I love beginnings. Like the start of a new job, a new friendship, a new month, and now, a new year. It’s a time to reflect on the good and bad that has happened, and be able to reinvent yourself from it. Everyone has goals to come back stronger in the new year and today I’m going to share a few tips to make that possible.
1. Buy a planner
…or download one, if that’s more your thing. I remember back to a time where I never used planners to jot down lists, appointments, notes, etc, and my life was a complete mess. I would miss deadlines, arrive late to everything (still sort of working on that one), and feel overwhelmed with trying to remember everything.
2. Develop positive thinking patterns
I’m striving for 2016 to be a year of positivity. Positive thinking is a well-known and successful strategy for improving quality of life and creating happiness. It doesn’t mean I’ll be looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses, but I’m going to allow my mind to focus on strengths and accomplishments, rather than weaknesses and setbacks. This, in turn, opens the mind to opportunity and allows more potential for making progress – leaving less time for feeling down and “stuck”.
3. Establish short and long-term goals
What’s on the cards for you in 2016? Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life. No one is going to create opportunities for you, if you want it, you have to make it happen.
4. Detox your clutter
Nothing says a fresh start like a fresh wardrobe! But I’m not just talking about cleaning out your wardrobe (which you should definitely do), it’s a time to refresh your desk, bedroom, contacts, and phone. Digital clutter can be just as anxiety-inducing as piles of useless junk on your desk.
5. Focus on building important friendships…
Friendships are incredibly important. At certain stages in our lives, friendships are everything to us – the most important thing in our lives. Cultivating lasting, loving friendships takes time and effort and you must choose them wisely. Surround yourself with people who only see the good in you. I’ve realized how important it is to have real friendships, rather than lots of friends.
6. …and ease out of toxic ones
You are as good as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those holding you down. Letting go of people who do not nourish your authentic self is an essential part of self-love.
7. Set health specific goals
The mental and physical benefits of following a healthy lifestyle are significant, including healthy relationships, happiness, positive attitudes, lower stress levels, etc. Setting specific goals like “go to the gym twice this week” or “do yoga video after work” is much more effective than saying “get healthy” or “lose weight.” Don’t disregard small changes you make towards a healthy lifestyle, they have a greater effect on your mood than you would believe.
8. Simplify your life
Simplifying your life means getting rid of many of the things you do so you can spend time with people you love and do the things you love. It means getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only that which gives you value. I could write an entire article dedicated to living simply, but this one does it just perfectly.
9. Practice self-love
Did you know that you’re very special? There is no other person in this world like you. Practicing self-love can be challenging for many of us, especially in times when we face serious challenges. Try loving and positive affirmations. Nourish your soul through a love-kindness meditation or spiritual practices that help you feel compassion and love toward yourself. A simple way to get started is beginning your day by telling yourself something really positive – anything that will make you smile.
10. Express gratitude
People who express gratitude on a regular basis have higher levels of optimism, physical well-being, alertness, and determination. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” –William Arthur Ward. When you practice gratitude, worries and other negative emotions will fall by the wayside. I wholeheartedly love this article depicting 50 ways to show gratitude for people in your life.