For many, especially those who have had a rough year, the thought of entering a new year filled with uncertainty can be quite unnerving. To help with any nerves, here are some practical things I do at the end of every year to get me in the right mindset to make the most out of the year ahead.
1. Show gratitude for the year gone by
The first, and one of the most effective tips, is to express gratitude for what you already have. No matter how you would rate this past year, there is always something to be thankful for. If you are struggling to think of positive things that have happened this year, start off small or just general more obvious things you can be thankful for. Are you in good health? Did you survive a year of college or work? Have you made fun memories with friends or family? Write a list out on paper and see how the more you reflect, the more things you realise there are to be thankful for. This gratitude will boost your mood and get you thinking about all the great things the new year could bring.
2. Think of what you have to look forward to
Although the future may seem uncertain, I’m sure there is something you have to look forward to, even if it seems small. Have you any concerts or holidays lined up? Or maybe it's something small like your favorite show coming out with a new season. Write these things down to look back on when you feel discouraged and think of all the great possibilities that lie ahead. Thinking of the good things already planned and all the good that could happen will get you excited and optimistic about what could be in store.
3. Make a Vision Board
This tip requires you to get a little creative. Think of what you want to achieve or what you want this new year to bring. Do you want to improve your fitness, get good grades or finally take trip to that place you’ve always talked about visiting? Look online for images or quotes that will inspire you and motivate you to make them happen. Make them into a collage and hang it somewhere you will see every day to empower and remind yourself that you can achieve them. If it’s easier you could make an album of photos on your phone or choose an image to make as your wallpaper.
4. Make realistic goals and resolutions
Although you may feel enthusiastic about your resolutions and goals for the year, the idea of carrying out your ambitions can be quite daunting. One way I like to tackle this is to break them down into smaller, more achievable goals. By breaking broader goals into monthly, weekly and daily plans, they begin to seem a lot more achievable. I’ll use the example of getting fit to show what I mean. So for example, stating that you simply want to get fit is a vague goal because it's hard to define, so decide on a clear end point. Want to be able to be able to run 10k ? Or look and feel your best for that event at the end of the year? After making your resolution more specific break this goal into monthly, weekly and daily actions you can take. For example, you can challenge yourself to join a fitness class every month, break it down further by dedicating to meal planning at the start of every week and even smaller goals like drinking the right amount of water every day. By breaking these goals into more maintainable actions, you are more likely to stay motivated and hopeful about achieving them.
5. Make a change
A new year means a fresh start. It’s time to stop focusing on what may have gone wrong this past year and focus on making the most of this new year. You don’t need to make a drastic change, it can be as simple as getting a haircut or reorganizing your room. Even something as small as having fresh bedsheets is a great tool to get your head in the right state of mind, to forget about to past and start getting excited for what’s planned ahead.
So although nobody knows what the new year will bring, what you can control is your outlook and perspective on how you handle the highs and lows of the upcoming year. Although these tips mainly focuses on the beginning and end of the calendar year, you can try them out at any point to give yourself a boost of motivation and live your best life.
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