Keeping It Real in 2020
Attainable goals that make sense and will make your New Year your BEST ever (and during the pandemic)
**Writer’s note: I wrote this long before the pandemic; yet pretty much all of these still apply. Technology has kept us in touch. Life will resume. We’re in this together.
A new decade has powered through the gates with unbridled strength and agility. Everything seems possible, almost easy. 2020. We’re gripping the reins with everything we have with huge goals, forging ahead! Our bodies are tense with anticipation and we want to WIN. We want to take on this year in a way we’ve never done! Hmm. But, how long can we effectively keep up this goal-oriented, hard-core perfection resolution race without burning out by February? We have to keep things real and realistic. Can you say WHOA!?
- Drink more water. Do any of us really do this? Water is a nutrient our body needs. Treat yourself to a fancy water bottle and keep filling. Add some fruit slices or make it bubbly, but just keep drinking.
- Stop complaining.You can handle this life thing. It stinks sometimes but learn to LAUGH at the absurdity of it all. And that is contagious. Next thing you know, your exuberant self will rub off on others and that thing that upset you in the first place is so in the past.
- Chill on social media. Seriously. UNplug. Walk away and guess what? The world will still be spinning on its axis without you responding to every single meaningless ping.
- Purge Purge Purge. Did we say purge? If you’ve been holding onto style dating to your circa l987 Whitesnake concert, it’s time to move into a new decade of sassy style. If your clothes don’t make you feel ‘alive’, toss them. When your closet is more organized, so is your brain. *Fashion tip: It’s oh so tempting to replace each and every item you toss. Don’t succumb.
- Walk outside everyday. Don’t just count inside steps with your Apple watch. Walk outside and count them. The health benefits abound! Hike a canyon. Run the beach. Walk in your ‘hood. Breathing in the fresh air and will wake up your dormant senses. Everyone say ‘Aahhhh….’
- Exercise that fits YOU. Don’t get sucked into the Peloton craze if you truly hate a stationary bike. Don’t take up running if your knees cannot handle it. Mix it up! Do a combination workout weekly. Mix Pilates and tennis; yoga and weight lifting. Just do it.
- Skip the alcohol. Ooh that one stung a bit. After a grueling day, it’s so nice to have a glass of wine or a vodka and soda. Am I right? No one is saying to never drink again. These are realistic goals. Remember? Kick the cocktails for a week. It improves your immune system, your metabolism, and you sleep so much better.
- And speaking of sleep….Sleep people! And no, sleep is not overrated. According to the National Sleep Foundation we need 7–9 hours per night. Yes, per night. Try to go to sleep at the same time each night. Turn off the electronics, sip some hot tea, and start the Zzzzz’s.
- Save Money — even if its $10 per week. What better time to create better spending habits than at the beginning of a new year? Create a budget and stick to it and sock some money away for a rainy day, a spa day or even a trip to Europe at the end of the year. You’d be surprised at how that piggy bank fattens up.
- More SEX. It feels great and it’s good for you! Science backs this. That glow is real. You burn calories. You reduce stress. You look younger.So hop in the sack and get it on!
- Enjoy your own company. You are a really groovy person. Take ‘me’ time just for you. Go to a museum and get lost in the creativity around you and the quiet. Stroll through a park. It allows you to energize and think more clearly. Meditate, paint your nails, stay in bed twenty minutes longer, rock on your porch. Just BE.
- Make time for friends once per month. How hard can once a month be? Well, with our hectic lives and marathon commitments, squeezing in a night out can be harder than we think and before we know it, weeks have passed. Make time to connect with those who make you laugh, who inspire and support you. Good friends are life’s best medicine. We can all partake.
- Rescue an animal. You give love. You get love. Rescuing an animal in need of a good home brings you to a new level of selflessness and that my friends is a feeling like no other. They are the best company and will thank you every day.
- Take a class — French, cooking, psychology, photography. Despite that we feel our brains can’t learn one more vocabulary word, science proves otherwise. We have the ability to learn anything new at any age! New brain cells are actually created; we improve our IQ; our memory improves; and we have a new skill to boot.
- Cut out the sugar (not the kisses). Our love for sugar is palpable. But it’s not healthy. Sugar damages our immune system.It’s addictive. It robs our bodies of minerals and is associated with diabetes and cancer to name a few. It causes weight gain. Fortunately sweet can be found in many much healthier forms. Try agave, coconut sugar, or honey. Sweet right?
- Eat Clean-er. Going vegan when you have a hankering for red meat is probably not going to happen. Opt out those fries for fruit. Remove the beige items on your plate and add green. Cut the snacking and have a healthy smoothie. It goes way beyond weight loss. You’ll have more energy; you’ll be healthier and a little planning ahead can help your wallet.
- Quit your bad habit. We all have one, maybe ten. Write down the reasons it’s bad for you and why it’s important for you to change. Read it. Make a plan and invite your friend group as support to motivate you. Replace that bad habit with a good one. Kick it to the curb. Believe in yourself.
- Volunteer for a cause that you’re passionate about.Whether your goal is to save the whales or pick up beach litter or raise money for a children’s charity, do it. The world always needs more volunteers.
- Read a REAL book. Did you know reading can make you more empathetic? It fights Alzheimer’s. Go to a bookstore and peruse. (Refer to goal number 11). Smell the pages. It takes you from a screen and that is worth more than a thousand words. Relax and get lost.
- Be Nice. It’s not hard. Don’t judge others and their imperfections ‘cuz you have no idea what’s going on in their lives. Performing acts of kindness and giving back will reward you a million times. And that’s a fact.
Remember Reality is the new Perfection. Slow the horses down. Your goal isn’t always to win. It’s a new decade, not just a new year so spread your goals out smoothly. Don’t beat yourself up for not ticking them all off in a timely manner. That goes against the whole darned thing! You are one year older and one year wiser. 2019 is so last year. Take pride in knowing that you can change the world and become an even more awesome YOU. You got this.
Originally published at https://malibu90265magazine.com on December 31, 2019.