New Year’s Resolution: How to Start the Year Off Right

Don't let the new year catch you off guard. Now is the ideal time to implement these five strategies for kicking off the new year on the right foot and taking control of what you want out of life.

1. Conduct a yearly review

Take stock of where you've been and be proud of everything you've accomplished in the last year. In a typical yearly review, you should respond to the following questions:

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  • What did I do well last year?
  • What were my accomplishments?
  • How did I make my life better?
  • How did I improve my interpersonal relationships?
  • What did I get rid of in my life that is now making me happy?
  • What would I have liked to have spent more time on?

Keep track of these questions and your responses in a journal that you can refer to in the future: your answers will be very illuminating if you compare them year after year.

Inquire about all aspects of your life that are important to you, such as family, relationships, finances, career, home, and so on. These questions will help you appreciate everything you've accomplished in the previous year, and you'll be able to use this information to kick off the new year right and set better goals for the coming year.

2. Complete what you started

Which projects, errands, and general to-do items from the previous year do you have left over that you can complete in 2 hours or less? Do them now to get rid of the old items from your mind.

Keeping projects around like pets doesn't help us—it just weighs on our minds, and people will spend hours worrying about something that will only take 10 minutes to fix. Remove those items from your to-do list and give yourself a fresh start.

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3. Be honest with yourself

Dreaming is wonderful and highly recommended, but if you want to make changes in your life, you must be realistic. Even if you want something, chances are you don't really believe you can get it. (If you did, you would have already accomplished it.) Before a dream can become a reality, it must be transformed into something we can envision ourselves accomplishing.

Take your dream and start breaking it down into milestones: what steps do you need to take if you want to work from home? Break those steps down further so you can develop a game plan and begin working toward your goal.

4. Concentrate on what you truly desire

When it comes to dreams, consider what yours looks like. What exactly are you doing in your dream? How do you spend your days? Who else is in your dream with you? What is a typical day like?

These questions will help you define what kind of lifestyle you want and give you ideas on how to get it. For example, if you see yourself relaxing by the fire with a good book and a cup of tea, consider why you aren't doing so more often. What is getting in your way, and how can you rearrange your priorities to achieve the lifestyle you truly desire?

Continue digging at that response if you believe what you want is more money. What would you do if you had unlimited funds? Would you travel, volunteer, or live simply and quietly in the midst of it all?

We frequently believe that money is an end goal when, in reality, we are simply stuck in a rut and believe that we cannot do or have what we truly desire unless we have more money. Challenge that notion by digging for the things you truly desire and committing to pursuing them right now.

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5. Put yourself at the top of the priority list

Put yourself at the top of the list this year by using the information you gained above by determining what you truly want. We can't help others until we help ourselves, as the old adage goes. Taking care of yourself and setting goals for yourself will make you a better spouse, friend, child, and parent.

Our actions have a far greater impact on those around us than anything we say, and taking care of your own health and well-being means you'll be around for your loved ones for a longer period of time! Make time for yourself every day to work toward your goals or to live the lifestyle you desire.

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You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.

No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.

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