Self-reflection can be difficult, but it is a necessary part of making lasting change. Now it's time to plan. You have a dream that is screaming to be brought to life. Lay out how to make it happen. Write your dream(s) and goals. When you're developing your plan, pay special attention to your habits. Better habits are what will make this an incredible year.
Most of the world sees a new year as a time to make massive changes in their lives. It’s the daily choices that we make that lead to lasting change. That’s why New Year’s Resolutions are so ineffectual. This year, you can start and finish strong by making better choices each day. Here are some tips for making sure this is your best year ever.
Take a few days to review the last year.
- What did you learn, both positive and negative? What mistakes did you make? What were your biggest wins?
- Do you see a pattern to any of your mistakes? Can you see that many of your challenges are caused by committing the same mistakes year after year?
- Now, consider your friends and family. What challenges did they face? What were their successes? What can you learn from them?
- Take the best and the worst from your past and learn from them. Make use of that information to enhance your life.
Find alternatives to your least effective actions. Maybe you procrastinate too much or consistently show up to work late. What are the changes you want to make in the coming year?
Identify those behaviors that support your success. Perhaps you made your spouse feel loved and lost 25 pounds. Those are the type of behaviors you want to repeat.
Redesign Your Life by Creating New Habits
Most of us sleepwalk through life more often than we care to admit. If you want to live a happier, more fulfilling life, take stock of what makes you happy. What brings you joy and makes you feel alive? Now, redesign your life to make sure those things are a part of it.
Using your reflections, decide which obligations and expectations you can change or delete entirely, so you live a life full of joy and purpose. Make a conscious decision to choose to live life to the fullest every day. Sometimes, making changes you want to see in your life feels nearly impossible. It takes a willingness to step outside your comfort zone to make significant changes that will transform your world. If you want to start your year out right, these subtle changes can be the beginning of a happier, healthier life.
Create new habits
Choose habits that will counteract your less-effective behaviors and ensure your positive behaviors occur more frequently. Here are some examples:
- Procrastination: Take immediate action when you know something needs to be done. Remind yourself of the pain procrastination has caused in the past and imagine how amazing it will feel to complete the task.
- Late to work: Place your alarm on the other side of the room so you’re forced to get out of bed. Choose your clothes the night before. Commit to leaving the house in plenty of time.
- Spouse: Spend 15 minutes each day doing something nice for your spouse. Remind yourself of what you love about them.
- Lost 15 lbs: Continue making healthy food choices and working out three times each week.
Track Your Time. We’re all busy. But many people use busyness as an excuse for keeping the status quo, even when they say they want to change. One simple way to find “wasted time” in your schedule is to track it. For at least three days, keep track of what you do all day long. Once you are aware of how you use your time, you can choose to reallocate any you deem as "wasted" to other tasks. Whatever your goal is this year, choosing to spend your time working on it each day will make sure you end the year where you want to be.
Monitor yourself. If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly slip back into your old patterns of behavior. Change is challenging, and you can expect to face a lot of internal resistance. Avoid being too hard on yourself when you slip. Just vow to redouble your efforts in the future!
Celebrate your successes. When you apply what you’ve learned from last year, you can expect some great things to happen. Appreciate them and be proud of yourself. This is the best way to ensure good things keep happening. Reinforce your behavior by feeling good about yourself.
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