Hands in the air if you want this year to be your best year ever!!!! If you’re like me and a lot of other people your hand is in the air. Like many of us, you may see the new year as an opportunity to make massive, sustainable, positive changes. Although these pie in the sky aspirations seem alluring, it’s the daily choices over time that lead to lasting change. (Hint: That’s why New Year’s Resolutions don’t seem to work very well.)
This new year represents a clean slate for most of us. That’s why we love it so much. We have an opportunity to actively pursue the best version of ourselves. Whatever that may be. To make your dreams a reality, this year, you can start and finish strong by making better choices each day.
Here are 3 simple tips for making sure this is your best year ever:
- Break Your Big Luxurious Goal Down—whether you want to save for a dream home, start a business or get healthier, you need to recognize it’s going to take time and alot of effort. Our desire for instant gratification can lead us to give up before we even really get started pursuing our goals. Chose the one big thing you want to have or do by the end of the year (goals) and then break down the steps (actitvities) you’ll need to take to make it happen. Then break them down even further. Come up with small tasks that you can complete daily in only 10-30 minutes. This will not only help you see the goal as a journey (so you don’t give up too soon), but it also makes the goal easier to tackle. It creates a sense of momentum that will keep you going.
- Track Your Time—everyone is busy. But don’t use busyness as an excuse for keeping you in the status quo, if you want to change. One simple way to find “wasted time” in your schedule is to track it. For at least three days, keep track of what you do all day long. You can use an app, spreadsheet, or a simple notepad to keep track. You’ll soon start to notice you spend more time watching TV, playing games, and checking social media than you would have thought. Once you are aware of this and have identified this as wasted time, choose yourself instead. Use that time to research career programs, enjoy a hobby, or spend more time with family. Whatever your goal is this year, choosing to spend your time working on it a little each day will help ensure you end the year where you want to be.
- Don’t be Afraid to Redesign Your Life—Most of us sleepwalk through life more often than we care to admit. If you want to live a happier, more fulfilling life, take stock of what makes you happy. What brings you joy and makes you feel alive? What do you care deeply about? I’m not suggesting that you throw caution to the wind and quit your day job. But, you can allocate some of thise “wasted hours” to begin to redesign your life to make sure what matters most to you is included. Look back at your time-tracking list (from above). What obligations and expectations can you modify or delete entirely, so you live a life full of joy and purpose. Make a conscious decision to choose to live life to the fullest every day.
- Schedule in Rest and Rejuvenation: To avoid the high cost of burnout. Make sure you take time for deep rest and rejuvenation. So often we confuse, rest with recreation. They are very different. Rest means free from activity. Learn how to prioritize rest and you will be rewarded with renewed energy, creativity, and passion to pursue your goals.
- Don’t forget about your loved ones: It’s easy to neglect those closest to you when “you’re running hard”. However, quality relationships are hard to come by these days. Don’t make the mistake of completely neglecting those you care deeply about. Remember to schedule “quality” time to check in with them as you pursue your personal and professional goals. According to this Harvard study, our overall happiness, health, and wellbeing have a lot to do with the state of our relationships. Be wise and invest in those who love and have invested in you.
- Celebrate your smallest successes by rewarding yourself: I tend to forget to do this but it is vitally important. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Take time to smell the roses and reward yourself with those simple pleasures that are unique to you. Allow yourself to experience the emotional rewards that come from your achievements.
- Practice gratitude: It’s so easy to grind and grasp for the next level of success or interesting project, without taking the time to reflect and be grateful for where you are and how far you’ve come.
- Get the help you need: We all need help. We were not meant to have all the answers and all the skills necessary to get the job done. It’s a fact of life, however, many go-getters suffer from the “superman” complex. I know because I have battled with this mindset over the years. You may be smart, capable, and quite able to solve many problems, but no one is omnipotent. Those who live their best lives do so with a little help here and there. It doesn’t make you any less of a person. It allows you to be more and to accomplish more. Create a support network of mentors, coaches, technicians, and pot scrubbers. Whatever it takes to get the job done.
Overall, the best way to make this your best year ever is to get your head in the game. You can never underestimate the power of having the right mindset. Do what you need to do, of course, but realize that “having the best year ever” starts with a simple decision. Once you decide, that this is what you want. The action steps will begin to surface. Take one step at a time.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that challenges won’t arise. But, so will you. Once the decision is made you will find yourself rising to meet them, instead of running to take cover. You will receive the personal growth and development that comes with overcoming obstacles. Instead of quitting on yourself, you will learn the new skill, hire an assistant, take the yoga class, ditch the toxic relationship, get counseling or improve your wellness. Or whatever else you need to do to clear the path.
Your best year awaits you. So what are you waiting for?
Be well + prosper,