The new year brings new chances to start fresh! I personally don’t work with new year’s resolutions, as I think we often set ourselves up for failure or aim too unrealistically. But as someone with big ambitions, I am all about yearly goals, as well as monthly goals. You don’t have to only plan and adapt in January, you can do it every single month, and you should. I start each month by thinking of what I want to achieve and focus on, which helps me stay on track for my yearly goals.
Achieving your 2023 goals takes a lot of motivation and determination, as well as realistic aims. But sometimes, you need a little more than that; you need a helping hand. These seven items are all designed to help you achieve your 2023 goals. They allow you to visualise your goals far more clearly and reduce the factors that could be preventing you from achieving these resolutions.
Even if you’re not explicitly aiming to drink more water in 2023, it will help you to achieve your other goals. Whether you’re hoping to work harder on your side hustle, exercise more or generally work on your health, water is the way to go.
I could dedicate an entire article to the benefits of water, but for now, let’s keep it short. Water improves your skin health, heart health and immunity. Water reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. Water helps relieve muscle soreness, which is particularly handy after a workout and will ensure you’re ready to go the next day. Water helps you to be more focused and reduces the feeling of tiredness, allowing you to keep your daily word count or read more!
Many of us struggle to get our two to three litres of water a day and instead turn to coffee, tea and sugary drinks. If you struggle with this as well, consider getting a larger water bottle. This will ensure you always have water with you, so you have no excuse for not drinking more. I love water bottles that break down the measurements, like this one, as it gives me an additional motivator to keep sipping. I’m also quick to take it out with me as I love showing it off!
Most of us could do with a little more gratitude in our lives! But too few of us actually include gratitude in our goals. That makes sense, as it can seem like a different goal to quantify, so how would we define success? But a wonderful habit to incorporate is starting your day with gratitude. Take a minute, perhaps with your morning coffee or when you’re writing your to-do list, to write down three things you feel grateful for. Maybe it’s the fact that you went for a run when you woke up, maybe it’s your family, or the gorgeous sunshine pouring through your window.
This small habit encourages you to focus on everything happening around you and notice what makes you happy, so you can hopefully do more of those things! It also gives you a chance to transition into your focused mode, so you’re ready to work and get things done. Which I’m sure did find a place on your list of goals.
A gratitude journal can help you stick to this habit and allow you to look through your lists easily. Alternatively, you can also just include it in your daily planner, or any notebook.
So I’ll start by saying that I know exercise trackers can be quite triggering for people who struggle with their body image, so if that is the case, then definitely skip this section and don’t get one!
I personally like my exercise tracker as I’m working to remove exercise from weight and instead move to be healthier and feel good in my mind. It also motivates me to walk around more during the day and helps me track how my running is going. The sleep tracking helped me notice how disordered my sleep was and that it took me too long to fall asleep, which led me to stop using electronics earlier in the evening.
If you have 2023 goals dedicated to exercise and health, consider getting an exercise tracker. This shows commitment to your goal as you’re investing in it, so you’ll be more motivated to stick to it and get results. It will also allow you to track the effects and thereby see how your hard work is paying off and continue.
There are plenty of options out there, so it’s really dependent on what you want from an exercise tracker. I personally use a Fitbit, which is on its third year and going strong!
A lot of our goals revolve around habits, whether or not we explicitly intend that. For example, I’m looking to run a half-marathon this year and to achieve that; I need to build the habit of regular runs. I also need to ensure I’m getting enough sleep so I can get up for my runs and stay energised, so the habit of a regular bedtime.
If you’re looking to write a book this year, you need the habit of writing regularly. Maybe the habit of not going on your phone when you’re at your desk. Everything revolves around habits, and that’s why micro habits are so crucial to our daily schedule.
Habits are all about consistency. If you do something enough, it becomes natural. You reach a point with habits where it’s harder to break them than to continue. Just think about your coffee habit or Tiktok habit!
