10 Things You Can Start Today Instead of Jan 1
Resolutions are a waste of time. All that time you could be getting better, and you're going to wait until your hangover goes away on the 3rd of January? Psh. Come on.
1. Track Your Calories
I just commented on another great list about health and fitness tracking. I use a Garmin fitness watch paired with Lose It app to track my fitness and nutrition. I'm not hardcore about it - I do it about 6 months out of the year (though I do log all my workouts). Instead of starting in January like I usually do, I started on Dec 1. I'm feeling way better about it.
2. Cut Back on Drinking
Dry January is a good marketing gimmick for Athletic Brewing and Ritual Zero booze brands, but really you can do Dry Whenever You Want and if you're into totally going zero alcohol, you don't start on Jan 1 after you have had a 30 day holiday bender. Cut back before the parties start ripping, take it easy during the holidays, and then January isn't such a slap in the face when you go totally dry for 30 days. How do you do that?
3. Substitute Something Else for that Quick "Hit"
When I started cutting back on booze, I substituted other activities or hobbies to get my dopamine hit instead of reaching for a beer or a sandwich. Reading a book that I bought on a whim, drawing a picture or digital painting, learning a new strategy in backgammon. Anything that you can enjoy, own, and dominate or be curious and stimulated is a great substitute for a substance.
4. Walk More
Yes, you should lift weights. Not everybody is going to dive into a training program right now with scheduling and travel and all that. Just start walking more. That's it. Then when you're ready to add more on top, figure out where you can join a gym and find a reputable trainer.
5. That Business Idea
Don't quit your job yet. Wait until next year and see how the economic scenario pans out. But, start your business now. Even if that means you just log on here and make 10 ideas a day looking for that testable chance, that's what you do. Now is time to hit the gas, not get lazy.
6. Read The Books
I have a stack of books fifty high and I'm chipping away - but I didn't wait to start making time to get that knowledge in after the new year. I do it now. Sometimes I do it randomly, sometimes I schedule it into my morning right after my workout. Whatever your schedule, hit the books. It'll be great.
7. Play The Games
You don't need an excuse to enjoy yourself once in a while. Games are the best way to challenge yourself (and others) and learn about how to push boundaries within limitations and enhance your performance through practice. They take you away to thoughtful new places. They're always there and there are infinite games to play. You have my permission to enjoy some games now instead of after Jan 1.
8. Book The Trip
If you're in a cold northern climate like me, you will want to get out of the freezing darkness before spring starts creeping back in. Book the trip to somewhere it's not freezing and dark. But do it now. If you wait until you start feeling crazy from all the freezing darkness, it'll be too late.
9. Try the New Hobby
Sure, you might get something cool for the holidays as a gift that helps you along. You can start in on whatever it is you want to try right now though. With less time outside and more time indoors, you can find 1000 hobbies to dabble in. Heck, go try a new indoor game or sport this winter. You might find some cool people to meet.
10. Ask for a Raise
Bonuses (weak this year, but that's one year) go out in year end, and you know it takes a while to get the promotion process started. If you put in the word now, before the budgets get re-upped, you can be ready when all that cash flows back into the organization's divisions and be the first in line to grab a chunk of it. If you wait until Jan 2 or springtime, your competition will be greater. Start it now.