We’re halfway through January, which means many people are well into their ‘new year, new me’ projects. I’ve mainly been seeing two types of new year’s resolutions online: positive resolutions and negative resolutions. Positive resolutions concentrate on inclusions, bringing more goodness into one’s life or making changes in sleep, exercise, or food. Negative resolutions focus a lot on exclusions, namely what people want to cut out from their lives, such as bad energy or people or foods.
But I’m not seeing a lot of people talking about how to balance these two aspects of their lives. While wanting to be surrounded by only positive influences and be happy all the time is desirable, it’s not necessarily realistic. The truth is, negative things happen to all of us, and the best way to prepare for downturns in life is to live as balanced a lifestyle as possible so that negative events have less of a disturbing impact.
So here are 7 ways to start living a more balanced lifestyle. Join us in promoting the theme of balance in 2023!
1. Set your intentions
If you’re looking for a fresh start this year, it’s a good idea to set your intentions for how you want to live and who you want to be by the end of it. It’s important that this is a grand vision: a big, general, not overly defined vision of what you and your life will look like in one year. But it’s also important that the person you envision is not completely different from who you are now. Remember, you’re building on an existing foundation, and so the you from the future should look and feel like you, just enhanced in some way.
2. Analyse all areas
If you want a balanced new year development plan, it’s important that you assess all areas of your life for what to change and what to keep. This includes: physical health, metal health, financial health, relationships with family and friends, work, recreation. All things should be analysed holistically, and any resolutions you set should ensure that all these things are brought up and improved together so they are kept in harmony.
3. Filter out the noise
We’re chronically online, and by now we’re all aware of the negative effects of always scrolling through our phones peering at the lives of others. While we can look at some accounts for inspiration for different parts of our life, it’s best to try not to spend too much time following influencers for inspiration. They have own goals and starting points, and comparing yourself to them will make you feel inadequate. Instead, you can briefly look at some accounts for tips (recipes, workout routines, decoration ideas) for a few minutes a week, but avoid following them or checking their accounts daily. Focus on yourself!
4. Plan ahead, one day at a time
It’s tempting to make grand plans like “I’m going to completely change my eating habits by the end of January”, only to feel disheartened when you’ve failed by the 10th. It’s best to make an incremental plan. If you usually get takeaway, start cooking for yourself at least twice a week. If you usually drink fizzy drinks, make sure you drink at least 2 glasses of water a day. Look up recipes and start writing them down or keep them in an online folder. Take some basic building blocks, and build upon them! Remember, it will be easier to keep everything in balance if you approach the issue slowly and methodically
5. Be realistic
Which brings me on to the next point, be realistic! Take incremental baby steps to reach your goals. You’re probably not going to be journaling everyday if you’ve never done it before, or cooking everyday if you don’t really like it (yet). A journey of 10,000 miles begins with a single step. Knowing yourself and what kind of person you are and applying that to new goals or challenges will help you figure out the best way to approach your new lifestyle.
6. Make time for rest
It’s tempting to be productive all the time, especially when you’re trying to reach a new goal or are excited about starting a new way of life. But it’s important that you always take the proper amount of time to rest. This not only helps you to be able to focus better in the long run, but stops you from getting run down, and helps you remember the joys in life. Besides, you don’t need a reason to rest or have fun. Life is for living after all!
7. Revisit old loves
In the rush to become our new selves, we often forget the old self that we leave behind. This includes the work that we’ve done, as well as hobbies we used to enjoy, or places that we loved to visit. Sometimes resolutions make us feel that everything in our lives needs correcting, but don’t let everything go in pursuit of the greener grass. Remember that the old you also had resolutions, and that you have worked hard to get to where you are today. Embrace the old parts of yourself that you love and enjoy, and bring them forward with you into the new year!
How else are you planning to bring balance into your 2023? Do you have resolutions, or did you forgo the tradition in favour of continuing on the path you were already on? Is it better to have no resolutions at all, and instead live each day as it comes? Your answer depends on who you are, and can be found when looking inside and honestly assessing your nature and how you can best materialise and express it.