It is a human trait to constantly assess yourself and worry about whether you are being the best you that you can possibly be, whether you are challenging yourself enough, whether you are at the peak of your performance at work and in relationships. We make lists with goals we can accomplish in the coming year to make us feel like you’re going somewhere and that your life has some purpose. While change is hard, especially if it’s a lifestyle one, science suggests that in order to make something a habit or a part of your routine, all you need to do is practice or omit the activity for 30 days in a row.
Here is a list of 12 activities to challenge yourself to this year. The end result, we hope, will be a year full of memories and achievements and more importantly, a happier you.
Month One – Encourage Happiness
Life is challenging enough without you getting bogged down by things that don’t really matter in the long run. Instead, practice being positive and challenge yourself to make at least one person smile today. Remember to Raise Yourself to Help Mankind. Volunteer with Taarana or with a project that is close to your heart. Replace neutral words in your vocabulary with more hearty ones. The next time someone asks you ‘How are you?’ say ‘I’m fabulous!’ and watch the smile spread on their face. Remember, happiness is contagious.
Month Two – Random Acts of Kindness
Buy someone coffee, leave a nice note in a random book for people to find, make friends with a colleague you barely talk to, volunteer at an orphanage, dance at an old age home, run for a cause. Whatever your pick, do something selfless and watch how light your heart feels afterwards.
Month Three – Learn a New Skill
Think of all the things that you wish you could do but never got around to learning. Make some time every day to pick up a skill you’ve been dying to pick up all your life – be it html code or learning how to play an instrument. Sign up for a Swiss eLearning course or take up an Accelerated Bachelors in Business Administration from SMC University. NOW is the right time to learn.
Month Four – Pay Attention to Your Passions
In the madness that is life, you tend to forget the things that move you. Allow yourself the indulgence of your favourite Bernhard H. Mayer watch, dress up for no reason, go on an unplanned road trip, build a blanket fort, and picnic with your family. Life gets in the way of living but instead of getting lost in its routine, make time daily to work on your passions.
Month Five – Live for the Moment
Life is short, make the most of it. Put down your phone, switch off that TV, and listen to the music in a concert instead of recording it. Make use of your QVI Club Membership and go on a much deserved holiday with your loved ones. Close your eyes and appreciate what you have now because the only way to bring it back is through technology that hasn’t been created yet – time travel.
Month Six – Declutter
Give away one object a day from your house or your closet that you don’t really need. This will help you re-evaluate how much of what you own is a necessity and how much you hoard for no practical purpose. This lesson carries through to your personal life as well. End relationships and habits that are harmful for you.
Month Seven – Create Something From Nothing
The joy that comes from building something from scratch is immeasurable. Even if you think you have zero skills, take up an art project – melt crayons if you have to, build a birdhouse or paint the walls of your bedroom. Worst case scenario, you would’ve created something that didn’t exist before and that’s saying something.
Month Eight – Say Goodbye to Bad Habits
Use this time to challenge yourself to give up habits that you’ve always wanted to give up. Give up fast food, stay away from cigarettes and binge drinking, tone back your all day TV watching, switch from drinking sodas to drinking HomePure’s Pi water. 30 days could be the difference between a bad habit and a whole new lifestyle.
Month Nine – Exercise
Studies have shown how your lifespan and health can increase tremendously by just involving yourself in a physical activity for 20 minutes a day. Walk to the grocery store instead of driving or take up a sport. Join your kids at the park. 30 minutes of activity for 30 days is the right goal to bring fitness back to your life. Don’t forget to complement your exercise by adding healthier food to your diet and by drinking LifeQode’s Berry Xtreme and EDG3.
Month Ten – Hone Your Chef Skills
Stop watching Chef Ramsey cook up delicious meals and do it yourself. Cook a new recipe every day and replace unhealthy ingredients with healthier alternatives. If you’re the adventurous type, pick up a cook book, open to a random page and get at it!
Month Eleven – Reflections
We never really have time to think back on our days and reflect on what was good, what was bad and what could be better. Engaging in 10 minutes of reflection can make you more attentive to things you do that are unproductive. It can make you a better at work and in relationships. It will also help you tone your reactions and bring balance into your life.
Month Twelve – Document Memories
Take a photo every day for 30 days, write down tweet sized descriptions of your day, and fill in a memory jar with the best event of the day. The more you do this activity, the more you are conscious about making every day count. At the end of the year, you will have something to show for what an amazing 365 days you have created instead of it being just another blur!
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle