Happy New Year! 🙂
For the first post of the year, I thought it’d be lovely to write about how to properly start a new year. Yes, there’s a proper way to do it, and you shall find out all about it today!
Step #1 seems quite simple, but it’s actually a great thing to do since it helps put things into perspective and seeing what you can do to make your year better than the one before. Make an yearly review – take stock of where you’ve been, what you’ve accomplished in the past year. Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself and see where the answers lead you:
- What went well for me last year?
- What accomplishments did I have?
- How did I improve my life?
- How did I improve my relationships?
- What did I remove from my life that is now making me happier?
- What do I wish I had taken more time for?
It’s a good idea to keep a little notebook with these questions so that you can keep track of both them and your responses. This way, you can refer back to in the future: your answers year over year will be very enlightening.
Ask these types of questions about all the important areas of your life, such as family, relationships, financial, career, home, etc. These questions will help you appreciate all you’ve accomplished in the previous year, and you can use this information to start the new year off right, and set better goals for the next year.
Step #2 is quite simple: finish what you’ve started. Anything from projects, to errands, and general ‘to-do list’ items that you have left from the previous year. Out with the old, in with the new. Also, an extra step: you know all those receipts and old magasines that you’ve been keeping around all year, in the hopes that they’ll be of some use? Throw them out! Clear your environment so you have a clearer mind.
With that in mind, it helps to focus on organisation:
- Do you have trouble finding things, from keys to socks? Look for simple solutions, such as hanging up a key holder and setting up a special lost sock basket.
- Hate cleaning? You could try to convince yourself it’s exercise, a moment of Zen or a chance to throw out your mate’s junk but it’s better to find help. Delegate the cleaning jobs to others as much as possible and try to arrange it so that you’re doing what you’re best at. It’s overwhelming to be the person responsible for it all, so stop trying.
- Take decluttering in gradual steps. Perhaps, first sort through your desk on Monday, organise your closet on Tuesday and Wednesday, go through your bookshelf on Thursday, vacuum on Friday, dust on Saturday, and organise whatever else needs to be organised on Sunday. Once you’ve organised specific high-use areas, you will realize it’s much easier to concentrate and find what you need with a clean room.
For step #3, look over your New Year’s Resolutions List (or make one first, if you haven’t yet). Just a reminder: be realistic. Don’t set goals that’ll be nearly impossible to achieve. Set yourself small challenges, that you can relatively easily achieve, and some more difficult ones, so that you can feel great when you accomplish them. But don’t set goals that will only make you feel bad about yourself for not being able to reach them.
In order to get your resolutions underway, make all the planning and organising you need to, and perhaps even some purchasing. It helps your focus to make notes and lists to direct your efforts in starting new habits. For example:
- Is there any gear, equipment, food, clothing, etc. needed to start your new fitness/eating/exercise regime? Or perhaps you need new hobby or craft materials or new sports gear. Write down the needed items so that you can work out whether you already have what’s needed or need to buy, beg, borrow or free-cycle it.
- Do you need to book memberships, travel, subscriptions or any other service to aid the resolution? If so, write this down too.
- Write down anything else of relevance, alongside those resolutions.
- In some cases, breaking down the goals into short term and long term milestones is necessary to ensure you don’t flag in your willpower. Write down any milestones you think will work for you.
Step #4: find the opportunity to get some me time. This’ probably the most important step here. Life today’s fast, everything happens at a much faster pace than it used to (there’s a reason why we all say Can’t believe it’s already 2017…!) so we tend to not take the time to appreciate ourselves. Find some me time, be it 5 minutes per day, an hour per week… Just take care of yourself, appreciate you, treat yourself to something good.
I, for instance, always like to give myself both a birthday and a Christmas present. If you can’t, try something else. Find a pamper routine: take a nice hot shower/bath, light some candles, put your favourite tunes on, apply your face masks, do your nails… Just spoil yourself during that period of time. You deserve it!
Last but not least we have step #5, which is every bit as important: find something to take your mind off of everything else. We all need to escape reality sometimes and each one of us has different areas of interest. Be it blogging, volunteering, working out, playing video-games, going shopping, going out with friends, going to the cinema, you name it. The world is your oyster! Enjoy what it has to give you and make the most out of it, you only get this one ride.
Hope you all have a great year! 🙂