Starting the New Year Off Right

As turbulent as 2020 was, I am ecstatic to say goodbye to this year and start 2021 with new hope, healing and a grateful heart praying that things can only get better.

This is the time of year where we self-reflect and set New Year’s resolutions that we hope to attain in the coming year. During this time, I often think about the areas I would like to enhance or change in my life. Things like reducing stressors, enhancing creativity, improving my work/life balance, and being healthier overall. This year, I’m going to simplify my focus so that I don’t overcommit and ultimately feel like I have failed myself (not that that has ever happened – lol). I recently read about a 5 Hobby Rule – find five hobbies you love: one to earn money, one to stay in shape, one to enhance creativity, one to help others/give back, and one to improve your spiritual well-being. These hobbies are meant to give our lives balance, both mentally and physically, which will ultimately roll over into all areas of our lives. When we can commit to just a few hobbies, we can prioritize our interests and put our energy into things that will bring us greater joy, well-being, and prosperity.

A hobby that makes money may sound strange because most people would not consider their current job a hobby, but work. I must say that my job is my hobby. Having grown up in the aviation world, I have always found this ever-changing industry fascinating and that’s what motivated me to start an aviation business. An employee recently said to me, “You’re the boss, so why don’t you ever take a day off to go to the spa, do lunch with the ladies or go shopping all day?” That’s the thing, my job is my passion and what I look forward to doing every day. If your day job is not your hobby, you may want to consider an alternative or find out what you could do to build your skills and move into another role. Perhaps, think about having a side-hustle that brings in a few dollars to alleviate any financial stress in your life.

A fitness hobby is probably on a lot of people’s minds right now. Every January, we say to ourselves – I want to lose weight, get healthy or get in better shape. I think the trick to sticking with a fitness goal is to make it a hobby and not consider it a chore or obligation. Make it something you enjoy or think you will like and if you hate it, then try a new physical activity. It could be as easy as playing ball with your kids, walking your dog, joining an adult sports recreation league, or dancing (when nobody is watching 😉). Whatever it is, make sure you can do it consistently. Last year, I joined a gym with a childcare center where I could drop my kids at while I exercised. Problem was they hated it, so I stopped going. Since then, I’ve canceled my membership and stopped wasting money. Alternatively, I transformed my garage into a mini gym. I’ve eliminated excuses – now it’s time to work!

Creative hobbies can help keep you mentally sharp, provide relaxation and also be a social outlet. Try cooking a new recipe each week, reading a new book genre, building something instead of buying it or start music lessons.

Giving back – now that is one of my favorites! This time of year, the spirit of giving is in the air. But we must remember that people need help all year. As a family, we like to make “blessing bags” to carry around and give to those in need throughout the year, walk around our neighborhood collecting cans for the local food banks, buy a meal for the friendly men that live under the bridge in our area, volunteer at church, or even give a stranger a compliment that could brighten their day. Random acts of kindness are said to have a ripple effect, and I believe that is absolutely true. There are so many ways to give back and it feels good to do it. If you’re a parent, these are things that you can have your children help with. It is so good for them to learn how to help others and ingrain that into their way of life. If you are a leader in an organization, same is true!

Lastly, your spiritual well-being. In my case, this is just taking time to thank God daily for the many blessings in my life. Prayer is one of the most common ways to practice spirituality. For others, it may be finding ways to reduce stress factors in your life. I read that 90 percent of illness and disease is stress related. Increasing your spiritual well-being may include spending time in nature, which has been proven to reduce stress and reduce inflammation, or perhaps read an uplifting book. Even taking a few minutes to give your brain a break and sit in silence can help.

Whatever you choose, make sure you enjoy your hobbies. If you can simplify your goals and practice your five hobbies, you will reap all the extra benefits that come along with them. Cheers to 2021 and a more enriched, healthy and fulfilling year!

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