2016 has come to a triumphant end and as 2017 settles in, we are forced to set our intentions for a hopeful year. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been struck with anxiety and regret for not keeping up with your New Years Resolutions set at the beginning of the past year and begin the vicious cycle of (again) setting yourself unrealistic expectations for the New Year without taking into consideration key factors. So instead of forcing the same old New Years Resolutions on myself this year, I’ve decided to do things a little different and focus on the following:
1. 5 things I’m looking forward to in 2017
Having something to look forward to will bring happiness into your life well before the event actually takes place – in fact, sometimes the happiness in anticipation is greater than the happiness actually experienced in the moment. Everyone should be able to see at least a few fun things scheduled over the following weeks or months in their calendars, it gives hope for a brighter future and enhances your wellbeing by giving an atmosphere of growth.
2. 5 things you’d like to experience in 2017
Instead of writing down all the things you feel like you should be doing, focus on your experiences – this way you’re working on a number of achievements that you’d like to accomplish as well as broadening your life experience and making your year as enjoyable as you would like.
3. Envision yourself in a years time
Imagine yourself this time next year – reflecting on your eventful year; imagine all the things you’d like to say you’ve achieved, what shaped you and what made the year so special – meditate on these thoughts and act accordingly. Here are some great ideas from that I’ve taken from my Happiness Planner:
- Career: Where will you be? What will you be doing? What will you have achieved?
- Friends: Who do you want to be in your life then? Who will still be there? Who are the new people that will there? What kind of people do you want to attract into your life then?
- Activities / Hobbies: What activities will you be doing in your spare time? What hobbies will you be engaging in?
4. Make small life adjustments instead of major life changes
- “Lose weight” – change your perspective on weight loss, don’t associate it with skipping out on your favourite meals and spending countless hours in the gym, start a fun form of exercise, like Zumba, swimming, boxing or tennis lessons and make small adjustments to your diet rather than cutting out major food groups altogether.
- “Spend less, save more” – start small! This year I will be doing the “$5 challenge” which is whenever a £5 note comes into your possession, keeping it inside a jar or envelope and basically not touching it to the end of the year – again, it makes saving more fun and keeps me in control on what I want to save. Also, downloading some finance/money budgeting apps is a brilliant idea, some I recommend are Money Dashboard and Pariti which both allow you to monitor how you spend and a come up with a realistic amount which you can save every week/month.
- “Enjoy life to the fullest” – refer back to tip no. 1 & 2
Get the drift?
5. Make a Vision Board
Visualisation is one of the most powerful mind exercises you can do. Creating a sacred space that displays what you want actually does bring it to life – when you create a vision board and place it in a space where you see it often, you essentially end up doing short visualisation exercises throughout the day. After reflecting on the past year and visualising your life in the future, you now should have more clarity about exactly what you want to achieve in 2017. You should feel more focused and determined now that you have identified exactly what you want to happen and what you will do to make those things happen!
Don’t feel discouraged, let go of expectations, be in control of your life and guide yourself through the New Year with love and light! Making goals is important for your self-development; and it’s just as important to make them realistic, specific and measurable, that way, nothing can stop you. Make this New Year yours!