How To Get Your Life Together in 2018
Ahh, another year and another gone, a brand new year has just begun. Happy New Year to all, and welcome to 2018! We've made it through the ups and downs of 2017 and we're jumping onto a clean slate.
MAYBE 2017 wasn't the year you were expecting it to be, or maybe it was, regardless, now is the time to make sure you start the new year off right. This is How To Get Your Life Together in 2018.
1. LET GO OF LAST YEAR. A wise man once said you can't drive forward staring in the rearview mirror. The first step to beginning the new year is to let go of the previous one. Think of the new year like the beginning of a new relationship, you can't start off fresh hoping for the best dragging your baggage along with you. Own up to your mistakes of the last year, the things that disappointed you or things you were not able to do. Forgive yourself for not doing them. But also reflect on the good things that happened during the past year and how everything, good or bad, has made you different today.
2. HABITS TO BREAK. The only difference between last year and this new year is one second. That's literally it! A second. You cannot expect yourself to be a completely different person just because the calendar has a new digit. You've spent the last 365 days doing the same things that prevented you from achieving your goal in the first place. What makes you think that you're going to be any different when the clock strikes 12? The truth is, the thing that allows us to move forward and accomplish our goals for a better version of ourselves is the little things we do everyday, the habits we make. Make a list of the bad habits that you need to break, and start breaking them.
For example, one of my goals this year is to be in the best shape of my life (I swear that was my goal last year!) So what stoped me from doing that before? Late night snacking, not getting enough sleep, not drinking enough water. 3 bad habits that have kept me from achieving this goal. This time, I'm going to focus on those little bad habits, the things that I already do, before focusing my energy on brand new ones. So first, create a little space.
3. DECLUTTER AND CLEAN. Speaking of space, declutter your surroundings. I always find it so much easier too focus and get things done when I am surrounded by a clean environment. So take the time to clean out your wardrobe, throw out old electronics that don't work and get rid of some of the knick-knacks you're not using anymore. Start with the 90-day rule: if you haven't reached for it in 90 days, set it aside. If you don't reach for it in the next 90 days, throw it out, sell or donate it.
4. OVERARCHING GOAL VS PRIORITIES. One of the biggest reasons why we don't often achieve our new years resolution is because we are making the goal to big. Now, in every other aspect of life, its good to dream big, but when it comes to resolutions, big over-arching goals become daunting and we're more likely to give up. Instead, set priorities for the year and make mini goals (we'll come back to this a little later).
5. DO A LITTLE MORE. Lets try a little exercise! I want you to raise your hand as high as you can. Good, now raise it just a little higher. You see that, you raised your hand higher than you thought you could. In everything you do this year, give it your all, give it your best and give it everything you've got. If its worth even an ounce of your time, it is worth doing it to the best of your abilities. So when you think you've given it your all, just give a little more, and you will surprise yourself.
6. TRY SOMETHING NEW. One of the best ways to make the most out of the year is to keep it full of excitement. It is moments and memories that truly make us happy so at any time you get this year, make it a priority to have new experiences. Try something new. This could be as simple as joining a book club, learning a new language or skill, volunteering, taking a trip even if its just in your own city to a part of town you've never been before.
7. INVEST IN YOURSELF. It is so easy for me to drop a pretty penny on the latest and best beauty has to offer. But when it comes to spending on things (monetary, time or otherwise) that will help bring me closer to my goal, its always so hard for me (like finally signing up for that gym membership). This year, it is a priority for me to invest in myself. That means taking the time to read those books I wanted to read, meditating, signing up for that online course I've been meaning to start a bullet journal and this year I'm finally ready to commit to it. Investing in yourself doesn't always mean monetary, it means taking the time to put yourself first.
8. MOTIVATION. I said we'd come back to this. All of this advice is great and following them will definitely kick off your new year on the right foot, but what happens after the first two weeks in January? After the hype of the new year fizzles out, its hard to keep that momentum going and we slip back into our old habits. The key is to build motivation. Just like a muscle, you have to work at it everyday. You're not going to find it in a book, or in a podcast, or a clever quote; because the book has a finite number of pages, the podcast is limited by seconds, and a quote, well, its only a few sentences long. You have to build your own motivation by working on your mind. Cleansing the thoughts that you entertain throughout the day. To work on anything else, be it studies, work or health, work on the mind first.
9. ONE A DAY THOUGHTS. Last year was a very difficult year for me. I was pulled to two extreems in a short amount of time. After four hard and long years of university, I graduated with my Bachelors degree and although it was hard, I wouldn't change it for the world. Walking across the stage made it all worth it. But at the same time, within 14 days, I found myself flying home to Saint Vincent for my father's funeral. My dad passed away just two weeks before my graduation and let me tell you, I was a mess. I found myself just focusing on the negative all the time, because it is so easy to do. By nature, we are predisposed to focus on the bad and neglect the good, so what I decided to do was to make it a point to note the good things that happen during the year. Everyday I write down one thing I am grateful for and put them in a jar. At the end of the year, no matter what happens, there will be at least 365 amazing reasons why 2018 was a good year.
Find out more about my One A Day Greateful Jar 365
10. WRITE YOURSELF A LETTER. I remember back in grade school, my teacher made us create a time capsule. We wrote letters to future selves filled with our hopes and dreams and wishes for the future. I read my letters back in 2016 at the 10 year mark and I was amazed at how much I had accomplished. Things that my little 12 year old self could not even fathom, I did. Write a letter to yourself dated Jan 1st 2018 to your self on December 31st 2018. Make a promise to your future self all the things you are going to do this year. Your hopes, dreams and wishes for the foreseeable future. Put it in an envelope and hang it on the wall where you can see it. Keep in plain sight as a reminder of that promise you made to yourself, and work everyday to uphold that promise. 12 months from now when you open that letter, you will be amazed by how much you have been able to achieve this year.
You are smarter than you think, stronger than you know, and more powerful than you can ever imagine.