As the year of 2021 comes creeping around the corner, everyone is thinking about what their New Years resolutions are going to look like in the midst of a pandemic. It’s going to be a weird transition and it’s going to be different than all the recent years we’ve experienced. So, what small things can you do for yourself to make sure that you are revived and ready for the new year to come?
Here are 5 healthy habits that you can adopt today to kick off the new year right:
1) The 20 Minute Method
Have you ever needed to get a task done, but you just procrastinated the crap out of it and now you have to spend most of your day either thinking about it or doing it very slowly? Well, this method is supposed to help with that. Formally known as the Pomodoro Technique, this 20-minute technique is used to break up your workday into time increments so you can get more things done in a shorter period of time. You won’t be spending your entire day doing one task.
Let’s use cleaning the house as an example. What used to be a full day project isn’t anymore because of this method. Pick an area in your house you want to clean, set a timer for 20 minutes, and start cleaning as much of that area as you can within that time. Once the timer goes off, you stop.
The whole idea behind the technique is that the timer makes things become urgent. It puts you under pressure and you end up getting a lot more done than you would have if the timer wasn’t there. It literally takes the phrase “I do better under pressure” to the next level. And you can do this with everything in your life! Believe me…it’s a life saver.
2. Do Not Disturb
This goes for all the people who are trying to spend less time on technological devices. Making sure that you stay off your phone at least an hour before you go to bed and an hour after you wake up in the morning helps refuel your brain. Staying off your phone gives you the ability to start your day or end your night not attached to technology which is a healthy habit to adopt. Not only will it make you feel better, but you’ll get better sleep! Staring at screens drains your eyes and light itself signals your brain that it is time to be up. So, winding down by staying off your phone can help a ton.
You can set a do not disturb timer on your phone at certain times during the day, either when you need to get things done or start winding down at night. Something I have recently started using that really helps me stay off my phone is Downtime. Downtime is a more intense version of do not disturb. If you have an iPhone, you can go into your settings and go to “Screen Time.” From there you can select “Downtime” and select the times you want to basically shut down your phone. And because Downtime shuts all the apps on your phone, you aren’t tempted to go on them at all.
I like to do this one hour before I go to bed and give myself an hour when I wake up in the morning. Downtime with do not disturb makes it nearly impossible to reach for your phone. And if both of those things don’t work…try placing your phone somewhere where it isn’t in arms reach. That way you don’t find yourself going for it first thing in the morning or right as you go to bed.
I know, I know…Meditation seems like such a hippy-dippy word. And to be honest, it is. But it helps you clear your mind and calm you down.
There are many forms of meditation. You can do the traditional breathing meditations or mindfulness meditation sessions that you find on YouTube or even mantra meditation. Whatever it is that you feel is right for you…do it. Take 5 minutes out of your day and just breath. Focus on the parts of your body that help you, nourish you, and replenish you. Be at one with yourself.
I cannot describe to you the ways in which meditating can give you clarity and confidence. It can give you this sense of kindness and humility that will make you want to continue the routine. And I know…it’s super hippy-dippy. But just try it! You’ll be shocked at the results that you begin to see in yourself.
4. Surround Yourself with Positivity
Another thing that you can do today that will help you prepare for the new year to come is to surround yourself with positivity. Whether that looks like people, plants, dogs, cats, or even knickknacks…keep positivity nearby.
If this year has taught us anything it’s that anything can happen. At any point in time, your world can come crashing down and you’ll need a support system to get you through it. Surround yourself with things that make you happy and keep you optimistic.
For me it’s people, dogs, and plants. Something about having life near me helps. When I see my plants growing or my friends at a coffee shop, I know that everything will be okay. Holding onto something positive in your life helps you cling onto the memories and the reasons why you are still here. Every time a negative thought pops into your head, replace it with a positive one. Even writing down three things you are grateful for at the beginning of each day can improve your mood and your mindset by a million.
Reading can give you something to do other than look at your phone or watch a movie. What I like to do is read at least ten pages a day. In college, I majored in Literature and Writing, so I read a ton. But once I graduated, I stopped reading and began filling my time with other things like Animal Crossing: New Horizons or TikTok.
It wasn’t until I saw something about a mental toughness program created by Andy Frisella called 75 Hard. I didn’t take part in the program, but I started implementing some of the challenges in the program into my everyday life. One of those challenges was to read 10 pages on an entrepreneurial or education book each day. The point of it was to make sure that you are constantly stimulating your mind and keeping it fresh and eager to learn.
Reading at least 10 pages each day turned into reading 2 or 3 chapters a day, which then turned into 5 finished books in a couple months. Most of what I read is all about self-improvement and tools to help you conquer the life you want. So, if you feel like you want to freshen up your mind and learn more about cool things or even enjoy a good story…challenge yourself to read at least 10 pages a day.
What are some other healthy habits to adopt to have a productive new year? Let us know in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.