“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
If you find yourself saying “It’s too late for me to start on this, I will begin next year” or “I’m too old for this, I should have started when I was younger”, chances are that you are just looking for an excuse to put things off. It doesn’t matter your age, or the date, what truly matters is that you realize the importance of the present! There is no better time to start than now, so read on to find out what are the things you can begin right this moment.
1. Start saving
The good habit of saving should always be encouraged. If you’re a big spender or a shopaholic, you’ll most probably find yourself feeling broke every end of the month (I feel you!). Stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck, plan for the future and be prepared for any unannounced problems that may come your way by cultivating the habit of saving. It’s okay to start small, as long as you begin somewhere.
For starters, set aside small funds at the beginning of each month, and exercise self-control by not touching this money. Spend within your means, and you will find that there are many unnecessary things which aren’t exactly necessary for you to purchase. After months of accumulation, you will feel a sense of financial security and achievement as you have now developed your own reserve funds! For added security, you can consider placing your savings in a savings account, where you can benefit from the accrued interest.
If you’re channeling a fixed income each month and would like to up your game, you can head down to a trusted bank to understand the savings plans they have to offer. A savings plan may be more restrictive than storing your money in a savings account, but the added restrictions ensure that your money accumulates without interference and can grow over a fixed period of time (e.g. 9 years). As the interest rates offered for savings plan are usually much higher than that of a savings account, you’ll find that at the end of the policy term, your total payout will be more than the amount you’ve initially paid. Start planning for your future family, your child’s education, or even your retirement!
2. Learn new skills
Learning is a lifelong process, never let anything stop you from acquiring a new skill or discovering a hidden talent! Age is only a number! Always wanted to be a ballerina when you were younger? Go ahead, enroll yourself in an adult ballet class! Most enrichment courses, be it swimming lessons or learning a new instrument, cater to people of different proficiency levels and ages. While those who have picked up the skill at an earlier age may have a slight advantage over you, hard work can close up these gaps. Remember, our brain is the most powerful organ we have, keep it active!
3. Appreciate your loved ones
Photo: The Annex Project
We are often too caught up in our own lives to make time for the people who are truly important to us. How many times have you postponed that family vacation? When was the last time your expressed gratitude to your parents? The truth is, tomorrow is never promised. So never take your family and friends for granted, make sure to let them know how much you love them. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to show them affection, small gestures of love on an everyday basis will ensure that your relationship with your loved ones stays strong and lasting.
4. Love yourself
Besides treasuring the people around you, it is important that you love yourself unconditionally. We are our harshest critic, and many times this makes us feel insufficient or unhappy. Love yourself not only for the things you’re good at but also for the things you fail miserably in. There will be good and bad days, but love yourself nonetheless. Come to terms with yourself, and realize that no one can be a better you than YOU. By showering yourself with unconditional love, you will feel more empowered to try new things and chase after your dreams. If you’ve been neglecting yourself to make time for secondary things such as work, it’s not too late to get your priorities right and realize you are the most important in your life.
5. Be mindful of your health
If you’ve been saying things like “I think I will start my diet tomorrow”, “I think I will hit the gym next week” or “I think I will quit smoking soon”, stop thinking and start acting. Take responsibility for your health from a young age. Start by watching your diet, avoiding unhealthy food such as fried or junk food, Create a simple meal plan which can not only allow you to monitor the food you eat but also help to keep your food expenses within budget. Also, go for a run at least 2 to 3 times a week and do not accumulate sleep debts! It is advisable you get at least 8 hours of sleep every day, as having quality sleep improves your memory, enables a fresh and active mind, and most importantly lowers your stress levels. Head down to your nearest medical practitioner and sign up for a health screening at least once a year. Do not take your health for granted.
Don’t procrastinate, take action now. You don’t need a special occasion to make a positive difference in your life.
Cover Image: Jasonvbarger.com