Things to Try This January
Setting resolutions might be the traditional thing to do at this time of year, but here at The Daily Guru we believe there are many more fun and interesting ways to set goals and celebrate the start of the New Year.
In this article, you’ll discover all our favourite alternatives to setting resolutions, including creating a vision board, starting a gratitude jar and listening to uplifting podcasts.
If you’ve ever wondered how to kick off the New Year in a fun and meaningful way (without setting New Year’s resolutions!), then this is the perfect article for you.
Create a vision board
A vision board is a collection of inspiring, pretty, meaningful and motivating images (and quotes). Basically it’s an inspirational collage of all your favourite things and goals you’re working towards.
How to create your own vision board: Get a large board, a bunch of magazines, scissors, glue and any other decorations you might like to use for your vision board. Put on some fun music and start choosing your favourite images/quotes to include on your vision board.
It’s often a good idea to cut out all your images first and lay them out before sticking them to your vision board.
-Create your vision board based on your favourite colour palette
-Use your own photos to represent important people/moments in your life
-Brainstorm some of your top goals and make your own art for your vision board
Once your vision board is complete, put it somewhere you’ll see it often so it can inspire you in everyday life. You might even like to take a few minutes each day to look at your vision board and think about where you’re at with your goals.
For more inspiration about creating a vision board, check out this awesome video by Lavendaire.
Make a bucket list
Take some time to sit down with a pen and paper and think about all the things you would really love to do in the New Year! Create your own bucket list and keep it somewhere you can check it regularly and use it as inspiration whenever you might be feeling stuck in a rut.
Here are some ideas for things you can put on your bucket list:
-Travel to (insert the name of a state, city, or country you’ve never visited before)
-Eat a new cuisine
-Start a creative activity like knitting, painting, or gardening
-Visit a waterfall or another pretty natural environment
-Learn how to take photos of the night sky
-Choose somewhere you can volunteer at, such as a wildlife shelter
-Write your own road trip to go on
-Try a new type of water-sport
-See one of the natural wonders of the world
-Learn how to cook or bake something you’ve never made before
-Introduce a new self-care activity into your everyday life
-Go on a self-guided chocolate/ice cream/cake tour
-Start a meaningful family tradition
-Do something especially kind for a stranger
-Try an adrenalin activity like bungee jumping or sky-diving
-Host a fun event
Start a gratitude jar
Making your own gratitude jar is an incredibly easy activity, but it can also be a super meaningful thing to do and it can help you notice the good things in your life more. Find an empty jar, some small pieces of paper and a pen. At least once a week, write down all the things you’re grateful for, fold up the piece of paper and put it inside the jar.
At the end of the year, pull out all the pieces of paper and read over them to reflect on all the wonderful things that have happened to you. Perhaps, you’ll even realise you’ve forgotten many of the good things you’ve been grateful for during the year!
Also, your gratitude jar can be a great resource on days when you might not be feeling so great. Open the jar and read over things you’ve felt grateful for in the past, then see if you can notice anything in the present moment you can appreciate.
Here are some simple things you can practice feeling grateful for:
-A delicious meal
-Spending time with a friend or loved one
-Your comfortable bed
-A compliment you didn’t expect
-Help around the house
-A good night’s sleep
-Having enough money to pay your bills
-A fun yoga class
-A good book you’ve been reading/television show you’ve been watching
-Having somewhere to live
-A relaxing time in the bath
Figure out your “perfect average day”
Knowing your “perfect average day” is a great way to do (and appreciate) normal things in your everyday life. It can help create a sense of satisfaction and joy in the simple things, plus it can help you focus less on the “big things” you might want in your life and appreciate all the things you already have.
For example, perhaps your perfect average day looks a bit like this:
Waking up in the morning without an alarm, having a warm shower and washing your hair with your favourite shampoo and conditioner. Making a tasty bowl of home-made muesli with chopped fruit. Going out for coffee with a friend. Coming home and reading a good book for an hour. Taking the dogs for a walk to the park. Eating lunch in the sunshine while listening to your favourite songs. Spending the afternoon doing fun and creative activities; taking photographs, gardening, writing and doing some mindful colouring in. Ordering your favourite cuisine for dinner. Watching a good movie. Going to bed early and doing some gentle yin yoga in your pyjamas. Listening to a meditation and then falling asleep.
You might have noticed that this day didn’t involve anything too far out of the ordinary – it was just a perfect day of meaningful activities.
Once you’ve brainstormed your own perfect average day, try to incorporate as many activities from it as you can into your everyday life. Acknowledge and appreciate these activities, knowing that they are part of your perfect average day!
Set SMART goals
A great thing to do in January is set yourself some SMART goals. These goals are:
For example, a SPECIFIC goal might outline exactly what you plan to achieve – rather than setting a goal like “I will eat healthier meals in 2019” your goal might be swap your afternoon chocolate bar with nuts and blueberries, stop eating when you feel full and save the rest for left-overs, only order take-away once a fortnight and take salad or a soup to work for lunch, rather than buying something less healthy.
A MEASURABLE goal is something you can actually keep track of and evaluate your progress. For example, I will drink 5 glasses of water each day, rather than “I will drink more water”. This allows you to see areas for improvement and also gives you the opportunity to reward yourself when you stay on track.
An ACHIEVABLE goal is something you can realistically do. Try setting smaller goals, then building them up when you can know you can complete them comfortably. For example, if your goal is to go for a 5km run every day, but you haven’t been for a run in a while, then you might find it difficult to complete the goal. Instead, set yourself the goal to run around the block once. Then the next week, you might increase it to two blocks. Then three blocks the next week, and so on.
Make sure your goal is RELEVANT to your life. If you set the goal to write in a journal daily but you don’t enjoy writing and don’t find it particularly helpful, then choose a goal which might suit you better.
To create a TIME-BASED goal, look at all the different ways you can track and time your goals. For example, how many times per week do you want to be working on your goal? How long do you need to complete your goal? Is there an end date for your goal?
Setting SMART goals for the year ahead is an awesome way to create goals you’ll be more likely to achieve, simply because they are fully defined and you can track your progress.
Listen to uplifting podcasts
There are so many interesting, uplifting and informative podcasts you can listen to for inspiration in the New Year.
Wanting to learn more about success and what makes people great? Try The School of Greatness podcast with Lewis Howes.
Create a fun challenge for yourself to complete in the New Year
Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of clutter in your home at the moment? Create yourself a decluttering challenge for 2019. For example, in January you can declutter the pantry and kitchen cupboards. In February, you can clean out a bedroom (including the closet!). In March, you might tackle the garage. Choose one new area to declutter for the rest of the months and choose some fun rewards you’ll give yourself if you make it to the end of the challenge.
Wanting to meditate more in the New Year? Set yourself a challenge for the month of January, then adjust the challenge in February to suit you. For example, in January you might challenge yourself to meditate daily for 10 minutes. By February, you’re finding this challenge a little too overwhelming, so you might challenge yourself to meditate every second day for 10 minutes.
Maybe, you want to go on more adventure and increase your exercise in 2019? Choose 12 different fun activities which will help you get some exercise and focus on one activity every month. For example, in January you might choose to go on hikes and see all of the waterfalls in your area. In February, you might decide to learn stand-up paddle boarding and explore the various lakes nearby. In March, you might have a rock-climbing month and go with a few friends to different rock-climbing places. Can you see how these various types of exercise combine beautifully with adventures and seeing new things?
Now, it’s your turn! What will be your fun challenge for the year?
From all of us here at The Daily Guru, we wish you a wonderful start to 2019 and hope you enjoy trying out some of these alternatives to setting resolutions for the New Year!