With the new year just around the corner, you’re probably starting to reflect on the past year. Even if it’s merely at a subconscious level, the ending of one thing and the beginning of another tends to stimulate the desire for change within yourself.
Here are 4 resolutions that you don’t have to wait for the new year to start.
1. Working out
This is normally at the top of everyone’s list.
If you’re a regular gym goer, you’ve seen the trend. As soon as January comes around, the gym is packed–and by May it quickly starts to empty out.
If you want to incorporate working out into your schedule, why wait until 2018?
Start now–and try to pinpoint (ahead of time) all the reasons why you might give up this habit later on. That way, you can prepare for the times when you’ll try to convince yourself, “Eh, I don’t really need to work out.”
Too many people make “starting” out to be a bigger event than it needs to be. You can start by just implementing exercise into your weekly routine without committing to a gym membership.
A lot of gyms have free trial periods. Once you’ve gotten in a rhythm of making time to work out, sign up and test a gym out for a week. Or you could drop in for a few yoga classes to ease into working out. And if you’d rather start at home, you can do that too. You can do all of this on your own of via YouTube.
Regardless of what exercise or activity you choose to do, simply creating the space in your schedule will allow you the opportunity to make working out part of your weekly routine–and that’s what really matters.
2. Eating healthy
This resolution tends to go hand-in-hand with with the previous one. And while eating healthy is on the top of everyone’s New Year’s resolution list, it’s a hard habit to stick to.
Unhealthy food can be addicting, and it’s especial hard to be strict about your diet around the holidays (and all the delicious food that comes with them).
Still, this is an amazing resolution that you shouldn’t have to wait for the new year to start. Whether it’s cutting fatty foods out, or bringing nutritious ones into your diet, there’s no “perfect time” to start eating healthy.
Today is as good of a day as any other.
More importantly, your entire diet doesn’t have to change all at once. Try implementing one change, like cutting out soda, or ingesting more kale, and then moving on from there.
Last year, I found out I was allergic to red meat. It propelled me to shift towards a plant-based diet for my New Years resolution. I started by cutting out red meat before the New Year. By January I was hardly eating red meat, so I decided to cut out dairy too. In early March I cut out pork and chicken. And now, almost a year later, my diet is 97% plant based.
This seemed impossible this time last year, but month by month I chipped away to get results that felt good for me.
If you allow yourself to be conscious about your nutritional health now, you will have already made extreme progress on your resolution by January.
3. Being more productive
Reflecting on the past year may have made you realize all the little things you wish you had done but didn’t have the time for. There is a reason productivity is constantly at the top of everyone’s New Year’s resolution lists.
Instead of waiting until next year, use the momentum you’ve gained coming to this conclusion to start trying to be more productive now.
Start that project.
Start working on the skill you’ve always wanted to acquire.
Read that book you’ve been wanting to read.
Productivity doesn’t just happen. It’s a habit that is refined over time. So the sooner you start being proactive about your productivity, the sooner your productivity will prosper.
This past year, when I was helping establish tech startup called Refugee Code Academy(RCA), I knew that with my full time job and hobbies I was going to need to make a shift in my life if I wanted to be able to dedicate the time I needed to launching a startup.
Even though I had a great team I was working with, I knew It would be time consuming.
So, before RCA got up and running I started practicing block scheduling, a concept where you coordinate your schedule by blocking out time for each activity. Planning my weeks (and even months) in advance was a headache, but it was well worth it in the end.
Each hour of each day had an activity. When I wasn’t at work, I was working out or writing. When I wasn’t doing that I made time to hang out with friends, and family, or to just sit around and watch TV. I became so organized with my activities that by the time RCA started taking up a lot of my time, I wasn’t overwhelmed, because I had already been preparing for it.
Many of us feel the need to wait until the new year to develop that skill or start that project.
Start working on your routine now, and you’ll start January three steps ahead of where you would have been otherwise.
4. Starting (or stopping) a habit
Breaking and creating habits is not an easy process. Which is probably why we wait for something pressing–like the New Year–to consider making that shift.
It’s easier to put off things like quitting smoking until the New Year, just like it’s easier to sleep in instead of setting your alarm to implement the habit of waking up early.
Whatever habit it is that you are putting off until the new year, consider making steps toward it today.
Regardless of what you want your New Year’s resolution to be, you don’t need to wait until 2018 to start practicing it. By implementing this “resolution mentality” into your life right now, you will create the space and regimen you need to actually stick to the resolutions you put in place for yourself this year.
The New Year is a wonderful time to set positive intentions. And the end of the year is a great time to start reflecting and manifesting these ambitions. Even if all you do is create a list, start thinking about and implementing your New Year’s resolutions today–so you have a stronger chance of achieving your goals in 2018.