Six Easy Steps To Uplift Your Life In 2017
Start The New Year Fresh
It's the small changes that make the biggest difference.
New year, new luck, they say. 2016 is now behind you and it’s time to start anew. In 2017 you may be starting a new job, moving to a new location, enrolling at a new school or have children who will be. You may be ending a relationship and starting a new one, or you may be just about to settle in Japan. Or, you may just be wishing to spark up your life.
But while we occasionally dream of milestone changes, we rarely realize that it’s the simple revamps we make that empower us the most. So, if you’re looking for some easy tips to uplift your life in the new year, here is Savvy Tokyo’s guide on how and where to start.
Do a Massive Cleanup
Sometimes we just have too much going on. Whether it’s objects piling up at home or the people giving us negative vibes, unclustering the myriads of issues in our lives is essential for a positive change. Start the new year by discarding those old clothes, jewelry and objects you keep just because you think they might come in handy one day. If you haven’t used them last year, chances are you won’t this year either. Recycle or give them away. Japan has plenty of secondhand stores, such as Mode Off, Treasure Factory, Best Life Japan, as well as giveaway sites, such as Mottainai Japan and GaijinPot’s classifieds.
Clean up your social media, too. How many of those Facebook friends would you spend your Friday night with? Those who didn’t pop up in your mind even after browsing through the list, perhaps shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Get a Makeover
It couldn’t be any simpler—when we look great, we feel great. A physical change attracting a few compliments may be enough to make you feel motivated for the whole year. Get a new haircut or haircolor. If you’ve been a brunette all your life, why not turn blond for a change? Have your hair done professionally just for the sake of it. Get a manicure and pedicure. Add color to your wardrobe. Even though we lazily turn to plain colors, vivid shades will surely improve your outfit.
Change your surroundings, too. Add life to your desk by buying a plant and new stationery. Change the room layout. The Bunbougu stationery cafe in Omotesando, Loft, Tokyu Hands and online furniture store Paradiddle for example, are wonderful stops for new discoveries that will surely add some novelty to your environment.
While we occasionally dream of milestone changes, we rarely realize that it’s the simple revamps we make that empower us the most.
Do something you wouldn’t usually do. Go to a concert of a genre you don’t usually listen to. If you’re into classical music, force yourself to an anime song concert or even Babymetal—or put on heels and step into a classy lounge if you’re usually in sneakers and coffee shops. Every new occasion gives us fresh perspectives, whether it’s learning something new or reassuring that we love what we’ve been doing so far. If you’re usually the quiet type, loosen up. Go dancing for a night. Host a home party and invite your colleagues and friends you haven’t been in touch with for a while. Try pole dancing, kickboxing, yoga or a Japanese traditional art class. Schedule a double date or attend a match-making party. You never know where your luck lies.
Expand Your Social Circles
Have the courage to meet new people. It’s through our interactions with others that we grow, and the larger our social groups are, the more interesting and merrier life gets. There are plenty of English-speaking groups and organizations in Japan, such as FEW, The Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese, Tokyo Mothers Group and Women Educators and Language Learners. If you’re into art, the Cool Paint Party and Pause Draw are two friendly groups that meet occasionally to paint together. Tokyo Snow Club is a group of cheerful people who love outdoor sport and snow. So is Namban Rengo, which shares the joy and benefits of jogging together. Tadaku connects locals and foreigners through cooking.
There are also many local groups you shouldn’t shy away from even if don’t speak the language fluently. Reach out to your local community and see what opportunities they have for you. Volunteer and get involved for a good cause or help support fellow foreigners in Japan through TELL’s regular counselor training program. It’s amazing how much we can help ourselves by helping others!
Invest in Better Health
A lot of us think we need to lose a few pounds, exercise, have a more balanced diet…but, ahh, all of this can be so frustrating! There are, however, a few ways to improve your health without feeling tempted to punch the wall. Start by shaking up your morning routine—wake up 30 minutes earlier, walk one station further along your route to work, or go for a quick jog. This will boost your concentration, help you gather your thoughts and feel healthier.
Improving your sleep quality will help you achieve emotional balance, regain strength and keep your weight in check. Work on your diet. Regardless of what we say, we need to be healthy to feel well. Add one of Japan’s superfoods to your menu at least three times a week. Genmai (brown rice), for example, is a wonderful addition to your meal for its richness in fiber and nutrients. Make a smoothie for breakfast. And finally, end your day with a quick meditation. It will help you relax, review your goals and envision the life you want.
Make Time for Yourself
In between trying to be the perfect partners, mothers and employees, we often lose track of the importance of just having some time on our own. This, however, is crucial for our wellness and eventually, the way we treat people. The more comfortable we feel in our own skin, the more productive and accepting we’ll become. Even if it’s just once a month, spare some time for yourself. Pamper yourself with a visit to an esthetician, spa, or a yoga class. Arrange a girls’ night out with your friends and treat yourself to a delicious dinner or even just a warm cup of coffee over a good chat. Invest in personal development. Start learning something new; attend a business seminar or an inspirational public speech. Have a cultural day. Visit a gallery exhibition, watch a show or a dance performance. Through this experience, you’ll learn to value yourself more and you’ll also teach those around you to do the same.
Remember that every small change we make can turn into something much greater with time. The reason why we often give up on our new year’s resolutions or goals is because we aim too high. Start with baby steps, but be persistent. That’s what will keep you alive and kicking!
Cheers to a new beginning!