The 3 Best (Free) Gifts To Give Yourself This Year

What do you need?

woman celebrating with wine and confetti in front of yellow background StaceStock / shutterstock

Balance in life is elusive and your time is nonrenewable. Yet, you can improve both with your good judgment about sleep, smart choices, and appropriate effort in activities.

During times of seemingly endless requests for contributions and guidance on gifts for others, start with gifts to yourself for the new year that will spark your energy, and bring pleasures and progress to yourself over time — all for free!


Often, you can feel overwhelmed by the choices for experimenting with what's effective effort and appropriate attention among your activities. Instead, give yourself several minutes of thought about consequences and available resources before commitment or action to clarify what's suitable to your needs and the situation.

RELATED: How To Create A New Year's Vision Board That Will Transform Your Life For The Better

Good judgment also creates boundaries, which can usually be adjusted as situations shift.

As much as possible, integrate self-care into your foundation of honesty with yourself about what’s important and valuable. Attending to your true needs and preferences helps avoid that dangerous four-letter word, "more," as in the never-ending need to do more, get more, be more.


This year, there are three immediately accessible gifts that contribute to your quality of life and honor your true self. With time, experimentation, and good judgment, you’ll find out what's enough — or, even better, what’s optimal for yourself.

Here are the 3 free gifts to give yourself this year.

1. The gift of sleep

Among other benefits, scientists say sleep boosts the ability to fight illness, sort and store information, and learn.

This investment in yourself benefits from a healthy ritual for sleep, going to bed, and awakening about the same time each day. About seven to eight hours nightly is recommended.

2. The gift of choice

Choosing can be challenging when there are so many options and demands.


To simplify processes of what to embrace and what to let go, ask yourself one question before acting: "How does this contribute to what I want or really need for my life or who I care about?"

As you wish, consider the balance you have with the person you care about. In that relationship, what's the healthy give and take, the level of trust, and mutual respect?

Another possible test is whether or not you look forward to being with the person and how you generally feel after being with them. Such criteria are a lot to consider, so adjust the suggestions as you wish. Add anything else that makes sense to you.

3. The gift of appropriate effort in activities

Recognizing that unanticipated needs will almost always pop up, decide in advance how much time you have to devote to your chosen priorities. Perhaps doing this on a Sunday evening before the week starts is helpful. If not, create your own ritual or rhythm.


RELATED: The Myth Of Willpower — Why So Many New Year's Resolutions Will Fail

Here are the categories for organizing that your plan may include:

—Family and close friends






—Cultural activities

—Social activities


—Spiritual interests


Bring together your gift-giving to yourself.


Given this wide range and long list, finding time for it all is unlikely. So, choose the top several each time you do your plan for the time period you choose.

For efficiency and good use of nonrenewable time, create two-fors. For example, exercising with a family member or friend and learning a new skill for work.

These gifts to yourself benefit from your good judgment and thoughtfulness. You can keep adjusting them to your changing circumstances without monetary cost.

Expect the best outcomes because you're in charge — much of the time. Keep appreciating the choices and agency you have to enter life’s continuing experiment.

RELATED: 43 New Year’s Resolutions Every Parent (And Their Kids) Should Make


Ruth Schimel Ph.D. is a career and life management consultant and author of the six-book 'Choose Courage' series on Amazon. She guides clients of all ages in accessing their strengths and making visions for current and future work viable. Benefit from a free consultation on her website, or receive the bonus first chapter of her unique seventh book designed for individual readers: Happiness and Joy in Work: Preparing for Your Future.