While I don’t believe you have to wait until the start of a new year to make changes for the better, there is something about starting a new year that is like a fresh white page full of possibilities and hope.
10 Things to do Now for the Best Start to 2020
It is always tempting to set big lofty expectations for a new year, and while dreaming big and having goals is good, big goals are like skyscrapers: you have to have the foundations right first or you’ll never get high enough! So let’s call this post my foundations…. the 10 things to do NOW for the beat start to 2020; the basics you need to have a happy & healthy mind, body and routine to set you up for achieving your lofty goals.
1.Declutter / have a clear out
It always feels amazing to have a clear out, make space and get rid of stuff you no longer use, want, or need. Be that a clear out of physical space – food cupboards, draws, wardrobes etc. Or digital space – delete old files, folders, photos on all your digital devices, if you haven’t already create a good filing system & don’t forget to backup your important files and pictures while you’re at it!
Getting rid of the old and literally making space is a great way for you to make way for the new
2.Review your year
While living in the past is detrimental to your health and wellbeing, you will find that any good goal planning workbook will ask you to first review and analyse the year you just had.
Good & bad!
Look at your lessons learnt, biggest achievements. Goals reached, what you learned about yourself…..strengths, weaknesses, areas you feel you want to improve or change — journal it out!
Following through with this exercise allows you to look at the past in a productive way. Write out the important things, make sure you have absorbed all the lessons, and then you can let it all go and focus your energy and thoughts on the present.
If you feel you need some guidance with this I 1000% recommend this workbook by Susannah Conway: Unravel Your Year 2020
3.Know what habits you want to change or acquire this year
This links back to no.3 in many ways. Once you have done a review you will be in a place where you can be more aware of your habits. Both good and bad.
So what habits do you want to cultivate and which bad habits are you leaving behind in 2019?
Are you great at making lists & planning out your goals but fall short because of procrastination? Or is it something as simple as stopping biting your nails and wanting to get better at having a regular meditation practice?
Once you know what your bad habits you can start to catch yourself as soon as you notice you’re doing them.
Once you know what good habits you want to form try using a tracker to, well, track your habits! Having a visual and seeing you’ve done something, being able to tick it off each day, is a great way to keep yourself motivated. While information varies on how long it takes to form a new habit (between 30 and 60 days) if you can aim to keep your good habits going for the first quarter of the year imagine￼￼ not only how much you can achieve but how great you’ll feel!!
4.Review your health
I think this is a super important step that’s often missed out when we look at where we are, what we want to change, and planning goals and improvements for the New Year.
Your health – mind, body, and even spiritual if you want to add that too – are super important to how you feel each and every day, how happy you are, and your ability to achieve those more material world goals….
￼￼Take a moment to check in with your body: how are you feeling at the moment? What improvements have you made for the better this year? What things do you feel have let you down? or ailments and symptoms you have suffered with that you want rid of?￼
Then what about your mood and emotions: how have you felt for the majority of the year? Sad, happy, stressed? Look at what contributed to you feeling like that and how you can make changes and improvements moving forward to help you improve and manage things.
This can be managing how you spend your days – making sure you exercise or get a walk in, planning your time better to relieve stress etc. Or stepping away from people, things, and situations that are causing you problems.￼￼
If you are struggling with where to start with this step this post might help you: Listen to Your Body
5.Set some goals
Yes. Goals are important too. Having something to aim for keeps you motivated and focused. But make sure your goals cover all aspects of your life: personal, home, spiritual… not just job and career.
6.Boost your immune system
Another health related one. But also important if you want to start 2020 off with a bang!
Making sure you are rested, and your immune system is functioning well now will stop you getting sick or rundown once you start ￼work.
Take a leaf from nature’s book: plants withdraw, rest, and hibernate through winter and the dark days so they can burst forth with new life and bright colours come spring.
Looking after yourself and your health now will give you all the more energy in a months time. So eat plenty of winter vegetables, stay cozy, take your Rosehip syrup and elderberry to keep your vitamin C levels high, wrap up and get some countryside fresh air, meditate and spend time with loved ones. But also make sure to take time for yourself.
Everything in moderation
In our modern world toxins and heavy metals are everywhere. Unfortunately nasty man made chemicals are in everything from cleaning products to makeup and beauty products. Even in the water we drink!
Toxins are chemicals that get absorbed into your body from food, water or physical contact in your environment that are poisonous to your body and your cells. Your body cannot metabolise these toxins and so they end up getting stored in your cells and causing all kinds of health issues, disease, & cell damage.
