Jan 1, 2011

Start the New Year Fresh

by Kiku Reidhead

10 tips for a fresh start

"New Year's Day is every man's birthday."
-Charles Lamb

"Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past."
-Henry Ward Beecher

Here are MIX!'s tips for simple ways to make a fresh start this year. Take a step forward, change things up, and live fresh!

1. Rearrange your furniture. This is an easy way to change things up. Simply rearranging furniture will help you switch up your routine and help you feel like things are really changing.

2. Clean your closet(s). Finding time to clean is difficult - especially when the area you need to clean is hidden. Open up your closets and pantries and clean! You will be surprised to see what's been hiding in there! You might even rearrange things to create a new organizing system.

3. De-junk and donate. This step goes right along with number 2. When you find things you don't want anymore, throw them away or donate them. Convince yourself to part with decorations or clothing items that you keep "just in case". De-junking and de-cluttering can actually give a whole new outlook on your living space.

4. Clean up your computer. How many old icons do you have on your desktop? Or how many files have you saved in random folders and are now almost impossible to find? Take a few minutes each day to organize your computer. Delete any files or programs you don't need or don't use.

5. Break an old habit. Humans are creatures of habit - both good and bad. Find a bad habit, even one like biting your nails or never eating breakfast, and make a plan to break it. It sounds like a new year's resolution, but it doesn't have to be big or drastic. Finally breaking a bad habit will make all the difference in your daily routine and how you feel about yourself.

6. Create a new habit. On the flip side, creating a new habit is a great idea! Find something you've always wanted to do - like writing in your journal everyday or saving money for a road trip this summer - and just do it! Make a plan and goals to make it stick... and then probably some reminders too. Don't abandon your plan until the habit's, well, a habit.

8. Reconnect with an old friend. Social media, cell phones and e-mail don't just exist for entertainment - they exist to connect us with people! Find an old friend you've been wanting to catch up with and send them a message, a note to let them know you've been thinking about them, or an invitation to go out to lunch.

9. Mix up your menu. When you take your grocery shopping trips, replace your routine groceries with a few new items or ingredients. You can also try cooking new dishes or try a new restaurant. When you're on campus, try eating at a different location for lunch (after all, there are over 15 different choices!). The smallest changes in eating will feel like big changes in your routine.

10. Eat healthier. As we mentioned in number 9, small changes in eating habits will make a big difference in the way you feel. So, we suggest that you try to eat healthier. Start small by adding a few veggies to each meal or cutting out a few sweets. In the end you will feel like a better, fresher you in body, mind, and spirit!
As a closing thought, take Ralph Waldo Emerson's advice as you create a new start for yourself:

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could."

Be happy with what you did that day, your new outlook on life, and look forward to the next day when you can try new things all over again!

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