Milestones are markers of self-growth. With each passing year, we set goals, achieve them, and plan for new ones. Some goals may be repeats of the past, while others are entirely new altogether. Truthfully, what matters most is that everyone, especially twenty-somethings, set goals for the New Year.
Life is a constant cycle of self-growth. Year after year, our skills, desires, values, and personalities further develop. The older we get, the truer we are to ourselves, because we learn that life is all what you make of it. In short, goal-setting helps us shape ourselves but giving us direction and intention;
Here are seventeen practical goals to set for 2017:
1. Track your daily diet.
The time has come and gone when your parents can force you to eat your green vegetables and drink the proper amount of water each day. Now, it’s all on you. Being an adult means being responsible for taking good care of yourself. Eat a well-balanced diet. Even if broccoli is your least favorite item on your dinner plate, force it down (or try another vegetable). Keeping track of your diet means you’re taking care of your body healthily.
2. Exercise regularly.
Much like maintaining a balanced diet, exercise is equally important. You can eat those brownies for dessert, but make sure you’re burning calories to offset the sweets.
Exercise is not only vital to managing weight control, it’s also extremely important for keeping your bones strong, your muscles limber, and working your heart. Remember to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day.
It can be as simple as taking a walk after dinner or more of a commitment like going to a workout class with friends. Getting your heart rate up doesn’t have to be complicated!
3. Drink more water.
Not only is water literally the healthiest beverage you can drink, but it’s also extremely refreshing. The average recommendation is for women to consume nine cups and for men to drink thirteen cups per day, but certainly adjust as needed. If you’re exercising, in hot weather, or feeling especially thirsty, drink more. Water has proven to clear acne, suppress hunger, hydrate skin, and many other benefits.
Related: 5 Clever Ways To Drink More Water
4. Attend your health appointments.
Don’t pass up your annual physical or bi-yearly dental exams this year. Too many people assume they’re completely healthy and skip the appointments they make.
This year, force yourself to attend. Go to your Primary Care Physician and get feedback on your overall health.
Make sure you get your dental cleanings. Skipping out on early detection of possible cavities or other health concerns could lead to greater problems later. This year, make your health a priority.
5. Monitor your screen time.
These days, with technology as relevant and resourceful as it is, it’s nearly impossible to get through the day without sitting in front of a screen.
Try monitoring your screen time this year. Pay attention to how long your spend in front of a computer or on your phone each day. Track how many episodes you’ve binge-watched on Netflix. Too much screen time isn’t good for anyone.
6. Read more.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a “reader,” read more this year. Start small, with a goal like one book per month. That’s only twelve books in a year!
Sign up for a free account with Goodreads to set your reading goal to keep you on track and hold you accountable. It doesn’t matter which genre or how many pages the book has, just read.
Expand your horizons by choosing content outside of your comfort zone. We can learn so much from literature and it’s a completely different experience than reading on the Internet.
7. Communicate better.
Spend less time texting this year, and more time face-to-face.
If you can’t physically speak to friends and family who live afar, trying sending handwritten letters, Skyping, or talking on the phone. Hearing another person’s voice and seeing them right in front of you is so much more meaningful than a text full of acronyms and emojis.
8. Spend more time with others.
Too many of us turn down offers to go to the movies with friends or visit our parents on the weekends. Make the effort. You shouldn’t revert to seeing family only on the holidays.
Family is family and friends are friends. These are the people we want and need in our lives. Try to make plans at least once or twice per month with the people closest to you. It’s healthy and necessary to create memories with people we love.
9. Plan and stick to your budget.
Each year is a fresh opportunity to save money. Assess your monthly income and subtract your expenses. With your net leftover balance, try to save a set percentage.
Making sure your bills are paid on time and you’re saving money is a great way to keep financially healthy. Consider researching different ways to cut down on your spending, such as clipping coupons or using an app to track your funds, like Mint.
10. Revisit your retirement plan.
If you already have an established retirement plan, revisit it. Take a look at the money you’ve been contributing so far. Can you afford to put more into your retirement? If so, do it. Your future self will thank you.
If you don’t have an established retirement account, try researching the best options for you. If you have an employer, see what they offer and how much they will match you.
11. Work hard.
Professionally speaking, work hard at your career. Even if you are not in your dream job, work hard this year to generate positive experiences for your resume.
Every job counts and can polish your skills. Sometimes entry level jobs can teach you the most, as they are the foundation of your professional experiences.
12. Do a “spend cleanse.”
Cleanse your home by only using the items you currently have in stock. Here are a few examples:
- Use up canned food in your cabinets and eat all the leftovers in your fridge.
- Re-watching old movies, rather than buying more new ones.
- Try to re-purpose the clothes in your closet to create new fashion statements, instead of going shopping.
These habits will teach you the importance of managing spending and using up what you have.
13. Pay attention to your relationship status.
Are you in a committed relationship? If so, make sure you’re doing your part to keep the love alive. Relationships are fun, but they’re work and require both parties involved to make an effort.
If you’re single, be sure to mingle! As silly as it sounds, keeping up with going on dates really is special. Even if you are happily single, try to get out and meet new people this year. It’s good for you.
14. Pace yourself.
Whatever is happening in your life, remember to pace yourself this year. Take things in strides. Whether it’s something painful, like a divorce or a health concern, or something happy, such as a pregnancy or wedding, be sure to be patient with yourself.
There is no reason to rush to make fast decisions without taking care of your mental health. Pace yourself to make sure you’re doing what’s best.
15. Learn to be your own best friend.
This year, get to know yourself better. What makes you laugh? What music do you love most? When are you happiest?
Think about how you can treat yourself the way you want to be treated.
If it’s as simple as treating yourself to a frozen yogurt dessert once a week, do it. If it’s playing with puppies, do that too. Take care of yourself because you are your own lifelong best friend.
16. Make time for your hobbies.
If you love to write, write. If you like to paint, paint. Sometimes life gets so busy that instead of spending time enjoying our hobbies, we end up sacrificing them for other things. Don’t let this happen!
Your hobbies are a part of who you are. Make time for them just as much as you would for working, chores, etc. It’s critical to enjoy your favorite pastimes.
17. Do more of what makes you happy.
Whether it’s ice skating, sewing, writing, taking photos, or playing chess, do more of that makes you happy. Life is short and it’s best not to waste too much time on the parts that make you suffer.
Happiness should be the goal in life as a whole, so filling your time with the things that make you smile really is important.
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2017 is a blank slate; a fresh start; a new beginning. Take this opportunity to set new goals and make them lifestyle habits.
Eventually, you’ll adjust to these changes and they’ll become part of your every day life. Things like eating well, exercising, drinking water, and working hard should all be part of your norm. Don’t slack off because adulthood seems daunting. It’s more daunting not to know if you could be keeping yourself healthier (mentally and physically) by working hard now.
It’s a brand new year. Make the best of it.
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