Happy new year, to a year of hope!
1 year – 12 chapters – 365 pages
All of the pages are empty, you decide what you write on them – every day!
new year – new you?I know, I know – this is such a cliche. There is nothing magical about the turn of the new year. How many people make a resolution that day, only to forget about by February? That said, something is reassuring about the idea of brand New Year. It is a blank slate waiting for you to write your story. If you want to make real, lasting change this New Year – then follow the tips below.
The first step to having an incredible year is to forgive yourself for any failures you had in the past year. Failure is simply a lesson learned, so try and remember that. Forgive yourself for the other mistakes you made along the way as well. Forgiveness is the only way to take on the new year regret-free.
How often do you take the time to think about what you want? If you are like the average person, then it probably isn’t too often. Change that this year! Take some time to think about what you want to accomplish in your life. Focus on the next year, of course, but think long term as well.
If you know what you want this year, do you know why you want it? That might not seem like it matters, but “the why” is your whole motivation. When you understand why you want something, it is easier to stay on track to reach that goal. Think about how the things you want could change your life or the lives of your loved ones. Find inspration here in my last blog post.
This new year is all about the people who matter. Make a concerted effort to spend more time around like-minded people. Find people who share your values and goals. Let go of people who are toxic or hold you back. It may sound harsh, but we only have 365 days each year, shouldn’t we strive to spend as many of those days with people we truly love?
The start of a new year is a great time to make sure you are in good health – both physical and mental. If you have any nagging issues you have been avoiding, this is a great time to make appointments with professionals who can help. Trying to get healthy in the new year is often viewed as a cliche, but don’t let that hold you back from trying.
Many people talk about resolutions, but these are nothing more than goals without a plan. It’s far more effective to set actual goals. Think about what you want to accomplish and then write it down. Your goals should be written down, specific, and include some sort of deadline.
Journaling is an excellent habit for a wide variety of reasons, but it can be tough to commit to for some people. A perfect place to start is simply tracking your wins or small victories. Any time you accomplish something or get positive feedback, jot it down in a journal. Whenever you feel self-doubt creep in, you can read through this list for some instant motivation.
It is tough to accomplish anything substantial if you are afraid to break out of your comfort zone. Try to plan something that genuinely scares you this year. For example, if you are scared of flying, you can book a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. If you fear public speaking, maybe you can join a local public speaking group like Toast Masters.
No one wants to work tirelessly all year with no rewards! For everything you want to accomplish, make sure you think of an applicable reward. These rewards will help keep you motivated. Try to ensure that the rewards match your goals. Bigger goals mean more significant rewards and vice-versa.
Turn your dreams into action
One of the biggest issues regarding setting goals is to keep them at a high level. We all want to accomplish things in life. But setting goals that are too general is going to make it difficult to accomplish them. It’s also going to be difficult to measure how you are doing. The best approach is to break big goals into chunks.
Think of the chunks as action items. These actions are measurable units that you put to milestones. You need to set them up in a way that holds you accountable. Otherwise, they won’t get accomplished.
Write your goals and action steps down on paper. Put it in a place where you can view it every single day. It’s okay to record them electronically, although some people find it difficult to keep both the paper version and the electronic version in sync. It’s a personal preference. If you feel you can succeed with just one or the other, that is the way to go.
It’s okay to dream big with your goals but be realistic about accomplishing them. When you break your goals down into action steps and find they are not within your ability or skill set to accomplish within the specified periods, rework them until you find the right mix of actions. Making the goals and actions too difficult will set yourself up for frustration when not being able to accomplish them.
Evaluating how well you accomplish the action steps will go a long way in helping you meet the goals. The set of actions will get you where you want to be. If you find you are stumbling on some of your action items, determine why and see if you can get back on track. At this point, you can recognize that you were too aggressive with the plan, which will enable you to seek alternatives.
Move ahead with your actions and keep going. Understand that roadblocks are a natural part of the process. If something worthwhile was easy, you wouldn’t need to set goals to accomplish it, and everyone would be doing it. It probably won’t be worth it either. Overcoming obstacles give people a sense of accomplishment, and it can help us grow.
Setting goals is essential. But creating action items related to those goals is the key to making them a reality. It is much easier to perform smaller chunks of work than it is to wing it towards whatever goal you are striving for.
Using Motivational Tools to Meet Your Goals
Many people think that they have to rely on themselves to stay motivated when striving to reach new goals. This is actually not true and there are many tools that you can use to make reaching goals much easier.
Some of the most popular motivational tools you can use include simple things like using blogs, journals, online calendars and planners. All of these things can help you stay on track and achieve your goals.
A blog or journal can help you plan out your steps to reach your goal. You can keep a daily or weekly journal, whatever works best for you. Many people start off by using a weekly journal and then switching to a daily one. As they find that writing down accomplishments and struggles is helpful, it acts as a reference if the situation happens again.
Calendars and planners in all forms are available online. You can even download apps to your iPhone, iPad, or another mobile device. This makes sure you can access your planner regardless of your location.
