Twenty 2018 Goals That Could Actually Make Your Life Better Next Year
When I first started blogging I felt obligated to come up with some big, impressive resolutions for each new year. Actually, for a while I felt obligated to do that every month, too. Everyone else was doing it, and back then blogging was really just everyone sharing pictures of their food and writing the exact same things.
Thank goodness things have changed, because I’m really not a resolution person. They never lasted more than a few weeks, and then I’d feel guilty when I gave them up. The biggest thing I noticed is that my life changes way too much for one goal in January to make sense for the whole year. Heck, things change monthly and weekly for me these days!
That’s not to say all goals and resolutions are bad. I know some people have made really positive changes in their lives that started with New Year’s Resolutions! I don’t think you need to wait until January 1st to make changes, but I see how it makes sense and can provide a bit of fresh start motivation.
And in case you’re being tempted by the media, know that losing weight and eating super “clean” doesn’t have to be part of your 2018 plan. There is no perfect body or eating habits that will magically improve your life. There are plenty of great posts written on this topic already — here is a fav. I think those posts spread really positive messages to a large population of people that can get unto an unhealthy diet and body image mentality (and given my history with Anorexia, I greatly appreciate that message!) but I also know they don’t apply to everyone. Maybe focusing on some health changes is what you need, and you could use this new year to kick off a really positive new lifestyle. We’re all different, and have to get good at tuning out the messages that aren’t meant for us and focusing on what we need at each point in time.
If you need some inspiration, or just some ideas that aren’t diet and weight loss related, here are twenty 2018 goals that could actually make your life better next year. They don’t have to be big sweeping January 1st changes, but maybe just little habits to keep in mind.
Take time for quiet reflection.
Prayer, journaling, long walks without music. Whatever this looks like for you. I want to be more consistent with She Reads Truth.
Find exercise that you truly enjoy.
Because the best kind of exercise is the kind you’ll actually do. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.
Fully embrace intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating doesn’t just mean eating whatever you feel like. Pay attention to what things make you feel great, what things leave you feeling a little heavy or icky, and the balance of those things that makes you feel best – body, mind and soul. That could mean more sugar or less. More salads or less. Someone will say you have to give up sugar and another person with say that giving up sugar is unnecessary and damaging. You just need to figure out what’s right for YOU.
Meditation can improve concentration, reduce stress, improve the ability to regulate emotions, and can slow aging. Can’t argue that!
Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
Give up your fear and excuses and just do it. Life’s too short. Don’t be left saying, “What if?”
Get rid of all things in your life that don’t serve you.
Instagram accounts, friends, clothes that don’t fit. The process of cleaning out the junk in your life feels so good.
Give more compliments.
I love compliments! People are so much quicker to criticize than to say nice things. It only takes a second to make someones whole day.
I think everyone should go to therapy, even if they don’t think they need it. I have found the sessions where I think I’m doing just fine are the times I make the best discoveries.
Focus on true health over vanity and appearance.
Because true health has nothing to do with what you weigh or what you look like. Get your hormones in order, keep your organs functioning well, and don’t let your mental health slide. You may realize that becoming truly healthy can make you look a little brighter and happier, anyway!
Start working toward the future you imagine for yourself.
Whether that’s more education, changing jobs, planning a move, saving money, etc. You deserve and can achieve anything you want, but you have to make it happen! Take those first steps.
Get enough sleep.
The CDC refers to our society’s lack of sleep as a public health epidemic. Getting enough sleep helps improve learning, mood, and the immune system. It also reduces the risk for a number of diseases. Being “Omg so tired” isn’t cool, guys! Sometimes we can’t help it, but we have to do better. Anything less than 7 hours is considered sleep deprivation, FYI.
Find a way to give back.
We are blessed with so much, and there are so many ways to make a difference. Donate money, donate your time, use one of your unique skills, join a service group, volunteer at church, etc.
There is lots of science on the benefits of gratitude. I have a gratitude journal by my bed but have gotten out of the habit of listing my three things each morning. Sure, “coffee” was on there most mornings, but I am grateful for it! It doesn’t even have to be as formal as writing it down. Maybe just make a point to note a few things you’re grateful for in your head first thing in the morning or before bed at night. It’s so simple, yet so effective.
I actually think the comparison trap is one of the worst things in the world. I fall prey to it all the time, especially in the social media age. It’s a natural response, but one we have to recognize so that we can restructure our thoughts. No one is like you, going through the same things, with the same purpose and same background. It’s okay to want to work harder and reach your goals, but remind yourself that you are loved and worthy exactly as you are, and exactly as you will be down the road.
In who you are, the choices you make, and the beliefs that guide you. You’re an adult now, and playing small won’t get you anywhere. If you’re not feeling great about an area of your life, figure out why and make changes if necessary. But otherwise forget what other people will think and be unapologetically you.
Read more books.
I love Netflix as much as the next girl, but reading a good book is so wonderful. Much more beneficial than mindlessly watching shows, too.
Spend more time outside.
It’s good for you in so many ways – vitamin D, stress reduction, and increasing creativity to name a few.
Learn to cook a few go-to recipes.
Cooking is a skill that’s being lost in our generation – I wish I had the ability to whip things up like my mom can! The kitchen can be intimidating, so starting with just a few recipes can make you more comfortable. It doesn’t have to be fancy (my go-to meals definitely aren’t!) though it’s fun to have a few special occasion recipes up your sleeve. It’ll save you money and make your week a lot less stressful.
Find a passion project.
It might be your full time job or just an occasional hobby, but find something meaningful to you. Research shows that having meaning and purpose in your life can protect against depression and anxiety. This concept is being used to promote elective opportunities in school (even medical school!) so students can do something they are really passionate about along with the required classes.
Get up to date on all your healthcare appointments.
Go see your primary care provider, OBGYN, eye doctor, and dentist. Take an active, preventative role in your health!