Check out these 18 tips (or New Year’s resolutions if you will) that are practical and easily achievable.
1. Think before you Share Internet Links
Stop being part of the internet noise. This past year has shown us just how much of a fake news problem we have, and even if the culprit is just a savvy digital media publication it’s still worth doing everything that we can to not be a part of the internet noise.
Here’s one way to do your part: at the very least, read the full article before you share. Oftentimes, headlines choose the most shocking information from the article, and after reading it, you’ll find that the actual argument or information is not worth the share.
2. Set up a Password Manager
Chances are that you are one of the 42 percent of internet users, (according to a recent Statista study) that reuses at least one of your internet passwords. This puts you at much higher risk of a hack, so instead of recycling passwords or depending on a good memory to remember a 1,000 different ones, use a password manager, which will take care of it all for you. Try Keepass or LastPass, they’re free.
3. Set up Two-Step Verification on all of Your Accounts
In addition to getting a password manager, two-step verification on internet accounts is pretty essential. A service like Twitter, for example, will send an additional passcode to verify your identity to your phone, e-mail, or another account, for you to enter on top of your password. It’s an easy way to protect yourself from rudimentary hacking attempts.
4. Change Your Sheets More
As we spend a third of our lives in bed (chances are) we’re probably not washing our sheets nearly enough. What’s the ideal frequency? At lease once a week, according to microbiologist Philip Tierno, as our sheets can house allergens and fungus which (sounds really gross and) is unhealthy
5. Take Time Off — and Start with a Long Weekend
These days everyone is connected – and that means, for many people, work can reach you anytime. Time off, whether long weekends or actual vacations, are GOOD for you, for your family and for your employer – and there is science to prove it!
Are you overstressed? Overwhelmed? Connected 24/7 to work? If this is you, we’d suggest taking time off a.s.a.p. starting with a long relaxing weekend with the phone on silent.
If thoughts of a total phone ban stop you from even contemplating this, what about switching your phone on in the morning for a quick check and then turning it off again. You can repeat this in the evening if it helps you to get you away!
6. Get a VPN
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, make your connection invisible to digital eavesdroppers by hiding your IP address. This is more pressing in the U.S.A. as President Trump repealed FCC internet privacy rules in 2017 – but using a VPN, especially if you use public hotspots often, is a very wise investment in privacy. Public wi-fi offers no encryption security to its users, and your signals are broadcast for anyone savvy enough to eavesdrop. It’s very easy for even a junior hacker to intercept your unencrypted wi-fi signal using a phony hotspot plugin that mimics a legitimate wifi hotspot. Public wi-fi is terribly insecure and is perhaps the biggest reason why mobile users should consider spending the 5 to 15 dollars per month for the safety of a VPN connection.
7. Back up Your Computer Data
With cloud syncing as well as Apple’s Time Machine, backing up your data is easier than ever. And with more and more of our lives being lived online, taking this easy step to protect all of our files from being lost is the least that we can do.
8. Drink More Water
While you may not have to drink eight glasses a day, as per conventional wisdom, keeping hydrated is important not only to keep all of your organs functioning, it can also help you eat less.
If you have a hard time drinking enough water, try automating it into habit. Drink a glass of water immediately upon waking up. Drink a glass of water whenever you’re hungry. And instead of reflexively reaching fora snack.
9. Curb Your Soda Habit
At best, these sugary drinks are just empty calories and, at worst, popular ingredients in soda have been linked to everything from obesity, to type 2 diabetes, to dementia. And diet sodas aren’t better in terms of health.
Cutting down on soda might help you with your goal of drinking 8 glass of water a day. And if you really crave the fizz, try seltzer or sparkling water instead.
10. Drink Less Alcohol
A 2017 study found that even moderate drinking can accelerate cognitive decline.
If you find it hard to reduce the amount you drink . . . then just try, for one month – no cheating, to substitute every other drink, with a juice, a water, or an alcohol-free drink instead. Studies show that we are more likely to succeed in our resolutions when we give ourselves a time frame to try it out.
11. Walk More
Whether that means taking the stairs whenever you can, or taking an extra walk around the block, walking more is an easy way to increase our activity levels, even a little bit. And to motivate yourself even more, get a wearable activity tracker, step counter, or just use the step counter in your phone.
12. Sleep More
Let’s face it, you’re probably not getting the eight hours of sleep recommended by doctors. It’s hard to carve out time in our busy days, but it’s this is the kind of goal that can make you more alert and healthy in during your waking hours.
Scientists have known for a long time now that the blue light emitted from mobile phones, TVs, laptops, and tablets interrupts the sleep cycle, but it’s become increasingly obvious that people are unwilling to stop scrolling through their devices before bed, no matter how much they know it messes with their sleep cycle.
A recent study shows that wearing amber-tinted wrap-around shades 2 hours before bedtime may help block out the blue light from electronic devices that disturbs a good night’s sleep.
13. Learn to Say No
Feeling overwhelmed and over-stressed? While you can’t necessarily change your work hours, learning to take time for yourself and say no to things that you feel like you should do but don’t really want to is one way to cut down on stress levels. Just do it politely, maybe?
14. Stop Losing Your Keys/Phone/Wallet
One easy way to do this is to always drop them off in the same location when you get home, but there are also so many tech tools — like miniature attachable sensors — to help. Try a TrackRPixel Bluetooth Tracking Device if this is a real problem for you.
15. Stop Using Your Phone as an Alarm Clock
Not only will this help you break your phone habit (which, let’s be real, we all have), and maybe help you sleep better, but this may also help lower your chances of phone radiation. This December, the California Department of Health issued guidelines suggesting that our phone’s radio frequency emissions are linked to cancer. And the World Health Organisation said in 2011 that radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer. The WHO lists mobile phone use in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. Regarding scientific evidence that mobile phones cause cancer; the jury is still out. Even so, we think reducing your exposure to your phone is still a good choice, even if only to become more present.
16. Don’t Online Shop for Everything
It’s convenient, sure, but the ease of reflexive online shopping can make it tempting to spend more, more often. Try to limit the habit if you can.
17. Start Tracking How You Spend
We’re not going to go so far as to suggest that you cut out coffee, or any of your other money-guzzling habits, but a good place to start is to at least know where your money is going. First off check out your own Bank’s online banking services which can be quite extensive. More extensive are online services, like mint, which sync to your bank and credit card accounts, and gives you alerts when it’s time to pay a bill, making it super easy to manage and to know where you’re money is going.
18. Always strive to do the right thing, every day.
Often the right decision leads you down the harder path, but if we strive to do the right thing every time, we will become stronger in the process, and hopefully more fulfilled.