As a new year begins, many of us are ready to set our New Year’s resolutions. Looking back at the previous year may bring a mixture of feelings, such as pride, love or even regret. However, it is the new unexpected year ahead of us that gives us hope and new energy. That said, ideally, we shouldn’t wait for the end of each year to start changing our lives, but better late than never.

Remember, just like multitasking can result in inefficiency, deciding to work on five different resolutions at the same time, can lead to failure rather than reaching success. So, being strategic with your New Year’s resolutions, prioritizing and spreading them throughout the year, is as important as the commitment itself. You would be surprised how efficient you can be.

Here is some advice that will help you reach your goals:

1. Apologize and forgive

These two words often highlight the hardest actions human beings face. Two words that aim to naturally intertwine with our ego, just like tangled Christmas lights. So, how can we move forward if we are not brave enough to apologize, forgive or have patience to work on those issues one step at a time. This should be your first action if you really aim to change or transform your life and yourself for the years ahead.

2. Let go

Letting go, closely related to our top category, is also on our top picks. See, we may not even realize this, but some things are not even worth considering because they are so minimal, so small and unworthy of our time and energy. Learning to let go of things quickly will prevent any feelings of anger or resentment to enter our body and mind. If you can master that, that means you have become compassionate to yourself. So, choose your battles, if any.

3. Learn something new

Often, when we set new objectives for ourselves, it’s either about fixing an already existing problem or readjusting old habits. That is great, but how often do we commit to learning something new? Not often, because our first responsibility is to clean the house before buying the new furniture. In this process, it is important to acknowledge that our brain is just sitting there, waiting to be given food (knowledge) to digest and if we don’t do that we are wasting this unused potential. Thus, we are not increasing our intelligence. So harness and use that gift to your benefit. Discovering new knowledge can feel quite epic, but it can really serve you well; it is empowering.

4. Save money and allocate funds to travel

Certainly, a majority of the population will have one resolution on their list – saving money. Yes, absolutely, be smart about the money you spend and think about what is the return on your investment. Think about it that way: when you spend your dollars are you satisfied with the benefit (the return) of the investment and are you happy with the overall result? You probably shouldn’t be buying material stuff to heal emotional problems, but rather invest your money in a trip, a retreat or whatever it is that can enrich your life experience rather than provide you with a good look. Traveling is the key to understanding other cultures and people. You will be surprised how much you will learn about the world, but also yourself. If you don’t like flying, don’t – take the train. Traveling doesn’t necessarily mean going to a different country, it is about becoming more conscious and aware of your surroundings and the rest of the people who live in this world.

5. Exercise

Exercising is the best gift you can give yourself and your family. The benefits of regular physical activity are countless: you live a longer, healthier life, you can easily battle health conditions, you can improve your emotional state of mind and you gain rejuvenating energy. Every season is an opportunity for us to do different activities, going back to the benefits of No. 3 – learn something new. Also, if you are a busy professional with a family, one who says you don’t have much time to workout, you are most likely the one who needs it the most. Find time, or at least plan something with your family – this could be as simple as a walk in the park. Put it on your calendar and commit to it. Invest in your health, this will benefit your kids as well down the road.

6. Eat healthy

Our health is the most important thing in this world. We all want to be free from pain and illness, sustain our physical and mental health and our social well-being. We need to do a variety of activities to support our health. One of those activities is eating healthy because not only does nutrition support our metabolism efficiently and functionally, but it also defines who we are and how much we love ourselves. Being conscious of what you eat is crucial to your well-being. Cut down on sweets, bread and alcohol. Overeating, fast eating and unconscious eating habits can lead to many health problems over time. The trick: always leave the table a little hungry, eat slow and drink at least two liters of water each day and if you can have a super light dinner or skip it altogether. Remember, eating healthy is not about diets or strict dietary limitations but about balance.

“All of us every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives,” Steven Spielberg said.

Invest for the long run, not just for the next 365 days.

Happy new you!

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[Photo by Özgün ERDEM – CC BY]