Here’s How to Have the Best New Year of Your LifeNew Year’s has been celebrated around the World for thousands of years – approximately 4,000 years from about 2,000 B.C. to the present time. I absolutely LOVE this time of year because it is a time to pause and reflect, a time to plan and set goals, and a time to create the LIFE you LOVE. If you have had a bad year, then all the more reason to close the chapter on the current year and start fresh. With the New Year approaching I am laying out the process to use the milestone of New Year’s to create an amazing New Year for yourself. According to the research, about 88% of people who set New Year’s resolutions fail! Why is that? What does it take to be in the 12% of people who are successful with respect to New Year’s resolutions? I assert that the 88% of people who fail with their resolutions fail because they do not have the habits, practices and support that is required to succeed. Intentions alone are nothing but good thoughts or ideas. Intentions have to be executed into action to be anything more than a thought. Resolutions are just thoughts or ideas. It takes action to translate the thought into something real. If you want to be in the 12% of people who reach their goals and succeed in attaining resolutions, there is a process to put into place. Before I layout the process, I want to go back to the theme and intention of my blog – to help you have a LIFE that you LOVE. That takes you getting clear, eventually, about what you want your life to look like. How do you want your life to go? What do you want in your life? What makes you happy? As I have said before, if you want a happy life you definitely need to know what it is that makes you happy. Unfortunately, a lot of people just simply don’t know what makes them happy. That is – I think – our societal norm. It might take exploring. It will definitely take actual thinking. Your New Year’s resolutions will hopefully spring from what you want your life to look like. What else would you base them on? If you are coming off of a bad year, which happens to a good number of people through no fault of their own, I want you to be compassionate with yourself. I want you to make peace with whatever happened and be able to create a fresh start. That might be easier said than done depending on what happened this past year. Regardless of what has gone down, it’s important that you make peace with it to be able to create a better future for yourself. If you are coming off of a fantastic year – that’s awesome – celebrate like crazy! Regardless of what kind of a year you have had – it’s good to keep steering your life in the direction that you want it to go in. Yes, I do this process. Every. Single. Year. I love this process. For many years, I even made my kids come up with a list of goals for themselves. It’s a great practice for any age. It is the process that sets the tone for the year. It is the process that supports me in having a life that I love. Yes, I have had plenty of bad things happen in my life, but when I look back over my life it’s not the bad things that I recall or remember. I remember all the really great stuff. Having a life that you love takes intentionality. You have to be really intentional. Otherwise you get sucked into the drift we call life. Life just happens. Maybe that works for you. I am asserting to really be wildly passionate about your life you have to be in the driver’s seat and take control. Don’t just let life happen to you. I invite you to enjoy this process. The reason that I love this process is because I know that it works. It really works. If you have never done this before then it will feel unusual or unnatural or perhaps weird. Just do it. A sweet memory that makes me happy is countless bike rides with my children back in the day.
Process to Be Successful with Your New Year’s Resolutions:
- Pause – Start with a pause to think. You simply have to stop doing life and pause.
- Reflect – Reflect on how your life has gone so far up to this point in time. What works about your life? What doesn’t work about your life? What would you LOVE to have in your life that is not present currently? What inspires you? What is missing? What do you want more of in the coming year?
- Close the Book If You Have Had a Bad Year – Some years are better than others. If you have had the proverbial “bad” year, then close the book on that. Get complete. Do whatever it takes to put the past year to bed. Don’t start the new year by dragging the past into your fresh start. Maybe you have had a series of bad years. Get complete on that. Maybe you need to journal about that. Maybe you need to talk to a friend. Or talk to a coach. Do whatever it takes so that you are complete and ready for a fresh start.
- Vision for Your Future – As you reflect on your life up to this point, you want to create a vision for your future. You want to be clear about what it is that you want in your life and possibly what you want less of in your life.
- Think Big – While you are creating a vision for your future I invite you to think big. I request that you think big. If you have never read the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, written in 1937 and still sold today, I would highly recommend it. There’s really no harm in it unless you are going to beat yourself up for not making the ‘thinking big’ kind of goals.
