The start of a new year brings with it a sense of renewal and the potential for a fresh start on goals, but reflecting on the previous year can also create a negative feeling, whether you feel your goals weren’t reached as you expected, or you generally feel you lost motivation. Instead of allowing negativity to reign, take control of your future and try these simple tips to help begin 2018 on the right track.
Review Your Year. Even if you may not feel the most positive about 2017, having an entirely bad year is impossible. Look back and ask yourself: What situations went well? What did you accomplish? In what ways did your life improve? How did your relationships with friends and family improve? Did you remove something or someone negative from your life? What would you have liked to dedicate more time to? Write these questions and your answers down in order to provide a simple way for you to think clearly and reflect. Reviewing these will help you look back at what went right; what maybe went wrong; and how you can improve and set better goals for the new year.
Finish Any Remaining 2017 To-Dos. Perhaps you had a small project at work that you couldn’t get completed before the holidays, or you have a task at home that still needs to be completed. Anything leftover from the previous year that can be done in 2 hours or less, don’t wait – finish it first! You can’t fully progress into the new year with old tasks looming, however small they may be. It’s time to move forward and the best way to start is by checking off that to-do list.
Keep it Real. Nothing kills a goal faster than making it too lofty to start. While having a big goal in mind is great, trying to get there can be virtually impossible without making small accomplishments first. Do you want to write a book? Don’t assume you’ll have a novel right away – start with small goals, like creating an outline, or writing at least 500 words per day. These small goals will feel easier to get done and will lead you to your ultimate goal of writing an entire book.
What Do You Really Want? Most people can simply answer this question: I want to travel more; I want to relax more; I want to work from home. While those all sound great, how do you get there? What is stopping you from these things now? One common desire people share is to want more money, but would that really help you right now? In the age of social media, we see what others are doing, where they’re going, and we can feel stuck, thinking, “If only I had more money.” This year, challenge that idea and think of what you really want, money aside, and you can create realistic goals and expectations for yourself as to how you can get what you truly desire in your life.
Put Yourself First. Helping others is great and can bring us happiness, but in turn, we can end up losing ourselves. If you aren’t where you want to be, your words of advice may only go so far with others. The best thing you can do is take care of yourself first and ensure that you are working towards your goals and accomplishing what you want in your life, because it is true that you cannot help others until you help yourself. You will end up discovering that in taking care of yourself, you become a better friend, parent, spouse, and person overall. The only person who has control over your happiness is you.
Whether you’ve already made your New Year’s resolution, or are still thinking about it, be sure to work on the five steps above. These can not only help you have a happier, more focused year ahead, but can continue you towards the path of your personal success with continued practice.