2019 is almost upon us and, as we often do, we look forward to the fresh start that the New Year symbolizes – after all, New Year, new you! So what can you do to stay on track this New Year? Here are some great ways to make 2019 one of your best years ever.

Do Something New

Make 2019 the year of New Thangs – there it’s even named for you. You can even commit to trying one new thing a month. Pick things that you know will be good for you and healthy to your mind and body like not going online every other day or trying a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for a week or doing yoga.

Volunteer

You are in relatively good shape. You’re here. You’re present. And you’re of a clear mind. But there are so many others who aren’t and are in desperate need of your help. So pick a charity and give of your time. Maybe you do this every Saturday or Sunday. Maybe work with different places from one week to the next. But however you choose to do it, volunteer to help as it will help you too.

Start Saving

As kids, we opened up our first savings account with glee but no real sense of commitment to saving up anything more than for whatever video game we wanted. But now’s a great time to be an adult and start saving for emergencies and very rainy days.

Stop Giving Power To Others

Who cares what that person thinks. Or what that other person says. Live your life for you. As long as you’re doing good and law-abiding, it shouldn’t matter how you dress, how you look, or anything else. Don’t live under your own shadow – emerge into the sun and become the you that you’ve always wanted to be.

Automate Your Bills

We can have so many bills and oftentimes we accidentally miss a payment – not because we can’t afford it but because it slipped through the cracks. So set up all your bills to be paid automatically; that way you only have to worry about remembering to depositing checks, not remembering to pay them!

Do Something Scary

What scares you? What have you always been afraid to do? Go parachuting? Go on a roller-coaster? Well face that fear head on and go do it anyway. It might not mean you will permanently conquer your fear – but you’ll know that you’re capable of doing what you need to when the time comes and to be that much less afraid of it.

Slow Down So You Can Speed Up

Before you race out the door intent on getting to the top of whatever mountain you want to climb next, take a deep breath, look in the mirror, and ask yourself if it’s even the right mountain to conquer. Take time each day to plan and visualize where you are headed next and what the right steps are. New ideas will occur to you all the time that will help shape and craft your mountain ascent so stop and take the time to take them in and ruminate.

Lower Your Sodium

Excessive sodium is contributing to high blood pressure and heart disease so do something healthy for yourself and cut down on the salt. The recommended intake per day is a teaspoon (2,300 milligrams) but older people need less – about 1,500 milligrams a day. Ask for low-sodium options in restaurants. And read labels.

Write Out Your Goals

Have a game plan and pin it to the fridge. Something for you to look at every day so you remember what you’re aiming for and what you need to achieve that day. Your list can include major goals and a series of minor ones that are for you to carry out weekly or daily.

Make Vacation Plans

With a whole year ahead of you, now’s a great time to look into when and where you want to get out of town to and visit. Or maybe you’re going to take a staycation and truly live like a tourist in your own city. Wherever you decide to go, now’s a great time to plan it. It gives you something to look forward to, something to plan when you’re bored and gives you a financial goal too.

In a report compiled by Cornell University and the University of Chicago, 55.2% of New Year’s resolutions were health related (exercise: 31.3%, eat healthy: 10.4%, have healthier habits: 13.5%), 34.4% were work related (save: 20.8%, get out of debt: 12.5%, learn something: 0%, get organized: 1.0%), and 5.2% were social goals (spend time with family: 2.1%, help others: 0%, enjoy life: 3.1%).

Tellingly, the same study reveals the factor that keeps us at the resolutions – and that’s how much enjoyment we get from them initially will inform how long we stick to them. Another report, from the Department of Kinesiology, is even more pessimistic and observes that only a fifth of us get regular exercise – and even though we all know how important it is, a life with little-to-no exercise adds up to 53% of the ten top causes of life lost before 65.

Fortunately, the same study gives us insight into how to make resolutions work and how to make our lives healthier. It shows that there are four key behaviors that can extend our lives, on average, by seven years; and that literally boils down to regular exercise, non-smoking, a healthy diet, and moderate-to-no alcohol.

So if you can keep those four buckets clean, you’re looking at a longer, healthier life – one where you get to do and experience more of what you want! To see what else you can do about creating a new you for the New Year, visit our website or call us at 855-491-7694. Happy New Year!