There are even apps that allow you to share your progress on places like Facebook and Twitter. You can even challenge your friends and family to friendly competitions. Plus this helps you set and achieve weekly goals by incorporating a little bit of fun into them.
What motivational tool you use will depend upon your goal and your personality. You may enjoy writing and are automatically drawn to using a blog to stay motivated. Or you may be more of a private person and prefer the idea of using a planner or app for motivation.
You don’t necessarily have to make any of your writing or blogs public you can make them private and can only share with people you choose. Don’t forget that you can just use an online notepad or word processing software and create your own personal motivational book on your own computer.
Another idea is to record videos if this is something that appeals to you. You can record a video about your goals, achievements, and ups and downs. Again you can make your videos private or public.
Other great tools to use include using motivational tapes and quotes. Videos or DVDs are great to take with you as you can listen to them while driving. Quotes are fantastic for placing them on your mirror or fridge so you can read them every day. Quotes are good for reinforcing your goals and abilities on a daily basis, so don’t overlook using them.
3 Ways to Stay Focused on Your Goals When You’ve Lost motivation
You’ve decided this year is going to be different. You’re going to start it right and accomplish the big goals you have for yourself. Whether your focus is on building up your savings account or losing weight, there may come a time when you lose the motivation to stick with it. But motivation can be rediscovered. Try these simple ways to refocus anytime you’ve lost that loving feeling about your goals for the year.
- Remember Your Why—Let’s face it, building new habits to meet your goals can get boring. If it weren’t, we’d all be in perfect physical, emotional and financial health. When you feel your resolve weakening, come back to the reason you set the goal in the first place. Imagine the home you’ll be able to purchase when you’ve saved that down payment. Think of how much energy you’ll have when you’ve lost those twenty extra pounds you’ve been carrying around. A great way to do this is to close your eyes and imagine yourself there in your new home or body. Feel what it will be like to live in that new reality.
- Seek Out Inspiration—The easiest way to retain motivation is by not losing it in the first place. You can do this by inspiring yourself each day. You might find images of clothes you’ll look great in when you’ve lost your bulge. Or window shop for new furniture you’ll buy when you have the house of your dreams. Find people who have accomplished what you are working towards and read their inspirational story. Use an app to track each little “win”—each time you chose to add money to your savings instead of buying a new shirt you don’t need. Track each time you select a salad for lunch instead of a burger and fries. These small, consistent boosts of inspiration can keep you going strong throughout the year.
- Focus on the Feel-Good—Rather than thinking about how much you loathe going to the gym, concentrate on how good you feel after a workout. Instead of thinking about how much you want to buy that fun item in front of you, consider how amazing it will feel to own your own home. These feel-good moments of concentration can bring you back from the brink and make it easier to keep your eyes on the prize.
5 Micro-Habits That Will Change Your Year For The Better
It’s common to avoid making changes, even though we say we want to. One reason for this is that we try to make multiple significant changes all at once. Science has proven that making a few small habit changes is the best way to create effective and lasting change. If you are ready to get started making this year the healthiest and happiest yet, you should start with these seven simple micro-habits.
- Set Boundaries—What is the one thing you consistently do that depletes your time and energy? Maybe it’s a committee that you no longer want to be part of, or a weekly get together with friends you’ve outgrown. Now’s the time to choose yourself over these non-essentials. Plan a way to get out of these time and energy-draining activities. And when new opportunities come up, take some time to decide if they will genuinely enhance your life or end up merely stealing your time. Say no more often.
- Start a Journal— We should credit ourselves more often for the positive choices we make. One way to begin acknowledging our accomplishments is by starting a journal. Journaling helps us work out problems, counteract stress and track our progress in life. It’s easy to overlook all the little gains we make during a single year, and looking back through a journal is a great way to see how far we’ve come. We can dream about where we want to go next.
- Exercise—Moving our bodies around is good for lots of reasons beyond staying fit. It’s also about releasing those feel-good hormones that keep us happy and energized. Look at your schedule and see how you can work 30 minutes of exercise into your day. After a few days, you’ll start to wonder how you managed without the stress relief and energy exercising gives you.
- Plan your MIT’s—Ever get to your desk in the morning and wonder where even to start? Too often we live and work in survival mode and never get around to the tasks that matter. One simple way to combat this is to plan your MIT’s—Most Important Tasks—for tomorrow before you leave work for the day. When you arrive in the morning, you’ll exactly know what to start working on, and you’ll avoid wasting time thinking through what you did yesterday.
- Dedicate Time to Interests—When is the last time you did something during the week that you enjoyed? Many of us say we’ll participate in a hobby on the weekend, but when the time comes, we spend it doing chores or taking care of things that didn’t get done during the week. It’s time to change this. Instead of watching mindless TV or scrolling through social media after washing the dishes, spend time doing something you love. Put together a puzzle, knit a scarf, pull out those watercolors. Whatever passion you think you are too busy to enjoy anymore, make time for it and watch how much joy it adds to your life.
So it is up to you to make a new you out of the new year!
Happy new year, to a year of hope!
12 chapters and
All of the pages are empty, you decide what you write on them… every day….