There is always so much hype around New Year’s resolutions and the fresh start the new year brings. This year, instead of going big, why not try a different approach? Little changes to your routine can give you that sense of accomplishment and pride. You could spend just 5 minutes a day on self-improvement or giving to others—such an upgrade from 0 minutes a day. Some changes produce instant results, but the purpose of these resolutions is to increase your daily self-worth, strengthen relationships, and to help others.
- Choose more routine rest
Self-care can look like many things, but one way to ensure you are taking care of yourself is to get good sleep. Maybe you need to go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. Saying no to one more episode of The Queen’s Gambit may not seem like the most fun choice, but it will be worth it. Purposefully carving out time to relax & take a break from everything in life can refresh your mind, body, and soul.
- Check in on loved ones
Pick a day of the week to routinely send a quick text to a loved one to say, “thinking of you.” Ask how they are doing. Plan a zoom lunch date. Drop off a surprise coffee on their doorstep. Offer to help if they are in need.
- Improve your space
Get those cozy bed linens that keep popping up in your feed. Aim to keep the laundry put away instead of piled in a chair. Make your bed daily. Upgrade to a more comfortable office chair or get a cute mug that makes you happy every time you sip your coffee. Work towards making your home and/or workspace as inviting as possible—in small increments.
- Walk for 10 minutes
This one doesn’t have to be a very structured thing. You could make a point to park your car further away from the store entrance to get extra steps in. Walk around the block while you listen to a new podcast after work.
- One less junk food a day
Maybe it’s choosing to order a vegetable side instead of fries or giving up that afternoon sugary soda to have sparkling water instead. Cutting out all treats cold turkey can be really hard. What are some reasonable and healthy boundaries that would work for you?
- Try one new thing
This can be as simple as taking a new route to work or trying a new dish at your favorite restaurant. Try writing only in cursive for a day. Little things like this can give you something small to look forward to while giving your brain a little workout.
- Stay Curious
Dive into a new podcast or research an inspiring person. Google a place on your bucket list, so when you finally take that trip you will know all the best must-sees. Reserve library books online on your favorite topic and immerse yourself in it.
- Help one person
Intentionally help someone. Hold the door open for a stranger. Commit to serving at your local food bank twice a month, or donate or share causes that need help on social media. Practicing everyday basic kindness matters.
- Get political
Research officials who are running for spots in office and show up to vote. Voice what you are learning and how it has changed you. Encourage others to educate themselves as well. Set an example and make a difference for those who can’t speak for themselves.
- Read for 20 minutes
Get your brain moving and engaged with a magazine, book, or article. Host a book exchange or spend your Saturday mornings browsing a local bookstore. Try reading instead of watching that reality show during your lunch break. According to this article from Healthline, reading “strengthens your brain, reduces stress, helps alleviate depression symptoms, and helps you fall asleep.”