Now that we’re in full swing of the new year, the feelings of newness, of freshness or even if you’re like me, excitement, have dulled, for some this may have been a contributing factor to falling off the wagon when it comes to accomplishing goals or even wondering why those goals existed in the first place.
As humans, we tend to crave routine and when our daily lives become monotonous, we crave spontaneity, there’s just no winning with us, once we have one thing, we want another, we’re constantly moving forward in time, adjusting our lives around how exactly it is we want to live. The start of 2019 isn’t the only way we can juggle our routines and feel renewed, feel fresh as if we have a new start in life. The start of every day can be new, it just depends on your perspective.
But is it even possible to create a fresh start? Yes, yes it is.
Refresh your space – whether this is your bedroom, your entire house, your workspace, your car or any possible thing you call your space, creating that new, fresh start feeling cannot happen unless you physically clean the space around you. Now, I’m not trying to increase your workload or make you do something you hate but, cleaning physically not only detoxes your surroundings but helps to reduce the amount of mental clutter you have in your mind. Bonus points if you do this on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
Have a planning day – many of us use the little pockets of time we have throughout the day to update our to-do’s, create lists of new things to do but we never really keep ourselves accountable. One way to ensure you’re up-to-date and saving those little pockets of time for more productive tasks is to take an entire day and plan the upcoming week/month in advance. Personally, I take out my planner on a Sunday evening, check off what I accomplished the week before and write down the tasks for the week ahead. No more fussing over tasks in the middle of the week (or breaking down because you’ve forgotten to do something).
Review your systems – this links in nicely to the point before, and what it essentially means a new start is usually accompanied by having a new productivity system in place, whether you’re old-fashioned like myself and prefer to use pen & paper with a yearly planner, or a huge fan of online applications where you can quickly re-arrange tasks and sync them across your devices. For this year, I went online with my daily/weekly/monthly tasks including the things I do for both work and university, as well as habit tracking the goals I want to achieve. Updating the systems you use especially if you feel like they aren’t working for you anymore can make a huge difference to your productivity levels.
Spend time away – this sounds like a contradictory action point to everything I’ve just mentioned, but I promise you, it has a purpose. If you’re like me and find yourself getting accustomed to your routines and feeling a little low because of mundane life may have become, planning a getaway trip can have huge benefits. This doesn’t have to be costly, or anything huge, it can be as simple as taking a weekend off and visiting a nearby town, finding places like libraries, museums or ancient buildings. Just remember it has to take your mind off work, of the stresses of daily living and responsibilities to fully experience the fresh start when you go back to your life.
Review your life often – as important as it is to write your to-do’s and make those action steps that get you closer to your goals, it’s just as important, if not more, to think about where you are in life. Are you happy? Do you feel fulfilled? Do your goals align with your true values? If you’ve answered no to these questions then it’s likely you need to review where things are not going well. This is almost like a mini-new year’s exercise, doing it monthly can really open your eyes and help you feel refreshed once you know what it is that needs to be changed.
Have a self-care day – this honestly goes without saying, we should always be striving to take care of ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually, if that’s your kind of thing. But having a specific day booked out to do things like meditate, stretch, exercise, cook meals, journal, read, etc will make you feel like a new person that’s ready to conquer the upcoming days. Being serious about self-care means taking into account what works for you, if you’re unsure of what does, take the day and experiment.
Refresh your lists – and no, I’m not talking about those daily to-do’s that are reserved for the work/academic side of life. Lists are a good way to track little things like the books you want to read, the trips you want to go on, the movies and TV shows that excite you, the podcasts you’d like to listen to, etc, you get my point, lists can be made for practically anything. But it’s one thing to make a list and another to ensure it aligns with who you are. Erase whatever is on the list that doesn’t inspire or excite you, or align with your true values.
These are little tips and tricks that you can incorporate in your everyday life to get that new, fresh start feeling, literally at any time of day and at any point in the week or month or year. One way to enjoy the life your living is to refresh often, making changes along the way, however you need to change them. Remember even though new year’s rolls around once every 365 days, that doesn’t mean you can only change then.
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