3 Ways to Start the New Year Off Right

3 Ways to Start the New Year Off Right

We're in the second week of the new year, and it's time to really make some positive changes in our lives.

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Look beyond new years resolutions and just ask yourself "how can I make a difference in the world this year?". Read on for three ways to start the new year off right.

Go (More) Green

There's no denying climate change, and we need to start doing more to protect our environment. Recycling isn't enough anymore. This year, commit to buying less plastic, re-using plastic containers, and support green business instead of huge corporations that are destroying the environment. Also, consider going solar and buying a portable solar generator or install solar panels on your home. This can reduce your carbon footprint in 2019 and save you money on your utility bill!

Support Local Businesses

Businesses like Walmart and Amazon are making it more and more difficult for small business owners to thrive in their hometown. Start shopping at local farmer's markets instead of Whole Foods. Go to your local decor shop instead of Target or IKEA. Try giving your money to business owners in your community instead of billionaires. Not only will you help your community, but you'll help small business owners and the economy.

Don't Speak Negatively of Others

It's easy to talk badly about others, but it does nothing to make you feel better and it's hurtful. I was once told that speaking negatively about others is like drinking poison expecting it to harm someone else. Negative words bring you down and make you feel even more upset. If you are feeling negatively towards someone, channel that into something positive. If you need to approach them, do it in a respectful way and don't act purely on emotion.

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Burnout Is Real, And You Should Listen To What It's Trying To Say

As much as I wish there were 30 hours in a day, there aren't, and that means you can't do EVERYTHING.

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A phrase that I've been trying to live by for the past year or so is, "I can't complain about having a full plate when my goal was to eat." Mainly, it helps me to not view my situation from a pessimistic view.

There are so many good things about my situation. I'm going to my dream school, in a major that I love way more than I ever thought possible with friends who support me through everything I could imagine. I'm in multiple clubs and organizations that I support and that help build my future.

But, I'm tired. I don't hate my life and I don't want to go home or drop out, but I have an extreme tendency to overload myself. As a perfectionist, I love to put as much as I can into everything I do.

I have so many projects going on right now, and I'm not completely passionate about all of them. Between work, school and having a social life things are getting to be a lot. I'm spreading myself pretty thinly and I can't put enough of my effort into everything I do, so the outcomes aren't exactly what I want, making it hard for me to actually go through with things. I'd rather not do something at all rather than do it badly.

In other words, the reward doesn't match the amount of effort that I'm putting into each of my activities. I have a classic case of burnout, and it sucks majorly.

My internal dilemma right now revolves around the fact that I desperately want to do my best at everything I work on, but there's simply not enough hours in the day for me to get everything done. I hate quitting, but my brain is telling me otherwise.

Coming to terms with the fact that there simply isn't enough time in the day to do everything I would like to is a weird feeling. I know the "hustle" is important, but so is my sanity. School is my main priority, and if there's something that affects how I'm doing or that I feel isn't as important, I'm not going to risk it.

The biggest lesson I've learned in the past few years is to trust your gut. You're your best judge. At the end of the day, you really only have to answer to yourself, so make sure you're doing what makes you happy.

Nothing's worth losing yourself, I promise.

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3 Ways You Can Save Money as a Young Adult

Whether you're in college or trying to make it out in the "real world", it's important to save money in any way you can.

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Don't fall into a hole of debt as a young adult. Start making smart financial decisions and save money from the get-go. Here are some simple ways you can start saving money.

Start Budgeting

The most important thing you can do to save money is to start budgeting. Create a budget where you can lay out on paper how much you're making, how much you have to spend on necessities (rent, groceries, gas), and see how much is left. From what is left over, determine how much you should be saving per month. If you can save 25% of your paycheck, that's a great way to start an emergency fund. However, many people who are just starting out can't save that much, so just do what you can. Have a set amount of money per month for non-essentials and pleasure, such as eating out at nice restaurants, going to events, etc. By sticking to your budget, you won't fall into debt and you'll be saving at least a little bit of your income each month.

Make Smart Investments

It may seem difficult to start thinking about investing money when you don't have a ton to begin with, but you can start small and work your way up. Investing money will allow you to start making a passive income down the line, which means you'll be saving money without working any extra. You can make investments in the stock market, or by purchasing things that will save you money directly. For example, you could invest in solar panels which will end up saving you a ton of money down the line on utilities.

Pay Off Your Debt 

Many young adults are in debt, especially if they went to college and had to take out student loans. The key to not falling even deeper in the hole is by paying off your debt as fast as possible. This may mean you need to cut out some pleasure purchases such as a trip to Europe or even just not going out to dinner often. The faster you can pay off debt, the more money you'll save by not paying interest on your credit cards or student loans down the line.

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