Kick Off the New Year Right | Harris Casel Institute Melbourne FL
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Kick Off the New Year Right

Use your indoor time to get on top of that life maintenance stuff

Now that we’re into the shiny new year, there’s no time like the present to tackle some of those life maintenance items you may have been putting off. Why not get productive on some of the following fronts:

Start with the easy stuff:

  • Go outside your comfort zone with your TV and movies. Always watch zombie stuff? Then try a period piece! Love dramas? Check out a competitive cooking show. Making a change can shift your perspective—on what you like and even on yourself.
  • Make something new in the kitchen. Are you in a cereal and mac and cheese rut? Do you make the same meals week after week? Take a weekend and prepare two entirely new dishes, one each day. Look on Pinterest. Ask for ideas on Facebook. When you find a recipe you like, you’ll have a new staple!
  • Reach out to someone who’s long lost. Shoot a text or an email to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Tell them you’re thinking of them. Maybe make a plan to get together over the course of the month, or if they live far away, some time this year.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors work and have fresh batteries. All it takes is standing on a chair and hitting the “test” button.

Work the medical to-do list:

  • Give blood. January is Blood Donation Month, and there’s no time like the present! Donating blood can truly help save a life. Look up your local Red Cross blood donation location and hours, put a date on your calendar, and take a friend with you.
  • Have your eyes checked. Most of us wear contacts or glasses and rely on them every day to make a living (not to mention drive, text, or watch TV). A new prescription could make all the difference. Make that appointment now.
  • Get a dental check-up. You should be going to the dentist every 6 months. Were you there since last summer? If not, give yours a call. You’ll be glad you did. Regular cleanings keep your teeth and gums healthy and avoids plaque buildup—which keeps the cleaning from being too uncomfortable.
  • Get a physical. Your primary care physician should see you at least once a year. It just takes a few minutes to place that call, and preventative medicine can make a huge difference, especially as you age. 

Mix it up:

  • Try a new work-out gig. Sick of doing the same old same old at your gym? Try a new exercise class or set of machines. Get a partner and learn to play squash or racquetball. You’ll be surprised how many options there are, and being distracted by learning a new thing can make the time at the gym fly by. If you work out by walking, running, or biking outside, get a new buddy, take a new route, or try interval training. (Interval training is picking up the pace for a set distance or number of minutes before you resume your normal pace.)
  • Pay a visit to your local library. When’s the last time you spent some time at your library? It’s good to have a peaceful, relaxing place where you can read or make some progress on that project you’ve been putting off. Maybe you’ll even come across a book you want to check out.
  • Turn a closet clean-out to someone else’s benefit. Pick a weekend day to clean out your closet. Be honest about all the stuff you hold on to but never use. (You might also unearth something you love that had become buried!) Some people say you should toss anything that doesn’t give you joy when you look at it or that you don’t use regularly. Once you make a pile of give-aways, make a list of the items (for your taxes) and donate them to a good cause. Don’t have a car? Some places will even come and pick things up from you.

Crossing these things off your list can help your larger process of reevaluating your life’s path. Make room for something new when you’ve taken care of this old business!