The new year is always a good opportunity for a fresh start. It’s a time to look back on what happened in the last year, evaluate our life choices, find areas to improve on, and set goals for this year. People often create New Year’s resolutions. But like most resolutions, these are easy to make but hard to stick to.
Most New Year’s resolutions will start with ‘Do not’ or ‘Stop’, like ‘Stop smoking’ or ‘Do not eat unhealthy food’. Instead of starting the new year with negative words, using more positive words and phrases can create a positive energy flow and uplift our personal thoughts and actions. Here are some positive ways to kick-start the new year:
1. Look back, think, learn and plan
To create better resolutions and set good goals, be aware of what you need to improve on. Start by looking back. To do a self-evaluation, try to answer these questions:
- What did I do well last year?
- What did I miss?
- What problems or roadblocks (if any) did I encounter?
- How well did I address these problems?
- What areas do I need to improve on?
- How will I improve on these areas?
List them down. Give yourself some time to sit down and think. This will help you evaluate your life choices in the past so you can recalibrate and focus on what you really need to improve on. In this way, you can plan your goals effectively and make better life choices for this year.
2. Write a personal mission statement
A short personal statement or purpose statement can be quite powerful. It will keep reminding you of your goals and aspirations. Write it down on a piece of paper and place it near your workstation or computer where you can easily see it every day. This will be a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish this year.
3. Commit to fitness
The new year is here and for many of us, it is a good time to start working on our fitness goals. Perhaps, this is the most difficult of all resolutions so let’s keep it simple and fun. Try to commit to working out a certain number of times each week. For example, try jogging for 20 minutes every day, walking 10,000 steps a day, or committing to 1 hour at the gym 3 times a week. Complementing that with healthier food choices will go a long way. When it comes to fitness, doing activities that are fun for you will make it easier. So, find the type of exercise that is enjoyable for you and fits right into your daily life. Remember that keeping a healthy body will result to a healthier mind and a more positive outlook in life.
4. Write a less and more list
Instead of your usual list of resolutions, try a ‘less and more’ list. This helps you avoid using the negative words like ‘stop’ and ‘do not’. Basically, you list down what you will do less in the first column, and then write down what you will do more on the second column. You can print out this list and place it near your work area or desk to serve as a daily reminder.
5. Find a mentor
Find an opportunity to work with a mentor. In your current workplace, look for someone who is in a position that you aspire to be. If there’s someone that inspires or encourages you to become the best person in your field, then let them know that you are interested in having a mentor-mentee relationship with them. The insights and learning you can gain from a mentor can advance your skills and career further.
6. Communicate and reconnect
In our busy lives, our personal relationships may often suffer and be put further down in our priority list. If last year you had less time with your family and friends, now is the time to reconnect. Set a schedule for personal time. That means putting your phone down and computer away, and enjoying big or small activities with family and friends. Call your parents, siblings or friends whom you have lost touch with. Making time for family and friends and communicating effectively will create a good support system and positive energy to your personal life.
7. Be a learner
Learning doesn’t stop after getting formal education. In any field, there will always be new ways of thinking, new innovation and technological advancement. Likewise, there will always be new knowledge to learn and new skills in demand in the job market. If you want to achieve success, learning is your key, whether it’s learning on the job through training or enhancing your skills through online courses. By gaining current industry skills, you will improve your career prospects and make yourself valuable to any organisation.
8. Practice a life of gratitude
Any small good thing when appreciated can add positivity to your life and the life of people around you. The best thing about practising gratitude is that it is quite simple to do. Recognise what you are grateful for, acknowledge it, and appreciate it. People who take the time to reflect on the things that they are grateful for sleep better, express more kindness and compassion, and become more hopeful. Keeping your mind healthy in this way also helps you avoid periods of sadness and depression.
We hope this list helps you start your year on the right track. Are you ready for 2018?
Let’s welcome the new year with a fresh mind and heart. Happy New Year!