How To Prep your Life for the New Year Ahead

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With the New Year nearly here, you might be thinking about what goals you want to hit in 2022. Whether you want to stick to a fitness routine, hit a savings milestone or finally make that career move, setting New Year’s resolutions can seem like a smart way to plan for the year ahead.

But the hard truth is that 80% of our New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February. Why? As women, we’re already carrying a running to-do list known as the mental load. It’s that invisible (unpaid) planning, delegating and time management to make sure the kids get to soccer training, the dog is picked up from the groomer and that there’s enough food in the fridge to whip up dinner.

And it’s no wonder that 33% of women report they have no time to care for themselves on a weekly basis with so much (paid and unpaid) work on our plate.

We know you’re already wearing so many hats, and the idea of adding a stack of ambitious resolutions to your plate isn’t the way to go either. But there are ways to take steps that will actually lessen the load and give you more time for what you love.

So, let’s give you five practical tips to help you prepare your life for the New Year ahead.

How to kick your goals in 2022

As women, we’re socially conditioned to put the needs of others first. And if you struggle with the guilt of prioritising yourself, you’re not alone.

So, let’s make 2022 the year to put your own needs first. Think about all the things you wish you could do more of in your week (whether that’s spending time with friends, reading a good book, or heading to your favourite exercise class).

A bit of forward planning, getting clear about what you want and readjusting the status quo will help you carve out more time for what brings you joy in life. And here are five practical ways to do just that.

Tip 1. Learn the art of saying ‘no’

Being assertive is a strength, not a flaw. It’s about defining what’s important to you, valuing your own time and setting boundaries that protect you against things like burnout.

Giving yourself the time and space to rest and recharging is key to showing up as your best self in every part of your life. And remember: no is a complete sentence (so don’t feel the need to justify yourself when you do set those boundaries).

If you’re looking for some more insights about how to set boundaries, check out ‘The Yes Woman’ by Grace Jennings-Edquist, a practical guide to saying ‘no’.

Tip 2. Renegotiate the household chores

You know the stats; women spend twice as much time per day on unpaid chores (two hours and 52 minutes) than men (one hour and 37 minutes).

But, this gendered status quo doesn’t have to continue. Instead, we all need to talk to our partners, our kids and other members of our household to rebalance the burden of unpaid work.

Start by gathering your household and writing a list of all the jobs that need to be done on a regular basis. Then, work out a way to redistribute these jobs more equally between everyone in the house.

Whether you make a roster, use a calendar on the fridge or set aside certain days of the week to tackle these jobs together, look for ways to share the load (and create more time for yourself).

Tip 3. Book in your holidays and time off

With travel back on the cards, now is a great time to figure out what breaks you want to take in 2022. Rather than leaving holidays and time off to the last minute, sit down and work out how you’re going to spend your annual leave over the year.

By submitting all your leave requests in one go and booking in flights and accommodation in advance, you’ll ensure you take much needed time away from work. Plus, getting in early means you’re likely to score a better deal as well.

Tip 4. Harness the power of mindfulness and meditation

If you find yourself feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed on a daily basis, this tip is for you. While we can’t get rid of our to-do list altogether, we can find ways to bring a sense of clarity and calm into our day.

That’s exactly what mediation and mindfulness can help with. Studies have shown that a regular meditation practice can have a stack of benefits, including reducing stress, increasing our focus and even helping us to get a better nights’ sleep.

If you’re looking for a simple place to start, download the Headspace app and try their free 10-day mediation program (perfect for beginners). Each guided session will help you nail the basis and help you create a regular meditation practice.

Tip 5. Set regular money dates with yourself

Last, but not least, is another powerful money move that will set you up for success in the New Year: setting regular money dates with yourself.

The term ‘self care’ is often thrown around as something we should all prioritise. But the reality is that taking care of yourself is about more than facials and bubble baths. It means getting out life admin sorted, visiting the dentist, and checking-in on our money, too.

So, why not set a monthly money date with yourself to review how your finances are tracking. Set a reminder in your calendar and create a simple agenda for what parts of your financial world you need to review.

From tracking your progress towards your savings goals to reviewing your super balance and even figuring out if you’re getting the best deal on your car insurance, setting aside a bit of time is all it takes to be proactive about your money.

When it comes to setting yourself up for a great New Year ahead, it’s all about carving out more time for what you love.

Rather than setting crazy New Year’s resolutions, make 2022 the year you start setting boundaries, rebalance the household chores, and start being proactive about taking care of your money.

Trust us, your future self will thank you for it.

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