We are three months into the new year, there is still plenty of time to make 2019 a year of growth and success. Listed below are 23 suggestions to get your started. They are broken down into the following categories:
- Get Curious and Learn
- Managing Social Media
- Be Better Engage With Your Friends and Family
- Make The Most Of Your Every Dollar
- Helping The Community
- Put Yourself First
Get Curious and Learn
1. Take A Personal Or Professional Development Course
With many hours spent watching Netflix, TV, or being on your phone, this is such a great opportunity to use some of that time to better yourself in the future. As we know, the workforce is shifting and being current will be important to be employable moving forward. You might want to check out your local college or university to see what courses might interest you. It might even inspire you to change careers.
2. Read Or Listen To A Book Once A Month
Having access to collections of books couldn’t be easier with apps like Kindle, Scribed, Audible, and the public library. Yes, public libraries still exist. You will have access to pretty much any book on any topic that you are looking for. Audiobooks have become quite popular for those that are commuting to work. It’s a great way to listen to your favorite titles and being productive during your travels.
3. Learn From Others – Podcasts And YouTube
YouTube and Podcasts have been growing in popularity over the last decade. Think of it as talk radio for the digital age. With a range of topics, you will get access to professionals in their field and be a part of larger popular topics. Here are some of my favorites podcast that can be found on Itunes and Google Play Music. They are:
4. Learn To Be More Productive
It’s an ongoing challenge for all of us. With limited time and endless amounts of tasks, it can be difficult to get stuff done. There are plenty of tactics and techniques to help with this challenge. You can find ways to through the various channels already listed or we would be glad to help.
Managing Social Media
5. Clean Up Your Social Media Feed - Follow People That Inspire You And Remove Those That Don’t
With the limited time that we have, we want to ensure that was we are seeing or reading items that are uplifting and motivating. We all know that there are individuals on our social media pages that are posting all the time or constantly sharing their drama. This is a great opportunity to unfollow them and clean up your feed. Determine what is important to you and this will help determine what you want to see or read.
6. Limit The Time On Your Devices And Reduce The Number Of Notifications
It’s easy to get caught up in our devices. Set an amount of time to review your feeds. This structure will allow you to be more productive and present in what you are doing. One of the ways to do this is reduce the number of notifications that you will be receiving.
Here is an exercise that I use with my clients. Grab a sticky note and place it on your phone, every time you grab your phone place a tick on it. At the end of the day, see how many ticks you have on it. Of the times that you grabbed your phone, how many times were they needed. You’ll be quite surprised by the numbers.
Be Better Engage With Your Friends and Family
7. Stay In Touch With Friends And Family
Whether it’s a quick call once a month, meeting in person, a skype call, or reaching out personally, it’s important to stay in touch with those people that are valued in your life. We all get busy and simply liking a post on Facebook or Instagram is not the same. It’s always nice to hear a warm friendly phone. Who is one person that you want to reach out too?
8. Put Down The Phone
I know that this sounds relatively simple but when you have taken the time in your day to meet with a person, put your phone away and be present with them. Notifications and incoming text messages are such a distraction to any conservation. Could you imagine if you went to a doctor or a lawyer and they were checking their phone during your meeting? You probably would look for someone that would give you the desired attention. Also, just because you have your phone on you all of the time doesn’t mean that everyone should have access to you all the time. Create those boundaries for yourself and you’ll notice the quality of your conversations and relationships improve.
9. Spend Time With People That Add Value In Your Life
Jim Rohn said “We are the average of the five people that we spend the most time with.” It’s an interesting concept that will get you rethinking about your peers. It’s a great way to think about what you are getting from your current network, and what would you like to get out of it? I guess that it why people look for different groups of individuals to broaden their knowledge and insight. What value do you want to get out of your network?
10. Acknowledge and Appreciate When You See Great Work Or Service
There is great work, service, and behaviors can go unnoticed and unacknowledged. It happens to all of us. It’s very easy to acknowledge faults. What are some of the activities that are happening right now that you might take for granted? Are you acknowledging those positive behaviors? A simple way of doing so is simply saying thank you and including what you are thankful for. Positivity breeds positivity.
11. Plan A Night For That Special Someone
Sometimes the closest people in our life are the one’s that we take for granted. Plan a night that requires some thought and acknowledge the joy that this person brings into your life. There are always interesting a new activities happening in your town or city. Try something new and deepen that relationship. They don’t have to cost money either.
Make The Most Of Your Every Dollar
12. Pay yourself first
This is often difficult to do. The general rule of thumb for saving is usually about 10% of your pay cheque. The amount doesn’t have to be big, but you do have to start. As more and more people are going into debt it seems to be a challenge to save any money. Setting a goal short term will get the ball rolling, and longer team goal can help you start planning for the future. One of my favorite tools is the TD Get Savings - RSP Calculator. It shows you the power of what a smaller investment can make longer term and what happens when you wait five or ten years later. The number can be shocking. It’s better to start sooner than later.
