New year, fresh start. 2017 has come in hot whether you like it or not. It’s sometimes hard to get things going after the holidays which is understandable of course. The holidays are a time to relax, eat too much, move too little and just kick back and have a good time with friends and family. Just try not to let the holiday mode last too long though! Coming fresh (ish) off the holidays here’s some of my best tips on how to start the new year right, in 5 easy steps.
1. LOOK BACK TO MOVE FORWARD
You’ll never get to where you want to be without know where you came from. It’s always a good idea to take some time to reflect on the previous year to see where life has taken you. Maybe you had grandiose plans last year and for some reason weren’t able to see them through. Or perhaps something unexpected happened that pointed your life in a different direction.
No matter what happened, you need to be OK with it. Nothing can change the past, no matter how hard we might wish we could. Life is all about learning from our experiences, so don’t be afraid to take time to reflect on all the good, bad, awful or amazing things that you just experienced. Once you have reflected and accepted the past, you’re in a much better place to move forward.
2. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE TODAY
By reflecting on the past, it also allows you to find out exactly where you are right now. Knowing where you are is as important as knowing where you’ve come from. Without a pretty accurate sense of who you are at this very present moment, you won’t be able to have a baseline for measuring change or growth.
Depending on what some of your goals this can be as simple as knowing your current waist size to other more complicated things like the quality of your relationships. One way to do this would be to make categories of the things that are most important to you in your life. It could be anything from family, health, career, finances etc., the important thing is to establish a current baseline for yourself so that you can move on to the next step.
3. FIGURE OUT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE TOMORROW
This is the fun part. You know where you’ve been. You know where you are. Now you get to let your imagination run free and figure out what you want to accomplish in the future.
Is this the year you finally get that job you always wanted? Maybe it’s the year you finally take that long vacation you always dreamed about. Or maybe it’s the year you finally lose those extra 25 pounds that’s been holding you back from being at a healthy weight. Whatever you want to achieve, don’t be scared to say “this is what I want for myself this year.”
You might be a far ways off from where you would like to be, but don’t let that stop you from working towards your goals. As the old saying goes if your mind can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, then you can achieve it. Only when you can conceive it can you start to bring that thought into a reality.
4. DETERMINE WHAT YOU NEED TO CHANGE
The gap between where you are now, and where you want to be can only be bridged through change. To bring about change means doing things differently.
For example let’s say you want to be healthier or lose 25 pounds. Currently, you have one can of soda for lunch a day. One thing you can do differently to bring you closer to your goal is to stop drinking soda everyday.
Think about other things you need to do differently to get to where you want to be and be conscious that change needs to happen. They say being crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Don’t be crazy.
5. CREATE GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR
The last step is to set things in motion, and that means creating some goals. Goals will help hold you accountable for taking action. It’s also a way to track progress.
Continuing with the example of being healthier this coming year you realize that you drink soda everyday and that to be healthier you have to change this habit. A good goal would be to only drink soda once a week at most.
Having goals also gives you something you can look back on after the year is over, which takes you back to step one.
These few tips should help you start the new year off right. They’re especially helpful if you’re trying to make any type of change or improvement in your life. The secret is to start now! Time is one thing that’s always in short supply so the sooner you get started the better.
You don’t have to wait for a year to pass either before starting the cycle over. Always re-visit your goals and plans as needed. That way they’re always fresh in your mind. What do you want to accomplish in the new year? Whatever it is just remember, conceive it, believe it, achieve it. Now get to gettin!
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