As there are about 70 more days left of 2019, I want to start developing more healthy habits going into the new year. Everyone wants to start a new year with new resolutions, but I find that rather stupid than useful. You should not wait for a new year, new month, new week to start improving yourself or your habits. You should do that now, without the pressure that a new year’s resolution puts on yourself. So, instead of waiting for 2020 to roll around, I decided to work on myself and my actions right now.
I feel like a lot has changed in the past months. As I started college, my priorities have changed a lot too, the challenges I have to face are harder and the pressure is on. I feel like meeting new people, making new friends and adjusting to new teachers kind of left me wanting to improve different aspects of myself. So that’s what I did. Well, at least I am trying to do.
Here are 5 things that I am working on, going into the new year. And you should be, too!
1) Reading more
I have never had a passion for reading – like never – and I thought that this is quite embarrassing. I used to be forced to read as a child and that’s what made me hate it so much. But starting college, I met a teacher that made me rethink this aspect. Seeing how smart and prepared she is on every subject , and how persuasive she is in making us read more, I decided that I want to be like that. I knew reading was a great way of enriching your vocabulary and giving you more inspiration. Also, I knew it helps you gain a lot of knowledge on different topics, but for some reason, I have never really got into it.
I know most people are feeling the same way I did about reading. To work on that, I decided to start reading at least one book a month. If possible, even two, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself or else I will end up doing nothing.
For October, I read The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie. Great book to start my challenge, as I am a fan of criminal stories. The book really caught my attention and I finished it in a few days, so I continued the month with To kill a mocking bird by Harper Lee. This one is a bit more difficult, the storyline, the vocabulary – everything. But I am working my way through and I actually really enjoy it.
2) Being active consistently
Sports were never a problem for me. I have always played them and I can say that I am a pretty active person. But as I got older, I became less and less consistent in that. I used to go to the gym almost everyday for a month or two, and then due to my busy schedule, I stopped going at all. I also used to go to dance, but now I barely do that more than once a month. Same with tennis or swimming.
So I decided to start a sport that I know I enjoy, without messing up my schedule too much. I recently started ballet again, as I used to do it for a really long time when I was a kid. I believe starting it again as an (somehow)adult was a great idea, because it is a relaxing activity, the vibe in the class is really calm and peaceful and there is no pressure coming from the teacher, as I am not doing it competitivley this time. Plus, two classes a week are a great fit into my schedule and I really look forward to them every week.
3) Plan ahead
There is nothing more stressful than getting your tasks done last minute, but for some reason we keep doing it. I want to start planning ahead of time my schedule, especially now that it is pretty busy with college. Also getting as many things done daily as possible helps you stay motivated and organised. I can plan my free time better, if I am productive during the week.
4) Getting enough night sleep
By getting enough sleep I mean at night – I hate to take naps because they make me feel even more tired and I always end up staying in bed way to much and not being able to fall asleep at night – . You are probably waking up really early every morning, whether you like it or not. So you might aswell go to bed earlier, so you end up getting enough sleep. If you can’t change your waking up time, then change your going to bed one. Also, not taking afternoon naps and getting my work done right after I come home, helps me going to bed earlier because I am super tired from a busy day. You get your stuff done, and more night sleep, so it is a win win. But for some reason, avoiding naps or falling asleep at night is so much harder to do, so this is definitely something I am working on.
5) Reduce screen time
I became more aware of how much time I spend on my phone once the new updates and apps that can track your screen time appeared. I knew I was on my phone a lot, but never had an actual problem with it, till I checked my screen time app on my phone. And let me tell you, I am on my phone between 7 and 9 hours daily. That is a lot. So another thing I believe is important to work on is managing you screen time. Of course it is hard not to stay on your phone, especially as a teenager. I do everything on my phone – I play, watch YouTube, check Instagram, check my work, talk with my friends and work on college stuff. But that doesn’t make it OK.
It is super hard to reduce the screen time, but I suggest baby steps and realistic expectations. I want each day to spend less time on my phone, nothing drastic, about 30 minutes to 1 hour less. For me and my schedule, I think the ideal screen time is about 4 to 5 hours on work days, and let’s say 7 hours on the weekends.
I am not always commited to this, as some days I just want to stay in bed and scroll through my Instagram, or play stupid games on my phone, but at least I try to make an improvement and stick to it, and that it all that matters.