13. Don’t Spend And Save Challenge
Thirty-day challenges is something that I enjoy to really challenge myself to change behaviors. It’s a great opportunity to put yourself to the test and save some extra cash. The Save challenge could be something as simple as making your own breakfast and lunch for 30 days. Based on my experience, a quick take out breakfast could cost $7 - $10 a day, and another $10 - $15 for lunch. If you are spending roughly $25 a day, with on average 20 business working days a month, that is a total of $500 a month or $6000 a year. That’s right $6000 which would be a great vacation or a good lump sum payment on some debt or retirement savings.
14. Learn a New Recipe and Dine In
It amazing what you can do when you follow instructions. In most cases, it will save you money. It doesn’t have to be fancy and it could be a spin on an old idea. There are plenty of recipes websites out there with lots of free ideas. My favorite website is Allrecipes.com,and my favorite dish from there is Cajun Chicken Alfredo, it’s absolutely delicious and it makes for a good lunch the next day, which will also save you more money.
15. Double Check Your Recurring / Monthly Subscriptions Payments
Here is a very easy and quick way to start saving money. We all have automatic payments that are coming off our credit cards but are we benefiting from all of the services. The challenge recently is that most have been apps that we have on our phone such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Audible, Spotify, Google music, and the list goes on and on. Review the services that you are using and need. Reallocate those funds either to your savings or repaying debt. Every dollar counts. Remember every $10 a month program is really $120 a year.
16. Your Annual Financial Check Up
Just like you would go for an annual check up with your doctor, the same is to be said when it comes to your finances. As you and the market change, so does your risk tolerance. It is worth the hour meeting for such a review. Banks and other financial institutions provide this as a free service to ensure that you are on the right track. Also, they always have promotion and rate offers which can be negotiated to save you more money. Call your Financial Advisors for more information.
Helping Your Community
17. Get Involved and Volunteer
We all have amazing skills that could benefit non-profit organizations in your community. Find a cause that is important to you, and most likely there will be an organization that is trying to solve that problem. The biggest concern that most people say is that they don’t have the time. Most boards are looking for individuals to spend usually less than five hours a month. This is a great opportunity to take a leadership role and build your resume. If you’re good in a sport(s) Special Olympics are always looking for coaches to help special needs athletes. It’s lots of fun and the athletes are very appreciative. Check out your local organizations for more information.
Put Yourself First
Yes, I do realize the irony of “Putting Yourself First” last on this list, but it was intentional. We do it all the time to ourselves. Remember, you are just as important as everyone else.
18. Treat Yourself Like A Friend
It can be easy to forget the high demands and pressure we put on ourselves and others. If you are hard on yourself, you probably wouldn’t say the things that you think to a close friend. Shut down your ego and don’t put up with that kind of negative talk. Respect yourself and treat yourself like a friend.
19. Book Your Physical And Dental Appointment Today
Times flies when you’re having fun. Just like your car or other mode of transportation they need to get a tune up. Your body is no different. Don’t wait until you are sick to see the doctor or dentist. The scary thing is that you might already know of some problems and hoping they just go away. Schedule your physical and dental appointment sooner than later. You only have one body and it’s the greatest tool and transportation vehicle that you will ever own.
20. Travel Somewhere New Locally Or Abroad
Whether it’s being a tourist in your city, travelling to another city, country, get out there and see the world. There is always something or somewhere to explore. One of my favorite things to do on TripAdvisor is seeing what’s around me. I have used this tool when I have travel to other town to find cool interesting places that I really wouldn’t have come across. Try to explore a new place every month. This doesn’t have to be expensive either, there are lots of free to options out there.
21. The Purge – Get Rid Of Stuff That Doesn’t Serve You
If you were to walk around our home, you would probably agree that there is a lot of “Stuff” that you own that you haven’t really used or don’t really need. This is a great time to begin the purge. There are many organizations that will take your used goods and resale them for a good cause. By removing this “stuff” it will free up space and make your place that much more comfortable. Your old stuff will be someone else’s treasure. That’s why thrift shops have become so popular.
22. Stay Active And Join A Team
With the growth of more adult sports and social clubs across the country, more and more people are joining teams to be active. You don’t have to be good or great to play because there are all skills levels that are available. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and get some exercise. Depending on where you live, you may be surprised what you find. In Victoria, I was shocked to find lawn bowling, Darts, Pinball, and Bocce leagues are in the area. The important thing is to get out there meet new people, be active, and have fun.
23. Give Yourself Some Time To Relax and Sleep
Find a way that you enjoy how to relax and do it often. Sometimes this can be a great reward after a busy day or week. It could simple as going for a walk at lunch, the spa, a massage, yoga, or lying on the couch with your favorite book. Find what it is and give yourself the time to enjoy relaxing.
There are more items that I could have added to list, but I am interested to see what you are doing in 2019. What are some of the changes that you’re making to better yourself in 2019?
Share in the comments below and thanks for reading!