Every year I set up huge goals for the new year but not every goal is made. This year I have put a list of changes that I would like to incorporate in my daily life. I’m not going to start with everything from today but I will try to check this list every few weeks or month and add changes gradually so they can become good habits. I am sharing with you this list of the small changes that I would like to make this New Year 2017! My goal is to develop healthy habits that can carry on for the rest of my life (InshAllah!)!
Have you heard about SMART goals before? SMART is an acronym that make sure that goals are clear and reachable. SMART stands for:
- Specific (What do I want to accomplish?)
- Measurable (How many and how will I know when it is accomplished?)
- Achievable (How realistic is this goal?)
- Relevant (Does this match our needs?)
- Time bound (What can I do in a day? When can I do it?)
1. WAKE UP EARLIER
An adult need in average 7 hours of sleep per night. This year, I would like to wake up at 6. In that case, I would like to sleep at 10 maximum to keep the 7/8 hours per night. This will give me the time to exercise first thing in the morning.
2. EXERCISE MORE
We usually exercise only once a month but we often go walking in some park/mall. My aim for this year is to exercise once a week and to walk twice a week. I read that walking is helpful not only good for health, but it’s also an anti-depressant and it increases creative thinking. It always makes me feel better! I usually use the health app that count how many steps I take and keeps track of my walking progress. There are many apps for that on smartphones.
3. QUIT ONE BAD HABIT
Everyone has a bad habit whether it’s smoking, biting your nails, being late for appointments, loosing keys, eating dinner before bedtime, … I have a really bad habit, I cannot stop to chew my lips… it’s a disaster and this year, one of the big challenges is to stop this one bad habit! If you have one unhealthy habit, just make a commitment to quit this year!
4. DRINK MORE WATER
We are living in Saudi Arabia, in a desert climate that means that our body has to bear the extreme heat during the day and low humidity in the air. Drinking water is essential for a healthy body. It flushes unwanted Bacteria from the bladder and kidneys, combat fatigue and produce energy, reduce acne and premature aging of the skin. It has many many other advantages!
We should drink approximately 2L of beverages per day. To help me drink more, I will put a bottle of water next to my bed to drink as soon as i start my day, and I will put another one on my desk to hydrate during work time.
5. EAT HEALTHY FOOD
From break times at work, to friends and family gathering, we (My husband and I) often find ourselves eating fast food. Heavy meals with excess of carbs and fat, and the last thing we consider is eating healthy! Maybe it’s the fact that we live in Saudi Arabia and fast food is everywhere but this doesn’t mean that we don’t have to take care of our body. We have to think at least about the amount we are having and try to take better choices when we eat outdoor and try our best to eat healthy.
Let’s put together an end to this bad habit, shall we? Our target this year is to start bringing homemade food to work, and eat fast food not more than once a week.
6. DEVELOP A NEW HOBBY
Did you know that a hobby can let you be more creative, give you a sense of self efficacy and it keeps your brain engaged?
I consider blogging as a new hobby for me, but for this year, I’m planning to focus on playing guitar too. I used to play long time ago, and I hope I’ll get to practice at least once a week to bring back my skills.
7. BLOG MORE
Last year, we decided to start blogging just for fun, to share our experience in KSA and to try to help other expatriates as much as we can. But this year, I am planning on posting more. One post per week is my target.
Everyday before having a busy day, I would like to add a special moment of relaxation, a moment of silence, faith, prayer and meditation.
9. READ MORE
I love reading books but I read now so much less than before. This has to change! I would like to read at least one book a month. Maybe it’s not a good target for you but we said that I’ll be setting my goals this year in a way that they are achievable.
10. SET A TIME TO GO OFFLINE
We are all connected to our smartphones/social media. We all need to set a time to disconnect from our devices and communicate with other people around us instead.
“We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much – if at all.” —Steve Jobs
Hence, this year, we need to disconnect from our phones one hour before sleep.
11. HAVE LESS SUGAR
We are having a surprising amount of sugar everyday inside our food (Ketchup, cereal, ice cream, …) and drinks (Coke, Juices, …) so i decided to start with cutting out sugar from my coffee or tea and reduce sugar from my diet! High consumption of sugar is linked to weight gain, increase risk of heart disease.
12. HEALTHY SNACKS
All the sugar, chemicals, fats leading to health problems in junk food can be avoided. Instead I will find healthier alternative to snacks such as nuts, fruits, …
13. PRIORITIZE BREAKFAST
My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. But honestly, I sometimes skip it when I’m late for work. So I will try to wake up earlier if needed to take the time to have breakfast everyday.
“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper to stay healthy” — Adelle Davis
14. SCHEDULE MORE “ME” TIME
Do you have so much to do that you forget about yourself all the time just like me? Well, what we need is some activity only for you to reduce the stress level and recharge your battery! I always feel refreshed after that! There is a long list to do so, it could be going for a run, shopping, meeting some friends, having a massage, manicure and pedicure… anything you enjoy!
15. LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
Actually, I speak some German but I need to study at least once a week in the week-end for an hour and my husband would be working at the same time on his french skills!
16. ORGANIZE MY LIFE
Organizing could be by organizing the house, making a daily to-do list and set priorities to become more productive.
It could also be by organizing my work space at the end of each day to always start fresh. I should also empty my email inbox and unsubscribe to unnecessary newsletter I never read.
17. Live simple
Living simple can mean different things. For me, I would like to donate unused items at home or clothes for every item of clothing bought...
This list is my list of changes for 2017, it can give you an idea of some changes you would like to make. Each person is different and should choose the lifestyle changes according to his life. It’s important to set up the SMART goals to be able to reach your objectives! Each one of us has his own good and bad habits and we all have our unique struggles and goals… Did you set any goals for you this year? Please let me hear about them in the comments below!
- George T. Doran in Management Review ( November issue 1981) and Professort Robert S. Rubin (Saint Louis University) wrote for the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm