Each year around mid-December the media buzz about New Year’s resolutions begins. From fitness studio specials to various other business promotions, ‘tis the season to take advantage of the fresh start that a new year signifies for many of us. The idea of writing resolutions to better ourselves is a positive one; however, the reality is that resolutions generally appeal to our sense of willpower, which is way overrated when it comes to personal achievement and happiness. Only about 8% of us achieve our new year’s resolutions, while the other 92% give up in months, weeks or even just days – and often continue this annual pattern of failure.  We challenge you to forget about new year’s resolutions and instead to think about each day of 2016 as a new opportunity to commit to yourself and your well-being.  

 

5 Steps To Make 2016 Your Best Year Yet:

newyearcard1/ Let Sh*t Go. Reflecting on the past can be useful, especially when it comes to trying not to repeat the same mistakes in life. However, when we allow our past struggles to consume our present it prevents us from being happy and moving forward. Instead, we kind of feel stuck.  Moving past sensitive issues can be particularly challenging when it comes to long established or intense relationships (like those with family). However, breaking free and letting things go is essential in allowing us to embrace the present and to believe in the future. Whatever is haunting you – deal with it, process it, talk about it – and move through and past it. You owe it to yourself to protect that beautiful heart of yours.

2/ Get Over Yourself.  All jokes aside, it’s time to take yourself a little less seriously. When you’re a high-powered and driven person this one can be tough. However, one of life’s most valuable lessons is that we can’t control everything that happens to us.  But we can control how we react. When we take life and ourselves too seriously, we lose our ability to be flexible and to adapt when hardships arise. We also can be pretty cruel to ourselves when we get things wrong; even while knowing no one is perfect, somehow we expect ourselves to be. So when things aren’t going well, and that voice in your head is full of judgment and negativity, turn down the volume and remind yourself: it’s all good. I’ve got this. And if not today, you will tomorrow. As Winston Churchill once advised, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

calendar3/ Set Goals + Define Next Steps. Regardless of how they may change, the power of having goals is pretty fierce. Write them down and keep them somewhere visible. Take time to think about what you truly want. (Hint: This will take more than just a few minutes.) Think long-term but plan short-term.  Define your next steps.  Setting a goal without a strategy is kind of like writing a new year’s resolution without a plan – and setting yourself up for failure. You know yourself best. What do you really want? What motivates you? Be realistic and use your self-awareness to come up with a game plan. Meanwhile, recognize that your goals, dreams and visions may change (and this only adds to the richness of your journey).

happy girl4/  Be Silly + Play.  We throw this one in there for anyone who needs reminding: the power of silliness and play are pretty huge. Even trendy office buildings these days are placing greater value on the fun factor, with ping pong tables set up and karaoke events organized for employees.  Letting loose does wonders for your creativity and your happiness, in addition to greatly reducing stress.  We all have this playfulness inside of us — within our problem-solving, mature and highly functioning selves — and it’s dying to get out.  Revel in a little silly.

5/  Keep a Conscious Calendar.  Take a good look at how you manage your time.   Make sure that even while balancing a hectic schedule you are consciously making time for 1) yourself, 2) people you love and 3) doing things you love.  We’re all busy and sometimes it feels impossible to make time for those we care about, but life is short.  Don’t let too much time pass before connecting with loved ones – and this includes yourself.  ‘Me time’ is hugely important in increasing our happiness and the quality of our relationships (read more here).

We hope the simplicity and straightforwardness of this list resonates with you and that it helps empower you to have your best year yet.  Every day, one day at a time. No matter what.  Keep striving, keep overcoming obstacles and keep believing in yourself.  All is possible and you are worth it.

 

* Song For This Moment: “Rise Up” performed Andra Day.

Related & Source Articles:

“Why Me Time Is So Important For Happiness”, article in Mind Body Green: http://goo.gl/OEBMH1

“New Year’s Resolutions”, article in Statistic Brain: http://goo.gl/vMGg9s