The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance – Alan W Watts
The new year brings with it new resolutions (or older, unfulfilled ones), with renewed vigor and hope to accomplish them. We all wish to move ahead with time and use time wisely to get stuff done. Here’s what you can do to make 2020 the year of YOU!
20 Things To Do in 2020
2020 already sounds exciting. Starting with a positive approach is the key to success.
- Health is wealth: Start the year by making healthy choices. Eat right and exercise. As the first and most important step toward health, eliminate unhealthy, packaged, and processed foods from your routine. Vow to eat homemade food and restrict “outside” foods to a minimum. If you tend to eat out at least once every day, be it breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner, make a decision to eat out only once every week instead. Set up an exercise regime. Walking, yoga, and meditation are the forms of exercise that can be done anywhere. As an additional precaution, invest in your health by opting for medical insurance that will take care of you in case of a health emergency, such as an accident or surgical treatment.
- Visit your parents or grandparents: If you stay away from your parents, make it a point to visit them regularly. There is no better joy for your parents or grandparents than spending quality time with you. These visits also serve to destress and delight you as your folks fawn over how much weight you have lost and gush about how you are a corporate big shot!
- Set goals for yourself: In the everyday race of accomplishing routine tasks, we tend to forget the big picture. Stand back and take a look at your life goals, be it the kind of person you want to evolve into, the skills you want to master, or an adventure you promised yourself by the time you reach a certain age. Keep setting newer goals once you have achieved the older ones; this helps you remain excited about life!
- Acknowledge your personal growth: Every once in a while, look back at your past and evaluate how you have grown through your life experiences. You will realize that you have come a long way and every problem that you have faced has made you tougher, more solution-oriented, and taught you to tackle life head on. Looking at old pictures, certificates, and trophies reminds you of the person you were and reaffirms your ambitions for the future.
- Travel and explore: It is important to spend time with your loved ones. Take a break from your busy schedule and explore some exciting places with your friends and family. A holiday or vacation boosts your spirit and relieves you of the stress. Make a list of all the places you would like to visit and the experiences and/or activities you want to pursue. If you have not saved for the holidays, take advantage of the travel loans, and tick off exotic destinations from your travel checklist. (Image to be inserted here)
- Pursue your hobbies: Most of us get so tied down with our jobs, household chores, and everyday responsibilities, that we have little time and energy for hobbies or interests. Remember to take the time to do things that make you happy. Join a day-long art workshop, go bowling, go dancing, cook a gourmet meal, or curl up with your favorite paperback. Dedicating time for your hobbies will not just refresh you but will also improve your productivity at work.
- Work on your financial goals: This is not exactly a fun activity but a necessary one. If your financial goals are not sorted, you are under constant stress. If you wish to buy a house or car, chalk out a plan. There are lots of financial products that can help in fulfilling your dreams. See how much you can spare from your monthly income toward your car/house expense and figure out how much loan you need. With easily available EMI calculators, you will be able to understand how much EMI you need to shell out each month.
- Get out of your comfort zone and try something new: We are so comfortable with our routine that we fear trying something new. This year, learn a new skill and upgrade yourself. Stay up to date with new skills that need not be related to your current field of work. This will not only open new avenues for you but also fill you with a sense of achievement.
- Meet and greet new people: We are so entangled in social media activities that we are always buried in our phones. Try being more present in the real world and interact with actual people around you. Make it a point to greet people around you while waiting for the elevator. If you take your kids to the park or other classes, strike up a conversation with the other parents rather than playing games on your phone. There is so much to learn from everyone around you!
- Appreciate people around you: Margaret Cousins rightly quotes “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” So, make it a habit to compliment your spouse, kid, parent, relatives, or friends for the little things they do well. Appreciate and validate your colleagues and staff on their contributions to the team. Every morning, acknowledge and be grateful for the small and big blessings in your life.
- Pick up a book and read: Leave your phone and laptop aside for one day every week and immerse yourself in a good book. Visit a bookstore or browse online bookstores to find a book that interests you. A book is considered a person’s best friend. Reading is to the mind what exercise is to your body.
- Give up a bad habit and start a good one: Evaluate yourself and identify a habit that you want to break (e.g., smoking or too much coffee intake) and one that you want to adopt (e.g., brushing at night). Read up about ways to make the transition and talk to people who have successfully changed their habits for the better.
- Forgive and forget: As a step toward becoming a more centered person, work on letting go of resentment and forgive people for their past mistakes. Holding a grudge is painful and disturbing, so put your ego aside and let things go. Make peace with yourself by letting off your painful memories.
- Connect with nature: When you are one with nature, you tend to forget all your worries. Taking a walk in the garden, watching a sunrise or a sunset, bird watching, gardening, or planting trees are all a part of connecting with nature. Just being surrounded by nature, can rejuvenate you. You can grow a mini garden or kitchen in the balcony or take your hot cup of tea to the nearest garden to enjoy.
- Reconcile with old friends: Friends are always a big part of life, a second family. Make a pact with yourself to reconnect with old friends; you will be surprised at how joyful it can be to talk to an old friend and talk about the good old days. Surprise your friend by travelling to his/her city, plana reunion or catch up over coffee.
- Associate yourself with a charity: There is no greater joy than the joy of giving and sharing. Charity need not always be in monetary terms. You could donate your clothes, kitchen equipment, furniture, books, toys, or time to the underprivileged. You could also provide honorary services like teaching or grooming for underprivileged kids. Giving is all about making a difference in someone’s life. When you meet people who are less fortunate, you start appreciating little things in your own life as well.
- Enroll for a marathon or any other sporting event: Get together with your friends or family and plan to run a marathon. Training together for the run is exciting. Encouraging one another to run the extra mile is sure to pump up your adrenaline. You could also try your hand at trekking, hiking, or mountaineering.
- Detach yourself from social media: Rather than spending hours on twitter or Instagram, try reading useful blogs. Watch a stand-up comedy routine on YouTube. Listen to audio books or some classical music. Enroll for an online course to learn a foreign language. To test your general knowledge, take online quizzes and let the results surprise and delight you.
- Re-evaluate your wardrobe: We all have a personal sense of style and mostly end up buying similar clothes each time we shop. But, it’s fun to experiment with newer styles, fabrics, colors, and cuts! You can use your shopping sprees to try out newer looks and maybe discover that your taste has changed and you like yourself in palazzos more than you thought. Re-invent your look and make heads turn.
- Treat yourself: We all work really hard at our jobs and routine chores to make life richer and more enjoyable. Be kind to yourself and regularly treat yourself to something you really enjoy, be it a spa day or a game of cricket with buddies!
These are just jumping off points for you to get started on your own list. Or you could just pick up 3-4 points from these and accommodate them in your bucket list for 2020! Take advantage of the new year and make new beginnings with a small step. Every big leap you make along the way will only take you closer to a better you.