The beginning of a new year is a special time. For some, it is a time to reflect on the past. For others, it is a time to plan for the future. Most would agree that it’s the perfect time to begin implementing positive changes in your life. There’s just something about the change in a year that signifies a fresh start – a clean slate. The New Year is the year where anything is possible…
But the sad truth is that although so many of us begin a new year with enthusiasm and vigor as we pursue new ambitions and implement new routines, most of us fall back into our old habits within a few weeks. The all too familiar daily grind of life returns to us, and the person that we might have been is overtaken by the person we were last year.
To avoid this fate, you must set yourself up for success. You must recognize that change is uncomfortable, even when it’s for the best. Don’t set New Year’s Resolutions without first setting up a strong foundation for actually following through on those resolutions.
Here are 10 ways to make this year your best year ever:
1. Learn from the past, but don’t repeat it
Take some time to think about all of last year’s experiences, and more importantly, hold on to all the lessons you learned from those experiences. Understand that everything that occurred last year was simply a result. Don’t get caught up in labeling those results as good or bad – as successes or as failures.
Know that results are just feedback. Learn from any mistakes you made and make a commitment not to repeat them. Learn from your successes but don’t let yourself get too complacent or overconfident. The actions that made you successful last year may not be the same actions you need to take this year. Be open to new approaches.
“The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.” – Steve Maraboli
2. Get rid of the old, make room for the new
It’s hard to plan for the future when things from the past are still pulling at you. If you’re starting off the new year with unfinished projects from last year, you need to clear those projects from your plate as soon as possible. By getting rid of the old, you make room for the new. Start by listing everything you have not finished, at work and at home.
Once you have that list, go through it slowly and for each item on the list ask yourself whether you absolutely must finish it yourself (and if so, set a time frame for getting it done), whether you can delegate it, or whether you should scrap it entirely. You should also clear your workspace and your home of any unnecessary clutter. Physical organization has a tremendously positive effect on mental organization.
3. Put your goals in writing
Anything that is worth achieving is worth putting in writing. Make a list of the major goals that you’d like to achieve this year. Each of these goals should represent a significant milestone in the long term vision for your life and/or business. For example, if you eventually want to publish a book, a major goal would be to finish your first draft.
If you want to become a professional speaker, a major goal would be to speak at a local event. If you would like to start your own coaching business, a major goal would be to create a curriculum for your coaching program.
Once you have your goals in writing, put them in a place where you will see them every day. Give each goal a specific deadline (or at the very least, a chronological order of achieving them), and begin breaking down each of those goals into actionable steps you can take on a daily or weekly basis.
“If you think someone or something other than yourself is responsible for your happiness or success, I’d guess you’re not that happy or successful.” – Rob Liano
We all know that regular exercise is fundamental to our overall health and well-being, and yet so few of us do it regularly. For many people, the start of a new year provides the motivation they need to adopt an exercise plan. If you stop by your local gym in January, you’d be lucky to find a parking spot.
Go there again in February, and you will find plenty of spots available. The unfortunate truth is that exercise is the one thing everyone knows they should be doing regularly, and it’s often the first habit they drop when they get “too busy” with other things.
Exercise is not something you “have time for”. It is something you make time for. It is also the one thing that provides you with strength, energy, and vitality to be more effective in all the other areas of your life. Exercise is an investment in your health, your life, your longevity, and your productivity. If you think of your daily grind as cutting down a tree, then exercise represents taking a moment to sharpen the saw.
5. Build new relationships
The people you know and work with have helped you get to where you are. To get to a new level, you will likely need to surround yourself with some new people. Make it a priority to cultivate new relationships with positive people both inside and outside of your industry.
Offer to help others in any way that you can, and in exchange you will find that others become more inclined to help you however they can. Successful people know the value of a good network. They spend years building and cultivating their network, and as a result, they are presented with fruitful opportunities, and better positioned to take advantage of them as they come.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
6. Learn new skills
New goals require new actions, and new actions typically require new skills. Take a moment to identify some of the skills you would like to acquire this year, and begin looking for the people and resources that can help you acquire those skills.
Whether it’s a local class, an online course, or a seminar, remember that all skills are learnable. Don’t make excuses for not learning new skills. People who stop learning new skills are the first ones to become obsolete in the marketplace.
7. Dissolve relationships that don’t support your success
Unfortunately many of us are surrounded by people who do not support our success. Whether they are friends, colleagues, or even relatives, some of these people may try to belittle your ambitions, hold you back, or convince you to quit once you get started.
Understand that you become the average of the people you spend the most time with. If the attitudes, philosophies, and behaviors of the people around you are not aligned with those of the person you intend to become, you must begin dissolving those relationships.
Cutting people out of your life abruptly is likely to cause resentment. In some circumstances this is the best approach, but in many cases it is not, especially if those people are your family members. Instead, it is wise to gradually decrease the amount of time you spend with them, while simultaneously increasing the amount of time you spend with people who support your successes.
8. Make balance a priority
If this next year is truly going to be your most successful year yet, then it must be successful in all the areas of your life. You don’t want this to be the year where you get a big promotion at work but your relationship with your spouse goes down the drain. You don’t want this to be the year where your business thrives at the expense of your health.
You want this to be the year where you can have your cake and eat it too. Balance is about consistency. If you consistently invest in each area of your life – your career/business, your relationships, your health, your leisure, your spirituality, etc. – then these areas will thrive. If you consistently neglect any of these areas, they will suffer.
Just like with getting exercise, you don’t “have time for it” – you make time for it. And remember that it’s not about the amount of time you give to each area, it’s about the quality of the time you give to each area. Some areas require several hours per day, and some will only require a few hours per week.
9. Create a personal development plan
As is true of all living things in the universe, they are either growing or they are dying. There is no stagnation. If you are not continuously learning and growing, you are falling behind. Creating a personal development plan means committing to nourishing your mind with new, empowering information on a consistent basis.
By reading books, listening to audios/podcasts, or attending workshops and seminars, you expose yourself to philosophies, concepts, and ideas that fuel your creativity, spark new ideas, and help you to see things from a new perspective.
10. Hold yourself accountable
The last but perhaps most important point to ensure you make this year your best year is to hold yourself accountable. Lack of accountability is one of the single greatest reasons for failure. If no one is holding us accountable for the consistent implementation of new habits or behaviors, we are more likely to fall back into our old patterns.
The secret to holding yourself accountable is to have a system. Without a system for tracking your daily and weekly activities, and then measuring those against the new standards you’ve set for yourself, failure is almost inevitable. What gets measured gets improved.
How are you going to make this year your best year ever? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve! All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)
4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing
One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.
Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.
Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.
1. Content can be a form of self-expression
When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up.
But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself.
Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.
As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had.
There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.
“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod
3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie
It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.
When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out. There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.
4. Library of content to share with more people
It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.
As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.
You never know who is watching (reading)
Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say?
You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience. Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.
5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life
Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end.
Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life.
1. Change Your Self-Concept
Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities.
2. Sign Up For An Online Course
If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need.
3. Learn From a Mentor
No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process.
4. Start A Side Hustle
The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills.
5. Nourish Your Body
As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.
Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:
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