People tend to mark their lives in defined time periods. No time period stretches in front of you with more potential than a new year. Most people spend the final days of the past year making lists of ways to make positive changes or remove negative influences. If you are looking at the new year as a time to make big changes in your life, here are a few tips to have the best year ever.
Setting goals is a powerful tool that many people neglect. The act of sitting down and committing your desires to paper is the first step to successful goal setting. This year, don’t make the mistake of letting your hopes and dreams remain an amorphous idea in your head; get yourself a special journal and write down what you want to do. This will make vague thoughts more concrete and give you an avenue of reminder and accountability.
It is also very important to keep your goals achievable. A year is a long time and you can do amazing things in that amount of time, but don’t make the mistake of putting so much on your list of goals that you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Keep your goals doable and achievable in the time frame that you have assigned them. By doing this you will fuel yourself with a sense of accomplishment and set yourself up for future success with more goals as you move forward.
Few things can be as life-changing as giving yourself the gift of an expanded view of the world. You have vacation time coming up, use it to get exposure to new places, peoples, and cultures. If you don’t have the time or the finances to see the world, that’s OK. An extended Hawaii cruise or a road trip to somewhere you’ve never been can have the same effect.
Experts will tell you that gaining new experiences will give you much more joy than acquiring new things. Experiences build memories. Unlike physical possessions that deteriorate over time causing inevitable buyer’s remorse, spending your resources to have new experiences will create memories that will only gain positive recollections over time. Traveling is a perfect way to accumulate new experiences and expand your perspective.
If you want to create change that will last, choose one negative habit to let go of this year, break that goal down into achievable steps and implement your plan. Maybe this is the year to give up white sugar, or lose a few pounds, or quit smoking. Pick a bad habit that is having a negative effect on your life and create a detailed plan to release it.
Be sure to celebrate your successes as you go and don’t allow yourself to take on the next challenge until you have conquered the first. By focusing on one thing at a time, you will slowly eradicate negative habits. Additionally, each success that you have will make the next goal easier to achieve as you build mental strength and grow in self-confidence.
Everyone can benefit from increased physical fitness. This year get specific about what you want to do and how you are going to do it. Spend some time really thinking about what physical activities you enjoy and are capable of. Here again, placing unrealistic expectations on yourself can lead to failure and self-recrimination.
It doesn’t matter if all your friends are doing the latest high-energy HIT routine. Be kind to yourself and meet yourself where you are. Far better to succeed at implementing a daily 30-minute walk into your life than to get injured and defeated by attempting a workout that isn’t right for you. If your goal is to be a triathlete, you can get there, but you’ll need to take it one achievable step at a time.
The surest way to make positive changes this year is to be specific about your goals, make a plan and respect your current limitations. If you do these things, your successes will build upon themselves and you will find yourself miles ahead of where you were before you began.