I do not know about you but after the roller coaster that was 2020, we all need a fresh start and nothing screams new beginnings louder than a new year. Firstly, let me congratulate you for making it to the new year and though there is still a lot of uncertainty looming around, a little optimism for the months ahead will not hurt anyone.
If anyone asked me this time last year what a successful year to me looked like, I would have said something along the lines of manifesting everything on my vision board and so on. However, this past year gave me like it did most of us a shocking wake up call. We are so used to desiring a sense of control that we tend to forget the sweetness of a new beginning and new year is in simply experiencing it, rather than in thinking we have it all figured out.
Now before this begins to sound like a motivational speech, let me quickly assure you that it is not. However, I am going to share six practical tips you can implement into your life to ensure this is your best year yet.
1. Have A Flexible Vision
Now call me crazy or Joan from the Tv series ‘Girlfriends’ but I cannot be the only one who tends to get very particular when it comes to setting goals for the new year. I have found that our goals are based on the mental picture we have of the people we want to grow into, and we tend to be very rigid with the vision we have. I remember hurriedly setting goals for every quarter in the year 2020, on January 1st to be precise. If you are wondering how that went, your guess is as good as mine. The truth is no one can predict the trajectory in which their lives are going, and the least we can do to make the unpredictability easier on ourselves is to keep our minds open to change and our vision flexible, as this is the best way to thrive in any season of life we find ourselves in.
2. Discipline Is Key
This is obvious, but we need to keep hearing it over and over. Those goals are not going to achieve themselves. Discipline, dedication and commitment are necessary requirements for us to be the best version of ourselves. Where these are lacking, we end up stuck in our fantasies without seeing any tangible results in our daily lives. Discipline is all about showing up to your goals and tasks whether you feel like it in the moment or not. Discipline is like a muscle, the more you use it whether it is choosing to study in advance, going to bed and waking up at a certain time, the stronger it gets.
3. Build Sustainable Steps to Achieving Your Goals
What are goals without actionable steps to help you achieve them? I find that people talk a lot about setting realistic goals and hardly ever talk about creating sustainable systems to help you achieve them. The secret to upgrading your life is putting in place systems to foster the change you want to see. When setting goals for the new year, be sure to put down practical steps that will aid you get to where you want to be by the end of the year. For example, let’s say your goal is to take better care of your skin, a system to put in place if you constantly find yourself too tired to do your night time skincare routine, is to do it as soon as you get home from work as against procrastinating.
4. Create Time For Rest And For Loved Ones
With our to-do lists piling up and great things to achieve waiting for us, it is important to make out time to rest and spend quality time with your loved ones. One of my goals for the new year is to make ample time for rest, to avoid burnout and to build stronger relationships. There is no better way to achieve this than spending quality time with the people who matter to you. Your family and friends are your biggest support system, do not forget to carry them along on your journey of self-improvement.
5. When Opportunity Does Not Come Knocking, Go After It
“When opportunity comes knocking” is a popular phrase we hear a lot but honestly it is only in rare occurrences this happens. However, a counter phrase we should all live by is “If opportunity does not knock on your door, knock on the door of opportunity.” Sometimes, it is all about creating the right opportunity instead of waiting for it to happen. We cannot always rely on chance. We need to create opportunities that will lead to our goals and success. This year we are not waiting for opportunity to come knocking, rather we are confidently going after what we want and the life we deserve.
6. Be Kind to Yourself
It is important to remember not to be hard or mean to yourself while on this adventure we call a new year. Pamper yourself, give yourself a treat and most importantly be kind to yourself. Achieving great things is not a linear path and so there are bound to be high and low points. Even in those times you feel you could have reacted differently, applied yourself more to your work and so on, please be gentle and patient with yourself. You get better overtime, not overnight. Climbing the ladder of success is not about how fast or how much pressure you put on yourself. It is more about how dedicated you are to the process.
Most importantly, spending quality time with ourselves to reflect and introspect will help keep us grounded while living our best lives this new year. 2020 was a crazy year with unexpected twist and turns, and even though we do not know what lies ahead in this new year, I hope we find it in ourselves to make peace with the things out of our control, and have the courage to take charge of the things within our control. We owe it to ourselves to live a life we are proud of. If you are yet to coin a quote, phrase, or word for the new year, I will highly recommend it and like I said earlier, the sweetness of a new adventure is in simply experiencing it. It a whole year of new memories, adventures and Instagram trends, so learn to take each day as it comes and be intentional about living each moment. Do not overthink, worry or stress over anything unnecessarily. Live, love, laugh.