Are you in a rut? Sick of the same old routine, and feeling like you’re not going anywhere fast? It’s time to make a change, we only get one life so it’s so important to live it- maximise your potential and enjoy it as much as possible. And in twelve months, it’s possible to make a dramatic change and get you to exactly where you want to be. Here are some ideas for going about it.
Get your health in check
We all lead busy lives- we’re up early and we’re in bed late. We have jobs, responsibilities and all kinds of commitments that take up our time, so it’s no wonder for many of us, food can be an afterthought. We wait until we’re hungry until we decide what to eat, and then go with the quickest, easiest and tastiest thing available (which is usually the unhealthiest option). But it shouldn’t be this way, a healthy diet is fundamental to your overall health and wellbeing. It doesn’t need to be expensive and you don’t need to be a chef- just a little thought and planning ahead of time is all that’s needed. Instead of paying for fast food every lunchtime, spend an hour on Sunday night meal prepping for the week. There are loads of ideas online for foods that will last through til Friday. Each morning you can grab a tupperware box out of the fridge for work and at lunchtime you have a healthy, homemade and inexpensive meal. Come up with a few tasty, inexpensive yet healthy meal ideas that you can rustle up in a few minutes after work instead of eating out or ordering in. There’s no shortage of ideas online, but if you’re really stuck you could always try a recipe box for inspiration. These companies send out the exact ingredients for meals of your choice, making them easy to prepare with no extra shopping needed. When it comes to exercise, try to make it part of your daily regime. It’s all very well saying get up at 6am and go for a run, but if that sounds like torture (which lets face it, for most of us it would be) then do something else. Go on hikes with your dog, go swimming at the weekend or meet friends for a game of tennis. Instead of jumping in your car to post a letter or visit family close by, make it a habit to walk. If you’ve been meaning to join the gym but keep putting it off, push yourself out of your comfort zone and give it a go, you could always rope in a friend to come with you if you’re a bit nervous. Health is so important, make small yet significant changes over the course of the year and you can genuinely expect to feel better and improve your mind and body in a huge way.
Sort out your finances
Money is a source of stress for most of us. Almost everyone would admit to wanting or needing more, but this actually might be the wrong way of looking at things. Instead of focusing on earning more, in most cases it’s all about spending better. Use a price comparison site to find the best deal on things like insurances and utility bills and make the switch. Cancel any old subscriptions and services you don’t use very often, and pay attention to where you’re overspending. Food, drink and socialising tend to be areas where many of us let our cash flow a little too freely. It’s not to say you should give up on all the things you like, but just be more aware. If you know you’re going on a night out with friends decide how much you’re going to spend and take cash, instead of hammering your credit or debit card. If you’re in debt, take proper steps to getting out of it, this could involve selling things you no longer use or working extra shifts to raise money and pay balances. If it’s past that point, speaking to a debt management company can help you get on track, freeze interest and deal with creditors so you’re paying what you can afford without them chasing you. Debt consolidation is another option, you can find out more about it here. Debt is expensive, every month that you carry a balance you’re paying extra to the creditor which is such a waste of money. Getting out of debt, setting a budget and being aware of overspending will all help you live much more comfortably when it comes to your finances.
Find enjoyable, productive hobbies
Chances are when you were young, you had lots of hobbies you enjoyed. It could have been anything from sports to woodwork, building computers and much more. As you get older and more of your time is occupied by work, these things can drop off. When someone asks you ‘what do you do for fun?’ you find yourself scrambling for an answer. Sitting on the sofa watching Netflix doesn’t really count as a hobby! Finding things you like to do improves your life in so many ways. It teaches you new skills, helps you to meet like minded people and gives you something productive yet enjoyable to do when you’re not working. Have a think about things you liked to do when you were younger and consider picking them up again. Or say yes to new opportunities, if your friend offers you to come along to an activity you’d usually say no to, be open and give it a dry.
Upskill and advance in your career
Our careers are such big parts of our lives. There’s more to life than work, but when it’s something you’re spending forty hours of your week doing, it’s going to have a big impact on who you are. So if you’re unhappy at work or feel like you’re stagnating, then this is going to affect the way that you feel in the rest of your life. Getting a better job isn’t all about earning more money, but enabling you to live in a way that’s authentic to you. If you don’t like the idea of spending the best years of your life earning money for a big corporation who’d replace you within a week if they needed to, then don’t do it. You could consider a career change, perhaps helping people or making a difference in the world is where your passions lie. You could consider setting up your own business, so you could pour your creativity and hard work into something that’s meaningful to you. Upskilling generally involves education, but you don’t need to go back to university to do this. There are loads of courses you can do online from home in a completely flexible way. The perfect way to give your CV a boost to get that promotion you want, or as a starting step to changing careers completely. You could also attend training days, or volunteer as a way to gain experience. Work hard now, and in twelve months you could be well on your way to getting the job you want.
Connect with others
Despite the internet making the world more connected than it’s ever been, it can also be a lonely place. When you work long hours, and perhaps you live alone, it can be difficult to meet new people as well as spend time with the ones you care about. But social connection isn’t just a luxury, it’s absolutely vital to our overall wellbeing. Make an effort with the people in your life that matter and watch it get better and better. If you’re single, you could consider joining a dating app to meet someone. If you’re in a relationship, take the time to treat them and let them know they’re appreciated. It’s something that you’ll both benefit from.
Explore spirituality, philosophy or religion
As humans, we’re curious creatures. Pondering the meaning of life can really help us to gain perspective, and teach us new ways of looking at things. Whether the religion, spirituality or philosophy route is your cup of tea, spending time thinking about life more broadly can be really beneficial. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own little lives and dramas, we can get anxious, depressed and feel all kinds of negative emotions over things that are really not that important in the grand scheme of things. Find ways to open your mind and ponder existence, it’s a great way to keep your mind working and can also massively benefit your mental health. With a new way of looking at things, it can inspire you to live your best self and make the changes you need to make your life count.