The ball has dropped, the kisses have been exchanged, and copious amounts of champagne have been imbibed. It’s 2016, now what? If you’re like most of the population, you’ve made a bunch of resolutions that you may or may not keep, or you’re still deliberating over what changes you want to make for yourself in the upcoming year.
No matter where you fall on the New Year’s Resolution Scale, these guidelines are a great place to start so you can make 2016 one hell of a year.
1. Set goals that are actually attainable.
Having a 5-year plan or a 10-year plan or a dream board (or whatever) can be a great way to plan out where you want to be in the future, but those long-distance goals can seem more than a little bit unattainable simply because they are so far away.
This year, start out by setting small, short-term goals. Don’t set anything further away than one month, and make them small victories. Want to lose 50lbs by the end of the year? Set a goal to lose 8lbs by the end of January. Not only will this feel a lot more obtainable, but small victories will help you build momentum that will help carry you to your more difficult goals.
2. Edit your friends list.
It’s tempting to keep everyone you’ve ever known on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, just so you can keep track of them.
Ignore that temptation.
Go through your friends’ lists on all of your social media sites and start removing people who don’t add anything positive to your life. Eliminating the toxic people from your life may seem hard, but it’s a great first step to creating a phenomenal new year.
If you already have a meditation practice that you work into your daily routine, feel free to skip this number and head straight to #4. Otherwise, read on!
There are over 3,000 scientific studies that prove the benefits of meditation. It can help improve your focus and mental strength, your emotional well being, and even help improve your overall health and wellness.
If you’re interested in learning how to meditate, consider signing up for a class or picking up an instructional video or audio book. It can be hard for us, in this super-connected world, to take a few minutes to quiet our minds and having someone walking you through those first few meditation sessions can make it a little easier.
Remember what they said about all work and no play? Take that to heart as you head into this New Year, and you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to take on the more serious aspects of your life.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider a few of these ideas:
- Coloring! Adult coloring has skyrocketed since its therapeutic properties are finally being studied. (Between you and me though, I always have a coloring book and some crayons handy for the days when it feels too hard to be an adult.)
- You can never go wrong with keeping some Legos at your desk.
- Play-Doh. Another great creative toy that you can play with when you’re feeling overwhelmed and mush up to use another day when you’re done!
Adding a little bit of play to your day is a great way to make adulthood a little more bearable.
5. Don’t let your dreams be just dreams.
To quote the infamous Shia LaBeouf, “Just Do It!”
If you dream of doing something with your life, don’t just sit there and let it be a dream. Start taking steps toward making those dreams a part of your reality. If you need a little guidance, consider picking up a workbook like this one that outlines steps for helping you dedicate at least one hour a day to your dream.
The only one who can make your dreams manifest is you, so just do it!
6. Focus on the little things.
Our lives are made up of so many big things that it’s easy to miss all of the amazing little moments that happen every single day.
Take time to focus on the little things that you enjoy, or that bring a smile to your face, no matter what they are. It could be a song that you enjoy listening to, or a movie that brings back good memories, or any of a million other little things that we experience every single day.
Just take the time to enjoy the things that bring joy to you.
We get so focused on advancing our careers or being there for everyone that sends us a text that we often forget to do one of the most important things: sleep!
Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your health, your sex life, and your mental state, among other things.
Rewrite your schedule so you get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night. If you’re used to functioning on less sleep than that, it may take you a while to train yourself to sleep through the night, but you will be amazed at the results after you get used to getting a full night’s sleep.
8. Learn something new every day.
Learning something new every day may sound exhausting, but it’s a great way to broaden your horizons and open your mind to new ideas. Not sure where to start?
Two Words: TED Talks.
TED Talks, if you’re unfamiliar with them, are small snippets of insight from some of the greatest minds in the world. They’re usually about 20 minutes in length, making them perfect to watch over your morning coffee or while you’re brushing your teeth.
The link above will take you to the top 20 TED Talks if you’re not sure where to start!
9. Say I love you.
This may sound a little trite or possibly a bit cliché, but it is one of the most important things that you can do to make 2016 the amazing year that it deserves to be.
Say I love you as often as possible to as many people in your life as you can. Life is short and you don’t want to walk away without saying it, just because you never know what life is going to throw at you. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re going to regret not saying it.
10. Live life to the fullest.
Usually, the list of New Year’s resolutions for the year includes things like lose weight, quit smoking, and spend less money. This year, a new goal has topped the list, and it’s the perfect thing to round out our suggestions for your amazing 2016.
Live your life to the fullest.
Enjoy the things that make you happy. Don’t waste time or energy on the things that don’t.
And above all, remember this:
Drink deeply. Laugh heartily. Love with your whole heart, and make the most of everything life throws at you.
To wrap this up, have a quote from Death, a character from the mind of author Neil Gaiman:
“You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.”
Make 2016 the year that you take that lifetime by the horns and make it into the most amazing one yet!