- Plan of Action & Goals – As you create a vision for your future, you want to take the vision and use the vision to create a plan of action and some specific goals. Perhaps you want to make more money, while that’s great – what is even better is to list out X dollars more money. Or maybe you want to make more friends. That’s a fantastic goal and it will likely take some actions to attain that goal. Goals are specific with a measurable result and a deadline. Without the specific result and deadline, it’s just a dream. Possibly a pipe dream. You should write down your plan and goals on paper or type them up on your computer. Regardless of how you do it, you want to end up with a hard copy of your plan of action and goals.
- Specific Actions Required – From your overall plan of action and goals you will then drill down to list very specific actions to take to attain your goal. Your specific actions can then go on your Master List of Tasks to do. I have written a bit about making lists and Master Lists in past blog posts most notably the blog titled “Love the TIME of your Life”. Write down all of the actions that you will need to take to be successful. Write them down. Not kidding.
- Reward System – If you have been reading my blog since the beginning then you know that I am a huge fan of rewards or leveling up! I mean I am a super HUGE fan of rewards or leveling up. I have a great amount of self-discipline, and I still use a reward system. It’s fun. It provides motivation. It can be super cool. You get to say what a reward is for yourself. No one else can dictate or tell you what a good reward for you is. I hope you will simply trust me on this one. If you want to significantly improve your chances of attaining the life that you love, a reward system will absolutely help you get there.
- Commitment – It takes commitment to loving your life to have a life that you love. Review the vision you have created for your life as well as your plan of action and goals. Are these the things that you are excited about? Does your vision inspire you? You have to have commitment, so if you are not excited and inspired about your future I would suggest that you either go back to the drawing board and revisit your vision and action plan OR find a way to get excited about what you are creating. Either approach can work. If you look at what you have laid out and are not inspired and excited, something has to change because you are unlikely to be able to maintain your commitment to that vision and plan. And, why would you do that anyway? Because you think you should?
- Inspiration/Motivation – Being inspired and motivated will go a very long way to helping you attain the vision you have created for your future. Carefully crafting a reward system that you love will help you maintain motivation over the long haul – or it should if properly done. Sometimes even with a reward system you might find yourself not taking the actions that you should. In those instances, you will want to get some coaching, talk to a friend, or find some way to distinguish what is stopping you. I know from experience that even with a reward system, there are times when you will get stopped. You have to be willing to recognize that you are stopped and then take an action to get moving in the right direction.
- Support – Frequently people fail in goals or with their vision because they do not have support. It is important, in my opinion, to have support for creating a life that you love. This blog is support. You can post questions to get supported. You probably, and hopefully have people who love you who would support you in what you are doing if you let them in on what you are committed to. Making lists and following good list management practices will absolutely support you as will a good reward system. Read my past blog posts to determine what habits or practices you might need to consider that will support you in being successful.
- Create a TEAM – I absolutely love working in teams because I just happen to believe life is better in a group than alone. Join forces with someone or multiple people who are committed to having a life that they love. Name your team – the dynamic duo, the terrific trio, the four musketeers. Have fun with this. If you don’t have enough people like that in your life then it’s time to add more people to your tribe. I just blogged about making new friends so that will help you if you want to do that.
- What could stop you – There are lots of things that happen in life that could stop you in making progress or thwart your intentions. Lots of things. Right out of the gates, I believe that it is powerful to recognize what are the kinds of things that could stop you. You might get depressed or feel overwhelmed. An unanticipated event might happen. The more you get to know yourself and what makes you tick, the better you will be able to recognize and distinguish what are the things that could stop you. And regardless of what happens, you can still make progress towards your goals and vision. Trust me. You can.
- Monitoring Progress – If you are committed to having a life that you love, you will want to monitor your progress. That is a given. One of the best ways to monitor your progress is through the list management practices that I have written about in previous blog posts. Each time you make a new Master List, for example, you will have a visual representation of the progress that you have made. Each time you make a new Master List you will be taking a pause and reflecting on what are the most important tasks that should go on your new Master List. As I have said before, I don’t see how you can have a life that you love without some level of list making in it. I just don’t believe that the human brain, with some rare exceptions, is wired for that. Regardless of how you do it, you are going to want to periodically check in and see that you are moving forward and making progress on your goals and vision. Otherwise, why bother?
- Celebrate Every Step Forward – Life is hard. We all know that. