The new year is almost upon us.
Late December is an interesting sort of limbo state: some people are reminiscing on the previous year’s triumphs and failures, while others are looking forward to what can happen in the new year.
One thing is for certain, if you need a reason to make any sort of lifestyle change in your life – this is an excellent time to get started and bring in a new phase with purpose and passion!
Here is your opportunity –
This is an opportunity to look back at the past 365 days and make the conscious decision to improve over the next 365. It all begins with the desire to improve, but it is crucially carried out through discipline.
Provided for you are 5 simple New Year’s resolutions to help make the new year the best one yet. These are all simple changes you can make in your daily life that will make you a happier, healthier human being:
1. Sleep More
When was the last time you got eight hours of sleep? (That’s what I thought.)
Did you know that getting a good night’s sleep can be the difference between being healthy and being unhealthy? Lack of sleep can affect your ability to think clearly, can lead to serious heart disease, can kill your sex drive, can depress you, make you age faster, etc.—the importance of sleep is extremely understated. Not to mention, you can never gain sleep back. You need a certain number of hours of rest every 24-hour cycle and if you don’t get it – you lose it forever!
Many people take pride in how little sleep they get and still function. This is nuts! In reality, these people are probably functioning at like 60% efficiency because of their lack of sleep. Imagine what they could do with a few more hours of sleep!
2. Drink More Water
This is another underrated change you can make in your daily life to be healthier and happier. Contrary to popular belief, drinking more water can often be the single most important thing you can do for your diet.
Do you want to lose weight? Have clearer skin? Feel more energized? Be more regular? Drink more water!
Sometimes it really is that simple. You can be under the illusion that you’re hydrated from drinking coffee, soda, fruits, soup – however, none of these can substitute for water. Carry around a water bottle and take some gulps at least every 30 minutes. Or, alternatively, take a drink from a water fountain whenever you pass one.
Your body is at least 60% water. Give it the ingredients it needs to run properly this year.
3. Go To Your Classes (All of them!)
I’m not pointing any fingers. I was a freshman in college once too.
Let me give you a golden piece of advice on how to improve your GPA (from a UT alumnus who had to dig himself out of an academic hole): GO TO CLASS!
My freshman year of college was a wake-up call. For two consecutive semesters, I got lower than a 3.0—racking up five Cs in my first eight classes. And, despite what you might think, it wasn’t because I was failing exams or not turning in my homework—it was because I almost never went to class. (Those attendance checks and random pop quizzes can be a killer.)
Fun fact: sleeping for 8 hours will make 8 am classes much more bearable.
I know better than most people that 8 am classes are crummy. But you need to go to them. You are paying to be there, you will learn a lot, and you will do better if you show up and the Professor sees your face. (Plus you will never miss any pop quizzes.)
Go to your classes and you will see improvement by a whole letter grade.
4. Be More Grateful
Just by the fact that you are reading this, you should be grateful for several things:
1. That you have Internet access.
2. That you can afford access to a computer/tablet/smartphone.
3. That you are a student at a great University!
The list goes on!
You will be amazed at how good it feels to be actively grateful for the little things around you. It is WAY too easy to focus only on the things that go wrong, when in fact things tend to go right around us all the time and we take it for granted. (It’s not your fault, it’s just human nature.)
But it doesn’t need to be that way!
The next time you’re in your apartment, be grateful that the elevator button works and you don’t have to take the stairs. Be grateful that the elevator actually works and doesn’t accidentally plummet you to your death! Be grateful that you live in an apartment that has an elevator!
It’s amazing what a little change in perspective can do for your outlook on life. Be more grateful this new year and you will be a happier person.
5. Read (Books)
Occasionally, try getting off of social media and the Internet and pick up a book.
In some ways, it feels like people are reading more than ever before because there is so much content readily available at our fingertips. However, much of it has been on various websites or the nonstop torrent of bait click that appears on everybody’s social media newsfeeds.
If you want to be happier and healthier, I recommend cutting back on that reading and focusing more on reading great books that can inspire and add to your life.
Everybody is familiar with the saying “you are what you eat,” but nobody ever thinks about it in the context of books. What you consume has a tremendous impact on you in the way that you see the world and speak.
Reading mainstream literature is like eating candy. If the only thing you eat is candy, you will feel terrible!
On the other hand, a good book is like a steak dinner. You can savor it and enjoy it at your own pace, and the experience is yours to experience alone. Nobody can appreciate it exactly like you.
Book preferences, like steak preferences, vary from person to person. It is not my place—or yours—to judge others on their taste in books. (Unless their taste happens to be Atlas Shrugged—in which case, judge away!) Read whatever makes you happy.
With Kindle, reading books is easier than ever before. You can read on your laptop, your smartphone, you can listen to audiobooks in the car – you have every opportunity to indulge in this nourishment of the soul. A few pages here and there will go a long way.
P.S. There is nothing wrong with indulging in candy from time to time!
All in all, there are many changes you can make to create a better tomorrow for yourself. These are some simple and relatively easy changes that you can create into healthy habits.
Happy New Year!