The first month of the year is almost over and the crazy amount of 80% of all New Year resolutions is likely to fail before the second week of February.
This happens every year and people are trying to find the ways to stick to their intents to make it through the year next time. There are various reasons why this happens — unrealistic goals, lack of commitment, too many promises, etc.
You don’t need to wait for the next year, 1st of the month or Monday to start taking actions that will affect your life positively. Those don’t have to be big drastic actions, because even the smallest changes can result in a great improvement when done constantly. There is no shame in starting small if it will bring you to the desired goal.
One year is a perfect time interval to see the progress and development of your habits — it is long enough for the changes to show themselves and short enough for you not to lose interest.
Instead of rushing into the creation of a new amazing life 2.0, like a lot of us like to do every 1st of January, start with altering your current habits and build up the momentum for picking up bigger goals. Improvement doesn’t have to be hard, but it has to be constant.
Eat less meat
People give up eating meat for various reasons — to save animals, help the environment, health reasons, etc. Even if you choose not to eat it for 1 day during the week, you are making a difference.
For me personally, the main reason was the concern for the environment. If you think going vegetarian or vegan is too much commitment, check out this Ted talk of Graham Hill on being a weekday vegetarian.
Walk more often
Many of us don’t spend enough time moving, so walking 15 minutes to the shop instead of taking a car or deciding on a regular walk in a park can really benefit your body.
Even better if you can get the healthy 10k steps per day (it’s not that many as it seems).
Going to bed and waking up at the same time will really help you rest and recharge your batteries for the next day. Try avoiding any kinds of screens before going to sleep, even though that Netflix show is so thrilling, there will be more time for it tomorrow. Waking up a bit earlier can also give you some extra time in the morning to avoid the rush and enjoy yourself.
Give people compliments
Tell them that they inspire you, that you value them, that they are important to you, or simply that they look nice today. It doesn’t take any effort and time and will most certainly make the other person feel good about themselves.
Track your progress
There are plenty of apps that can help you to track your achievements on the way to your goals and hold yourself accountable. Being able to see the visual stats helps to stay on track. I really get excited to see my habit graphs growing and think twice before missing a day.
Get a water bottle
Another one to help the environment. Plastic pollution is still a huge problem and by saying no to buying bottled water you can help to solve it. There are plenty of beautiful stylish awesome metal and glass bottles that are much more than just a cute accessory.
Do one thing weekly that makes you uncomfortable
You don’t need to jump out of your comfort zone forever and ever. You can just step out into the safe zone and do the things that make you uncomfortable as small as picking up a phone and calling somebody or asking a stranger for advice. This way you stretch your comfort zone little by little and become more comfortable with the difficult tasks.
Learn to say “yes” and learn to say “no”
The first one will help you be open to exciting opportunities (think of Yes Man), the later will help you avoid things that don’t make you happy or comfortable. We often agree to do something just out of politeness, while not being interested or willing to do it at all. It is not rude to think about your own needs first.
Talk positively to yourself
Just like you give compliments to other people, learn to talk nicely to yourself. It can be really hard when something is not going right in your life, but you are an amazing human being and should be cherished for what you are. In the end, you are the only person who will be always there for you.
If a task takes less than 5 minutes to do it — do it straight away
This one has really helped me lately. Such simple tasks like answering an email, doing dishes, putting things where they belong straight after using them help to save a lot of time and avoid the cluttered to-do list.
Understand your emotions
Facing your emotions and understanding them instead of ignoring them is a big step forward toward a healthy mental state. When you understand your feelings you are able to control your negative emotions and take advantage of them.
There is always something that you can be thankful for. It helps you to focus on the abundance rather than on lack and achieve a positive mindset. It is not a hard thing to do, but many researchers have the reasons to believe that it benefits our mind a lot.
During the day just take a minute to slow down and be in the moment. We often are in a rush of our busy lives and don’t have time to actually enjoy the everyday little things. Your coffee is not just fuel, it has taste and smell, try to feel it while being present in the moment.
Watch your posture
A hunched back can result in a lot of pain and headaches. By watching your posture you train your back muscles to support you better and avoid all the health issues. Plus it looks nice.
Stop listening, start hearing
Often in communication, we focus on how we reply to the companion and can miss something important. We want to reply, give advice, react, but instead, try just to hear what the other person has to say and understand it without judgment.
As you see all of these changes are really small and don’t require a lot of your time. You don’t need to go big or go home in order to see the change in yourself, you can take small steps and enjoy the journey to your better self. And the best time to start doing it is now. If you keep waiting for the perfect moment, it may never come.
Originally published at https://medium.com/ on January 30, 2019.