Don’t Wait For 2019: Start Bettering Your Life Right Now

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Many of us get to the end of the year, and put our goals on hold. With the party season coming up, it’s so easy to think ‘I’ll start in January’ but this is a flawed way of looking at things. Life is short, and we should all be making the most of the time we have right now. Even if 2018 hasn’t been your best year, you still have a whole month to pack in some new experiences and end it on a high. Here are some ideas for making the most of the end of the year!

1.Start a new hobby

Hobbies are important for people of all ages, but few of us make them a priority. They’re a chance to meet like minded people, learn new skills and just have fun. Life can be busy and hectic, we’re all very good at getting on with things we don’t like doing because they need to be done. Going to work, cleaning the house, paying bills etc. But we’re not so good at setting aside time just to enjoy ourselves. It’s not a luxury, it’s crucial to happiness and wellbeing. Have a think about an activity you think you’ll enjoy, and go for it. Put your reservations aside, it could end up being one of the best things you ever did.

2. Sign up to an academic course

Undertaking an academic course is a fantastic way to expand your mind. It can improve your employability, enabling you to gain a promotion or even change career later on if you want to. It keeps your mind sharp, and can be great for wellbeing. The human race is programed to want to learn more, it’s what has made us so successful as a species. Learning new things and achieving new goals is a sure way to boost your happiness. It can get you out of a rut if you’re struggling, and allows you to be productive in your spare time. You don’t even need to go back to college or university, it can all be done online in a very flexible way. Whether it’s distance mba programmes, a criminology degree, a masters in a foreign language or something else entirely. You could pick based on your interests or build on skills and qualifications you already have.

3. Travel somewhere new

The planet we live on is nothing short of incredible, yet so many of us stay in one place our entire lives. Visiting new parts of the world can open your eyes to different cultures and lifestyles, allows you to see the beauty of the Earth and it’s fun too. Travel will always cost money but it can be done much more cheaply than you might think. Search for cheap deals on places like Groupon to look at last minute promotions or Deals Planet where you can find voucher codes for hotels, flights and cottage bookings.  You could go camping, hire an RV and go on a road trip or go backpacking- all make good budget options. You don’t even need to leave the country you live in, even just getting a bus or train and going somewhere you’ve never been can be a great experience.  Whether you go alone or with someone you love, you can snap pictures and make memories, it’s something well worth doing before the year is out.

4. Volunteer

Have you ever given much thought to just how lucky you are? It’s easy to focus on the negatives- we don’t have that much money in the bank, we don’t have the latest gadgets and technology and we don’t have the career of our dreams. But just having a roof over your head and food in your cupboards means you’re better off than a massive proportion of people in the world. Even if you don’t have much to give, you can always volunteer your time which can assist a charity in the great work that they do. Whether it’s a children’s hospital, homeless shelter or women’s refuge, why not consider helping out for an hour or so a week? Not only will this make a genuine difference but it allows you to see things from another perspective and can help you appreciate your life so much more.

5. Rework your budget

Are you constantly falling into the red? Find yourself with ‘too much month at the end of your money’ time and time again, and struggle being able to afford the things you want, even though technically you should have some disposable income? Wasting money is so easily done, and in many cases you won’t even realise you’re doing it. Setting a budget and getting your money in order is a proactive way you can improve your finances and life in general. You need to know what’s going in and what’s coming out. You need to know how much you can spend in different areas once your main bills are paid, for example, travel, socialising, groceries and more. Once you know how much you can spend, it prevents you from making impulse purchases, or spending too much in one area and not having enough left over for other things.

6. Start a side hustle

If you’re looking for a way to improve your skills, connect with likeminded people and have fun- all while making money then you need to start up a side hustle. It could be anything from writing a blog to starting up your own home baking business, cleaning business or buying and selling items for a profit! There are hundreds of different directions you could go in based on your skills and interests and you don’t usually need much money to get started either. Even if you have a job that you love and you’re secure in, it never hurts to have an additional stream of income. Redundancy, illness or company bankruptcy could all end your career in an instant, having a backup way of earning money can keep you from getting into a sticky situation until you find something else. It can also help you to save money, pay off debts or generally make life easier from a financial point of view.

7. Spend time with someone you care about

We all lead busy lives. Full time work, running a home and everything else can all have us feeling like twenty four hours in the day isn’t enough. But it’s important to remember what really matters, and it’s the people in our lives that really make is special. It’s upsetting to think that there might come a day that they’re not with us, but nothing is guaranteed. We need to make the most of the people in our lives while we can, and so spending time with them is a priority. Whether it’s a friend, partner or family member, if you’ve not had any quality time with them recently then make a change before the end of the year. You could stay home and cook a meal, or you could go on a long walk. You could go out, or arrange some kind of activity together. Whatever it is, having proper time with a person that you care about is invaluable. Make some memories together and have fun.

8. Read a book you’ve been putting off

Reading is good for the mind and good for the soul. It keeps your brain sharp and it can be a nice way to escape and relax after a difficult day. We all know we should be reading more, but again it comes down to priority. Try and make time, even thirty minutes before bed to pick up that book you’ve been wanting to start.

9. Think about your diet and exercise

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some delicious food and drink over the festive season, but it doesn’t meant that your whole healthy lifestyle needs to go out of the window. Make the effort to eat your five a day, and get up and be active as much as possible. You’ll minimise festive weight gain, and will put yourself in the best position to start the inevitable new year’s health kick!

10. Set some new goals

One of the reasons we can stagnate in our personal lives and careers is because we dont have any clear goals. We’re working but without any kind of achievable target, which can quickly cause us to fall into a rut. Set some new goals that you want to achieve, and get started on them right away. No need to wait until the clock ticks midnight on December 31st! Maybe you want to see more of the world, get a promotion or change career. Maybe you want to run a marathon, or quit smoking. Whatever it is, having clear goals can boost wellbeing and will allow you to live your best life. When you start feeling like you’re falling into a rut or going nowhere, revisit them and work out what you can do to to push to the next step.

Are you a ‘new year, new me’ kind of person- or do you set yourself goals year round? What kinds of new experiences are you planning on having in the last two months of 2018?

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