4 goals to set yourself at the beginning of the year that will get you where you want to be by December

We’ve all been there. Recovering from the festive season and getting back into school or work, determined to step things up and achieve all kinds of personal and professional milestones. Sometimes we just end up putting ourselves under too much stress in doing so and struggle to stay focused, but it’s worth remembering some timeless principles that you can always go back to in order to stay on track to have a great year.

1. Get fit. The number one new year’s resolution in the UK, getting fit has a long string of benefits to your wellbeing that include increased energy, improved mood, less stress, better sleep, weight control and various health improvements. Yep, it’s a no-brainer.

2. Learn new things. Enjoy life – explore new places near or far, learn to walk on your hands, learn to make a cake like that lady off the telly – the world is full of wild and magnificent experiences, skills and talents. The process of finding them, not just the end result, is so rewarding you’ll wonder why you’ve been sitting there looking at your Facebook for the last hour.

3. Help someone. Volunteer. You can help build shelter, care for a person or animal, distribute food to the hungry, tutor a student; it’s up to you. Volunteering changes lives for the better – it’s an amazing achievement to have under your belt – great for your reputation, life experience, CV building and self-esteem. Far from being “doing something for free”, you get way more out than you put in. You can’t lose.

4. Switch off. Keeping fit, volunteering and learning new things will all take time, but make sure you give yourself a period every day to de-stress, relax, regroup, and be ready to go again. You might meditate, you might go for a walk – and taking yourself offline for that period is always a good idea, if you can bring yourself to do it!

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