Work. Kids. Play. Exercise. These days we’re all running around like headless chickens, trying to juggle all our responsabilities while keeping fit and having some fun, too. It becomes so easy to forget the little things that enrich our lives and make them better.
The older I get, the more I realise how important they really are. So, I made this list to make sure I never forget them again. I hope they’ll help you, too:
1. Make a list of all your accomplishments
We humans have a weird tendency to ignore all the awesome things we do and believe we are less capable/smart/strong/whatever than we really are. So, once a year, write down all the things you did the year before. This could be anything from being accepted into a good university, learning a new language, taking up running, whatever. Next time you feel down, read it. You’ll be amazed at what you can actually accomplish when you set your mind to it.
2. Learn something new
It may be cooking, painting, French, horse-riding… It doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s something new. And, when you’ve mastered it, take up something else. Just never stop learning.
3. Make a plan
Take the time to reflect about your life and what dreams you still have. Maybe you want to write a book. Or find a partner that really gets you. Or simply be more appreciated by your boss. Whatever your goal is, make a plan to turn it into reality. Then, act on it. You already know you can do it if you set your mind to it, right? If not, go back and read the list you just wrote. You’ll feel a lot more confident.
4. Visit a new place
Even if it’s just a small city 20 minutes away from your home town. You don’t have to go far, but you need to travel and see new places and new cultures. It’ll open up your mind to different cultures and possibilities, and make you a better person as a result.
5. Get back in touch with an old friend
New school, new job, new city, marriage and kids… It’s so difficult to keep in touch with people when life gets in the way. So, once a year, make the effort to reconnect with an old friend. Tell her (or him) that you didn’t mean to cut her out of your life, and ask her how she’s doing. Chances are, you’ll pick up right where you left off.
6. Read at least 10 books
I know 10 books a year seem a lot, but reading is, just after travelling, the best thing you can do to expand your mind and see the world from a different perspective. And, without leaving your comfy sofa. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.
7. Do something nice for someone else
Of course, you should be nice to everyone and help out as much as you can all year round. But, once a year, it’s good to go the extra mile. Invite an old friend out to dinner, make them an unexpected present, volunteer at your local charity, donate some money. Anything that you wouldn’t normally do, do it. You’ll help make the world a better place.
Your wardrobe. Your purse. Your contact list in your phone. You email inbox. Everything. Get rid of everything you don’t need or that brings back bad memories. Everything that’s in your life should be useful, make you happy, or motivate you. If it isn’t doing any of these things, it’s just taking up unnecessary space (both in your house and mind).
9. Treat yourself
This can be so hard to do, can’t it? We have so many responsibility, our own well-being doesn’t seem so important in comparison. But, it is. So, once a year if not more, take a few hours to treat yourself. Could be a spa stay, an at-home manicure, a short weekend away alone… You’ll feel recharged, and a lot happier, too.
10. Invest in good clothes and shoes
Fit is everything. Buy only clothes that fit like a second skin, and shoes that are so good you could walk around in them all day and still feel ok. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit more for a well-crafted piece. Cheap clothes and shoes seem such a great deal, but they need to be replaced so often, they end up costing us a lot more in the end.
11. Get a medical check up done
I know it seems totally unnecessary when we feel well. But, lots of illnesses are nasty little buggers that sneak up on us so slowly, we may not realise we have them until it’s too late. Get a check up done. It may save your life.
What else do you think everyone should do at least once a year?