Hi, all! I hope you’re doing well and your new year is off to a happy and healthy start.
We’re already approaching the end of February, which is insane because I feel like the year literally just started. I wanted to take the time to share some things I’ve been doing this year that I feel you should be doing as well.
These three habits that I recently picked up have helped me live a better life in regard to my finances, my mentality, and my goals, and I’m writing this in hopes that they’ll do the same for you.
Here are 3 positive life-changing habits you should pick up as soon as possible:
1) Create and implement a monthly spending budget.
Whether you want to understand where your money goes each month or you want to start saving better, the best (and only) way to do it is to follow a strict spending budget.
Want to go on vacation but don’t have the funds? Go out to eat or drink too often and need to adjust your priorities? Have a bad shopping habit and need to reel yourself in?
To create a budget, all you have to do is take an hour or two to sit down and lay out how much you can afford to spend on what every month as compared to your income. At the end of every month, assess how you performed and re-evaluate as necessary.
(In my first draft of this post, I laid out my entire how-to on creating a budget but realized it was way too long. I’ll be posting it in the future in case you want to keep an eye out.)
Being able to visualize exactly what you spent your money on helps you to adjust your spending habits, spend smarter, and save better. By doing so, you’ll be able to afford that vacation or purchase that high-priced item a lot sooner.
2) Maintain a checklist of things you want to do and goals you want to achieve.
I have a vision board in my bedroom hanging directly behind my desk (where I typically sit when I’m in my room). Here’s what it looks like:
It’s extremely large (36” x 24”) and full of notes, photos, and to-dos. I have pictures of my family on the left, inspirational quotes and photos in the middle, and goal/visualization photos of cars/homes/other things I want on the right.
Across the bottom of the board is a large section dedicated to my to-dos. My main “To Do List” is located in the most visible spot in front of where my seat is (the white sheet of paper shown above), and it lists my short-term goals (to complete within 1-6 months) and my long-term goals (to complete within 6-12 months). Additionally along the bottom are tons of post-it notes created on-the-fly that are pinned in any open spot with ideas to research and things to take care of sooner than later. I update this section regularly.
Why do I do this?
Being able to SEE what you need to do or work for is key to getting it done. Whenever I finish a task or achieve a goal, I cross it off the list. Reminders that I have to succeed and reminders that I have already succeeded are motivation for me to keep going — this is what keeps me on track.
What do you have to do to make a vision board?
Buy a large poster board and fill it with everything mentioned above (or whatever you want). Check Pinterest for ideas from other boards. Above all, make a checklist of the things you want to do, places you want to go, and the goals you want to achieve by year’s end. I promise it’ll help you make it all happen.
3) Focus on your well-being and improving your overall quality of life.
How’s your year going?
If your immediate thought was that the year is going well, then good for you! If your answer is anything less than that, it’s time to make changes.
It’s time to start focusing on yourself and improving your quality of life.
How can you do this? Do any or all of the following things:
Surround yourself with as much positivity as possible.
Focus on growing within your job.
Treat yourself every now and then (whatever this means to you).
Eat those cookies but also get to the gym.
Spend some time in nature once a week.
Spend less time on your phone and on social media.
Listen to good music.
Eat better food and drink more water.
Do what makes you happy.
Be with people who make you happy.
Be the type of person who makes you happy.
It may be difficult to make the necessary changes in order to live a better life, but complacency kills. Comfortability is nice, but pushing the boundaries and exploring new possibilities is nicer.
Take better care of yourself so you can take better care of others. Do what you have to in order to put yourself closer to (or at) the top of your list of priorities and watch everything else fall into place. Not happy? Become so. When you become happy, life becomes a lot more enjoyable in return.
And that’s it!
I know this was a long post — I’m a wordy person — but I hope you see value in what I’ve written here and you’ll implement these three changes to your life as necessary.
If you enjoyed this post, please share on Facebook and Twitter so we can all start living better this year and moving forward. Also feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for reading. 🙂
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