4 Simple Ways to Refresh Your Life in the New Year
The start of the new year is brimming with opportunity, with people focusing on things like goals, resolutions and what they want to accomplish in the year. That’s helpful, but it’s not the only way to approach this blank canvas of time that lies in front of you. The start of a new year is also the perfect time to focus on resetting and refreshing your life, taking time to get rid of thoughts, actions, and things that don’t serve you and bring in things that do!
Here are 4 simple ways to refresh your life at the starting line of 2022, or at any time that you feel like hitting the reset button for yourself.
Refresh Your Mindset
Your mindset has a lot to do with your level of happiness and fulfillment in life. Though it’s normal to experience ups and downs (that’s part of the basic human experience), having a positive mindset can help build resilience, which will make it easier to get through the lemons that life may hand you from time to time.
Here are a few simple ways to refresh your mindset and strengthen your positivity muscles:
- Repeat positive mantras and affirmations to yourself everyday – You don’t have to use a lot of them. We recommend picking 2-3 mantras or affirmations that really speak to you and practice saying them aloud every morning. Saying statements like “I’m strong and capable, and I can handle anything that comes my way” or “Even when things don’t go how I want them to, I am in control of my attitude and mindset” can help you cultivate a more positive outlook even during challenging times.
- Meditate to calm your “monkey mind” – You may have heard people talk about “monkey mind” before… it’s the natural habit of your mind jumping around from thought to thought, often accompanied by anxiety or worry. Meditation apps can help you calm your “monkey mind” down and build the tools to soothe the anxiety and worry. Some of our favorite apps are Calm, Insight Timer, and Buddhify. Keep in mind that meditation is not going to fix everything by doing it just one time. It’s more like brushing your teeth — if you do it regularly, you’ll start to see and feel the benefits without even realizing it!
- Start a gratitude journal – Developing a regular gratitude practice won’t make all of your troubles disappear, but it will train your brain to focus more on what’s going right than what’s going wrong. Similar to meditation, it’s something that will shift your perspective over time and something that can be practiced daily. When you’re starting your gratitude practice, remember that you can be grateful for anything, big or small… from having your health to not hitting any red lights on your way to work. We encourage people to write down what they’re grateful for every day, and try not to repeat the same things over and over. Challenge yourself to find new things that you’re grateful for.
Refresh Your Routine
It’s common to fall into a funk when your daily routine is old and stale, and you can actually boost your mood by changing up your routine a bit. The changes don’t have to be major… even the smallest change, like taking a different route to work, can give your brain a boost of the feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Here are a few simple ways to refresh your routine and boost your brain:
- Add exercise to your daily routine – Exercise is one of the best ways to give your brain a positive boost. Even just taking a quick walk gets your blood pumping and can help you shift your mindset. And, you can double-down on the benefits of exercise and try some new activities to refresh your exercise habits!
- Make small changes to your schedule – Doing the “same old thing” gets boring, so change up your schedule a bit to give yourself a bit of something different. If you’re used to going to the gym after work, try going during lunch a few times a week. If you usually go to the same coffee shop every morning, try going to a different one a few times. Even the smallest changes can refresh your routine and give you a subtle but valuable mindset shift!
- Build new habits – Building new habits or rituals in your schedule can help you refresh your day-to-day functioning. These can be things like taking time to meditate in the morning, packing your lunch the night before, or watering your plants every Sunday morning. The key to new habits is consistency, and it can be really helpful to carve out some quiet time in the morning before you start your day or the evening before you go to bed for activities like this.
Refresh Your Environment
Believe it or not, your environment can have a significant impact on your mental well-being. You’ve probably found that when your environment feels out of control, you may also be struggling with worry, stress, or overwhelm. Doing small things to refresh your environment can help you declutter your mind and start the new year off with clarity and purpose.
Here are a few simple ways to refresh your environment:
- Move some furniture – The new year is a great time to reevaluate your home’s layout and make changes. When you have time, take a look around your home and notice what doesn’t work for you. Maybe the placement of your bed feels off, or the bookcase in the living room doesn’t work for you anymore. If that’s the case, change them! Even making subtle adjustments, like turning your dining room table 90 degrees, can create a new and refreshing look in your home.
- Clean out your closets – Closets often to become a holding space for everything we don’t need in life. Take some time to clean out one closet and get rid of things that you haven’t used in the past year. If the thought of diving into your closets feels overwhelming, start with a small goal — focus on just one closet and pick out 10 things to donate or get rid of. It’s likely that once you start with that, you’ll build momentum and keep going!
- Buy fresh flowers and new hand soap – There are small and inexpensive ways to spruce up your home, which can help you feel more refreshed as you start the new year. Treat yourself to a few new things for your home, like fresh flowers and your favorite scented hand soap. You can even make this a new ritual – maybe it’s something you do at the start of every month!
Refresh Your Finances
With the invention of smart phones and phone-based payment options, it’s easy to let your finances get out of hand. How many times have you signed up for something automatically, without pausing to consider how much you need it? This new year, give your finances a refresh by reviewing all of the ways you spent your money last month.
Here are a few simple ways to refresh your finances:
- Review all your subscriptions and apps – Take an hour and comb through your phone and computer to identify all of the things you pay money for monthly. Then, ask yourself which ones you can do without. Chances are, you’ll find at least one or two to cancel and can save yourself a bit of money each month.
- Figure out your late fees – Do you ever forget to pay a bill? If you’re like the rest of us, it probably happens from time to time (or maybe more than that). It can be helpful to have all your bills on auto-pay so that you don’t have to think about them. And most auto-pay features allow you to select the date you pay your bill, so you can plan it around your paycheck schedule.
- Start saving automatically – Saving money is a great habit to get into, and the new year is the perfect time to get started. You can schedule recurring transfers from your checking account to your savings account to build a little financial nest egg. If you’re new to saving money, give yourself a numeric goal to start with. If you’ve already been saving for a while, consider setting up auto-transfers to help you save for something you’ve always wanted.
New Year, Newer You
Take the time this new year to refresh the things that are important to you or the things you find yourself often neglecting (like your finances). It will help set you up for a successful year and will give you a boost of motivation that you can continue to build over time.