7 Ways to Start 2020 Off Right

Volunteer wearing face mask and moving boxes at food bank
January 2, 2020
by Olivia Thoelke

The new year is an opportunity to refresh and reset ourselves, ditch bad habits, and set new goals. But, setting lofty New Year’s Resolutions can leave us feeling disappointed and overwhelmed. This year focus on resolutions that focus on being kind to yourself and others.

1. Declutter your home
Did you know a cluttered space can affect your brain’s ability to process information? Organizing your space can make a huge difference in your mood, as well as levels of anxiety. Give your home a fresh start this new year by going through your things and sorting out unwanted clothes, toys, electronics, etc. Donate your unneeded items to help a family in need, recycle old magazines and reduce waste.  

2. Connect outside of social media
Social media is a fantastic tool to stay connected with friends and loved ones. But when screens are preferred over face-to-face interactions, it can cause us to feel isolated and unproductive. In 2020, be intentional about putting down your phone, and connecting on a personal level. Volunteering for a cause you care about is a way to connect with others, as well as spend quality time with loved ones.

3. Take Family time outside
This year, swap family movie night for time spent in the great outdoors. Whether you choose to go on an adventurous camping trip, or simply a walk around the neighborhood, you’ll feel great knowing that your family is staying active and spending quality time together.

4. Make sleep a priority
In our fast-paced world, it may come as no surprise that over 70 million Americans are sleep-deprived. While it may seem tough to fit in 8 hours of shut-eye a night, sleep is vital to physical and mental wellness. This new year, commit to making sleep a priority, and you’ll see your mood improve, productivity increase, and a lowered risk for heart disease.

Juan Alfredo, 2, eats an orange at a summer meals program in Phoenix, Arizona.

5. Buy produce that isn’t perfect 

Did you know that over one-third of the food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten? Although it’s tempting to always pick the flawless fruits and veggies at the supermarket, our tendency to overlook perfectly edible produce contributes to food waste.

6. Seek out new perspectives
It can be the person with you in the elevator or standing behind you in the checkout line. When you strike up a conversation, you can gain fresh perspectives and unexpected advice – and you might just make someone’s day. Connecting with someone who isn’t in your usual circle can also increase your empathy and build your confidence.

7. Change the way you talk to yourself
It’s easy to be your own worst critic. But, being mindful about your inner monologue can lead to some serious health benefits. Positive thinking helps the brain manage stress, which reduces the risk of depression, betters cardiovascular health, and lengthens life expectancy.