Being connected to the community through volunteering or being a good neighbour to those in need may sound like an altruistic thing to do, but it’s actually good for you, too. Metro Creative image:

Five tips to embrace for a great 2019

Get ready to learn these five things that will transform your life in ways both big and small

By Katlyn Eriksen

The first step towards true learning is acknowledging your inexperience. This ancient wisdom is as true today as it was when it was written some 3,000 years ago, particularly at the outset of a new year. To make 2019 the best it can be, embrace being a novice, adopt a student mindset, and get ready to learn these five things that will transform your life in ways big and small.

1. The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself is Giving Yourself to Others

Being connected to the community through volunteering or being a good neighbour to those in need may sound like an altruistic thing to do, but it’s actually good for you, too. You’ll be amazed what you’ll learn from others when you get out into new social circles, and it will foster a sense of belonging in you that you might not even know was missing. If you set out to learn that new DIY home update, like building a picture wall out of clipboards and spare materials, you can share your new DIY tips with your neighbours and watch their home come to life.

2. A Clean House is a Healthy House

Every year we resolve to be more on top of our household chores. Doing dishes without being asked. Mowing the lawn before it gets shaggy. To really get motivated to clean your house, consider the risk of letting routine maintenance slide. Living in a less-than-tidy home can allow allergens and mold to flourish in everything from a scummy sink to a drippy basement, which can have grave consequences for your personal health, and especially the health of your children. Tidy up not just because it looks better, but because it feels better.

3. Social Media is Making You Less Social

Paul Fairfield, Professor of Philosophy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario regularly speaks about the downsides of social media and other electronic communication. He argues that the lack of nonverbal expression, nuance and embodiment that comes from real life social interactions makes social media harmful and calculated. We’re starting to unlearn how to really communicate with one another. If you’ve considered taking a break (or breaking up with) your social media channels for any number of reasons, make this the year you do it and see how it changes your relationships with others. You might learn something about yourself and about who your true friends are.

4. You Don’t Need to Eat Meat

With the arrival of the new Canada’s Food Guide, some were shocked to see the traditional meat and milk categories from the classic four food groups replaced by an umbrella category for “proteins.” As health studies and environmental research have all been pointing towards the benefits — for people and planet — of a more plant-based diet, these new guidelines have evolved to reflect that dietary flexibility. Reducing the amount of meat in your diet is an effort that’s not only worth trying for your health, it’s now totally in line with the national guidelines, too.

5. You Can Do More By Doing Less

Sometimes we confuse busyness with virtue. But in fact, we need down time in our lives to recharge and to think straight enough to be effective at our jobs and in our relationships. Ever wonder why you get your best ideas in the shower? It’s because sometimes it’s the only time all day you aren’t distracted. Allow yourself time for stillness, even if it’s just ten minutes in the morning; make it a routine. You may be stunned by the results.

2019 can be a banner year if you are ready admit you don’t know it all and embrace a little change and openness to new ideas and healthier routines.

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