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5 Ways to Start the New Year Fresh

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The glitz and glamour of the holiday season is quickly coming to a close. Everyone is looking forward to a new year and the promise of a fresh start. The energy at the end of December is intoxicating. It's easy to get caught up in a tangle of resolutions, trying to overhaul your entire life.

I love this time of year because I'm always looking ahead. I'm passionate about setting goals and creating practical action plans to achieve them. At the end of every month, I analyze my records, taking note of what is working and what failed, and then I adjust the plan as necessary.

To start the year fresh, I created a list of actions, organized into specific categories, to make things simple. In my opinion and experience, the more practical the plan and action, the easier it is to follow through and accomplish the goal. Below I'm sharing my ideas to inspire you with ways you can make a fresh start in the new year.

1. Get more sleep.

2. Find exercise you enjoy.

3. Practice gratitude daily.

4. Change up your look.

5. Declutter and clean your home.

1. Sleep

If I could sum up what it means to be an adult in one word, it would be tired. I'm always tired. The people I know are always tired. People I come into contact with on a daily basis are also tired. To be honest and frank, I think the entire world is tired. While we may not be able to solve the existential reasons we're all tired, we can all work to get more sleep each night.

This is something that is constantly being spouted, but for good reason. Sleep is important and most of us aren't getting enough of it. Let's change that.

To make a fresh start this year, commit to getting to bed on time most nights of the week. Figure out the best time for you by working backwards. What time to you need to be up and out the door? If you work from home, what time to do you need to be ready and clocked in? From there, you'll be able to figure out what time you need to be in bed with your eyes closed to get at least seven hours of sleep.

The next step is to eliminate distractions that keep you awake. Turn off the TV or move it out of your bedroom. Put your phone or book down and set your smartwatch to bedtime mode. Consider creating a relaxing nighttime routine that will help you wind down for the day.

To help monitor your sleep, you might consider getting a smartwatch that will track your sleep. That is one of the features that drew me to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. I completed the four week sleep program to give me better insight into my sleep habits. I love getting my sleep score and taking a look at my sleep data for each night.

2. Fitness

The most popular New Years resolutions revolve around this category. People want to lose weight, tone up, and get in the best shape of their lives. That energy usually dwindles come March, and people find themselves reverting back to their bad habits. This year, try a different, more practical approach.

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If you want to lose weight, it's pretty simple. You need to be in a calorie deficit. There are 3500 calories in a pound. Divide that by seven days in a week and you get 500. Cut 500 calories a day and you'll lose a pound a week. But what seems simple to write doesn't always translate to the real world.

The fact is you do need to be in a calorie deficit, but it's not as hard as it might seem. Portion size is important, and it's eye opening when you realize how much you are eating. Start reading food labels and incorporating lower calorie swaps. Choose foods that will fill you up and not leave you wanting to snack on junk. Using a food journal or app will help you keep track and make sure you are sticking to your plan.

Exercise is important, whether you want to lose weight or not. Finding a program you enjoy and look forward to will make it easier to reach your goal. Additionally, find ways to incorporate more movement in your daily life. Go on walks, take hikes, explore new parks, go sledding or skiing, or take a dance class. Look for active things to do in your area and get your family and friends involved.

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3. Gratitude

Attitude is everything. Your demeanor, your perspective and outlook on life, and how you interact with others are factors that say a lot about who you are. If you are a person who always complains, finds the negative in every situation, and treats others with disdain, no one will want to be around you. We all have bad days, but constantly being a dark storm cloud is exhausting.

A practical way to change your mindset and attitude is starting a daily habit of gratitude. There is always something to be thankful for, and at first, you might have to really dig deep to find it. Start small and think simple. Begin each day by being thankful for three things. It could be anything: a beautiful sunrise, a hot cup of coffee, seeing a cardinal in the tree in your front yard, a warm day, the snow beginning to melt, or a funny meme you saw online. Likewise, end each day by thinking or writing down three things for which you are thankful. Continue doing this for a month and a see how it changes your attitude. As it becomes a habit, you might be surprised at how much more you pay attention to the little things that happen throughout your day, and how this simple practice oozes into other areas of your life.

4. Appearance

A fun way to start the new year fresh is to change up your look. Subtle or dramatic, the choice is yours! Here are some suggestions:

  • Get a haircut
  • Dye your hair
  • Try a new hair style
  • Try a new makeup look
  • Get a new outfit
  • Try wearing pieces in your closet in a different way
  • Paint your nails a bold color

5. Clear The Clutter

The holidays can wreak havoc on your home. Get a head start on spring cleaning by decluttering as you pack up all the decorations. Donate items you no longer want or need, or see if a friend or family member could get use out of them. Now is the perfect time to vacuum and mop, reorganizing trinkets and knickknacks as you go. You might also consider rearranging your furniture. Don't forget the kitchen. Get rid of any leftovers that have expired and take stock of your pantry. This is a great time to add anything you need to your grocery list. If you're feeling ambitious, clean and reorganize your cupboards. If you have wooden cabinets, you might polish them. This is a wonderful way to get a fresh start in the new year!

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© 2022 Alyssa

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