This is a collaborative post.
There is an entire industry building these days devoted to lifestyle gurus and life coaches, each of whom insists that, by following their simple plans, you can revolutionise your life. It’s an attractive concept, but often misses the point; sweeping away the old and seeing in the new is a big undertaking, and many of us are tired. After a year of almost perpetual, compulsory changes, it’s understandable that people aren’t ready to change everything.
With that said, most of us can argue that there is a lot we’d change, given the opportunity and the power to do so. It’s just that the concept of changing everything at once is tough. It’s a lot of plates to keep spinning, and a lot of opportunities for something to go wrong. So it makes sense that you should look at all the things you want to change, and then set out to do them one by one. It may not seem like as grand a gesture, but it is more likely to stick, and is more achievable given everything we’ve just lived through.
First priority: Consider your health
Without our physical and mental well-being, it’s inevitably going to be more difficult to change anything for the better, so this should be your first port of call for change. There are things you can manage yourself – eating healthier, giving up smoking, exercising more – and other things that may need professional intervention. If you’ve had nagging symptoms, now is the best time to stop waiting for them to go away and speak to a doctor. If your mental health has suffered – something which quarantine brought to a head, for many people – seek out counselling to start a path to recovery.
Second priority: Look at your finances
Last spring saw many people adjusting to the previously alien concept of staying at home, and almost sealing ourselves in, for days at a time. Unsurprisingly, many of us noticed for the first time that there were a lot of things we needed to buy: some for distraction, some purely practical. For many of us, settling our finances is a step we need to take. Breaking it down is the best way forward: check out the state of your savings, then look at credit balances, then consider subscriptions. Once you know the changes you need to make, you can seek out the best alternatives to cable, find out here how to make a saving, and repeat the process with other outgoings. Also, consider any financial help you may qualify for.
Third priority: Audit your relationships
Before last year it would have been impossible to imagine a situation where millions of people decided that they wouldn’t see their friends, in the interest of ensuring we all stayed healthy. For many of us, this has meant that the occasional Skype call has been all we’ve shared with people we’ve known since childhood. Now is a good time to look beyond the immediate term and put plans in place. Real plans – because one way or another, things are opening up again. If there is someone you’ve been longing to see, and it’s now easier because you’ve had the vaccine or will soon, don’t lose a moment – because we’ve seen enough of those go by as it is!