The new year is just around the corner, and we all are heading towards what is often seen as an opportunity for a completely new start. Such a new start could of course be taken any day of the year, but the new year is a time that many seize as an opportunity. The prospect of the new year – for many – means new opportunities and challenges, and therefore it becomes a time that many use to set new goals and resolutions to ensure that you have the best possible year ahead. The last few weeks of the old year and the first week of the new year are considered by many to be the best time to let go of the things that need to be let go of, and to plan things for the future, not only in the short run but also in the longer term. The start of the new year is the a time to take stock of your achievements and to make plans for what you wish to achieve next.
It can be a time for reflection as one year ends; looking upon the previous year, analysing successes and progress as well as recognising mistakes, or things that did not go so well and then using it all as constructive feedback and profound learning from the previous year to see what is it that you need to do better this year or try to avoid the next year.
Why is it Important to Have a Good Start?
Giving yourself a new and healthy start can mean really positive things for yourself. You get to create some momentum.
You might not want you to be right in the middle of the year thinking regretting the start of it and potentially not prepared to embark upon change deeming it too late.
It is therefore important for many of us to start off your new year with motivation and the intention to achieve something, feeling more satisfied and wholesome. Why not seize the opportunity the new year presents?
Today’s article offers up a bunch of useful strategies you can apply to help you prepare for the new year that is looming.
1. Time For Reflection!
It can be very important for you to sit back for a while and review your year. Just take some time out, find your favourite sitting spot and contemplate! Think of all that you have experienced the past year. No need to be too critical. No! Instead, just simply sit back and replay what you can in your mind like you would rewind a movie or tape. We understand that in today’s fast paced life, finding time for self-reflection can be difficult, but if you put your mind and heart to something, you do definitely end up getting that and not being able to reflect now and then is a sign that your life is on autopilot and apparently directionless. You might refer to a diary, journal or a social media feed to help remind you and connect you with the time gone by.
Self-reflection – if one thinks about it – has numerous benefits. It helps give you perspective, someplace for forgiveness and even a safe space to analyse and learn from any mistakes. It also ensures that you stay sensible and can always redirect yourself to a better you. Therefore, before you step into your new year, make sure to slow down a little, maybe even take some time to grab a piece of paper and pen, and write it down. Write down anything you want: any changes you have felt, any emotions you newly experienced and anything that seems important to you. Make it a safe place for yourself. You may also use this chance to move deeper and maybe confront yourself over certain things that you may have kept at bay for a while and decide now is the time for change.
Remember having a clear mindset can be really useful here, as it can really help you assess the kind of year you have had and thereby process what is useful to move forward effectively in the new year.
2. Dejunk Your Life
Decluttering and tidying things up can seem really burdening for some, but a peaceful and well-structured space can really brighten up your mood and help set sights on a fresh start of some kind. By tidying up, I do not necessarily mean keeping your home and room clean and tidy (although that too can be beneficial for some) but also, consider ridding yourself of things that no longer are of use in your life. One trap many often fall into is the idea that something we throw out now may be needed in the future, thereby leading us to hold on to numerous things from the past even if it’s not been used or useful at all in the past couple of years.
You might find it of benefit to let go if you do not feel love for it.
You might consider looking for people or organisations who might find it valuable, beneficial and therefore you might give it away to a good home. And if not, remember you can always sell them. As Marie Kondo says, “It’s good to be resourceful but there is also a fine line between resourcefulness and just having a hoarding problem.”
Here is a great article to help you declutter your own mind too: Science-Backed Ways to Declutter Your Mind. https://www.adam-eason.com/declutter-your-mind/
3. Make It a Point to Write Down Any Unfinished Tasks
Remember that it is completely alright to feel like you haven’t been able to do much by the end of the year. Life is very unpredictable, and it is very much possible that we end up in chaos at the end, no matter how much we try to avoid it. This does not have to be a source of discomfort and should not necessarily make you feel demotivated. If you have sat down to carry out some self-reflection, you may have easily found out the reason for forgetting about certain things or not being able to complete them on the planned time.
Take some time to recognise these reasons and fine tune your method to achieve these goals so that they can better fit into your life and make success more manageable. Get them completed if need be, otherwise, scrub them off of any goals list, fine tune those upcoming resolutions and don’t get bogged down by it.
There may be goals you are no longer interested in, and therefore you can easily let go of them. Pick out the ones you know you definitely want and maybe throw the other goals away.
4. Put Down Your Goals in Writing
We all are very much aware that as we tend to modify and tick off some of the goals and new year resolutions, New Year’s Eve is also accompanied by the making of many other new resolutions and goals. This time, however, we will be giving you a tip that will ensure that you are not only able to choose and set the right goals for yourself but also ensure that you are able to complete and achieve all the goals you have set for yourself. And that simple life hack is ‘Writing It All Down!
It has been proven multiple times that writing down your goals helps your mind visualise the milestones you have set for yourself. S was mentioned in Forbes, according to research, people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who do not.
Your goals can be both big and small. Remember, it is not the magnitude that counts but the thought, effort and action that does. And through these three, any goal, no matter how big and small, can be a great achievement. It also helps if you not only write down goals but also the potential steps towards achieving those goals. As C.S. Lewis reportedly said, “You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream!”
Read this article on the science of goal setting and the principles of doing so: The Principles of Goal Setting (the article is aimed at runners but can be applied to anyone). https://www.adam-eason.com/the-principles-of-goal-setting-for-runners/
5. Slowing Down Does Not Mean You Are Not Progressing
In today’s fast paced world, it is natural to assume that you need to do more in less time in order to succeed. Remember that the goal is not always quantity, but quality. What’s the point of staying up all night, getting something done, only to realise that you have been doing the wrong task or a task that did not really matter. Many effective people aiming for progress tend to focus on a few priorities that they are sure will bring them the most benefits, not only in the material sense but also in a more general and personally rewarding sense. A great way to actually build this type of life focus is through ‘slowing down.
Planning, visualising and recording your best move in a journal, even for 30 minutes a day, can really help. Who knows, you might even become aware of your skills, opportunities you never explored and challenges that could really help you grow? Remember to slow down for a bit each day, and then you will be prepared to speed up and proceed.
6. Plan For the Future
You may need to choose a strategy and carve out a plan every time you set yourself a goal. You must have heard that “A goal without a plan is a wish”. It can sound scary or too intimidating, but it does not necessarily have to be so. If you have trouble planning and setting things out, you can use a calendar or a planner to help you plan your days and even months and remind you of your deadlines.
And yes! Try to stick to your plans. Keep your planners at a spot where you know you will be able to see them frequently, e.g., on top of your desks or on your walls.
Get yourself little tasks to do and cross them off as you get done with them. Planning something can be demanding but cutting those things out of your planner when you are done with them can make you feel even more satisfied!
Try not to be too hard on yourself. Remember, we are all humans. Making mistakes, striving and then thriving is a normal part of life. Everyone here is trying to be a better version of themselves, and your struggle is part of the journey. Have an amazing start to the new year.
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