The New Year comes with a renewed resolve to do and get better. There is no better place to start this quest than with a close examination of personal habits as what you do repeatedly defines you. Nailantei Norarilists a few practices that could make your life better throughout 2021
1 Have a morning ritual
Mornings largely determine how your day turns out. It is, therefore, imperative to have a morning ritual.
This can be anything you want it to be, so long as it energises you and helps you set out the intentions of the day.
Researchers say having a structured start to your day, instead of rushing to make up for the lost time, also helps eliminate stress, mental fatigue and enhances your productivity.
2 Read books
Reading books is a great way to gain knowledge and stimulate creativity. Immersion reading also improves focus and has a calming effect similar to meditation.
Non-fiction books, in particular, are an excellent tool to broaden horizon, develop new ideas and seek motivation. You can read fiction books to whirl away time and decompress.
3 Exercise regularly
Other than improving your physical health, working out regularly pumps up creativity and enhances your cognitive skills.
It’s also an effective way to build endurance and get energised. Exercising also elevates mood by boosting the production of endorphins — hormones that act as natural anti-depressants.
And you don’t have to go hard. You can start with a walk and up the ante with time.
4 Friendship evaluation
It is important to look at the people you associate with and the purpose they serve in your life.
This is because friendships automatically affect your outlook and drive in life, both on a conscious and sub-conscious level.
Do not keep friends who demoralise you or make you feel bad. Keep the ones who actively motivate you and push you to be better.
5 Invest in yourself
Learn to continuously assess your wants and needs away from societal and familial pressures, and then go single-mindedly for that which sparks your heart.
Assess how you need to get to where you need to be and continuously strive towards that by setting smart goals and tracking your progress.
Investing in yourself is an art often overlooked, especially when one takes up other nurturing roles such as mothering and fathering.
6 Watch your diet
A clean diet or healthy eating is not only for the elderly who fear the looming threat of diabetes or high blood pressure.
You should start eating healthy now because most health problems are not created or corrected in a day.
Moreover, a healthy and balanced diet ensures that you get all the nutrients you need.
You should, therefore, look at your diet and substitute unhealthy foods with healthy ones. If all at once is too drastic a change, gradual change is change nonetheless.
7 Sort out your finances
Finances are a large part of how we live and are invariably linked to who we are and what we can and cannot do.
It is, therefore, important to take control of this sphere of your life. Find out how you can make more money, legally.
Don’t get into debt unnecessarily. Make a budget and stick to it. Ensure you have emergency and sinking funds. Plan ahead and do not let expenses catch you unawares.
8 Listen more
Pay attention to what others have to say. It will not only make others feel valued, but also will help you understand them better and gain a fresh perspective.
Don’t try to monopolise the conversation or fake attention while your mind is busy figuring out what you should have said in an earlier meeting.
Listen to what people have to say and what they really mean and take note of the non-verbal cues as well.
9 Practice gratitude
Gratitude is the surest pathway to health, happiness and success. It shifts our attention towards what we have rather than what we do not have.
It is the natural abundance of simple pleasures and opportunities that we have been afforded with and blessed with that we often take for granted.
Practice gratitude in the morning and in the evening, listing at least 10 things you are grateful for.
This will imbue you with positivity and the strength needed to keep striving towards your goal.
10 Time management
We all have the same 24 hours. It is what we do with them that sets apart the lazy, the hard worker and the negligent time waster.
How well you manage the precious little time you have says a lot about what you can achieve.
How you leverage this resource will also dictate your potential for success. Find a good system for managing your time and implement it.