Advertising
Advertising

5 Tips for Making the Second Half of 2013 Awesome

5 Tips for Making the Second Half of 2013 Awesome

July is here, which starts the second half of 2013. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering where the last six months went so quickly. New Year’s Resolutions might well be a hazy memory from days gone by, but it’s not too late to take back control of 2013 and make it a truly awesome year.

1. Set Some Goals

Goals might not sound that awesome, but they are a great way of sticking to your priorities. With just under six months to go until 2014, now is the time to take those ‘someday’ goals and turn them into ‘today’ goals. Whenever you create goals in any context, it’s important to make sure they’re SMART: specific, measurable, achievable (and attractive), realistic and timed.

For example, “Read more” is a goal, but it’s not a very helpful goal. “Read 10 new books by the end of December 2013”, on the other hand, is smart. It’s specific (all the details are there), measurable (when you put down the 10th book, you’ve met your goal), achievable and attractive (if you enjoy reading books), realistic (10 books in five months is two books per month) and timed (it has a deadline).

Advertising

Six months might seem like a long time, but remember how fast the first half of this year went. Set no more than two or three goals for the next few months to give yourself the best chance of fulfilling them.

2. Try something new, just for fun

What is life for if not for its rich experiences? Many of us include new hobbies or activities in our annual plans. Yet, as the year progresses, we often get stuck in ruts and routines.

Make the second half of 2013 awesome by shaking things up. Try out that dance class you’ve been eyeing up, join a book club, or make a commitment to take a walk somewhere different each month. The exact activity you choose doesn’t matter as much as choosing something that will encourage you to break your current weekly routine and introduce variety into your life.

Advertising

3. Educate yourself

As well as shaking up your weekly routine, taking time out to learn a new skill can also help unleash your creativity and open up a wealth of new possibilities.

Many of us have new skills we’d like to try, such as learning a new language, rekindling childhood hobbies, or taking classes in a new skill we’ve always wanted to learn. The most common reason for not doing this is a lack of time, so try limiting activities like TV and Facebook and give yourself the gift of education instead.

If you’re stuck for ideas, take a look at evening courses offered by your local community college: you never know what might catch your eye.

Advertising

4. Start keeping a journal

Journaling has a number of benefits. Not only will it help you plan your next five to six months and stay more conscious of what’s really important to you, but it’s a great way of keeping a record of everything you do.

The act of journaling in itself can help keep us focused on our intention to make the second half of 2013 awesome. Reading back over previous journaling notes can also reveal things to us about ourselves that we didn’t previously realize.

Through journaling, we have space and time to explore our goals, ambitions and desires, both for the remainder of this year and beyond. We have a private space to express our deepest hopes, fears and dreams, and an opportunity to reflect on any obstacles that might get in the way of an awesome 2013.

Advertising

5. Focus on what’s working

Perhaps the first half of 2013 felt like your best six months yet, perhaps you feel like the next five months are a chance for 2013 to redeem itself. Whatever the case, taking time each day to focus on what’s working right now will help you develop a deeper appreciation for all the good things that are happening for you this year.

One way of doing this is to keep a gratitude log, writing down five to ten things you appreciate or feel grateful for at the end of each day.

Sometimes, we don’t truly appreciate everything we’ve done and experienced until we have a chance to reflect back on how the last few months have gone. Without a written record of our day-to-day or week-to-week experiences, we tend to dwell on the more memorable challenges of the past, rather than things that went well or things we felt proud of.

What are your tips for making the second half of 2013 awesome? Leave a comment and let us know!

More by this author

Hannah Braime

Hannah is a coach who believes the world is a richer place when we have the courage to be fully self-expressed.

The 5-Step Guide to Self Care for Busy People How to Enjoy Life In a Way Most People Don’t The 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime 5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun 7 Practical Ways To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Trending in Lifestyle

1 How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life 2 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power 3 13 Essential Self-Care Tips for Busy People 4 How to Reduce Mental Stress Quickly (And Naturally) 5 Overcome Fear and Anxiety with These 4 Mindset Shifts

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

Advertising

Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

Advertising

9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

Advertising

How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

Advertising

18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

More Health Tips

Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

Read Next