This is the perfect time to look ahead at the next year and take control of your fate.

Follow our 8 steps to make 2020 a beautiful year.

STEP #1 – End of year review

This is an essential activity to ensure you don’t get swept by the new year. Look back at all that happened in 2019. The good, the bad and the ugly. Write down areas where you want to improve, but don’t be too critical. Every life is a process and we tend to be overly critical of ourselves. Find those areas that require extra attention in your life next year: finance, relationships, health, career, etc. Also, it’s important to write down things you are grateful for, so you can keep appreciating these things in the coming year.

STEP #2 – Brainstorm ideas for the New Year

Now it’s time to set some goals for 2020. Look at your year in review document and see where you need to put a little extra effort. Make sure to prioritize personal growth. Once you start living a harmonious life, a lot of other areas such as love, business, money, health and household will automatically improve themselves.

STEP #3 – Act on your goals

Keep your written goals visible during the new year. Write steps required to reach each goal. These are the actions you will take in 2020 to make your dreams a reality.

STEP #4 – Create a financial plan

Let’s face it, life can be challenging when we are struggling to pay the bills. Work out a budget plan and overview of finance for the new year. Establish how much you need to live and be sure to priority expenses toward this end. Then set aside money for entertainment (online casino, Netflix, computer games, movies, etc), so you know you can enjoy your year with ease of mind.

STEP #5 – Establish a support system

We live in a high-paced world. We are all expected to take care of everything by ourselves; but the truth of the matter is that we are a social and tribal being. We depend on others from our cradle to our deathbeds. Write down the people you can count on and the areas where they can help you. Also write the names of people you can help in 2020. Life will be much easier to bear when we help each other.

STEP #6 – Create a new daily routine

The goals you wrote for 2020 will take time to be realized, but you can already start to see immediate effects in your life when you begin on a new routine. Small changes in your day can bring huge results in the long run. Set a new routine of drinking a veggie shake in the morning, meditating 10 mins a day, doing exercise or yoga for 30 minutes a day or learn to do conscious breathing exercises. Take as little or as much as you can, but make sure you repeat it every day until it becomes an effortless habit.

STEP #7 – Aim for good enough, not perfection

Most people get discouraged after a month or two when their New Year resolutions go astray. We are beings of habits and habits are hard to change. Don’t go for a perfect outcome; that would be too much pressure to bear. Instead do everything at the best of your ability. If you only accomplish 50% of your goals, that is great! At the end of 2020, you want to look back at the year and feel proud of what you accomplished, regardless if only one of five goals were realized. Learn to love yourself just as you are.

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Perspective is everything. In a world were information flows like a tsunami, it’s important to keep focused on the data that is relevant to our modern lives. We have sifted the internet to find interesting and credible facts, backed by science, that will help you lead a more balanced and healthy life. Here are a few tips to make your life GREAT!

Learn to forgive
It’s not uncommon to carry a resentment for many years. Many people will wrong you throughout your life. But you don’t want to harm your future days by clinging with anger to something that happen years or decades ago. Researchers have found that forgiveness results in lower levels of anxiety, depression and major psychiatric disorders, since you are basically letting go of the toxic anger that fuels the resentment. Here’s a tip: write down the names of everyone that has wronged you. Then consciously say out loud “I forgive you” as you scan past each name. Try to be genuine. You can then move on with your life and gain a greater sense of freedom. 

Travel more

Traveling is good for you. Researchers have found that students that travel abroad for their studies ranked much higher in ‘Openness to Experience’, ‘Agreeableness’, and ‘Emotional Stability’, than their colleagues that stayed at home. Traveling will broaden your perspectives and literally reprogram your personality to make you more empathetic toward other people in your life.

The Gratitude Loop

We all have things to be grateful for. A psychology study showed that a one-time act of thoughtful gratitude produced an immediate 10% increase in happiness and 35% reduction in anxiety. Practicing gratitude is not as hard you may think.  Write down a list of 3 to 5 things you are grateful in your life before going to bed, once or twice per week. Meditate on these things as you fall asleep. This activity can quickly become routine and bring big benefits to your life. As you focus on the good, rather than the bad, in your life, you will soon start seeing the “glass half-full” in situations where previously you would only see the negative aspects. It will become effortless to be thankful for the good, generating a cycle where the ‘good’ in life begins to shine out more and more so it becomes easier to be happier and even more grateful.

Nurture your Social Circle

We are a social animal. Research has shown that having a healthy social network can help you live up to 50% longer! Invest time to see family and friends. Developing closer and more intimate relationships can help you react less to stress and have a positive effect on your lifespan. Several studies have shown that people with strong social relationships can reduce risks of chronic diseases in heart, brain, hormonal and immune function. It is important also not to focus only on family and friends. Providing support to the needy and strangers can have equally good results for your brain. One study showed that providing support to others can be more beneficial than receiving it! The brains of the participants that were giving most support had reduced activation in brain areas related to stress responses. Go out today and talk to your friends, family and even strangers – your life will immediately be enriched!

The havoc and mayhem of the holidays is amongst us. It’s that time of year malls are full of scattering people, running to get the last missing gifts for their family and friends. In previous Sloto Magazine editions we have discussed how it is better to give smaller and more fitting gifts, rather than giving out excessive, but ultimately useless, gifts that will end up in the trash a few months later.

There is, however, another side to giving gifts.  To find a gift for someone means to bring that person into your awareness, to consider his or her habits, hobbies, preferences, lifestyles and so on. By doing so, you are engaging momentarily in an empathetic activity. You are recognizing and honoring the life of your dear one for a few moments.

Having that in mind, we encourage you to try to be very mindful when trying to find a gift to a friend or family member. Instead of jumping into a car and finding the closest mall to roam about; we suggest you spend a few minutes thinking about this person, the way they live, the type of person they are. Try to give them something that will make them feel appreciated, to show them that you care about them and recognize their particular expression as a human being.

A gift doesn’t only have to be a material thing. It is time to transcend this view and start looking at the actual value of human relationships.  This year we want to empower you to consider other types of gifts.

#1 – The gift of yourself

Offer your time as a gift to another person. Write them a nice holiday card and express the desire to help them one way or another.  It could be help renovating a house, giving a massage, becoming a partner for exercise, or sharing a special home-cooked meal.

#2 – The gift of experience

Be open to offering your loved one an experience. Why not combined the experience with your company! This holiday season consider giving tickets to the movies where you both go together or offer a gift card to a local show, concert or theater performance. An experience can be deeply enriching and much more memorable than a material object.

#3 – The gift of charity

Consider giving a gift to people that are not in your immediate circle. Find a charity or foundation that helps needy people. Even volunteering could be a wonderful experience, as you get to see the immediate impact of your actions.

This year break the bond of convention and make a special gesture for your loved ones and the world as a whole. Happy Holidays!

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