9 Things to do heading into the new year
1 – Schedule Some Time For Self Care
Are you really that surprised? Self care plays an essential role in ones overall wellness, and has been a vital component in individual lives in order to get through 2020. Self care needs to be a majority priority for each of us coming into the new year. Be sure to schedule some time for your own self care. Heck! Take it a step further and make self care a habit!
You don’t necessarily need to book in a day at the spa (although if that’s your jam then go right ahead). But point being, self care doesn't need to be complicated, difficult, or even time consuming. Self care can really be very simple! Take a moment to think about some things you love and/or enjoy doing, and do more of them! For example, I really love curling up with some tea and a good book (I mean a physical book where you can smell the print on the pages).
So amid the chaos of the end of year rush and the New Year's resolutions, make an extra effort to carve out some more time to ave all to yourself.
2 – Write A Gratitude List
Gratitude... a lot of us are familiar with the term but may not necessarily feel it is something we practice everyday. Even if you don't take out the time each day to practice gratitude, have the intention to take specific time to reflect on what it is you are grateful for - big or small. This year has been unusual, difficult, and well, probably many more things for a lot of us! Taking a few moments to be grateful reminds me of all the amazing things that have happened but maybe were too easily forgotten. There is no 'right' way to be grateful. Write a ‘top 10’ list, of all the things you are most grateful for, or write and write until you cannot think of anything else, take a couple minutes, take an hour - do what feel right for you.
3 – Create A List Of All The Things You’ve Achieved This Year
While we are on the topic of acknowledging the things we are grateful for, it’s also good to take time to pay attention to all of the things you have achieved this past year, as well as keep in mind what you wish to achieve in the new year to come. If you're like me, my initial thought was that I haven't achieved anything. But when I really broke down the past year, that really wasn't the case at all.
Your achievements don’t have to be things like a job promotion, or buying a house, or getting an award, they can be the simple every day things that should also be celebrated.
Are you in less debt now than you were at the start of the year? That’s an achievement!
Are you happier now than you were at the start of the year? Another achievement!
Do you feel you’ve grown emotionally over the last year? Achievement!
Did you manage to get through the year without completely breaking down, rocking back and forth in the corner? That counts too!
We need to celebrate our wins, both big and small, because every win is important.
4 – Declutter At Least One Area Of Your Home/Life
Wandering what to do next in order to better set yourself up for a promising and successful new year? This is my favorite ritual that I be sure to give attention to, well... often. Try setting up a decluttering schedule (like one area a month, or each week) otherwise focus on decluttering just one area of your home or life.
Decluttering my life? Yep! Your home isn't the only thing that gets cluttered. In our lives, there are areas (like toxic friends) that need decluttering just as much our homes.
Whether it’s your closet or your overabundance of bathrooms supplies and 4 year old mascara, or your book collection, or your array of mismatched kitchen crockery, choose one area and go for it!
You will be amazed at how much better you feel and how refreshing it can be.
5 – Get Your Finances In Order
Don’t let the excitement of the holiday season (and end of year sales) railroad your finances - it's an easy hole to fall down.
Too often people get caught up at this time of year, putting all kinds of things on credit and store cards with the lure of paying them off later. Because isn't it great how cheap you bought it for?! Try adding on the credit card interest and the toll that stress debt is about to take on your mind and body. Now ask yourself, is that really a positive way to start the new year?
A little effort and restraint now will pay off big time later on.
6 – Set Your Intentions For Next Year
Now this is powerful stuff! I mentioned the good that comes out of reflection on the past year, but it's just as important to look forward to year that is coming.
Instead of just winging it (because let’s face it, that never works) take some time to actually set your intentions for the next year.
What is it you want to achieve? Where do you want to be a year from now? How do you want to feel? What do you want to learn? Are there places you want to visit? People you want to meet? Jobs you want or businesses you want to create?
Whatever it is you want, make some time now to set your intentions for the next year. Write them out and keep them somewhere. It can also be helpful to make note of step you need to take to make those intentions reality.
Whenever you’re feeling lost throughout the year, or whenever you feel like you’re not going anywhere, check back on your intentions to help you plan your next action steps.
7 – Choose A ‘Word Of The Year’
An acquaintance of mine, while on the phone last week, was telling me about a great book she found helpful in growing her professional life. She used the term "woo woo" and I laughed. But now it's my turn. Choosing a 'word of the year' might sound a little ‘woo woo’ but hear me out.
Krystal Kleidon from Project Hot Mess gave a great example. She wrote, "At the start of last year, I decided I wanted to give myself a word of the year. Something that I could say over and over to myself that would help me keep on track.
The word I chose was ‘Simplify’.
I was over complicating every aspect of my life and it was draining – mentally, emotionally and physically.
As a self confessed over thinker, reminding myself time and time again to ‘simplify’ helped me keep moving forward instead of getting stuck in my own head and spinning on the spot."
Your 'word of the year' can keep you from spiraling down rabbit holes, keep you focused, keep your intentions moving forward, and inspire you.
What word could help you keep on track to achieve what you want this next year?
8 – Take Time To Create Your Dream Life
This has been a big one for me recently as I have been trying to do more for me and to rediscover myself after feeling lost in the past years' events. Have you ever actually taken the time to think about what your dream life looks like? Not snippets here and there like ‘It’s my dream to live in this house’ or ‘It’s my dream to drive that car’ but actually how it all looks together.
How do you spend your days in your dream life? What does your financial situation look like? What do your relationships look like? What are you doing for yourself? And for others?
The hard part is not getting too bogged down in what you think is ‘realistic’. Remember, this is your dream life. Make it as amazing as you want it to be.
When you start thinking about what your dream life looks like, you will naturally start making more choices that lead you towards that life… it won’t happen overnight but if you keep working towards it, and focusing on it, you will get there.
9 – Set Out An Action Plan For Your Goals
Be sure not to confuse your dream life with your goals. Your goals are specific things you want to achieve, but without an action plan they are useless. It’s all well and good to say that you want to earn x amount of money next year, but without a job, or a plan in place, it’s unlikely to actually happen.
Your action plan consists of steps you need to take in order achieve your goal. They are very specific and sequential – for example if you want to be able to run in a marathon by the end of the year, it's probably not realistic to think you're going to get a pair of running shoes, hit the track, and stride out 52 miles.
You create a plan, like committing to training every day at 6am, hiring a trainer to help you, starting off by walking 3 miles, then a little further, then adding some running in, then a little more (please don't put this plan into action, as I have obviously never ran a marathon).
The point is, you need to create an action plan that gives you step by step how you can achieve your goal so you can move forward one step at a time and achieve it.
In the couple days remaining, use some times to start one, two, five things on this list. Reading this isn't a contract to finish all these steps ASAP and get to work. No, this is simply inspiration (I hope) to remind you that a little mindfulness can make for a much happier, motivated productive next year.