Things to Do in February Because It’s the Shortest Month of the Year
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One of the major reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail because people feel daunted by the number of months in a year. But February is a great time to start a new habit. Why not commit to getting up at a certain time every day and writing in a journal? Or maybe you listen to a podcast on your drive home instead of the news? You might be surprised by how much you enjoy creating a new habit just for the month.
February is cold and dreary, so instead of loafing around and binging Netflix, take advantage of these 28 days and try forging some new habits. Who knows? Those habits might last you longer than the shortest month of 2019.
Think about your goals
February is a great time to reexamine your goals. What felt important to you on January 1 might not seem as important now as the month comes to an end. Think about what you want to accomplish in February, this quarter, this season, and this year? Take some time to think big about your goals, then break them down into bite-sized, manageable pieces.
Start keeping a budget
Keeping a budget is one of those simple things anyone can do. And you don’t have to mess with complicated spreadsheets or even do math. There are plenty of budgeting programs on the market. Try Mint, for example, which is totally free. YNAB, or You-Need-A-Budget also helps make budgeting easy. Make a commitment to keep track of your expenditures for the entire month, and use what you learned to create even better budgets moving forward.
Spend one hour in nature every Saturday
There are four Saturdays in February, so why not make the best of them? Four hours isn’t too big of a number to commit to getting outdoors. Time in nature, disconnected from technology, is a great way to reset your mind and your mood. The Japanese call this “forest bathing,” so why not do some forest bathing of your own? You’ll wind up refreshed and relaxed.
Learn something new
A short month is a great time to challenge yourself to learn something new! You could download a language app like Babbel or Duolingo. Or grab an audiobook on a topic you’re interested in from the library and listen on your way to work. You could even enroll in an online class on a site like Udemy or LinkedIn Learning. Learning something new will give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast
Many of us live such hurried lives that it can be tough to plan out a healthy breakfast every day. But why not try to slow down a little in February and give it a try? A smoothie is a great way to blend together a fast and easy meal. All you need are a few ingredients, like a banana, a handful of spinach, a couple sticks of celery and some frozen fruit. Or you can add a little peanut butter for a more filling meal.
Try a new exercise class, like yoga or Pilates
Have you always been curious about yoga but haven’t found the time or the will to go? It’s a great month to take a step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Call around or browse websites to see if any studios are offering new member discounts or deals. A few classes to try are Pilates, kickboxing, yoga, barre or kettle ball.
Meet up with a friend or two
Our busy lives can prevent us from taking a step back to reconnect with friends. Take some time this month to call a friend or two and arrange for coffee or a beer. Keeping those social ties intact is important to our emotional and mental well-being.
Take some time away for yourself
As much as it’s important to reconnect with others, it’s also important to take some time for yourself. Give yourself permission this month to do things for you. Maybe that’s reading a fiction book in the morning instead of working on your calendar. Maybe that’s taking a hot bath at night. Maybe that’s going for a foot massage or a manicure. Think of something special you can do for yourself, and make sure to follow through.
Pick a part of your house to declutter
Thinking about decluttering an entire house is enough to give anyone the heebie jeebies, but breaking it down into one room isn’t quite so daunting. Take some time this month to go through just one part of your house, may that be one bathroom, your closet, or simply a few drawers in your kitchen. You don’t have to tackle everything at the same time, but once you get started, you might not want to stop. Decluttering can be addicting.
Try a no-spend weekend
Pick one weekend in February and try not to spend a dime. Figure out fun things to do that don’t cost anything. You could try to find a free museum in your town or explore a new hiking trail. Pick up a long-lost hobby or try reading a book. Go to your library and stock up on free movies, shows and magazines. A no-spend weekend is easier than you think!
Write in a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal can do wonders for your state of mind. Go buy yourself a small journal and commit to writing it in every morning or every evening. This doesn’t have to be extensive, just a few lines about what went well that day and what you’re feeling thankful for in life. Happiness is often a frame of mind, and you can change your thought patterns by being grateful.
Find joy in a chore you hate
All of us have a chore we hate, whether that’s cleaning out the refrigerator, cleaning the bathrooms, or even cooking dinner. Try to find a way to make your least-loved chore more enjoyable. Make a fun playlist on Spotify or download a series of new podcasts. When your chore is finished, take a step back and enjoy what you just accomplished. The power of a sunny outlook can’t be underestimated, and being able to find joy in the little things is just one of the many habits of positive people.