So, we are into the new year and it’s safe to say that many of us have already ditched our New Year’s Resolutions. And that’s ok. I recommend taking the first month of the year to just chill out, regroup, assess and THEN plan. As an Occupational Therapist, I help clients set attainable goals. But I can also be my own worst client. Therefore, I thought it would be helpful to share my suggestions for tackling the new year with goals and/or changes you would like to make in 2024. And yes, I do these myself, so I practice what I preach.
- Get a calendar/planner that you can write in your day-to-day plans. It can be in a book form or big desk calendar, whatever. The point is to have something to write in so you can get some kinesthetic feedback. It’s also a more personal visual tool. It’s your handwriting you see, not digital font letters. And, just like a vision board, it can help as a manifesting tool.
- Decrease social media scrolling. Yes, yes….I know. Easier said than done. I actually find scrolling to be inspirational. I find recipes, home management hacks, content ideas, etc. But setting a timer and being more intentional with your scrolling is much healthier. And take note as to what comes into your feeds. If it’s negative crap, that means you are probably clicking on things and commenting in toxic posts. I can proudly say that I’m at a point where all my social media is filled with positivity and good, healthy content. Don’t let that bad energy into your personal space.
- Keep a journal by the toilet. I said what I said. Next time you are “doing your business”, you have that definitive time to write some thoughts down. I am a big advocate of establishing a new habit by tagging it onto another one. I mean, going to the bathroom isn’t a “habit” per say…but it’s something that will get done, so it makes it easy to multi-task. It’ll also keep you from mindlessly scrolling social media on the toilet.
- Re-connect with friends. Take this time to go through your contact list. Who haven’t you talked to in AGES?! Things have calmed down after the holidays. People have more time to talk on the phone and catch-up. This is also a great time to go through each other’s calendars and, maybe, put some dates down to meetup. I’ve already had brunch every Sunday with a friend, planned meetups at the gym, met for beer and wings, and booked some meetups for the summer. Get on it!
- Get a therapist. Listen, you do NOT have to have a specific diagnosis. You don’t need to have suffered trauma. You don’t have to be on medication. Therapy is for EVERYONE! Lemme shout that one out, again, for the people in the cheap seats. THERAPY IS FOR EVERYONE!!!! Everyone can benefit from therapy. Every one of us could improve upon their communication skills, their general stress management, their interpersonal relationships…and the list goes on. You are not perfect. Do the work!
- Read a book. I don’t care if it takes you all of 2024, just pick something and stick with it. Our minds are too hyper-stimulated. Reading takes you inward. It’s meditative in that it requires focus and imagination. If it is a personal development book, keep a pen with it and make notes in it as if it were a textbook. If it’s non-fiction, let your mind wander to create the sensory experience (visuals, sounds, smells) that the Hollywood movie version would provide for you. If it’s an autobiography…be inspired by that person’s journey and how you can learn from their struggles and challenges.
- Give yourself a makeover. There is nothing wrong with making changes or upgrades to your physical appearance to feed your inner spirit. So, get that haircut, change the color of your hair. Buy some new clothes. Start that diet. Join a yoga studio. I would even go as far to say, buy that expensive fancy mascara for yourself (yes, that’s what I just did and I NEVER wear mascara – but I’m gonna start!)
- Book a trip…or multiple. Besides the obvious benefits of travelling (escapism, learning of other cultures, etc.) it’s a great way to plan your year to have something to look forward to. It doesn’t even have to be something extravagant. Make a plan to visit a friend out of state. Go see a sporting event in another part of the USA. Take a road trip for a long weekend. Give yourself those mile markers on your calendar, again, so you can look at it written in your handwriting and manifest the amazing experience you’re going to have.
- Try a new recipe. In my continued quest to avoid processed foods and improve my horrible cooking skills, I’ve taken to trying one recipe a month. Now, social media has a plethora of inspiration and visual instruction, which I very much need. I’ve even started trying new grocery stores. I have been VERY stuck in a routine.
- Continue to practice the art of not giving an F of what other people think and “people pleasing”. It’s taken me a loooooong time, but, hell yeah, I’m a master at it now. Oh, if I only knew then what I know now. Well, I’m here to tell you, you need to make a conscious effort to set boundaries, avoid toxic situations and toxic people, let go of what no longer serves you and keep moving forward. Let 2024 be the year that you stop looking for validation from other people.
Jersey Girl Health and Wealth ®