21 things to do to better your life in 2021.
2021 is here and we are ready for it! New Years Resolutions have been set (fingers crossed we stick to them this year) but apart from those what else can we do to better ourselves in 2021? Here are 12 ideas for you to try.
1. Write down 21 things to be grateful for
Twenty five years ago, Oprah started a gratitude journal and wrote down five things she was grateful for each day. From fresh flowers to the kindness of a stranger, she believes taking note of these things made her more receptive to the goodness in her life. She says keeping this journal was the single most important thing she's ever done. Take the steps today by writing down 21 things you are grateful for.
2. Turn off your phone for 21 minutes
Take a break from the world of social media and disconnect from the world. If you're not used to doing this its going to feel super weird. You may even need to shut your phone in a drawer somewhere to reduce the risk of constantly picking it up out of habit just to look at a black screen (trust me I've been there).
3. Go for a 21 minute mindful walk
Take it all in. Breath deeply and try to notice things you wouldn't usually notice. What can you see? What can you hear? What can you smell?
4. Take 21 deep conscious breaths
Try this, breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of seven, then exhale for a count of eight. This can calm you and reduce anxiety, help you think more clearly and even help you get to sleep.
5. Take a 21 minute power nap
A short 21 minute nap resets your system and gives you a boost of alertness. If you're feeling sleepy opt for a nap over a cup of coffee as coffee can decrease memory performance. You'll feel more wired after that black Americano but more likely to make mistakes.
6. Meditate for 21 minutes
Find a comfortable spot where you can sit still for 21 minutes. Lower your gaze or even close your eyes and focus on your breathe. Take note of what thoughts come up during this time but don't let them consume you. when your mind wonders simply come back to focusing on your breath. It may take a few tries or even some shorter meditation sessions before sitting for the full 21 minutes. I like to set a timer on my phone for the desired time and I use an app called Meditation Time on my Iphone which I love. I set the timer for the desired time and the gong gently rings at the start and end of the session. I'm sure there are similar apps for android users.
7. Relax in the bath for 21 minutes
Take some me time because, well, you deserve it!
8. Come up with an affirmation and say it 21 times
Affirmations are positive statements. The idea is that coming up with an affirmation personal to you can help you to challenge and overcome any self-sabotaging, negative thought processes you might have. When you repeat them often and once you start believe what you are saying you can start to make positive changes.
9. Do you 21 things that scare you
We all have a comfort zone and it's when we get out of it that things start to happen in life. What can you do that scares you to get outside of your comfort zone?
10. Send 21 thank you notes
This could be anyone from your parents to your partner, even the lady in the shop that always says good morning to you. Not only will this make them feel appreciated you'll also get a little kick out of it yourself and realise how many wonderful people you have in you life and you make even make someones day.
11. Try 21 new things
A friend once said to me "How do you know what flavour of ice-cream you like? You have to taste them." And this is the same for life. Trying new things helps you figure out what you like and new experiences shape you as a person. Experiences actually result in longer-lasting happiness than material possessions!
12. Spend 21 minutes stretching
If you know me you will know I'm a huge yoga advocate. There are so many benefits to stretching and its more important now than ever before. Due to the pandemic and the many lockdowns here in the UK, more people are working from home than ever before. Stretching helps improve your posture especially if you've been slouched over that laptop all day. It also helps ease aches and pains when you incorporate regular stretching into your routines.
13. Giveaway £21
Give it to charity, give it to a friend in need or maybe to a crowd funding page. Whoever you give it to try to do it anonymously.
14. Write with pen and paper for 21 minutes
Studies show again and again how handwriting is an important aspect of brain development and physically writing helps us think more creatively. A great writing exercise to try before bed is to pick up a pen and write down everything on your mind. A thought comes, write it down. Keep writing till no more thoughts come then put down your pen and drift off to sleep. Its much easier to sleep after you get everything out on paper.
15. Do 21 Burpees
Move. Your. Body. We were made to move! It may sound counterintuitive but, doing exercises like burpees where you are expelling a lot of energy actually gives you energy.
16. Give something away every day for 21 days
I took on a similar challenge to this in 2020 where I gave something away every day for 29 days. "Place your focus on abundance and strengthen your Faith by giving away money every day for 29 days. Give as little as a penny or as much as you can in whatever way you can. Do it secretly whenever possible." - Jen Sincero. I'm looking forward to recreating this in 2020 by giving away something every day for 21 days. The key is to do this anonymously if possible. It doesn't have to be big or cost money, it could be something simple as giving away your time to help someone.
Look out for the good things that may start happening to you as a result.
Ideas: Pay forward shopping or a coffee for someone, give money to charity, bake a cake, leave a tip, give away things you think someone else may get better use from.
17. Listen to 21 podcasts
If you don't already listen to podcasts I highly recommend you start. There is so much to learn from them and best of all, most podcasts are free. All that knowledge right at the end of your fingertips. If your looking for "espresso-sized podcasts to wake you up to your deepest potential" then Caffeine for the soul is well worth a listen. The first podcast I became an obsessive listener of is the Mindvalley Podcast with Vishen Lakhiani, another podcast worthy of your time.
18. Dance for 21 minutes
Dancing increases serotonin, known to boost your mood. Move your body with no goal, take up space and move freely, even if you have two left feet. Get your Dad dance on!
19. Try 21 new recipes
60% of people eat the same seven meals on repeat each week so why not spice it up a little. It doest have to be anything overly complicated you could try something quick and easy like traditional Welsh Rarebit or some healthy Vegan Indian dishes.
20. Learn something new every day for 21 days
This doest have to be big like a full blown course on quantum physics (unless thats your thing) but something like learning a new word, reading an article on a place, gaining a bit of knowledge on a topic you weren't familiar with before.
21. Spend 21 minutes doing absolutely nothing
Do nothing for 21 minutes. Yep absolutely nothing. No phone, just you. This may seem scary to some but it takes doing nothing and getting bored to come up with exciting new ideas.
Let me know if you have decided to take on any of the 21 challenges and if you've already done them what were your results? Drop a message below.