Personal growth

Make this your best year yet!

It’s a brand-new year! Although some people say that January 1 is an arbitrary date and that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work, I always feel like the start of a new year is a good time to reflect and refocus. I’ve been doing a lot of planning and and goal-setting over the past week, and am really excited for what’s ahead in 2016.

Have you thought about what you want to accomplish this year? While New Year’s Resolutions are always made with the best of intentions, it’s true that they won’t be effective unless you put some actual goals and planning behind them. Try some of the following exercises to get clear about what you want to accomplish in 2016 and start the year off on the right foot.

  • Write down your goals. People are 42 percent more likely to achieve their goals just by writing them down. Be specific if you can. If your goals seem overwhelming, see if you can break them down into smaller action items that you can easily tackle. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, check the class schedule at your gym or yoga studio and add some class times to your calendar so you can plan to go.
  • Buy yourself a fun planner. After a few years of trying to rely on my digital tools, I’m back to using a physical planner. It’s just way more effective for me to be able to write things down and see them on paper. Pick a planner you’ll enjoy using every day. (I’m waiting for Inkwell Press’s imperfect planner sale.)
  • Cultivate gratitude. Write down at least 10 good things that happened in 2015. I did this yesterday and was surprised by how many things I thought of once I got going. Here are a few of mine:
    1. Went to Maui and got to attend a writing seminar with Wayne Dyer, just two months before he passed away
    2. Had an amazing vacation in Costa Rica with family and friends
    3. Bought my dream car!
    4. Watched my husband graduate from nursing school and get his dream job working in an ICU

    You might even want to start a gratitude journal or a “happiness jar” — every time something good happens this year, write it down on a slip of paper and put it in your jar. Then at the end of the year, you’ll have a year’s worth of good memories to review and be grateful for.

  • Set a theme for 2016. Mine is “expansion.” I chose this because expansion can represent growth in a number of areas, and it can also be a reminder to challenge yourself. Broaden your viewpoint. Step out of your comfort zone. Do something every day that scares you. Open yourself up to more possibilities and create space in your life for whatever the Universe is ready to deliver to you.

For more New Year’s inspiration, join the 30-day Infinite Possibilities Project on!


One comment

  1. I love this post! And I agree with keeping a physical planner. It’s much more effective than a digital planner! I bought a physical wall calendar last year for $1 and tracked my workouts for the entire year…it was much more motivating and helpful to see my workouts in front of me every day vs having to log into a digital calendar to see them.

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