“Every new day is another chance to change your life.”
I know New Year’s resolutions are a good thing. We’re excited to list them up on the first day of January in the New Year.
But still, so often I quit them just after a few days. The same happens with a lot of people at the gym. The first two weeks of January are always full-on gym time for everyone. But afterwards, the gym is empty. Why?
Why is it so difficult for us to keep our New Year’s resolutions? I think it’s because we need to change strong habits and that can be difficult or daunting sometimes.
We procrastinate changing our habits, because it’s actual work. It feels hard.
In order to still make our lives great, we need to use some psychological tricks to change our habits. If you’re like me, small wins can motivate you to make even greater progress.
So what I’m suggesting is a clear action plan on how we’re gonna tackle this 2014 together and make it the best year yet. Ready?
Pick one thing out of the list and do it every day for fourteen days. No excuses, really easy stuff.
After those fourteen days reflect on the difficulty level. Since it was only one thing, you’ll realize that it isn’t that hard to actually induce new (good) habits!
Now take the next one in the list, while keeping the first one intact. That’s how you can progress in a really simple way.
If all the habits get too much, lose one for a few days, but I’m sure you’ll want to come back since it was such a positive change!
This is a system that helped me achieve a lot more goals last year, than the year before.
Are you ready?
Shall we look at the 14 ways to make this year the best year for you yet? Let’s go:
- Be grateful
Every morning when you wake up, think of three things you’re grateful for (e.g. your wife, your kids, your friends or simply the warm bed you’re lying in). End every day with three amazing things that happened today. The five-minute journal is a perfect companion for this.
- Move every day
We were not meant to sit all day, so make sure to move every day. Run to the bus even if you can’t catch it. Walk after a meal. Instead of a coffee meeting do a walking meeting with a friend.
- Drink a lot of water
70% of your body is made out of water. 70% of the earth is made out of water. So 70% of the stuff you drink and eat every day, should be water. Drink one cup of water for every cup of coffee you drink.
- Smile a lot
A lot of people I see every day on the train are looking sad. It could be because it’s winter or for some other reason. But when I see a smiling person, I get happy, too. So I make sure to smile more (at strangers or simply when I’m walking).
- Invest in experiences not in things
Owning too much things is a burden in the daily, simple (and happy!) life. Investing in experiences is much more rewarding and giving in the years to come.
- Eat more fresh vegetables
You can never get enough fresh vegetables. Try to buy local and organic (or as our grandparents used to call it: real food!)
- Try squatting at work, instead of sitting
Get a table where you can squat and work for a couple of minutes like this. The IKEA Lack works perfect for this and can be used as a squatting desk on the floor or a standing desk on top of your normal desk. Take part in the 30/30 squat challenge by the great Ido Portal.
- Meet up with three friends who you haven’t seen in a long time
Meeting old friends who all know each other will create a magical moment of past experiences and new learnings.
- Give away things you don’t use and need – simplify
Whenever I feel unmotivated or I’m just procrastinating to do real work, I start cleaning my room and think of stuff that I don’t need. Simplifying my life is a major way to motivate myself. It’s like removing heavy stuff from your shoulders.
Meditating doesn’t have to be difficult. Start today, here are a few tips on how to get started: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/8-ways-to-make-meditation-easy-and-fun/
- Say I love you more
Most of us are scared to show more emotions. Break this habit by telling “I love you” to one person every month – super easy and very rewarding.
- Try tea instead of coffee once per week
Tea has a lot of health benefits and is very tasty. Why not exchange your coffee on the weekend for a cup of tea? Make it a ritual on Saturday evening and enjoy the whole process.
- Read one book per month
Instead of watching TV in the evening, start reading a book. Read while you commute or while waiting in line.
Don’t stress so much about the future, it always turns out just fine. Breathe in, breathe out, enjoy the moment.