Five quick tips to start the New Year

Five quick tips to start the New Year

A few days into the New Year and you might already be feeling like you didn’t start it off right. For many people, when the fireworks die down, they will still have to wake up to the same life, with the same job and aspirations. What should be different?

Your approach to the new year is what needs to be different. Instead of filling a notebook with solutions you feel half-hearted about, why not try something different?

Here are five tips on how you can start your year off on the right track. If you are determined to grow personally and professionally this year, then these tips are for you.

1. Think about the previous year
The first step to a better future is taking stock of what happened in the past. To say that 2020 was a difficult year is an understatement. Just like anyone else, you had to deal with a situation you could never have dreamed of, and it undoubtedly had a lasting effect on you.

Start with what you liked in the previous year. This may be difficult given the year in question, but if you look back with an objective lens and a clearer view, you may notice some blessings that you hadn’t considered before. After all, hindsight is 20/20, right? (game of words)

As you ponder, here are some questions to consider:

What has worked for you professionally?

What has worked in your personal life?

What did you envision for the year compared to where you are now?

Did you manage to turn around so that you reach your goal?

What would you change about the way you handled the situation (think global, professional, and personal situations)?

Although this exercise requires you to be self-critical, be careful not to put yourself down. If there were situations you could have handled better, admit it with respect and objectivity, not malice and self-loathing.

The right amount of self-criticism will wake you up and push you to be better. If you start to feel discouraged during your reflection, remind yourself that you are still standing and actively working to be better. This is the creation of a strong personality.

2. Set goals
Now that you have a clear understanding of what went right and what went wrong in the past year, you can move forward into your present and future. Set goals for the year and plan how you will achieve them.

After the reflection exercise, you may notice that you still have some unfulfilled goals from last year. Before you set them as goals for this year, think carefully about why they are still unfulfilled and whether they are still in line with your beliefs or really something you want. What you wanted in the previous one could have changed for many reasons.

One thing I find people are afraid to do is let it go. Sometimes your beliefs and aspirations change, especially when you have a life-changing experience. Letting go of your previous view can be scary, especially since it means embracing the unknown most of the time. However, maintaining goals that no longer match your true self will only waste time and energy, both of which are vital resources that you must guard diligently and spend wisely.

However, you can carry forward any goals that are still aligned with your goal and are outstanding from the last year. Also, set any new goals you may have for this particular year.

There are tons of resources online on how to set SMART goals, or you can visit my Goal Setting Boot Camp which provides in-depth guidance on how to set strong goals. Whichever you decide, do your research and give yourself plenty of time to work on each one. It’s important to keep your pace; the only competition you are in is with yourself.

3. Cultivate your support system
This step is really important and most often overlooked. Looking at your list of goals, you may feel like you can achieve them on your own. The idea that we’ve “done it ourselves” has been shoved down our throats for years, and asking for help is seen as weakness.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

No human being is an island. Unless you’re a monk seeking enlightenment through solitude, isolating yourself for extended periods of time is a bad idea. Studies show that prolonged isolation can lead to cognitive decline.

Michael Sifre, a French scientist and adventurer, locked himself in a cave for six months as part of an experiment. By the end of the second month, he reported that he “could barely string his thoughts together.” And he still had four months left!

Isolation is not only social. You can be surrounded by people and still feel isolated. It’s harder to notice, but that’s why this isolation is so insidious.

In a culture that increasingly seeks to tear people apart, go against the grain and nurture the relationships that matter most to you. Identify the people who have played an important role in your life and make time for them. Allow them to support you and in turn support them.

Now I understand that not everyone has someone to rely on. That’s why I’m here to help you and guide you to your success. Send me a message outlining your mentoring needs and I can help you get started with what you have.

4. Set a schedule
Here’s an open secret: nothing gets done that you haven’t set a time for. You know how people say they’re busy all the time? Well, the truth is, whatever they’re putting off with those two words, “I’m busy,” really just isn’t a priority in their lives. What you prioritize, you find time for.

Which brings us to this fourth tip. Create a schedule. And stick to it.

I know many people hate schedules, preferring instead to go with the flow and believe that a free range approach is effective. However, in my experience, the free range approach rarely works, and when it does, it’s only for small to intermediate targets. If your goals are big to the point where they scare you, then a schedule is your best friend.

First of all, your chart tells you what is most important in the current season of your life. It also shows you exactly how much time you could be stealing from your top priority through procrastination and other bad habits.

A schedule also helps you cultivate the necessary discipline that every successful person has. Once you set your schedule and stick to it, you gain a newfound respect for your time and energy, as well as the time and energy of other people.

Note: When setting your schedule, the goal is not to fill it with tons of stuff every day. It’s about creating the day you find most meaningful and fulfilling. This includes talking to your friends, going out where possible and spending time with family.

5. Detox from social media
Finally, it’s important for you to start your year by taking time away from social media. Fear of missing out (FOMO) keeps us glued to our screens, mindlessly scrolling through social media graphs and consuming all kinds of content. The result? Information overload.

We live in the information age and as a result of the technological advancements made over the years, tremendous good things have been done. However, information overload has begun to create serious problems in society. Information overload has been reported to have terrible effects on the human brain, not the least of which is reduced information retention and feelings of exhaustion (even when you haven’t been as productive).

A healthy way to start the year would be to go offline for a while, a weekend, a week, or if you’re really committed, a month. Take this time to reconnect with yourself, pick up a new hobby that doesn’t require any gadgets, like drawing, reading or walking.

Some benefits of a social media detox include improved mood, higher self-esteem, and greater presence as you connect more with the real world.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you want a little help getting started with your goals for the year, visit us at and take advantage of a free consultation and let me help you start your journey to success.

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