Resolution season is upon us. Every year millions of Americans ring in the New Year with an intention of making changes in how they eat, exercise, interact with others, learn new skills and more. And while goal setting and personal improvement is a year-round celebration for us at Living Every Minute, we know that integrating change into your daily activities can sometimes be a challenge.
So let’s take a step back for a second and create a little perspective.
Trying to create a personal resolution that is a grand gesture to all that you want to be as a human in 2021 is a recipe for disaster. This romanticized view of personal achievement is perhaps the greatest contributor to unrealized goals and demoralization.
Here’s why: everyone fails a little bit along the way. It’s the nature of growth and essential to success. But if you equate your success or failure with your value as a human, you are perpetuating a scenario that can never serve you.
The only goals or resolutions worth pursuing are ones that serve you and the type of life you want to live.
It’s worth investing time in considering what you want out of life, how your actions are impacting your existence and what you want to change or adjust. That’s the reason Dr. Tim built the Living Every Minute Planner in the first place. Where resolutions fail, it enables the creation of sustainable and quantifiable change.
But what if you are struggling to think of things you can do to grow personally or to challenge yourself? Don’t fear, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 7 habits you can incorporate into your daily life over the next 30 days. Not gigantic overtures to change your identity as a human. Just a few easily executed minor tweaks that can improve your health, quality of life and interpersonal relations. Try one on for the next 30 days and see if it is something worth continuing for the long haul.
1. Speak to One New Person Each Day. This is going to go against what you parents told you as a kid. Talking to new people is perhaps the greatest skill anyone can hone. You’ll get better at talking in unfamiliar public settings. You’ll increase your resistance to social anxiety. You might make a new friend or add to your professional network. You will be exposed to new perspectives, become more understanding of opposing viewpoints and better adept at finding common ground.
2. Learn Something New Every Day. Don’t overcomplicate this one. You don’t have to be able to explain Einstein’s “Theory of Relativity” and how it relates to modern quantum physics. Whether you read 5 pages of a book, listen to a podcast or just ask a random question in the grocery line, you may be surprised just how much you can learn. This habit works exceptionally well with habit #1. Meet a stranger, then ask them for the best lesson anyone every taught them. Imagine if you did that for a year.
3. Make One Night TV and Social Media Free. You may want to do more than one night per week after you start this one. Make sure everyone involved around you understands what you are doing, then turn your devices off. Some of the greatest conversations and powerful introspective moments are completely inhibited because of the noise and distraction of our content consumption. A few hours of detox a week is a great and sustainable idea.
4. Work On Your Mobility for 10 minutes. Exercise is a no brainer; your life depends on it. But all too often we neglect our range of motion, our flexibility and the health of our joints. Working 10 minutes a day to stretch and maintain your mobility is easy. Make it a ritual as you get up in the morning, or a mid-day break in your office. You may be shocked at how many of your minor aches and pains are relieved by addressing the cumulative effect of perpetual tightness.
5. Gratitude Journal. Write down three things you’re grateful for every morning. Try to avoid too many repeats over the month. If someone is responsible for the gratitude you’re feeling, tell them. At the end of the day, read your gratitude list one more time before bed. You’ll sleep better if you count your blessings instead of sheep. Use this in parallel with habit #5 for an amazing compounded experience.
6. Meditate or Listen to a Guided Meditation as You Go To Sleep. 60% of Americans watch TV as they go to sleep. This can be problematic for some as studies show a 22% decrease in melatonin release for folks who choose this pattern of life. We recommend replacing your bedroom TV time with a meditation practice. If you are new to meditating, don’t worry there are plenty of guided meditations specifically designed for sleep out there. We recommend sampling a few and find what suits you best. In time, you may find it easy to do without a guided audio track. This is a great way to disconnect from the stresses of the day and allow yourself the recuperative rest your body deserves.
7. Create a Morning Routine and Follow It. What if you decided not to tolerate anything hijacking the first two hours of your day? No urgent fires to put out, no unplanned complications. What if your first two hours were yours to use constructively in a way that serves you? Create a plan for the early moments of your day, budget enough time to support it, communicate your intentions to the people around you and then follow it without compromise. If that means you need to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier, do it. If that means you start your two hour clock after you’ve taken care of certain family or work responsibilities, that’s fine. Just book time early and stick to it. Mornings are statistically more productive than evenings anyway. You may be astonished about how transformative this habit can be.
Remember: goals, habits and behavior patterns are meant to be used as tools to serve you and the life you want to build. Just as you wouldn’t use a screwdriver to hammer in a nail, nor should you use one of these if they don’t resonate with you.
Try one and let us know how it goes in the comments below. And if you have a new goal that you’re excited about, we’d love to hear about that too!
Living Every Minute,
CEO, Dr. Tim International