Are you diving into New Year resolutions? If so, well done, and may you find success. On the other hand, if you’re like most people then you probably start with good intentions and then give up at the first hurdle. For example, the cold weather probably already played havoc with your morning jog. And your healthy eating plan may have been hindered by the baking leftovers you’re still eating from Christmas holidays. Whatever the case, it’s never too late to make a lifestyle changes, no matter the time of year.
And we’re talking about a few small changes here, not totally redoing your life. Heck, that’s a lot of work otherwise! But while they’re little changes they can positively affect your health and also open you up to new experiences. So, with that in mind, let’s forget the bad lifestyle choices you made in previous years and instead focus on the positive ones you can make today.
1. Cut Out Bad Habits
You can probably guess the bad habits I’m going to mention here. Smoking and alcohol!
While it’s predictable to advise giving them up, it’s a wonder that people still need to be told to change these unhealthy habits. You likely already know the effects of smoking:
- Bad for your breathing
- Risk of cancer
- Dental hygiene
Plus, alcohol is bad for your liver and dangerous when driving. But there are other health conditions linked to both too. Have you ever needed treatments for heartburn? The condition may well have been brought on by both smoking and drinking alcohol.
Did you know smoking can also lead to incontinence? Were you aware that drinking too much alcohol can permanently age you? Well, you know now. Think of the money you will save by quitting or cutting down too. Then you’ll have more money for the necessities and luxuries that you need and want in life.
2. Turn Off the TV
The television is awesome, and there is so much to watch, especially if you’re prone to a Netflix binge now and then.
Still, there is more to life than Gilmore Girls and Friends (the TV show, not your actual friends). So why not quit the TV and do something different with your life. For example, read a book, learn a new skill, get outdoors… There is so much you can do with your life other than being glued to your TV screen daily.
But if you really don’t want to miss a show, highlight the ones you want to watch and set yourself a specific time of the day to sit in front of the box. Then, use the rest of your free time to enjoy experiences that are not confined to the Isles of Westeros or the streets of your favorite soap opera.
Don’t just watch life, live it!
3. Lifestyle Changes: Be Social
How many friends do you have? If the answer is over 1,000, you’re likely relying on Facebook for your social circle – and that isn’t healthy. After all, how many of them are “real” friends, and which ones are people you met once in a bar, thought it would be fun to add them, and then forgot who on earth they are?
In a way, we are telling you that positive lifestyle changes include ditching social media, especially if you have neglected face-to-face contact with your genuine friends because of it. Yes, you may have “liked” the picture of the sandwich they made last night but that isn’t a real conversation.
Instead, hang out with your buddies in person more or pick up the phone instead of asking your friend “How r u?” on a social platform. Of course, if you’re short of friendships right now, you can still do something about it. Join a club or take a night school class and meet new people who share similar interests as you. Then, post your achievement online so we can “like” what you have done (wink wink).
4. Ditch the Negative People
There are all kinds of people in our lives, and we can’t always avoid some of them. Close family and people at work are just two examples. Yup, we have to get along with most of them.
Still, there are likely people in your life that don’t need to be in your social circle. These are the people who put you down with criticisms and negative remarks. They’re the people who shouldn’t have anything to complain about but who still wear you down with their constant tales of woe. These are the people who gossip, lead you into trouble, and cause you to question your moral fiber.
If these people are getting in the way of daily life and hopeful optimism and sanity, ditch them! Tell them how you feel by all means, as standing up for yourself is always a positive move.
However, if they still don’t change their overbearing ways, then move on. Even if they are your “friends,” question their friendship if all they do is make you feel bad. Find and stick with those people who make you feel good and support you unconditionally. Also make sure you are a good friend to them. In short, don’t be that negative person yourself! Now you’re getting a hang of these lifestyle changes.
5. Start Saying ‘No’
This may already be a skill you have picked up, but if your lifestyle is frantic and needlessly busy, chances are you need a few lessons in replying in the negative. You’re not Superwoman, after all; you can’t possibly do everything.
So, think of all the things you have agreed to do, such as giving lifts to other parents’ kids to school, looking after your friend’s kids, taking on more hours at work, and so on. And start saying “no.”
Yes, you may feel guilty for turning somebody down, and, yes, you may not mind at all taking on an extra responsibility. But if you are tired, have no time for yourself, and are approaching burnout, you need to get a handle on saying that tiny little word… It’s NO.
6. Start Saying ‘Yes’
You probably think I’m contradicting myself here, but bear with me. While there are times when saying “no” is necessary, there may be times when you need to say “yes.” What do I mean?
Well, have you ever been asked to go to a party and said “no” because you feel awkward in social circles? Or, has your boss ever asked you to try something new at work, but you have said no, afraid you would mess it up? Later on, you may have regretted saying no, and wished you had the courage to reply in the positive.
Therefore, perhaps it’s time you start saying “yes” today to taking risks and pushing yourself into new experiences. Doing so can benefit you rather than hinder you. Of course, your comfort zone is sometimes there for a reason, so rely on your good judgement.
However, if there is a chance you will meet new people, discover new skills, and enjoy life more, then allow yourself to say that other tiny word… YES! Pat yourself on the back for the lifestyle changes you’re making today.
7. Ask for Help
If you’re too proud to ask for help, that’s something you may need to change. Once again, you are not Superwoman, and you probably understand that already. So, stop conveying that perfect image, and seek help when you need it.
On a medical level, there may be health conditions that you know require seeing the doctor soon. A counselor may also be a good idea, especially if life a struggle right now. Then there are your friends and family, who may be willing to help, if only you have the courage to speak to them. Talk to your boss at work too, especially if you want assistance in the workplace.
It’s not healthy to say nothing, particularly when you are struggling to cope. So open your mouth and enough with that pride.
8. Have a Positive Attitude
Life is tough, I get it! Sometimes, we have the right to complain and cry, and that’s okay. However, if you always focus on the negative, and don’t remember gratitude for what you have in your life, you are going to become one of those negative people discussed earlier.
If you need help, then ask for it! But, if you constantly find yourself walking around with a cloud over your head, and repeating negative thought patterns, turn them around into something positive.
For example, instead of saying “I’m useless,” focus on what you are good at in life. There will always be challenges, but you won’t overcome them without a little positive action to make things better for yourself.
Final Words on Lifestyle Changes
Has this discussion struck a nerve with you? If so, then start to make changes today. You can see many of them are small ones. While you may not see the results overnight, you hopefully will see a marked difference in the coming days, weeks, and months.
Do any of the above lifestyle changes relate to where you are in life?