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By Temitope Shogunle Wheew! The New Year has begun swiftly and it seems as though it is moving incredibly fast like a train on the rail express. This January did not come with 40 days after all.  As a matter of fact, this year, there seems to be an exceptional pressure to achieve our topmost goals or hit a milestone in our endeavors as soon as we can, before the newness of the year wears out; either in our personal lives and or careers. It is indeed true that there is always a zeal, a purposeful drive and doggedness that the New Year carries with it, placing untoward duress on us. The first tip we must give you – take this as a bonus tip if you will – is to take a very deep breath…hold…hold…hold…now let it out slowly. Good. You must take a pause first and outline what exactly you want out of the year. Yes, success, wealth, fame, fulfilment as the case may be, but have you asked yourself how do I go about achieving all these? For to outline goals, is just the tip of the iceberg. Everything we do is a combination of habits that we are able to cultivate, maintain and infuse into our everyday living. However minute or notable; positive or negative they may be, when they fall into a pattern, they make huge differences in our lives and our actions become a reflection of them, they become a lifestyle. So, let’s look at some positive habits you must nurture into lifestyle patterns to achieve your set goals for the year
  1. Prioritize your to-do list each day: Make a list of tasks you plan to carry out each day, identify them by virtue of their importance & urgency. This enables you to give your attention to tasks and complete everything that you have to do per day. At the end of the day, review the list to ensure consistency.
  2. Invest in experiences: “We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will be tomorrow.” ― J. Neblett
  3. Curate what you consume: The content you imbibe matters a lot, they have the ability to influence how we think, and our thoughts are what translates into actions. This can be social media consumption, music, the kind of news you listen to, etc. These content and the people can serve to empower your mindset
  4. Exercise your Mind & Body: Engaging in physical exercises have been known to help reduce stress, sharpen the human focus and boost energy to achieve set goals. Train your body and build your confidence in yourself. In the same vein, exercise your mind by meditating. Meditation is to the mind what exercise to the body. It also helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and enables you focus, making all the other habits on the list realistically doable.
  5. Have a journal: Write down your set goals, your thoughts, and feelings. Thoughts that are put down in ink have this tangibility to them, it is like bringing your thoughts into life. Penning your thoughts and intentions helps you also strengthen your memories and find inspiration towards achieving your goals.
  6. Learn something new every day: Develop a thirst for knowledge. This can be by listening to podcasts, TedTalks, reading from a book, blog articles or Newspaper for at least 20 minutes each day. This expands your view of the world and empowers you to achieve great success in life. When we learn something new our brain creates new connections and neurons, making the existing neural pathways in the brain stronger.
  7. Visualize your ideal day/future: Ask yourself, if today was my last day alive, what would I do? Then do it. This affords you the insight to take pleasure in the little things, getting you ready for your goals and to really live your dreams rather than just existing
  8. Do something nice to help someone: When we help others, our body produces a feel-good chemical called Serotonin that makes us feel good about ourselves. It could be as simple as holding the door open for someone, smiling and complimenting others, giving alms etc.
  9. Don’t forget to ask for help when you need it: Don’t be afraid to reach out. No one is an island, we all need one another, one way or another. You can unintentionally hinder your own self if you hold on to the mentality that asking for help is a negative or defeated thing to do when it isn’t. Think about how you felt when you helped someone…good…now, not asking for help means that you are denying someone out there their chance to feel gratified as you felt.
  10. Keep track of your progress towards habits and goals: Hold yourself accountable, track your progress, this reminds you to act when you are tempted to procrastinate. You are more likely to be consistent when you do so.
Now, that these habits have been outlined, the next step is achieving and staying true to them so they become a lifestyle. One error people make is trying to do all of the above at once for fast results. No, you must first start small. Pick two or three habits from the above and start from there, before building on them. You can start with 10 minutes work out each morning, another 10 minutes to write how you want your day to pan out/reviewing your future plans, reducing the amount of time spent on social media sites… these are small habits you can start with before compounding more. Investing in yourself is simplest way to make an impact in the world. Cheers to a beautiful 2022!