The holidays are so over. The cookies have all been eaten, the gifts have all been opened, the wine has magically disappeared, and now we're all staring the new year, 2018, straight in the face. If you're anything like me, you may be anticipating the unavoidable disappointment of a lackluster New Year's Eve and the oh-so-heavy emotional burden that comes with having to tell everyone about the life-changing resolutions that you've committed to for 2018. It seems like a lot of pressure. But, it doesn't have to be! There are actually a bunch of New Year's resolutions that will only take you five minutes a day to complete, so you don't have to stress so much when Jan. 1 rolls around. Five minutes is less than the time it takes (me, at least) to perfectly execute eye makeup!
Most of these resolutions are of the big picture variety, so while you won't be able to call them "complete" after a single five-minute session, you will be able to say that you've made good progress toward a larger goal as you chip away at it every day. As nice as it is to set your sights on one big, flashy resolution (Buy a house! Plan a European vacation! Do your taxes on time!), it's these gradually-achieved goals that are actually doable — plus, they offer more regular (aka, daily) opportunities for you to pat yourself on the back as you get closer and closer to making your goals happen.
If the prospect of starting a journaling habit feels overwhelming, don't sweat it. Put pen to paper for just five minutes a day, every day. Before long, it will be practically second nature for you to jot down your thoughts — and how cool will it be to have a written record of this year when it's time to make your resolutions for 2019?
2. Keep In Touch With Your Closest Family
Feeling disconnected from your roots? Commit to a brief daily phone call — or an even quicker text message — to your closest family, whether that be your mom, dad, uncle, aunt, cousin, or even just your best friends (friends are the family you choose, after all!). Keep them updated on what's happening in your life and be sure to ask them what's happening in theirs too.
3. Determine What Makes You Feel Best, Physically
What makes someone feel best physically can differ for everyone, so take five minutes a day to figure out what that is for you! Whether it's adding a brisk walk to your daily routine, or simply sleeping a little earlier than usual, it all helps. After all, ensuring you're doing what you can to make yourself feel the best you can possibly feel is an important part of self-care, something we will all need to recover from such a rocky 2017.
4. Be A Better Listener
I get it — when you're caught up in the rush of the daily shuffle, it's a lot easier to hurry your way through conversations than it is to actually stop and fully engage with what the other person is saying. But listening is (almost) always a good idea! If you feel like your interpersonal skills have been somewhat lacking recently, commit to perfecting your listening in the new year. It really doesn't take too long.
5. Get More Fresh Air
You don't need to become the outdoorsy type. You just need to fill your lungs with something other than the stuffy filtered air of your cubicle. Set your alarm five minutes earlier than usual so you can take your time outside while you're heading to work, or opt for a stroll around the parking lot (glamorous!) during your lunch break to get some fresh air.
6. Be Kinder To The Environment
Take the time to recycle, find yourself a water fountain to refill your reusable water bottle instead of just grabbing a fresh bottle from the fridge, take public transportation instead of driving when you can (even if it means a little more time added to your commute) — these are all five-minute routines that will slowly help you help Mother Earth.
7. Stay Informed
See how you might be able to work five minutes of reading about current events into your daily schedule. Scroll through news sites instead of Instagram while you're waiting for coffee at Starbucks, or read the local newspaper during commercials of your favorite show.
8. Take Better Care Of Your Skin
Your skin is your body's largest organ (I hope my middle school health teacher is reading this so they know I definitely learned something from their class), and it deserves your attention. A few minutes should be more than enough time for you to implement a daily regimen that keeps your face healthy and glowing.
9. Practice Mindfulness
If you find that stress and anxiety are regularly getting the best of you, a few minutes of daily mindfulness might be just the ticket. If so many people are loving meditation, there must be something to it, right? Give it a try in 2018.
10. Proofread Emails
Taking five extra minutes each day to double check your spelling and ensure that your emails are communicating the intended message will go a long way toward advancing your professional goals in the new year. It's the little details — the properly used oxford comma, the thoughtful greeting, the clearly-posed questions — that will set you apart from other colleagues that might be vying for the same raises and promotions.
11. Be More Considerate
It's nice to be nice — and it doesn't have to take a lot of time. Commit to being more considerate by holding the door open for a co-worker, asking your barista how their day is going, or waving at your neighbor.
For just five minutes each day, swap out screens for a book. I'm pretty sure you'll be hooked on reading by the end of January.
13. Cut Back On Screen Time
Do you ever feel like your life is ruled a little too much by your devices and your favorite shows? I know I do. Committing to a few screen-free minutes each day might be exactly what we need to break our addiction and reclaim our independence from screens.
14. Get Organized
Spend five minutes every day straightening up the areas of your home or office that tend to attract the most mess. With a little consistency, you'll find that the space is much less likely to ever require a major clean-up.
15. Save Money
I know it seems far-fetched that you can make progress on your savings goals in just five minutes a day, but if you start with cutting back on purchasing one thing a day. it's actually not that crazy. Bank the money you save. You'll be surprised how quickly it adds up.
16. Be A Better Friend
Your friends already think you're pretty great (that's why they're your friends, of course), but you can step up your game in 2018 by sending more regular check-in texts or — wait for it — making an actual phone call. Gasp!
Balance out all that gym time you've added to the routine in pursuit of your New Year's resolutions with a little quiet stretching. Studies have shown a multitude of benefits associated with stretching, and making it a habit will ensure that you're less sore the day after a tough workout.
18. Drink More Water
Write "DRINK WATER!" on a post-it note and stick it to your computer screen. Walking back and forth to the water fountain for refills might add a few minutes to your schedule, but your body will definitely thank you.
19. Be On Time
Tell yourself that you need to be everywhere five minutes before you actually do, or build a few extra minutes into your getting-ready process every day. Being punctual is bound to make you a lot more popular in the new year.