New year, new outlook: 5 ways to take control of your overall well-being

Dec 31 2021, 4:02 pm

The arrival of a new year is a time that often calls for a review of all that’s happened in the previous year: what went right, what could have gone better, and how it all falls into our vision for the months ahead.     

Last year, did you plan on investing more in your health and wellness, or perhaps saving more? Well, you’re not alone. Almost three in 10 Canadians planned to make New Year’s resolutions, including 51% who wanted to exercise more, 49% who planned to save money, and 48% who wanted to eat healthier.

While making modifications for the new year, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we suggest you prioritize yourself this time around by taking control of your life — one informed decision at a time. We have all faced challenges in 2021, and we owe it to ourselves to look after our well-being in 2022 (we’re talking mental, physical, and financial health) and take time for the things that truly matter. 

Above all else, find what works for your unique needs and start the new year with your overall well-being top of mind. To help, we’ve rounded up five key aspects to consider.

Schedule time for self-care

The pandemic has undoubtedly put a strain on the mental health of Canadians, as many have experienced isolation, job loss, and general uncertainty about the future. More than ever, it’s crucial to make time for self-care, whether that pertains to taking a walk before work each morning, joining guided meditation sessions, or checking in with your friends more often. It could even be as simple as watching more feel-good movies and listening to mood-boosting music. No matter how big or small, these steps can help you be mindful of your mental health. Self-care shouldn’t just be assigned to Sundays — any day of the week is an ideal time to reset.

Build out a budget

In the throes of working and everything in between, it’s easy to overspend. If you don’t have a budget, everything can add up… from that last-minute cab on a winter’s day to ordering takeout, or even signing up for more streaming services. While creating a budget might feel like a standard practice, it can help you stay on top of your finances and help ensure no surprises at the end of the month. You can build out a budget by setting clear goals, looking at your income and expenditures, and choosing the budgeting tool or app that works for you. Certain credit card features can help you stay on track by breaking down your transactions for you.

Get on good terms with credit

The idea of applying for a credit card can seem daunting, whether it’s your first or a secondary one. But once you understand the basics and how it can help you on your financial journey, you can create a positive experience with credit. This could later help you reach some major milestones (think getting approved for a car loan or mortgage for your first home). Before you apply for a new card, use the credit card eligibility checker Quick Check to see which Capital One credit card you’ll be approved for. Their Life & Credit blog also helps to broaden your knowledge of credit card interest in general and learn how to avoid it. Taking the stress out of money is important, and there are plenty of free tips and resources to help you.

Create a meal plan you’ll love

There’s a common misconception that meal planning and preparation must involve eating the same dishes day in, day out. But where’s the fun in that? When we think of healthy eating goals, it’s best to create meal plans we know we’ll stick to because we actually enjoy what’s on the menu. This could be anything from making your own version of your favourite restaurant dishes at home to experimenting with globally inspired healthy cuisines you’ve always wanted to try. Using your creative flair, the process of meal planning can be something you look forward to. Pro tip: to avoid the temptation of buying all the enticing treats strategically stacked by the cashier, try ordering groceries online (either to be delivered or for curbside pick-up). And make a list to help stay on track with meal planning and your budget.

Track your workout progress

When it comes to fitness, consistency is key. Yes, it’s fine to tell ourselves we’ll exercise more, but it’s often challenging to hold ourselves accountable. One way to do that and keep track of all that you’re doing — whether it’s yoga classes, gym sessions, walks with friends, or high-intensity bootcamps — is by tracking your progress. Download a health app on your phone or use a fitness tracker watch and make a habit of looking back at the progress you’ve made each week. Simply seeing your total number of steps or kilometres covered can serve as motivation to keep you working towards your fitness goals.

The content in this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only and isn’t intended to be relied on as financial, legal, tax, investment, or any other kind of professional advice, or to indicate that a particular product or service (either from Capital One or someone else) is right for you. You should always speak to a qualified professional for advice that’s tailored to your needs. Any mention of third parties and their products and services are not endorsements, and we aren’t responsible for any info, opinions, recommendations or other content from a third party. Things change over time, so we don’t guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of the content in this article.

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