Life is short... so why not be happy? Make 2016 your best year yet.
It can be easy, in the wake and wash of time, to forget how to be happy. It often seems that we have too many priorities that don’t play well with our own well-being, and we ignore our physical and emotional needs to our own detriment. But as the new year opens, there are a few small things we can do to make sure we’re getting the most out of 2016. For a healthy, more rewarding life, think about some of these ideas and how they could improve your year.
Learn when to let go.
If you are like me, you sometimes ove-ranalyze things and hang on to them much longer than you need to. I want to stop doing that and find the right time to remove something from my thoughts. Remember that holding grudges and bearing ill will towards other people really doesn’t do anything—not for them, and certainly not for you. You can’t change other people and many situations are simply going to be outside your control. And that’s okay. If you find yourself becoming worked up about something that isn’t worth your energy, try focusing that energy on something positive: learn a new skill, write it down and throw it away, or engage in a creative outlet you enjoy. Just get it out!
Do more with your day.
As much as I hate to admit getting up early is a key to success, it is. To get the most out of the year, start with each day! Get up early and give yourself time to do chores, relax, read, or eat a good breakfast before you head out the door. Instead of lounging on the couch after work, do a bit of volunteering. You’ll have more time to get things done and you’ll feel less stressed about doing them.
Make time for the people and activities you love.
I need a lot of time to myself to feel energized, so I always try to schedule time to hang out with me (I’m very good company). I take myself to a movie or dinner or just relax and do other things I like to do, like read or cook a big meal. Those things might not be right for you, but think about what things make you feel energized and happy. Is it hiking? Is it video games? Whatever you like to do, leave yourself time to do them every week. It’s even better if you bring a loved one along or plan a time to catch up.
Eat real food.
There’s something tremendously rewarding about eating a meal you cooked yourself. Make a concerted effort this year to eat well. I don’t mean you need to cut out all junk food forever or force yourself to eat only Swiss chard, but stepping up your nutrition game and eating better will make you feel better. I could never give up my crispy Pop Chips, but I will supplement them with a side of garlicky spinach!