What were you doing a year ago? Do you remember what you were doing that day? What if that day, you started something great that changed your life for the better? Here’s your chance to start something new.
A year goes by really fast. With so many things on your “one day” list, why not start a few and see where the year takes you.
1. Plan an annual trip –Take the time to hash out a trip with friends in advance and it tends to happen. Prices are lower, the significant other’s are more amiable, and it’s just blocked out on the calendar much easier. A few years ago, I went on a memorable trip to the snow with a few of my friends. That trip made a huge difference for so many reasons. There’s something important about taking some time to unplug and re-connect with some good friends over food, drinks, and a bit of outdoor fun.
2. Start a savings or retirement account – Stuffing away a bit of cash is never a bad idea. You never know when a stash is going to come in handy. The easiest way to do this is to open up a savings account and automatically draft off a bit each month right after the paycheck clears. I read about this simple habit in a book called “The Richest Man In Babylon” and it’s come in handy more than once. Start it today, and see how fast it adds up.
3. Make a list of 12 people you want to take to coffee – We never seem to take the time to connect with friends the way we really want, but that can change with a bit of planning. Take the time to write down a list of who you want to have a conversation with over the next year, and get them on the schedule for a quick cup of coffee. By the end of the year, you’ll have a dozen quality connections you would have missed out on.
4. Start an exercise routine – Take control of that waist before it’s too far gone. There are so many ways to get your heart rate up, so find one that works for you and carve out the time to make it happen. Almost six months ago, I started getting up an hour earlier to make the mornings less of a rush, and the benefits have been amazing. I work out for 30 minutes a day and I look better, feel great, and the days start so much better now.
5. Upgrade that wardrobe (1 major piece a month) – How much different would your closet look with 12 new, well-fitting items hanging in it? Commit to replacing 1 item a month with a high quality, well fit piece. I started with a few pair of slacks, four shirts, vest, two ties, and three pair of shoes. Spaced over the year it was affordable, and gave me time to figure out what worked for me.
6. 12 pre-planned dates – This is for all of the connected men out there with a wife or significant other. Life happens too fast and before we know it half the year is gone. Take the time today to plan out a night out per month doing something memorable. I started by looking at the local theater performances and buying tickets in advance. A big bonus was the fact that we got exceptional seats and advance prices are some of the best.
7. Take a class – I’ve taken my fair share of school. But there are a few things I still want to learn. The benefit of taking a course on your own, is that you learn something you want to. Find a welding course, or a pottery class, or learn about astronomy or history. When you take the class for the fun of it, grades come easier because you’re learning for the right reasons. By this time next year, you’ll have fresh knowledge, new skills, and likely a few new friends as well.
8. Earn and extra 5% income with a side hustle – It’s not hard to find a side job that adds a bit of extra coin to your wallet. Figure out how to make something people want to buy, and sell it on etsy, craigslist, or to the shop on the corner. It takes a bit of hustle, but it’s a quick way to get a raise.
9. Start a guys night (every 2 weeks) – Just like the annual trip, getting the guys together for some poker, movies, or just drinks can happen with just a bit of planning. Find a night that works for you and put it on the calendar, then invite your friends. It has to be dependable, and reliable to take off, but a few month down the road it’s a night you’ll look forward to.
10. Register for a race (5k, 10k, 20k, half, marathon) – I know, running is a horrible experience for most of us. But there’s something about committing to an event that gets you inspired to dominate it. I promise you that there will be a moment about 60% through that will feel like there isn’t enough air in the entire world to catch your breath, but then you’ll push through and hit that runner’s high across the finish line. Also, it’s a fantastic way to burn off a few pounds. If you’re body just can’t handle running, sign up for a bike ride or long distance swim.
11. Start a morning routine – Like I mentioned earlier, I started a morning routine about a six months ago and it has made an incredible difference. I get up an hour earlier to work out, eat better, and actually wake up before life starts to rush in. It’s important to take the time and after a few months, I highly recommend that you skip the snooze button and hit the floor running.
12. Commit to eat at least 1 meal right – I’m not saying you have to ditch the burger, but take the time to eat right at least one meal a day. I started eating a good breakfast as part of my morning routine and I feel better. Think about it, 30% of your meals done right is a big deal.
So take the time to find just a few things to start today to make a massive difference in your life a year from now. Let us know how it goes, and anything you think we should add to the list!