How 2020 Can Be Your Best Year Ever
Time to get out your new calendar and make a few resolutions. 2020 has the same promise as every new year. Except, this time you're going to make a few small changes and make 2020 the best year you've ever had! Set sail on a new course that will pay dividends for the rest of your life. Here are a few small changes that you can make in your daily life to be a happier, healthier, richer, and an overall better you.
A Little Less Booze in Your Daily Routine
We all have a few routines and habits throughout our day that if we just tweaked them a little, will make a big difference by the time 2020 rolls around. Many of us enjoy an adult beverage after a hard day at work. Nothing wrong with that, except according to NewsWeek, 40 percent of Americans drink too much booze.
Here's a few ideas to curb the urge to get sloppy every evening.
- Instead of 4 cocktails, how about 3? What good really happens after your 4th beverage? I'll wait.
- Instead of the sugary mixed drink, maybe a glass of wine or a light beer.
- Don't stock your home with your favorite booze drink, if it's not around you can't reach for it.
- Never drink two days in a row. If you sipped suds yesterday, today is water day.
- Mix a glass of water in between your boozes.
We're not saying cut alcohol out of your life, nope we like it too. Just tweak the norm a little and see how much better you feel on a daily basis.
Pay Attention to What You Eat
Eating is one of the most social and fun things to do during our otherwise routine days. Half the time we eat just because we are bored. However, what goes in your mouth can become a real problem years down the road when you are overweight with high blood pressure and the doctor is telling you to make some serious changes or the lights are going out.
So before it gets to that point, let's make a few small changes that will have big benefits.
- Skip going back for seconds. Getting back in line only leads to feeling bloated, regret, and soon a trip to the store to buy bigger pants.
- Do not salt your food. According to heart.org, 9/10 Americans consume too much salt. American food is smothered in sodium. Trust us, your arteries will thank you.
- Tweak your snack habits. Fruits and veggies should be the norm. Chips, crackers, cookies, and whatever other garbage you are shoving down your pie hole are shortening your life.
- Pack a lunch. Pack healthy food before you leave your house so you don't have to hit the nearest drive-thru at lunch time.
- Drink a lot more water and a lot less everything else. Your body needs lots of water to operate correctly. Those 200 calorie, 40 grams of sugar sodas give your body nothing but diabetes.
You get one body to cruise around this world, ONE BODY! The quicker you wreck it, the quicker your life stops being fun. You want life to be fun, right?
Put some money away every month into a savings account, that little pig you got when you were 10, or under your mattress. It does not matter where you keep it, just save some money every month, or week, or day. According to Magnify Money, 29 percent of American have less than $1000 in savings, 1000 dollars! That's not enough to cover rent for one month in most U.S. cities. Putting money in savings usually means changing a few of your spending habits so you actually have money left at the end of the month. Do whatever it takes to live within your budget.
Here's a few thoughts to boost your piggy bank in 2020.
- Pay your savings account first. When you get your paycheck, the first dollars you touch go into your savings, not the local watering hole to buy rounds of shots.
- Analyze your monthly card transactions. Knowing how you spend your money is very important. Check out mint.com, they make this really easy. You will be shocked where you swipe your debit card and how often.
- Stop using credit cards. If you have to fund your lifestyle with credit cards, then you need to change your lifestyle to life within your means. If you can't afford to pay cash for it, don't buy it until you can.
- Start fixing your credit. Get a credit report, figure out why you have poor credit and take the steps to improve your score. It will matter someday down the road.
- Open a savings account. If you do not have an active savings account, open one and put every spare dime in it you can find.
If you are consistently putting money away each month, it shows you are living within your means. If you run a deficit every month, you need to make some changes fast. The deeper you go in debt, the more stressed out and unhappy you are going to be.
Cut Some Stress Out of Your Life
Stress will mess up your life just as fast as any vice or addiction. It is impossible to remove all stress but taking a few steps to reduce it where you can will make everything in your life better. According to everydayhealth.com, there are a multitude of health issues related to stress. Here's a short list; insomnia, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, colds and viruses, circulatory problems, diabetes, heart problems, and cancer. That list alone is enough to stress a person out. If you do nothing else in 2020, figure out your stress points and minimize them.
Here's a few ideas to lower your stress levels.
- Realize you are not perfect and can't control everything. Enjoy your daily life. It will have ups and downs but that is the normal flow. Do not try to fix everything all the time.
- Get your blood pumping with some exercise. Take the dog for a walk or do a few jumping jacks before you get in the shower. Anything to get your blood flowing and heart pumping.
- Get some sleep. Get a bedtime routine that works for you. A hot bath, a warm cup of tea, or a good book. Whatever relaxes you before bed will help you get better sleep at night.
- Find the positives in your life. Do not spend time dwelling on the bad things have happened in the past. What are the good things in your life? Reflect on what is going right in your world such as, health, friends, a good meal.
- Put your phone down. Disconnect from the world for a while. Forget about the news and social media. Constantly hearing what is going wrong in the world will not help your stress level.
- Be more honest. The more honest your are with your friends, family, coworkers and others, will lead to a huge reduction in stress. Everyone knows where you stand and you never have to try to be someone you are not.
Remember that we're all here for a finite amount of time and a thousands years from now none of this matters. Enjoy your days as they roll by. Try to love the ones you're with and smile a little more.
Make an Effort in Your Relationships
The relationships in your life shape who you are. They are the cause of your highest highs and your lowest lows. They require focus and attention to thrive. The more effort you put in, the healthier they will be and this will make your life much much happier.
Put a few of these ideas to work in 2020.
- Trust the ones you love. Trust the loved ones in your life with reckless abandon. You gain nothing withholding trust, it will just push people away. On a rare occasion people will abuse your trust. Do not live life anticipating these fleeting moments. If you find there are people you can not trust or count on, then remove those people from your circle. Life is too short to force a relationship that is not reciprocal.
- Learn to apologize. A simple apology can breath new life into a relationship. We all have faults and occasionally do or say something that we regret. Get off your high horse and apologize.
- Be flexible with your time. If someone needs your help or time, give it freely. These are the actions that build lasting relationships. Being selfless and flexible without keeping score.
- Listen to what others say. There is a big difference between listening and being a good listener. Give others the chance to express what is on their mind. Your opinions matter, but they are not the only opinions that matter.
Relationships require and deserve your best effort. You get out what you put in. If you want stronger or more meaningful relationships, it starts with you.
This is your year to fix what needs fixing and take control of the things in your life that you have control over. Do not wait to make the changes that need to be made. Remember that tomorrow is another day. Win today, win this week, win this month, win this year. Find the groove makes you happy and healthy. You get one shot at this world, make it count starting in 2020!
By: James Latelle
An Expert of Nothing
April 22, 2020
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