By Lyndsi Stafford
We do it every year: Write down the same goals in hopes that this year is going to be the year we lose weight, run that half marathon, and organize our lives. If you’re succeeding in that mission, more power to you. But for the majority of us who do not achieve our goals, why not try something new?
This year I decided to think outside the box. I developed different goals that don’t involve stepping on a scale. For those seeking something new for 2017, I have included five goals you may not have considered that will ultimately help your wellbeing.
Reading has become the escape I need from the stresses of daily life. Coupled with a glass of wine, reading is the ultimate opportunity to tune everything out. Don’t have time to read? Perhaps switch out one night of TV watching for a chapter or two of the books below.
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
- Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
- The Blue by Lucy Clarke
- My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
- Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School by Richard Branson
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber
- The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell (or anything by Malcolm Gladwell, for that matter!)
You can also make a goal to read one article in the industry you are in or wish to learn more of. You will be amazed how five minutes of your time will soon equate to hours of knowledge. Once you find a website you like, sign up for its newsletter and read that each day, week or month.
I look at this goal twofold: Research and learn about the nonprofit organizations in your area. Make an effort to attend and volunteer for one event each quarter or donate to this cause.
I also consider giving back as an opportunity to give back to my closest friends and family. Send a letter to a friend telling them how much you appreciate their friendship, or call them when sitting in traffic on your way home from work. These moments take under 10 minutes and sure beats running on a treadmill any day.
Go on a Digital Cleanse
I am the first to admit I have iPhone dependency issues. As an owner of a digital marketing company, staring at a computer screen for 90 hours during the week is part of the job description.
A good friend of mine recently told me one Sunday a month he partakes in a digital cleanse. On this day, he turns off all technology: phone, TV, internet — everything. His family takes that time to be together and do new and exciting things. I’m working on this one, as it doesn’t come as easily as the others. However, I am making a point to put this “digital cleanse” on my calendar so that I'm more likely to hold myself accountable.
Try Something New
I wrote out a bucket list of things I would like to experience this year. They range from traveling Europe to taking a cooking class. Once I created my list, it was time to take action: I booked my flights to Germany in September and started researching Groupons for cooking classes in the area. It can be easy to stick to the same binge-watching Netflix schedule Saturday night, but I encourage you to take action and plan the little and big things you have always to do.
Drink More Coffee
Are there certain people in your community you admire — certain individuals you feel you could learn a lot from? Ask them out for coffee.
I have had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of joe with some very successful men and women in South Florida. They have provided me advice for my business, gave new insights, and introduced me to their contacts.
Disclaimer: Just because your goals do not involve calorie counting, running or organizing doesn’t make them easier. It is important to write down your new goals and follow up with them each month. When you write action items down (how you plan to accomplish them) for each goal, you are more likely to obtain them.
Keep thank-you letters handy so you can easily write to a friend. Take the time to write out the exciting things you want to experience.
In the end, you only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Lyndsi Stafford is the CEO of eLuminate Marketing, a marketing company that specializes in original, authentic, and real storytelling.