If anyone knows me, I used to be afraid of change for a long time. That’s why I’ve declared 2019 the year of change, which includes major life changes like graduating college and crawling my way into the adult world as well as physical and mental changes that include lightening my hair to bright blonde. There are many ways that I can change myself for this new year, so here I am to share them with you.

(Opinions are my own and do not reflect the views of the Niner Times staff).

  1. Get out of your own mind. I wanted to name this first tip “Get out of your comfort zone” but the cliche connotation of that phrase doesn’t do the actual meaning justice. More importantly, the only person that typically keeps you from doing scary things is yourself. When you keep to yourself and don’t do physical or mental activities that may be uncomfortable, it’s usually the fear of what might happen in that situation. Allowing that fear to dictate what you do in your life is a bully. The great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
  2. Work mindfully, not harder. To break down the word “mindfulness,” it basically means to be aware of the body, mind and world around you. Not to be confused with the first tip, mindfulness allows the brain to be present in the moment while not focusing on the past or future. A mindfulness meditation technique that helps you focus on the moment is the body scan exercise. The point of doing this is so the participant gets to be in their body in that particular moment and really refocus their mind on the self. UC Berkeley gives a full description of the process and even some audio so you can try it out: here.
  3. Do something you’re afraid of. Also known as “YOLO.” This doesn’t mean to do illegal, stupid or dangerous things but rather things that you’ve been on the fence about doing. For example, I’ve been on the fence about dying my virgin hair for about a year now, and finally 2019 said, “I’m here and you need a change.” I scheduled an appointment and within 48 hours I was a blonde balayage babe. Cut to 12 hours later at six in the morning and I’m lying in bed basically regretting the decision, but no, I told myself, “You are a beautiful woman with a new blonde hair-do and no one can stop you.” Not only did this change my physical appearance but my mental processes as well.
  4. Work towards a yearly goal. If you want to work at your dream job by the end of 2019, set that goal and plan how to get there. If you want to become really good at one of your hobbies, set a goal and plan how to get there. In 2019, there will be 365 (more like 350 by the time this is published) new days and new chances to get to where you want to be. Even if that means you have to start fresh every damn day, you still get a new day to start again.
  5. Make the changes you know you can. I get it, everyone has their things they wish they had time to change. However, we all can acknowledge that there is the problem, the difficult part is actually changing. Ask yourself what is the one thing you wish you could change, then ask if you can change it. If you can’t, let it go. If you can, devise the game plan for success. This may need help from a licensed therapist, but thinking that you are crazy for asking for help is so 2018. Therapists are trained on the mechanics of the brain and human interaction; let them help you.

2019 has already started but it’s not too late to have a game-plan to make your life easier. You can also add in some life hack Instagram videos for your entertainment. Life is too short and moving by too fast to not life your best life.

For advice on this topic or any topic, email your questions to askaniner@ninertimes.com.

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