At the start of each year, I invest time to reflect about habits I practiced the previous year and habits I want to develop in the new year. Below are 7 healthy habits I plan to practice and develop as we enter 2016.
1) Grow and nurture your network.
It is important to keep a pulse on your network. Proactively invest your time and resources to continue developing and strengthening it. Make introductions as you see fit and don't be afraid to offer your help to someone who is asking for it. Remember that your network is your net worth.
2) Challenge your body and mind.
This year I set out to complete 10,000 push-ups. Why? My answer: Well, why not? Humans are creatures of habit. By setting this lofty goal, I have committed to completing 28 push-ups everyday this year to hit and ultimately exceed my goal of 10,000. I am also committing to 30 minutes of reading and podcasting everyday, which doesn't seem like much but throughout the course of the year will add up to 182.5hrs (equivalent of ~7.5 days). Challenge your mind and body each and everyday no matter how big or small the challenge, progress takes time and more importantly, dedication and discipline.
3) Remind people you care about them.
It is easy to get caught up with life. We make excuses about how busy we are or how little time we have. Stop with the excuses. Carve out the time to call, type an email or handwrite a letter to a loved one, childhood friend, former professor or coach. Let them know they are in your thoughts and you genuinely care about them.
4) Study successful people.
Take a moment to think about where you see yourself in three to five years or even further, 10 years. Now think about the people who are currently in the position that you aspire to be in. What did they do to get to where they are? What did they aspire to do when they were your age? Successful people tend to share their "secrets" in the forms or articles, podcasts, interviews, books and everything else in between. Invest the time to study the best and learn from their successes and failures to apply the lessons to your own life.
5) Smile more.
Smiling is a simple act that can make you feel better and positively impact those around you. Humans tend to mirror each other so odds are if you smile at someone they are likely to smile back at you :-)
6) Share your thoughts and opinions.
Sharing your thoughts and opinions is a great way to garner support. With an insightful perspective, you can become more influential within your network. I believe that everyone has a unique voice and deserves to be heard. Remember, those who are silent are not heard.
7) Put money aside for travel getaways.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do." - Mark Twain
Listen to the wanderlust inside your heart. More importantly, plan and budget for it. I strongly encourage all to experience as much travelling as possible in their lifetime. Experiencing different cultures, food, and lifestyles is invaluable in building your character and perspective. I understand and respect that everyone has unique financial circumstances that limit traveling, but I believe with proper budgeting and saving, travel is reasonably achievable. The approachable challenge outlined below can help you save enough to start traveling in just one year.
The concept is straightforward: Save only $1 in the first week of the year, and then each week increase your savings by a dollar through the remainder the year. So at the end of week 2 you save $2, then $3 in week 3, and so on, until you save $52 in week 52.
At the end of the year, if you successfully complete the challenge, you will have saved $1,378.
By implementing these 7 healthy habits, you will experience a positive change in your life. The great thing about the habits I have suggested above is that these changes start and end with you. Do feel free to comment with any habits you plan to practice this year that didn't make my list, I am always open to learning what others are doing.