We’ve curated a list of 12 ways to start fresh in 2018, focusing on your mental, physical and social well-being so that you can accomplish all you set out to do this year. But for those looking to improve their lifestyle in the new year, you might want to try baby steps instead of cannonballing straight into the deep end. When you weigh yourself down with too many expectations, you automatically set yourself up for failure. Try breaking down these 12 steps into a plan that better suits your needs.
Maybe adopt a new habit each month until the end of the year, focusing on one item at a time, or perhaps just pick and choose those that work best for you and your goals and add them into your own routine over time. Small changes might not seem significant at first, but over time they become habits, and habits can and will change your life. So here’s to 2018 and a year of progress. It’s time to start fresh and create the best year — and the best you — yet.
Will Durant once wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do.” The best way to change your life is by replacing negative habits with positive ones. Try turning the following ideas into habits this year. Some may stick and some may not, but in the end, you’ll likely become a better, happier, healthier version of yourself.
Drink more water
One of the easiest ways to change your health is by consuming more water. Better hydration will lessen your frequency of headaches, help curb appetite, and increase your overall energy. One way to know you’re getting enough water is by paying attention to the color of your urine. Try to keep it very light yellow.
Walk on the beach
Going for a stroll on the beach is one of the best ways to exercise — because it doesn’t even feel like exercise! Allow your strolls to be a form of meditation to calm your mind. Make sure to take off your shoes before you walk. The sand exfoliates your soles and strengthens your lower body.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Try getting your daily vitamins straight from the source. Vegetables and fruit are packed full of nutrients that will help ward off disease, up your energy levels and boost your immunity, which means less time waiting around at the doctor’s office feeling miserable and more time doing the things you love.
Take notice of the beauty around you
Take some time out of your day to be present and reset. We get so lost in our own minds and routines that we sometimes forget to take in the beauty of the world around us. Simply enjoying your weekends or lunch break outside can have a positive impact on your day and overall mood.
Bike instead of drive to do errands
Biking instead of driving has serious health and environmental benefits. But biking also allows you to see the island in ways you never would if you had just driven. As an added bonus, you’ll never have to worry about getting a good parking spot or being stuck in traffic again.
Adopt a pet
Saving a pet from the shelter is a noble thing to do, but helping an animal in need also helps you. Pets keep their owners calm and help ward off anxiety and depression. Pets can also increase your social circle, boost your self-esteem and help keep the doctor away by improving your overall health.
Make a new friend
Humans are creatures of habit. We don’t like to sway from our routine or our circle of friends, but branching out and meeting new people is one of the best ways to significantly improve your life. Joining clubs or networking with like-minded people can make you a happier, well-rounded person and might lead to endless possibilities.
Put down the cellphone
Recent studies show that the average person spends more than four hours a day on their cellphone. We mindlessly scroll through social media, and then suddenly it’s time for bed and we wonder where the day has gone. Reclaim your time by keeping track of your usage and setting restrictions such as one hour for social media and no more.
Make amends with someone
Carrying around spite and guilt in your heart will weigh you down and keep you from living your best life. If there are people who have wronged you in the past or whom you have mistreated, make amends by apologizing and forgiving. Sometimes just a few words go a long way.
Get your eyes checked
Those with 20/20 vision may ask why they would need an eye doctor, but getting your eyes evaluated can help detect not only possible vision problems but also early signs of serious health issues like high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Your eyes are your windows to the world. Take care of them.
Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep
There’s a lot to do every day: work, projects, kids, cleaning the house, the list goes on. Sleep seems to be put on the back burner time and time again, but making an effort to get more rest is so important. More sleep will help you look better, live longer, and improve your quality of life. Rearrange your schedule and make sleep a high priority.
Be The Difference
Helping your community and others is one of the fastest ways to change your life this year. Volunteering connects you with new friends, improves your mood and self-esteem, and it makes you realize how truly blessed you are to live the life you’re living. Find programs near you at www.unitedway.org.