While toxins can be both plant and animal based, here we are specifically talking about manufactured or human made/tampered with. Heavy metals are also toxins and are poisonous to us if they build up in your body over time – lead, mercury, arsenic, and chromium are a few common ones.
If you haven’t already I highly recommend changing to natural products wherever you can. Obviously this is a process of switching things out a bit at a time – it’s neither affordable or environmentally friendly to just chuck everything out and get new. But starting a few products at a time allows you to do your research first and find the right products for you before making a switch.
Products in your home to look at include: your food, water, makeup, beauty products, hair products, cleaning products, room freshness and sprays, perfumes, pots & pans… anything you can think of is worth checking.
8.Clean up your sleep routine
Sleep is SO important for everything you do. If you don’t get enough restful sleep every night it can affect your immune system, your body’s ability to heal, your energy levels, your concentration and ability to concentrate and think…
To set yourself up for the best nights sleep every night you need to have yourself a sleep routine that is geared towards helping you relax, unwind, and decompress. You need to start removing stimulation and letting your body know its time to sleep. Much like toddlers who have a bedtime routine they complete step-by-step to ‘train’ them to go to sleep at the right time, you can do the same!
So start winding down an hour or so before you want to go to bed: switch of your phone and computer/laptop screens, opt for reading a book instead of watching tv, make sure you have finished eating at least 2 hours before you want to go to bed so your digestion is in sync with your sleep routine. Then set up your personal routine.
Your routine can be anything you want: Meditation. Chamomile tea. Cleansing your face and removing the dirt and/or makeup for the day. Reading a chapter of a book. Spraying your pillow with lavender. Journaling, writing out your plans for the next day. Having a relaxing bath. Just make sure you can repeat these tasks regularly to set yourself a pattern to follow and see how it changes your sleep patterns.
Other things you can do to freshen up your sleep space and help you feel more relaxed to sleep include things like hoovering your mattress ( and flipping it on a regular basis too). Hanging your duvet out to air or getting it dry cleaned. Making sure your bedroom is clean and free of clutter & taking technology out of your room.
9.Find yourself a mentor
Finding a mentor can help you stay on track with your goals and changes. This doesn’t have to be just career. Find yourself a mentor or coach for your health and spiritual goals too.
If a mentor isn’t something you can do right now, then look for Expanders. Expander’s are people you know or who are in the public eye who you can draw similarities too and have achieved something you currently want to achieve. The aim here is not to just try and copy these people, but to use them as motivation and proof that what you want is possible and let them inspire you to keep going and achieve your goals!
In a similar way to expanders I think that when you are choosing a coach or mentor you need to find someone who you resonate with. Someone who has similar values to you, has already achieved something similar to your goals, and most importantly is someone you trust.
These people will help you keep going when you feel lost or stuck, give you support and cheer you on from the sidelines. Plus there’s something pretty motivating about having someone close to you know your goals and keep you accountable!
10.Get rid of negativity
Negativity in any form is unproductive and unpleasant.
Whether is how you talk about yourself, other people, your body, your circumstances – self talk, believes, people. It’s all toxic.
Notice what you say out loud and what you think. For me this falls into a mindfulness practice: activity being aware of what you think and say about yourself and others. Staying in the moment so you can be aware throughout the day, and each time you catch yourself starting to say or think something negative you change it.
After you make a mistake or have an accident instead of “I’m so stupid” you change that narrative to “that was a silly thing to do/happen, but that doesn’t make me stupid”
Learning to appreciate what you see in the mirror, not criticise it.
Instead of complaining about your aches and pains thank your body for doing its job and letting you know something is wrong. Be thankful for your health and all the parts that are healthy and strong.
If you can’t find anything positive or nice to say about a person or situation then it may be time to step away and focus on your own lane. On your happiness.
If there is only one thing of these 10 Things to do Now for the Best Start to 2020 Let it be this one! Let’s leave behind the negativity in 2019 and focus on the good in our lives! I promise you’ll be surprised how much happier you will be when you do.
It takes practice, it’s not something that will change overnight.
And there you have it. My 10 Things to do Now for the Best Start to 2020.
Not all of them are easy. But check back in with yourself once a month or every few months and see the differences they make. You can also do a monthly or 3 monthly review to see if you are keeping up with your new changes.
I hope you enjoyed these tips & id love to hear if you start any of them, or what your health and wellness goals are for 2020