9 Tips to Make This Year Your Best Year Yet
14 January, 2020
As the year draws to a close, it’s easy to be reminiscent about the days gone by. For many, the end of the year is a time to celebrate and be thankful for the experiences we’ve had, but it’s important to remember that the end of one year also marks the start of the next. So, as we wave goodbye to one year, we need to be ready to usher in the next.
Regardless of the year you’ve just had, it’s worth taking time to prepare yourself for what’s coming next. If the thought of planning for the future makes you a little nervous, worry not, we’ve got nine top tips to make this year your best year yet. Let’s get to it!
Reflect on the previous year
The best way to grow is to learn from the past. For many of us, the new year is a time for growth and positive change, so we can use lessons from the previous year to guide us in the right direction.
However, try not to get caught up in categorizing certain experiences as “good” or “bad.” When we start labeling experiences as successes and failures, we start to color that experience in a way that can make it harder to learn from. Instead, focus on the little things that you can take away from each and every experience to improve as you move forward. Learn from the past, be open to change, and consider how the lessons you learn from each experience can be invaluable tools in the future.
Stay on top of your physical wellness
Regardless of who you are, physical wellness is key to feeling good. If your physical body isn’t performing at its best, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll be your best self. So, before the calendar changes, take some time to reflect on how you fared with your physical wellness during your pat year.
Did you exercise as much as you wanted to? Did school, work, family, or other obligations get in the way? Even if you felt like you stayed pretty active last year, think about what worked well and what could be improved upon. Perhaps try taking up a new sport or joining a local exercise group. Small steps go a long way toward physical wellness.
Stay socially active
When we get busy or stressed, it’s easy to pull back from social engagements and activity. However, social and interpersonal connections are important for both personal and professional reasons. Although it’s okay (and encouraged!) to take time for yourself, don’t forget to put yourself out there a bit and meet new people. Expanding your professional and personal networks can provide ample opportunities and support when you need them most.
As the years go by, many of us become more and more specialised, turning down opportunities for learning and growth. This year, consider broadening your horizons by taking up a new instrument, learning a language, or taking a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn. Learning new skills can help you grow an, perhaps, can open up new opportunities that never would’ve been available to you before.
Set SMART goals
Every year, people around the world make “new year’s resolutions,” only to abandon them by the end of January. The problem with these resolutions? They’re often too vague and much too ambitious. Instead of making a resolution to “lose weight” or “do better in school,” set smaller goals to help you achieve your dreams.
The best goals are “SMART,” or specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. So, if you want to do better in school, it can be helpful to consider where your weaknesses are, as this can help you understand where you can grow. Then, think about how you can devise a study plan or seek our additional academic resources to help you ace your exams and meet your goals.
Don’t forget to prioritize balance
When we start a new calendar year, it’s easy to become focused on a single goal so much so that your other pursuits fall behind. So, regardless of what goals you set for yourself, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t ignore certain parts of your life in favor of others.
Balance is key to a successful year, so take some time to consider how changes in certain parts of your life will affect others. If you’ve joined your local rugby club, consider how this new commitment will affect your academic work. Alternatively, if you’re focusing on your academic success, don’t let your physical well-being lag behind.
Know when it’s okay to let go
Sometimes, relationships and commitments that we have in our lives become less relevant and meaningful over time. As we roll into a new year, you want to be open to new experiences, but you don’t want to pile up too much on your plate. Additionally, as we learn and grow, some past relationships, commitments, and activities may no longer have a positive impact on our lives, so it may be time to dissolve these connections in favor of things that bring you more joy.
Focus on what makes you happy
Even the most well-intended advice can be detrimental well-being, especially if it’s at odds with what you really want. Throughout our lives, we all face certain pressures from others, particularly our close family and friends, which, while well-intended, may not really be what makes you happy.
So, as we move into this next year, think about what parts of your life make you happy and which parts you could move away from. If you feel like pressure from your close family and friends is forcing you into activities and commitments you’re not keen on, reflect on what it is that you really want and set goals to get there without breaking down bridges.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
When we set goals, it’s easy to get upset when we don’t achieve them. However, instead of looking at an experience as either a success or failure, we can find value and meaning from all of life’s happenings and use each experience as a lesson for future growth.
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