We seem to have collectively decided that 2020 is going to be OUR YEAR. We're going to smash all our goals, manifest everything we dream of and finally start living our best life.
It's not just going to happen overnight, though. If you want to become your best self, you're going to have to form some habits to help you get there.
Here are 20 things I think you should be doing if you want to change your life for the better:
1. Make plans, not goals
Goals are definitely important, but plans are what's going to get you results. As the saying goes: A goal without a plan is just a wish. Be specific about what you want to achieve, plan it out in detail and take action by developing systems and creating habits that will get you there.
Related: Healthy Habits to Incorporate Into Your Daily Routine In the New Year
2. Be intentional
Start being more mindful about how you spend your time, your money, the people you surround yourself with and the material things you bring into your home.
3. Move your body
Nothing beats the feeling of the endorphin rush after a good run or gym sesh. You don't need to become an athlete or an Olympian, but exercising for at least 30 minutes, three times a week will give you more energy and boost your mood.
Related: Ten Ways to Stay Committed to Your Workout When It's Cold Outside
4. Stay hydrated
You already know how important this is. Your body will work a lot better when it's properly hydrated. Try to drink two litres of water a day and see how much better you feel.
5. Get up earlier
Even though I love my sleep, I've found that I'm more motivated and productive when I get up early. Start waking up just half an hour to an hour earlier than you normally do and taking some 'you' time before you start the day. You could use this extra time to work out, meditate, write or just enjoy a leisurely breakfast instead of rushing straight out the door.
6. Make healthier food choices
Even if you're not very good at the ol' healthy eating lark, try making one meal from scratch instead of ordering a takeaway, or adding extra vegetables to your dinner plate a few times a week. Small changes can add up to make a big difference.
Related: Seven Ways to Make Healthy Eating Easier
7. Make lists
Lists are such a lifesaver for me. If I don't write everything down I'll inevitably forget it, so I'm always making lists: shopping lists, to-do lists, to-remember lists; you name it, I probably have a list for it. Try it: start writing lists of everything you want to accomplish, complete the most important or time-sensitive tasks first and notice how much more you get done.
8. Create a morning and nighttime routine
Having routines makes your life so much easier. Once you get used to a routine, you can get things done without even thinking about them and everything just flows a lot more easily.
Related: How to Perfect Your Morning Routine
9. Start a cleaning routine/organisational system
...and actually use it! A cleaning routine will keep your house in order without too much effort on your part, and an organisational system will keep everything in its place. Put things back where they belong after using them and clean as you go, and your house should never get out of control again.
Related: Six Ways to Have an Eternally Clean House (Without Paying a Professional)
10. Save money
Try to put a small percentage of your pay into your savings account every month or put it towards paying off any debt you may have. See which expenses you can cut back on and start working your way towards financial independence - this will have a hugely positive impact on your life.
11. Give back
It's so nice to be able to help other people. If you have the money you could set up a regular donation to a charity or buy lunch for a homeless person. If you can't afford to do that, there are other ways to help such as volunteering at your local food bank or animal shelter.
12. Read every day
It's a good idea to try and read a little every day, even if it's just half an hour before bed to help you wind down. Fiction is best for relaxing, while non-fiction will expand your mind and teach you something new. I'm really into personal development, self improvement and books about business at the moment.
13. Take up a hobby
Doing something you enjoy in your free time will keep you occupied and your mind sharp. It'll give you something besides work to focus on.
14. Make time for yourself
We're so busy nowadays that it's more important than ever to make time for self care, whatever that means to you. You can't be your best self if you're all stressed and burnt out. Schedule in some time at least once a week to have some alone time and do whatever makes you happy.
Related: How to Have a Self Care Sunday
15. Plan your meals
Meal planning is a great way to save time, money and stress about what you're going to cook for dinner each night. Every Saturday or Sunday, think about what you want to eat the following week and then make a shopping list of the ingredients you'll need in order to make these meals. When you come home from work and your dinner is already prepared (or at least planned) it's so much better than getting home and wondering what you're going to cook with whatever's in the house.
Related: Meal Planning Tips for Busy People
16. Develop a positive mindset
Having a positive mental attitude will get you further in life than a negative mindset, but if, like me, it doesn't come naturally to you then it's something that you're constantly going to have to work on every day. It'll be worth it, though.
17. Stop procrastinating
This is one of my downfalls, but I'm trying to get better at getting stuff done without procrastinating too much. Things take twice as long (or longer) when you try to resist them, so get off Twitter and focus on that task you need to do!
18. Disconnect from technology daily
Social media is great, but it definitely has its downsides too. It's a good idea to take a break from all technology for at least one hour a day. Turn off your phone, laptop, tablet and TV and have a tech-free hour where you can read, have a bubble bath, clean the house, play with your kids or anything else you want to get done without any distractions.
19. Take more risks
People who are more open to taking risks tend to achieve more. They don't let fear stop them from going after what they want and they never lose sight of the end goal. They're not afraid to ask for whatever they need without worrying that the answer will be "No" - and if it is a no, they just pick themselves up and try again.
Related: How to Overcome the Fear of Failure and Rejection
20. Be consistent
The most effective way to achieve your goals (plans) is to be consistent. Dreams don't work unless you do, and you have to put in a consistent effort to maintain your momentum and make progress. As soon as you start slacking and putting in less effort, you'll notice that your results start going the same way. Make sure to work on the things that are important to you every single day.
For the love of God, please don't try and do all 20 of these things at the same time. Taking on too much at once is a recipe for failure. Begin by working on one or two a week and once you feel like the habit is starting to form, work up from there and slowly add in more things.
Here's to a successful 2020!
What good habits are you trying to build this year?
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