In just a few short weeks, we will welcome in the year 2022. Some of us may be embracing it with open arms, ready to put 2021 behind us, while others are riddled with anxiety over the prospects of the upcoming year. Wherever you fall, there are steps you can take now to set your New Year up for success. No longer must we let the New Year simply happen to us, we can take the reins with confidence with these strategies.
DO A REVIEW OF THE PAST YEAR
The first step to moving forward is to do a thorough reflection on the year that’s passed.
First off, you will ask yourself what went well. Celebrating your wins is just as important as going over areas to improve. Write down 5-10 accomplishments or “wins” you have achieved this year and why they matter to you. This will show you truly all you have done this year and bolster your confidence for reaching next year’s goals.
Next, reflect on what didn’t go so well. Jot down any unmet goals or unfinished projects, as well as any losses or disappointments you’ve had over the past year. Then, you will record how you feel about each of these. This will help you measure if these are items you are eager to fix and work on, or if you are content to leave them be.
Lastly, you will want to record what you have learned. It’s important to remember that these lessons can be in any aspect of your life whether that be family, work, health, finances, and more. Write down at least 5 lessons you’ve learned this past year and how you will implement the necessary changes for the upcoming year. By recognizing and applying what you’ve learned you will ensure you’re always making progress.
SET SMART GOALS
While it’s fun to make the traditional New Year’s Resolutions, they are often vague and unrealistic. In fact, studies show approximately 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. A better way to set goals is to set SMART goals.
SMART goals are:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
The resolution of “start healthier habits,” is destined to fail. Make specific goals such as “drink 8 cups of water a day,” or “put 20% of each paycheck into savings.” Being sure they are specific and measurable will help you know when they have been achieved.
Next, make sure the goals are attainable and realistic. For instance, it is not physically attainable to train for a marathon in one month, so setting that goal is setting yourself up for failure. Going one step further, make sure it is realistically attainable. Break your goals up into bite size pieces, so your confidence will grow as you reach each one. Following the running example, a realistic goal may be to start walking for 30 minutes each day.
Setting timely goals keeps them from being open ended and leading to procrastination. Give yourself a realistic timeframe with a set date so you know exactly what you’re working towards.
A great way to start fresh in the New Year is to give your physical and digital spaces a thorough declutter. Messy spaces can affect our mental health and productivity, so it’s important not to let them get out of control. Donate unneeded items and give your home a refreshing clean.
Your digital spaces are just as if not more important than our physical ones. Delete old photos and do an inbox clear out. Log into your social media accounts and unfollow anyone toxic or brings up feelings of insecurity. You do not need these influences in the upcoming year.
For more tips, check out our comprehensive cleaning guide blog post.
MAKE TRAVEL PLANS
Or, if you don’t like to travel, plan a staycation. Whichever way you like to relax, it’s important to plan this into your year ahead of time. Numerous studies have shown the positive effects vacations have on both your physical and mental health. From the decreased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure to depression and anxiety, the benefits are all-encompassing.
Not only that, but vacations will improve your motivation in your job and nurture your family relationships. Planning this ahead of time will ensure you have it set in your calendar and can notify your work. Not only that but planning itself may increase happiness. Some can experience an elevated mood up to eight weeks before the trip.
WELCOME THE NEW YEAR
Taking these steps will set yourself up for success in all areas of your life. If the past year has been difficult or felt stagnant, hopefully, this list will better prepare you for the one ahead. You will be able to welcome the coming year with a new confidence that you’ve covered all your bases from refreshing your home to setting realistic goals, to planning much deserved downtime.