20 things to do in 2020
Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Here is a list of the things I have promised myself to do in 2020 and I want to inspire and challenge you to join me!
1. Be grateful
We keep on wishing for new things continuously. New job, clients, partner etc. but we often forget to look at what we have already accomplished in our lives. I started a gratitude ritual a couple of years ago and every time I do it, I immediately feel happier.
So, what do I do? It’s very simple, every day before I go to bed I think or write down three things that I am grateful for. They can be big things like the fact that I am healthy but also smaller things that happened during the day, like working with a new client, reading an interesting book, etc.
2. Give up that unsatisfying job
One of the best books I have read recently is David Graeber’s book “Bullshit Jobs”. Finally, someone has dared to say it out loud – a huge part of our working force is stuck in meaningless jobs, to the point that they believe they don’t have any purpose. We keep asking ourselves why we are getting burned out and depressed. We keep buying things we do not need to fill the void. So, if you have been hearing this little voice inside saying “it is time for a change”, listen to it!
3. Save and recycle more, shop less
When we browse the Internet or watch TV, we are continuously confronted with bad things happening around the world, related to climate change. It is time we took action, however small. I think most of us agree that we cannot continue our consumption like we have done so in the past. So, shop less and recycle more. Our actions have power. It is time we started using this power!
4. Ditch plastic
Do we need to buy apples, cucumbers and avocados wrapped in plastic? I don’t think so. But often we forget when we are in a hurry. I often get reminded by my 12-year-old daughter that other no-plastic options exist. Small actions, big impact.
5. Choose a cause you want to support
“If you are feeling helpless, help someone” — Aung San Suu Kyi. If you feel bad, there is nothing like helping someone else. And once we feel good, why not share our positivity?
6. Get out of your comfort zone
Do the crazy things you were always scared to do. You’ll have more fun in life this way!
7. Start working on the legacy you want to leave behind
I often hear from my clients: “in 10 years’ time, I want to write a book” or “ in 20 years’ time, I want to be an expert on” But why wait? You never know what might happen!
8. Be kind, especially to yourself
I believe that if we were less competitive and more cooperative, everyone would benefit! Cooperation stems from a kindness and willingness to help and participate. And kindness starts with yourself. Often, I work with clients on their confidence issues. When we get into the depth of their behaviour, we see that it is a consequence of negative self-talk. If I ask how often you say to yourself: “I like you, you are OK”, it gets quiet.
We need to teach our kids that being kind is cool, and we can only teach them by showing ourselves how kind we are towards ourselves and others.
9. Hug more, fight less
Humans cannot develop healthily without touch. We see it in small babies, the terrifying damage the lack of touch does to our brains. But we need it as adults too. Giving a hug says – I see you, I care about you, you are important to me.
10. Get bored
When do we ever get bored? If I look at myself, the answer is NEVER. But various research actually shows that getting bored and actually doing nothing can be very positive for us. It is at that moment that we get the “ aha moments” and creative ideas. I often say to my daughters when they say “Mom, I am bored.”: “ Very well, just sit then and stare outside of the window, I am sure that a great idea will pop-up.” But I rarely do this myself. So, time for a change.
11. Walk in nature as often as possible
I have to admit, I love city life, especially in Amsterdam. But whenever I am in nature, something magical happens. I love forests, I love how they smell, how they sound. I believe being in nature not only helps us to feel healthier and happier but also reminds us that we need to take care of it.
12. Play with kids as often as possible
The best way to get yourself in a child-like state is to play with one. Being in a free, child-like state allows us to feel connected again with our own creative forces and fosters a real connection with our kids.
13. Read more
As I often admit, I am a Netflix junkie, but I love reading even more. So, I promised myself to read for at least 30 minutes every day.
14. Learn to meditate
Amazing things happen to your brain during meditation. For me, meditation and visualisation are powerful tools to reconnect with myself and to see clearly what the really important things in my life and business are.
15. Listen to your gut
Once you meditate more, you establish a better connection with yourself and you learn to hear your inner voice. Time and time again, after analysing twenty different options, I have always gone back and chosen the first thing I intuitively knew was right in the first place. And time and time again, I have gotten into trouble when I did not follow my gut-feeling.
16. Move that body
Dancing, yoga, spinning, running, tennis. It doesn’t actually matter what you do. Your future self will be grateful for any actual movement. Get out of your head and into your body.
17. Take 20 long breaths every morning and evening
Conscious breathing does amazing things to our body; we sleep better, we are less anxious, we are healthier. But caught in a busy day, we often forget to focus on our breath. Do it first thing when you wake up and make it the last thing before you go to bed.
18. Sleep well
You will notice that when you breathe correctly, you will sleep better. When we are rested, our brains function better, we eat less sugar, we make better decisions, we buy less, we feel less stressed and are generally happier!
19. Make a dream board for 2020
What are the things you dream of? As with meditation and visualisation, making a mood board connects you to the right side of your brain, which is the source of our creativity and intuition. So, take a big stack of old magazines and select the images that “speak to you”, then take a big piece of paper, and stick the photos to it. What do you see?
20. Be mindful
For me, this will be the key point to focus on this year. To me, being mindful means being mindful about my inner world, as well as the external one. When I am being mindful, I watch my breath, I am kind to myself and others, I do not buy the 10th pair of shoes I do not need and the plastic-wrapped avocado, I connect with nature, and I see when others around me need help.
Your own list
I hope my list has inspired you to start your own. What have you added to your list, what have I missed? Would love to hear what you think!