How is your 2018 going so far? Starting a new year always has its challenges, but it’s time to sweep away the negativity of the past and charge forward with optimism, renewed hope, and healthy habits. Instead of focusing on lofty goals, there are some simple things you can do in 2018 to improve your life and treasure yourself. Prepare your smile – it’s time to make 2018 the best year yet!
Make Time For Yourself
What is it you like to do on your own? Do you want to read, garden, crochet, or go fishing? In 2018, it’s time to grant yourself the indulgence of your own company. Spend time enjoying whatever it is that you like to do most. Live with yourself and love yourself this year. It all starts with spending that quality time alone.
Cherish Your Family
Your family is likely the centerpiece of your life. Whether you live near or far, it’s important to take time out of your day to spend with them and let them know you value their presence. In addition to creating a more harmonious household, this can improve the communication within your family.
Don’t forget your furry family members, too! In addition to being lively family members, pets can be beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing. Taking care of your fur-babies can also remind you to take care of yourself.
Balance Your Emotional Involvement in World and National Issues
If you’re like most people, nothing gets your blood boiling faster than a religious or political debate. Regardless of how you feel about these matters, too much involvement can take over your life. Monitor how much time you spend arguing about these issues, both in person an in front of the computer screen, and set a limit. It’s useful to be informed and engaged in world affairs, but take some time to make sure it’s not at a detriment to your other obligations and opportunities for happiness.
Even the non-controversial news is tough, such as natural disasters. Staying informed without drowning in sorrow is a careful balancing act sometimes.
Give to Charity
If you want to help, your money can go a long way. From tithing to your religious organization to donating to help flood victims in the U.S. and beyond, charitable giving is an excellent way for you to give back.
If you’re short on cash or find yourself saving up for a home, that’s okay! Most charitable organizations are also incredibly grateful for your time. Volunteering also allows you to socialize and make new friends, all while you improve your community.
Decide What to Keep
Lots of self-improvement lists will tell you to purge things you don’t need or items that don’t bring you joy. That’s excellent advice. Letting go of things that don’t serve a purpose is a wonderful way to ensure you always move forward.
Just as important, though, is keeping hold of your memories in the form of sentimental objects such as old uniforms, badges, yearbooks, training documents, discharge papers, and letters of commendation.
That is also an ideal opportunity for you to spend time with your family, describing why these objects are special to you and worth cherishing. Unless you’ve written it down, the important stories you contribute to the fabric that makes up the quilt of your family will get lost. It’ll be especially significant if the personal stories come straight from you, too, and can inspire in your family a sense of pride in everything you’ve done.
Especially if you lead a family-focused life, it’s easy to forget to make all those medical appointments and keep them. Staying on top of your physical health not only keeps you running, but it’s also vital to your family! The more health problems you can prevent and catch early, the easier time you’ll have. If you’re a veteran, make sure to take advantage of veterans’ health services. You can contact the VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) for more information.
Your mental health is also essential, and it’s never a shame to seek help when you need it. Stay strong and reach out to a mental health professional or even a religious leader or friend. If you’ve experienced trauma on the job, it’s possible that it can stay with you for the rest of your life. Make sure you receive regular treatment for PTSD and related conditions.
Practice Kindness to Yourself
Remember to be kind and forgiving to yourself, not just in making sure you get enough rest, exercise, food, and healthcare, but in how you think about and describe yourself and your actions. Are you treating yourself kindly?
Here’s a great way to put yourself to the test: if someone was talking about your best friend the way you talk about yourself, how would it make you feel? If you’re offended, then it’s likely you’re a bit too harsh on yourself.
Set a Goal: Then Achieve It
Goal-setting is huge when it comes to the new year! Everyone talks about it, but what’s important is picking a goal you can achieve.
Once you choose a goal, break it down into smaller pieces. For example, if your goal is to create an active blog for military veterans, plan out a reasonable monthly schedule, such as one 700-word blog post per week. You can even break that task down further into steps such as writing, editing, publishing, and promoting your post. In just an hour or two per week, you’ll feel accomplished because you can consistently hit your goal.
That also gets you in the mindset to prepare for unforeseen circumstances. Continuing with the blog example, if you have a few spare blogs saved, you’ll be able to skip a week if you get busy, go on vacation, or catch a cold.
Setting goals, spending quality time alone and knowing when to seek out family. If you’ve thought about how you’ll divide your energy in 2018, you’re setting yourself up for the success you deserve. Stay well, be kind, and never give up the fierce determination that got you here. Here’s to a new year!