What to Do More or Less in 2024
As we approach the end of 2023, this will be a good time to think about what you want to accomplish in 2024. Don’t you think so? Planning early can help you focus your energy and make progress toward your aspirations in no time. You don’t have to wait until it’s the 31st of the last month or the first month of the new year before you begin planning. Planning is good for your mental health and wellbeing.
So what things do you want to do more often? What things would you like to do less of?
Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
Spend More Time with Family and Friends.
The opening lyrics of a great song aptly capture the essence of what truly matters: “When it’s all said and done, there is only one thing that matters: family”. This rings true for many of us as we realize the importance of spending quality time with our loved ones.
Dan Fogel, in a personal story shared on HuffPost, expressed his bewilderment at realizing he knew little of his wife 45 years after she passed. He also mentioned feeling almost paralyzed by the guilt he experienced after discovering his wife’s journals, which revealed painful thoughts she had never expressed out loud. 45 years is such a long time to be with someone, and you still don’t know who they are.
Life is too short to take the people you love for granted. Spending quality time isn’t a waste of your precious time in this ever-busy world. This realization is seen in the answers of young children when they are asked to think about how they spend time with their parents. A 7-year-old wrote, “My dog gets more attention. Dad said it’s because dogs can’t talk, so I stopped talking.” A 6-year-old wrote, “I wish I was as important as their phone.” And a 9-year-old wrote, “My mom is too busy, she says, but she texts her friends all day. Why not tell me the truth? She is avoiding me.” These responses highlight the importance of spending quality time with our family members and being present in their lives.
Research shows that spending time with family can have numerous benefits for our mental, emotional, and physical health. Family members’ love, support, and encouragement can also boost self-esteem. Engaging in activities and sharing experiences with family can create lasting memories and deepen emotional connections, contributing to a more fulfilling life. Spending quality time with family also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. It also teaches children the importance of family and the value of relationships. Amidst all the hustle and bustle of life, it’s worth it to make a conscious effort to spend more quality time with your family and friends in 2024.
Diversifying Your Income
Rising inflation is making it more important than ever to diversify your income. The World Bank says that global growth is slowing down due to higher prices, rising interest rates, and weak investments. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that global inflation will reach a peak of 9.5% this year before falling to 4.1% in 2024. In the UK, inflation currently stands at 6.7% (September 2023).
Diversifying your income can reduce financial stress, give you more control over your time, and boost your self-confidence. All can lead to several positive health and well-being benefits, such as reduced stress levels, improved mood, and increased motivation.
Diversifying your income is especially important during periods of inflation when the purchasing power of your money is decreasing. It can also help you achieve financial stability, mitigate unexpected financial risks, and achieve your long-term financial goals.
With the internet, diversifying your income has become easier. You could leverage your experience or expertise to create an online course or write an ebook. You could create an account with gig platforms and offer your services. The list is endless. The best time to start is now.
Build your Personal Brand.
With the way the digital landscape is evolving, it’s obvious that personal branding will be here for the long haul. Potential employers or business partners look you up through your social media profiles or websites. If you don’t have a personal brand and aren’t thinking of building one, it may limit your chances of success in today’s world. In the 20th century, horse merchants who couldn’t adapt to the invention of cars went out of business; likewise, people who don’t have a personal brand will be left behind as the digital economy continues to evolve.
Your personal brand is how you present yourself to the world. It’s what sets you apart from everyone else and makes you unique. It’s also what people will think of you when they hear about you.
Building a personal brand in 2024 if you don’t already have one is very important. It may surprise you that there are people who don’t have social media accounts at this age. That isn’t to say they aren’t thriving in their personal and professional lives. However, it’s important to keep up with trends as they evolve. You wouldn’t know how it would pave the way for you in the long run. Having a personal brand helps you to:
- Stand out from the competition.
- Attract new clients and customers.
- Build relationships with other professionals.
- Advance your career.
All of these contribute to boosting your well-being and self-esteem.
One way to build a personal brand is to build a community. A community is a group of people who share a common interest or goal. By building a community, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and build relationships with potential clients and customers.
You can build a community by creating and sharing valuable content, engaging with others on social media, and attending industry events. You can also build a community by starting a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel.
Your personal brand is a must-have in the coming year if you don’t just want to get by in today’s world.
Continuous Learning and Acquiring Skills
Things are changing really fast. Just the other day, Bill Gates dropped a post on LinkedIn saying that soon AI will be replacing software. Also, one LinkedIn connection reminded his connections that what he learned in 2013 is no longer relevant in 2023. Another connection in the marketing industry didn’t fail to point out how his marketing degree is so irrelevant in the present digital world.
Research shows that when you keep learning, it helps you feel surer of yourself and discover new interests.
As the digital landscape is constantly changing, we need to be good at learning and adapting. So, it’s a good idea to keep learning new skills all the time. Take an itinerary of your learning in this outgoing year and look for gaps. Those could provide insights into where you need to buckle up in the coming year, especially if it has to do with skilling up in your career.
Investing in Your Health and Wellness
I remember when I was diagnosed with PCOS. My life was turned upside down. A myriad of symptoms prevented me from living a normal life. Whenever I took a walk, I envied people who were just full of life. And I longed for the day I would be back to myself again. To cut a long story short, I had to make major lifestyle changes to get my health back on track. Today, I’m healthier than ever. I’m living proof that you can overcome health challenges and achieve your wellness goals if and only if you become pragmatic in your approach to making it happen.
Investing in your health and well-being in 2024 is the best investment you’ll ever make.
Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. It may sound cliché, but it’s a lifesaver. “Health is wealth,” as the saying goes. Here are a few things you could try to improve your health:
- Pack your lunch and snacks for work instead of eating out. This will help you to control portion sizes and eat healthier foods. (Always include fruits and vegetables in your meals.)
- Go for a walk or bike ride during your lunch break. This will help you get some exercise and fresh air.
- Meditate for at least 10 minutes each morning to manage stress and to help you start your day off on a positive note.
- Schedule your annual checkup and screenings. This is key to the early detection of any disease, which can be a lifesaver. A stitch in time saves nine.
So what are the things you need to do less of?
Checking Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for staying connected with friends and family, but too much of it can be bad for your mental health and productivity.
Experts say excessive use of social media can lead to addiction, depression, isolation, and FOMO (fear of missing out). It can also be a major time suck. If you find yourself spending too much time on social media, you can:
- Set limits on how much time you spend on social media each day.
- Unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or that make you feel like you’re missing out.
- Only check social media when you’re bored or have some free time.
- Delete social media apps from your phone. This will make it less accessible and tempting to check constantly.
Worrying About Things You Can’t Control.
Worry is a common source of stress and anxiety. It’s okay to worry when things are not going as planned; it shows you are human. But when worrying is affecting your life more dramatically, you need to get hold of it before it leads you down a negative path.
Worrying about things we can’t control can be stressful and unproductive. Experts suggest several ways to overcome worry, such as:
- Focus on the things you can control.
- Practicing meditation and mindfulness exercises to reduce anxiety.
- Scheduling a specific time to immerse yourself in worrying will prevent worry from dominating your thoughts throughout the day.
- Connecting with others to build a support network to help you deal with stress and anxiety.
The list above is non-exhaustive, this is just to provide you with a guide to prepare you and help you make the most of the year 2024.