8. Learn a New Skill
The goal here is to expand your mind and build better habits. One of the least talked about skills that is so beneficial to your well being is the ability to try. Try anything, try everything, and be totally comfortable sucking at it. The ability to take yourself lightly and be uncomfortable will get you a lot further in life than trying to be the best at everything. So get a guitar off craigslist, ask your sweet old neighbor to teach you how to knit, go on a hiking trip - put yourself out there and make a habit out of trying something new.
9. Phone a Friend
Being social is just like any other aspect of life, it requires work sometimes. If you’re one of those people that feels like you could be better at putting yourself out there, or maybe you’ve lost touch with people you were once close with, taking time to plan your social life could vastly benefit your well being. Set a goal of how many times per week you’d like to see your friends. Set up a weekly dinner, or game night, or Sunday brunch. Give yourself something to look forward to, and regularly care for your friendships just like you would a plant or a pet.
10. Make a Plan
Okay, so you’ve started waking up early, meditating, working out, journaling, packing your lunch, drinking some water. You’re keeping a schedule, seeing your friends more, and knitting a sweet scarf. Now what? Now you’ve built up some temperance, and some momentum. By now you’ve learned how these skills can benefit your life and give you a foundational sense of wellness. So take some time and figure out what you’d like to get really good at, and go do it. Set some real tangible goals that you can cross off. Read 30 books. Run a marathon. Move up in your career. Sell 3 million dollars worth of houses. Whatever it is you’re dreaming of doing, it’s not too far out of reach.
And when your goals become too much, return to this list. Return to a set of habits that make you feel healthy and happy so that you can achieve greater for yourself. Set yourself up for success, have a ton of fun, and make this year your best yet.
Let us know how you’re finishing strong in the comments below!