4 January 2017
How to make this your best year ever
Image credit: Uditha Wickramanayaka

 

If you're like most people, you would have made your resolutions at the beginning of January. And they would have been the same as they always are.

Drink less.

Exercise more.

Stop spending so much time on obscure fetish websites.

But here's the thing, it doesn't have to be the 1st of January when you make a big change. It can be any time.

Here are 8 things you can start doing now - whenever you're reading this - to make this your best year ever.

1. Stop apologising

If you're like most Brits, you say sorry for everything. When someone bumps into you, when you haven't got change, when you've been caught cheating with most of the local football team.

OK, there are some things you really should say sorry for (and while we're on the subject, learning to say "sorry" in a few different languages will help you when you're abroad). But you don't need to say sorry for everything. If you're doing the best with what you have, you don't to be sorry if your best isn't as good as someone else's.

2. Go outside

Being outside does loads of good things to your body and mind. It wakes you up, improves your mood, helps you meet attractive people who are also outside, etc.

And a side effect is that you'll get exercise if you're outside, simply by walking about, or cycling, or running to get to the cake shop before it closes.

You only need a short spell outside for your daily dose of vitamin D, but the more time you spend out of doors, the better for you.

3. Sort your career out

You've probably lost count of the number of people who've whinged about going back to work after the Christmas break. In fact, you probably did a fair bit of whinging yourself.

But why are so many people in a job they don't really like? If you're reasonably happy at work, and getting paid handsomely, then well done to you. But if not, now is the time to think about changing jobs, changing career, or even setting up your own business. Why now? Well, why not? It won't get better if you leave it!

4. Start a new hobby (or sport)

I know, starting a new hobby sounds like the sort of thing you read in old ladies' magazines. But having something new to do will turn you from a dullard who talks about last night's telly, to a more skilled, interesting and useful person. It doesn't have to be knitting (although that is awesome), anything you can do with your hands and body - from drumming to rock climbing, or craft to swimming - will be a fun and rewarding way to spend your free time.

5. Stop being weird about food

Whether you're fat or thin, or somewhere in the middle, being weird about what you put in your body is not doing you any favours. Detoxes don't work (and can be harmful), vitamin supplements won't do anything for you (and can be harmful), and clean eating - well, it just involves too much kale, frankly.

If you really want to lose weight, see your GP and find something that works over the long term (hint: it's not any form of diet). And do some exercise! You will need to run 4 miles to work off a slice of cake (yes really) but it'll be worth it. So, so worth it.

6. Take care of your mental health

If you're suffering from a mental health problem (and we know lots of you are), now's the time to do something about it. It probably won't go away on its own, and there are lots of different treatments available.

If you have money, your GP can refer you for private treatment. If you don't, you can be put on a waiting list - but that's not the only option! There are lots of resources online for mental health, from cognitive behaviour sites, to mood trackers, anxiety apps and meditation tools.

You're not alone, you can be helped, but it's up to you to take the first step.

7. Drink more water

Water is, frankly, amazing. It stops you getting headaches, keeps you from getting tired, and makes all the other bits of your body work better.

You know you're not drinking enough. You probably overestimate the amount you drink and underestimate the amount you need. If you want to take it seriously, measure your cups and track your water intake on an app or on paper. Our government unhelpfully recommends 6 - 8 glasses a day without saying how much is in a glass - other sources say 2 or 3 litres minimum. Which is loads.

8. Take a career break

Yeah, the clue's in the name of the site. ;)

A career break will re-energise you, give you new skills, develop your confidence, and result in the most amazing, one-of-a-kind experiences. No matter what you do on a career break (and you can do pretty much anything, as long as it's not sitting on your arse), you'll come back a better human being - and a happier one too.

 

Has that inspired you to make some changes? If the last one sounds good, find your perfect career break here.