New Year, Fresh Start: What Should Be at the Top of Your To-Do List in 2018

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It’s just about that time again—when we look back, reflect, and plan all of our future successes for the coming year. That’s right! New Year’s Day is right around the corner, and as cliché as it may seem, it really is the perfect time to commit to making changes, adopting new habits, and making each day the best it can be.

All over the country, people are making lists and setting new goals for themselves that can be achieved with a little work and some knowhow, so why not join in on the collective planning? If you’ve found that the resolutions you made last year didn’t quite pan out the way that you’d hoped, or if you’re looking to take this opportunity to reset and renew for the first time, you could be racking your brain wondering what to strive for on this blank canvas we receive every January 1st.

In terms of “changes and New Year’s Resolutions, the options are truly limitless, so we’ve put together some suggestions to help you narrow them down, and choose the long-term changes that will best benefit you.

Let’s take a look at some ideas for what you can do with the gift of a brand new year.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that New Year’s Day often ushers in a wide array of diets and exercise regimes. People are often anxious to seize the first day of the new year to make positive changes in their physique and overall health, by signing up for a gym membership or watching their food intake to shed some of those extra pounds put on by holiday home cooking. Although these are all excellent ideas, there are other ways to take care of your body beyond pounding the pavement in new running shoes.

Meditation is an excellent method for increasing focus and boosting mood, and if you’re not sure where to start, there are free smartphone apps that will lead you in guided sessions that only take about 10 minutes to complete. Another great option is to learn yoga which provides a mixture of both meditation and physical fitness.

Looking to rock the treadmill a few more times a week? Nothing gives you more stamina than a good night’s sleep, and if you’re tired of tossing and turning, consider giving a sleepytime tea a try. Let the herbal blends soothe and lull you to sleep after a long hard day, and you’ll wake up ready to take on the world.

Make Time to Make Time

One thing that we all wish we could have is more time with the ones we love, and although you certainly can’t avoid all of life’s obligations that take you away from them, there are some tricks that can help you create more downtime in your schedule. Remote work is said to be the wave of the future, and if that’s an option at your 9 to 5, it’s definitely worth exploring. While some employers may require a full home office setup, some are flexible in allowing you to simply utilize a laptop, and working from home even one or two days per week can allow you to be more present with your immediate family.

Beyond that, if you have vacation days that are racking up and going unused, taking a few of them is a wonderful way to spend more time with your children or spouse without interrupting your workflow. Pack a bag and plan a weekend getaway if you like, or simply schedule a “staycation” and get caught up on your Netflix queue. Additionally, if you find your free time is cluttered with chores and errands that you can’t seem to get on top of, consider taking a time management class that will give you the tools to blast through what you have to do and get back to what you want to do.

Take Control of Your Financial Future

They say that money makes the world go around, and although it cannot buy your happiness, financial security goes a long way toward peace of mind. If you’re looking to the new year to stop the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, or if you’d just like to have a little saved up for the future, you can do it all digitally and effortlessly.

If credit cards and other debts leave you strapped for cash by the end of the month, perhaps a debt consolidation loan is the answer. These are easy to apply for through a number of reputable websites, and can negotiate your total balances down while letting you cover your bills in one easy payment.

Cutting corners on your necessary expenses? Try coupon and cash-back websites to save a few dollars without scaling back your shopping trips. If you’re looking at the big picture, investing in stocks is another fantastic option, but the complications of understanding the market can make it intimidating to some. Mobile apps like Acorns and Stash make it easy to navigate, investing only what you can spare and getting the ball rolling for only $5. The little things can make the greatest impact, so don’t hesitate to implement them in your life in 2018.

Set Reasonable and Measurable Goals

When considering your New Year’s resolutions, it’s easy to document things you’d like to accomplish, but sticking to them is a whole different ballgame. It’s important to make your goals both specific and attainable, so that you’re able to set yourself up for success and chart your progress along the way. If you feel like something needs to be changed or modified throughout the next 12 months, don’t be afraid to do just that—the idea is progress, not perfection, so you can feel free to be lenient with yourself if something simply isn’t working out.

If you have setbacks, remember, with each day, you get a new chance to get it all right.

Maintaining a positive outlook and rewarding yourself for your successes is key to making changes that stick, so when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do, celebrate a little! We don’t know about you, but we think that this is shaping up to be a wonderful new year.

Get out there and rock the next 365 days! We recommend checking out one of the latest Smartwatches or fitness trackers to help you reach your goals.

Tiffany Storrs, TopProducts Staff Writer