On January 1st of each year, we all turn a corner. Even though midnight of January 1st is like any other midnight, there is no doubt that everyone feels fresh and new as our calendar flips its page. In honor of the new year, we make promises to ourselves that we will be better, live healthier, travel further and be more productive. We want to start the New Year feeling our best and ready to make the most of the next year.
So how can we set ourselves up for success to achieve our goals and actually live life to its fullest?
We can prepare, by refreshing our lives – mentally, emotionally, physically.
When I say “refresh”, I don’t mean wipe our slate clean and begin again… No, no… not “out with the old and in with the new” but essentially building on what we have learned and experienced during the last 365 days.
Here is how we can hit the refresh button and start the New Year feeling our best!
- Reflect on the past year
Take time to look back over the past year and contemplate the key moments. I find that scrolling through my phone’s camera roll helps with this. Think of the various events, activities, people and lessons that you’ve encountered. When did you feel happiest? Who were you with during that time? What moments made you proud? Take note and try to recreate similiar experiences in the future.
- Set new goals
Setting goals help us accomplish what we want. Big or small, these goals keep us on track heading towards our best selves. It is important to have a vision of what you want to achieve so that you can work towards it with conscious effort. Do a brain dump of goals on a sheet of paper or create a vision board by pasting photos of what you want on a poster board for you to view every day. When you know what you’re aiming for, it is easier to hit your target.
- Choose “power words”
Pick a word to use as a mantra. It should be a core idea of what you want to focus on this year to help you be your best self. It should evoke an emotion and response. Examples of “power words” are joy, love, passion, strength, presence, patience, growth, faith or trust. Feel free to incorporate a couple of these words in to your daily self talk.
- Clean clutter
A tidy space helps your mind focus on the bigger picture, so take the time to do a clean out. Go through your clothes, beauty products, food and decor. Trash what isn’t good for you, donate what you can. Try to list and sell your clothes on Poshmark or Mercari to make some extra cash.
- Reorganize your space
Sometimes a new environment can bring on a positive change of perspective. Switch your living space around or create a new, inspiring home office space where you can get to work checking off your goal list. Add new colors or decor pieces to a space to revitalize your spirit.
- Start using a planner
“Failure to plan is planning to fail.” I am a planner, always have been. I like to feel prepared. I need to write down a to-do list in a physical, page turn, notebook. I feel like by brain and life are organized when I fill up my planner with things that I need to do in the short and long term. My thoughts are more organized and I can pinpoint my focus with intention.
- Stretch, meditate, breathe
Take the time to be gentle with your body. Stretch your muscles, meditate to clear your mind and take deep breaths to relax away stressful thoughts. I try to do this as often as I can… and I swear that then I do, my mind is more clear and that I am more patient and present in my everyday life.
- Start an exercise routine
Go ahead and move that body! Set small physical goals for yourself and crush them! Start a walking or running route. Practice yoga or pilates. Dance around your house to your favorite music. Lift weights. Bonus points if you get outside and work up a sweat! I love hiking and running in the warm months and snowshoeing in the snowy months. The combo of fresh air, open space and warm muscles is exhilarating.
- Do what you enjoy
You can’t pour from an empty cup, so take time to fill yours. Find an activity that you really enjoy and do it. Read a book. Practice self care. Take up a new hobby like cooking, sewing, knitting, web design. Enjoy your time.
- Technology backup and Documents
Backup all of your important documents and photos. Also, organize paper documents and contracts in a file for safe keeping. The new year is a good reminder to do that.
- Digital detox
Delete or unfollow any account that doesn’t inspire you or make you feel good. We have all spent far too much time mindlessly scrolling the internet looking at curated feeds of perfect looking photos that are unattainable, over-edited or fake. Delete those and instead follow accounts that inspire and empower you.
- Let go
You know all of those things that you have been hanging on to? The ones that make you feel like your dragging a weight? The regrets, the could haves and should haves, the if onlys? Take a deep breath and release those! The past is the past. You are learning from your missteps. You are doing the best that you can do with the knowledge that you have. Let go and grow.
- Try something new
A great way to stretch ourselves is to try something out of our comfort zone. This could be trying a new restaurant or food, learning to speak a different language or to play an instrument, traveling somewhere that you’ve never been or taking a class to learn a new skill. Get uncomfortable. Step out of your comfort zone and stretch your idea of what is possible for you.
- Connect to family and friends
Call, text, or write to family and friends to let them know how much they mean to you. Life gets busy and sometimes people lose contact with one and other. It is so important to maintain a connection with the ones that you care about and to let them know how they enrich your life. On that note, if you’re holding on to a grudge, l e t i t g o. Clear the air or move on. You will be happier and your mind will be free of the negativity.
- Express gratitude
We’ve all had different experiences over the past year. Let’s begin the next year with grateful hearts. Let’s be thankful for the good times, the wonderful people in our lives, and the lessons that we have learned that we carry with us as we head in to the future.
We can look back and reminisce & we can plan for the future, but…
In this new year, wherever you are, be there.
Be patient. Give yourself grace.
Appreciate what you have, while working towards what you want.
Be kind and love those around you. This moment matters the most.
Wishing you a healthy and Happy New Year! Cheers!