Health & Wellness

5 Ways to Start the New Year Off Right

The holidays have ended and a new year has begun. For many, the start of a new year can summon mixed feelings of anxiety and anticipation but luckily we have a few ideas for how to start your year off the right way.

1) Plan a Vacation

It might sound counter-productive to start planning your next vacation right after coming back from the holidays but studies have shown that planning a vacation earlier can significantly increase your happiness by giving you something to look forward to1. In fact the anticipation can sometimes be the best part of the actual vacation! Additionally, planning early puts you at a much bigger advantage when it comes to finding hotel and airfare deals and allows you to start coordinating schedules with your travel companions.

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2) Center Yourself Through Meditation

Let's face it: there are only so many hours in the day for us to accomplish all of the things we want or need to do. Leading such busy lives, it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to do too much or dedicating precious time to things that ultimately don't help us. In our "5 Tips for Keeping Yourself Balanced" article, we mentioned meditation as good way to disconnect from the stress of everyday life and stay centered. Meditation is often said to be the habit that forms all other good habits. People that meditate regularly feel calmer, more focused and better equipped to tackle life's challenges.

Start the year off meditating for a few minutes each day. Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit, close your eyes and start taking slow, deep breaths. You'll feel your mind wander but keep focusing on your breathing. After doing this for a few days in a row, you'll start to feel calmer and more at peace. Or if you feel you need some professional help learning to meditate, you can always book a stay at a wellness resort.

3) Be Kinder to Others

With a new year bringing fresh challenges and opportunities, it's easy to get lost within everyday life and forget that there's a whole world of other people. Start 2018 off by doing some nice for someone else, whether it's a friend, neighbor, family member or a random stranger. You could even find a volunteering opportunity at a local charity. It is often said that kindness breeds more kindness and we could all use a little more of that.

4) Set Your Financial Goals for the Year

There's no better time to plan your financial future than the start of a new year. Whether you're a seasoned professional or you're just starting to think about wealth accumulation, take some time to map out your financial goals and strategies for achieving them. A great first step would be to talk with your Financial Advisor for ideas on financial planning, including how to help your children and grandchildren learn more about personal finances and become financially independent. You can also learn more about how to align your investments with your values with this helpful guide from our Reserved team.

5) Take Small Steps Towards a Healthier Lifestyle

Eating healthier and exercising are two of the most common New Year's resolutions that people make. But without specific goals in mind, healthier living can start to feel too difficult and most start to give up within months. Instead, this year commit to taking small steps towards improving your health. Start with extending your daily exercise routine, whether it's by 10 minutes or 1 hour. Add an extra vegetable to your dinner or replace an afternoon snack with a healthy fruit. Cut out a sugary drink and replace it with a glass of water. Research has shown that performing an action again and again until it becomes habit significantly increases the likelihood that you will continue doing it for an extended period of time2.

These are just a few small steps you can take to start you New Year off on the right foot. Remember that change takes time, forgive yourself if you fall short of your goals at first: life is a marathon, not a sprint. Throughout the year, don't forget to check out the exclusive offers and advice from Reserved Living and Giving; we're here to help you on the path towards a happier, healthier life.

Happy New Year!

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