For me, every December brings around thoughts of self-improvement and resolutions. With 2017 right around the corner, i’m constantly thinking about what my resolutions will be and what I can do to make it the best year ever.
In April of 2017, I will be turning 30 and I wanted to share with all of you how i’m planning on investing in myself in the upcoming year. Whether investing your time or your money, take care to remember that some of your activities should be viewed as an investment, not a sacrifice. The best project you will ever work on is you.
1. Read Books, eBooks, or Listen to Audiobooks:
This is a relatively low-cost investment that will yield tremendous results. Reading helps keep the brain mentally stimulated which studies have shown can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s. Other benefits include:
- Reduction of Stress
- Vocabulary Expansion
- Improvement in Memory
- Better Writing Skills
- Improvement of Focus and Concentration
2. Learn Something New/Sign Up for a Class:
Signing up for a new class and taking the time to learn something new is one of the best ways to get out of your comfort zone and shake up your complacent routine. It is also a great way to meet new, like-minded people.
Why not try signing up for salsa lessons, an art or painting workshop, or a coding class? The most successful people never stop learning and educating themselves.
3. Learn a New Language:
Living in Canada, i’ve always been envious of my bilingual friends who are fluent in French. This year, i’ve decided that it’s finally time to get serious about learning a new language and will be investing in conversational French lessons. Not only will this open up a new world of career opportunities but I will also be improving my memory and attention span. With programs such as Rosetta Stone and apps like Duolingo, learning a new language has also never been more affordable.
4. Practice Gratitude:
Gratitude means acknowledging everything that you have, receive, and counting your blessings. It shifts your focus from what your life is lacking to the prosperity that is already present. Even though everything in life may not perfect, it’s important to count the blessings you already have.
Since I started the five minute journal a few months ago, I’ve noticed a shift in my “luck”. I was suddenly winning money at the casino and my lottery tickets started winning $12 here, $10 there. I have never considered myself a lucky person so when I randomly won $400 playing slots, I started to think that there had to be a connection between my new found luck and my new daily practice of gratitude.
From what I found online, when you focus on the feeling of gratitude, your are sending a signal of abundance into the universe. The law of attraction, which states that like attracts like, responds by sending you even more abundance in the form of money, sales, bonuses, opportunities, etc. Gratitude techniques work best when you use them consistently and frequently. In 2017, I plan on investing the first 30 minutes of my day counting my blessings and attracting more abundance.
By investing time into daily physical activity and exercise, you will be investing in a habit that creates a healthy mind and body. Exercise prevents disease, improves mood, lowers body fat, increases energy, and leads to better sleep.
There are so many forms of exercise that are not limited to just joining a gym. I personally really enjoy hot yoga and plan on taking regular classes once the holidays are over.
Tip: look for yoga studios offering a introductory package for new students. You will often be offered a month of unlimited classes for $40. I would suggest trying a few studios before deciding on a studio you want to commit to.
6. Learn to Cook:
This is one skill i’m so excited to invest in! I am definitely that person who eats out and buys pre-packaged meals because it’s more convenient but also because I really have no idea how to cook. Eating out gets expensive and the ingredients in packaged foods scares me.
Eating is an activity that I engage in at least 3 times per day so the skill of learning how to cook a healthy meal is something that I can use daily. My plan is to take a cooking class at the grocery store across the street once a month and also mastering some recipes from the cookbooks I already own.
Rather than spending money on stuff, save your money and use it to create travel experiences. Some of the happiest memories I can think of have been visiting new places and immersing myself in the local culture.
Every time I travel, I learn how little I actually need and how important it is to connect with people and history. It is also a good way to see and reconnect with family members you don’t see at the normal family functions. In a few weeks, I will be spending a couple of days in Chicago and plan on reaching out to my aunt who I haven’t seen in 3 years.
Travel doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Why not pick somewhere drive-able and explore an unfamiliar city? Quebec City is only an 8 hour drive from Toronto but it feels like you’ve been transported to France.
Rather than being angry with someone, which will hold you back in life, try to forgive those who have wronged you and let go of that negative energy which will be better for your health. Free up that energy that can be put to better use elsewhere. You will increase your happiness and improve the relationships around you. Switch to a loving and accepting state of mind which can lift you from mental and physical burdens.