Looking for a way to reset and prepare ahead of 2021? Let’s put this telenovela of a year behind us, and get prepped for a new start with (hopefully) a bit less drama! Here’s how you can set your sights on 2021 with some easy ways to refresh your mind, body, and soul. By Sarah Highfield.
Shift your perception
If you are stuck with a fixed mindset, your response to challenges will often be “I can’t do XYZ.” Embrace a growth mindset, and you will respond to challenges with “I can do XYZ if I try another approach.” Try writing something down that has been challenging you this year, then breaking it down into small and manageable steps that could help you get there, with timed parameters. For example: looking for a new job? Spend 30 minutes a day searching online. Apply for at least one job a week, even if you don’t think you’ll get it. Research whether there’s a new skill or field that you could be learning about in the meantime to broaden your horizons and open new opportunities, then sign up for an online course or workshop in it.
While we can all learn from the past, we shouldn’t live there; it’s the present where life exists! Make yourself more aware of how present you are by honing a “presence” window every day. Set a timer on your phone, sit down somewhere quiet and comfortable, and close your eyes as you observe yourself breathing. Don’t think about it; just feel it. Try doing this for five minutes at first, and observe when your mind drifts out of the present moment. After a while, it becomes a lot easier to establish presence throughout the day, even during a stressful situation or boring errands.
Declutter your phone
Reassess how much time you spend mindlessly scrolling through your phone. Look at your apps and ask yourself if you really need them, or as Marie Kondo would ask: “Does it spark joy?” Challenge yourself to get all your apps onto one page (no folders!). Turn off notifications for all non-essential apps (we see you, Instagram) and try downloading a screen-time monitoring app like Moment; it might seem counterintuitive to fight apps with another app, but they really do help bring mindfulness to your mobile use!
If you’re looking to up your workout game at home, check out KARA Smart Fitness, a Hong Kong-based fitness app that uses an interactive smart mirror to guide you through different workouts like HIIT, core, Pilates and yoga. The KARA mirror uses AI to monitor and analyse your movements in real-time, actually correcting your form during the workout. Every mirror purchase ($12,500) comes with a year-long subscription to a wide range of workouts led by professional trainers – think Peloton, but swap the clunky bike for a sleek piece of homeware better suited to Hong Kong’s space-starved flats.
Make conscious food choices
Try to eat fresh, in-season and varied produce. Shop your local farmer’s market, or use an online farm-to-kitchen delivery service such as Jou Sun, which delivers straight to your door from local farms all over Hong Kong.
Spend time outdoors
Being outdoors boosts the body’s circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that controls alertness, mood, physical strength and when we need to sleep. While Hong Kong has plenty of nature to take advantage of, do you ever find yourself going back to the same spots again
and again? Expand your horizons by signing up for a community beach cleanup with the Clean Shorelines project, a government-backed initiative that is running regular coastal cleanups throughout the month of December.
Commit to a plan
Even if you’re trying to eat more consciously, you’d be forgiven for letting it slide over Christmas! One way to pull yourself back from the delicious abyss of festive overeating is locking yourself into a nutrition or training programme now for once the holidays have passed, so there’s no excuses or procrastination come January. Try booking on to the Health Reboot & Metabolism Reset programme by local health coach Beth Wright, a month-long plan which helps with weight loss, digestion and gut health.
Get an attitude of gratitude
Start your own daily gratitude practice with a gratitude journal! Write down three things you’re grateful for at the end of each day, adding more as you get into the swing of it. Psychology researchers have found that practicing gratitude not only helps to highlight the good stuff in your life, it also lowers blood pressure, improves immune function and facilitates more efficient sleep. Motivate yourself to get into the habit with a canvas you’ll want to pick up and use, like these lovely diaries from local stationery brand Modena.
Clear out negative energy
Smoke out any negative or stale energy by burning some smudge sticks and wafting it throughout your home or workspace. California White Sage is known for its purifying and cleansing properties, plus it’s got a nice earthy smell to it that will make a space feel grounded and more rooted. You can pick up some sage smudge sticks ($70-$220) from sustainable lifestyle shop and zero-waste grocer Live Zero.
Research shows that we are happier when being social and interacting with people we know and like. Make an effort to prioritise people this month, whether it’s putting your phone away during dinner, reconnecting with an old friend, or scheduling some Zoom time with family abroad. Make distractions like Netflix a low priority; while it’s tempting to spend the weekend catching up on the latest season of “The Crown,” check in with your family and friends first because it always leads to a more meaningful day!