A habit tracker will allow you to break down the specific actions you want to incorporate into your daily life and make them happen. It’s far easier to work with a visual representation. Humans also love continuity, so the idea of breaking your line of coloured dots will force you to go for that extra effort. Your habit could also be each day you don’t do something, like smoke or order food!
You can either buy one that's already set up or make your own in your daily planner!
Okay, these can be quite a contentious subject in the reading community! But hear me out, and then feel free to stick to whatever works best for you.
If you’re making goals to read more books this year, then an e-reader can be a massive help in this. An e-reader is far easier to transport, allowing you to snatch moments to read on public transport, in waiting rooms or anywhere else. These small moments really add up and can allow you to read more books in a year. E-readers also allow you to switch easily between several books so that you can work on your fiction and non-fiction goals. You’ll never run out of books to bring on holiday, as you can load several onto your e-reader or get more when you need them.
If you have a goal to be less on your phone, then an e-reader can also help with this. For example, when you’re waiting somewhere or sitting on the bus, you can pull that out instead of your phone.
It’s important to remember that even if you get an e-reader, you can still read books the traditional way as well; it doesn’t have to be one or the other!
I have struggled with tiredness for years. I’ve had plenty of blood tests and tried various vitamins, but nothing seemed to do the trick. Now I recognise that a large part of my tiredness stems from my depression and anxiety, but knowing that doesn’t exactly help. But last year, my sister bought me a light therapy lamp as a Christmas gift, and I am completely converted!
A light therapy lamp won’t fix any underlying issues, but they’re recognised to increase energy and elevate your mood. Most of us spend too much time indoors, especially during winter and lockdowns. As a result, we don’t get enough exposure to sunlight, and so our Vitamin D drops heavily. Just think of how much more energised you feel in summer!
Set this light up by your workplace, and have it on for at least an hour a day. It’ll help your energy levels and mood, allowing you to get more work done and achieve more out of your day. You’ll feel ready for that workout or be typing away like there’s no tomorrow.
Alternatively, you could aim to incorporate more time outside into your schedule! Perhaps taking a short walk whenever it is sunny.
Many of my 2023 goals revolve around the writing I want to achieve this year. I want to finish the manuscript I’m currently working on and write plenty of articles. Aside from this, my job also keeps me behind my desk for hours a day, as I work in Content Marketing. I already notice the effects of being behind my laptop so much, and I try to consider ways to minimise this and ensure I don’t do permanent damage to my body.
If your goals involve a lot of time behind your desk, it’s essential to care for your body whilst you do this. Investing in a footrest, or other tools to protect your posture, will allow you to spend all the time you need at your laptop whilst reducing any muscle aches. You’ll also be more focused whilst writing or working, as you’ll fidget less.
If you’d prefer not to invest in a specific tool, you can find another object to place under your desk and rest your feet on. Just play around with different sizes to see what works best. The aim is to have your feet flat.
When choosing your goals for 2023, it’s important also to consider how you’ll make them happen. Aiming for the sky is wonderful, but you need the tools and route to get there. This allows you to follow through and make things happen. You won’t get disheartened as quickly, and you’ll enjoy the journey to your goals a lot more. These seven items can help you to achieve your 2023 goals, but at the end of the day, it is all down to you. If you want it, then you can make it happen.
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Welcome to Symptoms of Living! A place where I like to relieve myself of the barrage of thoughts and ideas filling my mind. Here I'll take a look at various topics, from books to BPD, series to self-harm, there's nothing that we can't, and shouldn't, talk about.
Having struggled with mental illness since the age of 15, one of the hardest parts was how alone I felt in it. While mental illness is beginning to be discussed more openly, and featured in the media, I still think there is room for improvement. So whether it is mental illness or merely mental health, a bad day or a bad year, let's make this a place to approach it and strip it back. Everyone has their own symptoms of living, and you certainly won't be the only one with it.
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