With the new year always comes resolutions, ‘the new me’ and fresh starts. But, rather than restricting yourself and focusing on restraints, why not switch your mindset and begin positive habits.
Starting something new or spending time on something you enjoy is far more likely to bring you fulfilment than banning yourself from the chocolate drawer!
To help, here’s 5 successful habits to start for the new year.
1. Read more
Yes, you may instantly think you just don’t have the time – ‘I can’t remember the last time I picked up a book’ etc etc. Life is hectic but finding even just 20 minutes a day to sit down and read can become a habit that helps you to switch off.
Some people set goals, like ‘a book per month for 2021.’ However, these targets can often be unrealistic and as soon as you don’t achieve them, you may easily give up altogether. Instead, do a bit of research, look at reviews and find the perfect book for you.
Once you find something that you just can’t put down, you’ll be surprised at how you subconsciously find more time to read. So instead of watching another episode of that bingeworthy Netflix show, you’ll find time to enjoy your page turner instead.
2. Switch those late nights for early mornings
You may be a self-confessed night owl but have you ever really focused on getting to bed earlier so you can enjoy the morning more? Many people find themselves staying up till all hours, cramming another hour of that addictive series in only to wake up late and rush getting ready for the day.
Why not flip this on its head and have an extra half hour in the morning to quietly enjoy a coffee and make a plan for the day. You’ll feel much more refreshed and productive throughout the day having had a solid night’s sleep and not enduring a mad dash because you slept in again.
3. Practice gratitude
2020 wasn’t exactly an easy year for many. Enduring a global pandemic is something we’ve never had to go through before and its effects are still ongoing today. Whilst you may be finding this time difficult, try to focus on those things that you’re grateful for.
Even if they are small, thinking about these things and being grateful for them will help shift your mindset. Studies have shown that people who regularly practice gratitude tend to sleep better, experience more positive emotions and even have better immune systems!
You can try this by taking a minute when you wake up each morning to think of a few things you are grateful for. Write them down in a journal, tell someone how much you appreciate them or keep the good thoughts to yourself. No matter how you do this, it’s likely that you’ll start to notice a positive impact on your own thoughts and feelings. Here’s a useful article with some extra tips.
4. Enjoy nature
Put down that phone, ipad or laptop and step outside. This doesn’t have to be far, your own garden will do or a place you can go for a walk. There’s something about nature that calms the mind and takes the stresses of everyday life away.
Watching the stars at night, seeing the sun rise in the morning or walking through a field – however you enjoy nature, try to make a little more time for it in 2021. If you have kids, getting them outdoors, even for just a short walk will help to reduce screen time and clear their minds too.
5. Find more time to switch off
Have you ever looked at your screen time stats on your mobile phone and got the fright of your life? ‘How did I physically spend that much time on Facebook and Instagram in one day?!’ Sound familiar? It’s probably time to schedule in more switch offs or digital detoxes.
Phone addiction is a real thing and finding the time to put it down can really help your mental health. Instead of flicking from one Instagram story to the next or scrolling through the depths of Twitter, try to limit this time so you can do something else as well. Set screen time restrictions on your phone so you’re reminded of just how long you’ve been on and use this time to do something away from the screen. You’ll be surprised just how much good a digital detox will do.