For most people New Year’s is a party and an excuse to get dressed up and drink copious amounts of champagne. I won’t lie, I do generally take part in the festivities, but for me New Year’s is more about the significance of a great year coming to an end and a fresh beginning as a new year sneaks around the corner. It’s a time to curl up with a cup of tea and re-examine the direction my life + career are headed and make some short/long term goals for what is coming next.
New Year’s resolutions are always thought to be so dramatic and life changing, when we all know they generally only last till the end of January and then are forgotten until the following New Year.
This year I challenge you to break this cycle and begin to focus on the things that make you better and grow as an individual! These things can be in your personal life, your career or even how you see yourself. The best resolution you can make is one that will result in you being healthy, happy and confident in your life and your own skin.
Take the time to reflect! Look at where you are now, versus a year ago. Are you happy with where you are in your life and most importantly are you happy with yourself? Reflecting gives us the chance to learn from the past, celebrate successes and see what we would like to do differently in the future.
For all those who think you stop learning once you graduate University – think again! I always say I think I learned more in my first year out of school than I did within the 4 years it took to get my degree. With that being said for a girl who always has a plan, my life has veered pretty far off from what I had pictured it was going to look like. However, I am ok with where I am. You can’t plan when an opportunity is going to arise, you just have to buckle in and go along for the ride. Needless to say I am excited see where life leads me next – plan or no plan!
Keep it short + sweet
Sometimes less is more! I know this sounds cliche, but in this instance it holds to be true. As C.S Lewis put perfectly:
“ Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?”
Think of making smaller changes to your everyday routine and eventually each adjustment will lead to larger accomplishments without you even realizing it. Consider focusing on 1 or 2 goals for the year, instead of creating a laundry list of things you plan on doing within 365 days. Accomplishing a few smaller goals can lead to much larger ones in the future!
Setting vague goals such as “this year I am going to eat more healthy” or “I am going to be a nicer person” are great things to want to achieve, but difficult to execute. Be specific and create goals that are simple and measurable, such as I will pursue 2 random acts of kindness a day, or I will only have 4 cups of coffee a week instead of 2 a day. Both are attainable and your progress is easily seen – win win!
Write it down
This may sound silly, but it can be vital to the success of your resolutions. You are creating a contract with yourself and you need to validate it. Write it down somewhere that you will see it daily, such as a note on your bathroom mirror. This will create a daily reminder of where you want to be and allow you to continually check in with yourself to see how you are doing.
Cut the stress!
According to an article written by the Calgary Sun, 25% of Calgarians are stressed, making us the most stressed out region in Alberta. Given the state of our economy I am not surprised in the slightest! However, stress is dangerous to your health and can subsequently make you underperform in your daily tasks. Think of the things that are causing you unnecessary large amounts of stress in your life and create goals that work towards reducing this, or better yet eliminating it!
Purge your life of anything that is no longer providing you with some sort of value. This might sound a little self loathing, but when you have less around you it allows you to appreciate the small things and have a better perspective on your life. I am talking about everything, including your home, career, heart, head and even the people in your social circle. Letting go of relationships that no longer feed you or give you joy allows you to focus and nurture the relationships that do.
Focus on your strengths
“When you do what you love, everything else falls into place.”
Figure out what you are good at and find time to focus on this. Generally, we are the happiest when we are doing something that we are truly passionate about. You also never know when a hobby could create a new opportunity, or lead you to discover something new about yourself.
Try something new
Whether it be something on your bucket list or something you never thought you would be interested in – try it! As Neale Donald Walsch said:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
When you are in routine, doing the same things day in and day out, your life can become stagnant and often boring. No longer are you learning new things, meeting new people or experiencing things in life, you’re merely existing. Memories are created when we discover new experiences and do things that give us butterflies. So book that spontaneous trip, sign up for a crazy workout class, volunteer or even try something new in your career!
Keep it positive
Maybe you don’t need to focus on eliminating something from your life, rather adding to it. In our society we are so focused on dreading Mondays and our upcoming deadlines. Focus on positive goals and they will reflect positively in your life.
Find your dream job!
I know this sounds easier said than done, but as the mighty Confucius said:
“Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
You may as well begin working on it now and if this is not your year to secure the job of your dreams, at least you’re one step closer!
Create a resolution specific to you
Just because everyone else is giving up wine and loosing weight this year, does not mean you have to as well. Jump off the bandwagon and take the time to examine every aspect of your life and figure out the parts that need work, or that you are not 100% happy with. Maybe you just want to read a good book this year! My point is, the decision is yours and no one else’s. This year make it your mission to become the best possible version of yourself and to create a life that fulfills you, makes you happy and that you are confident and comfortable living, because that is what is most important!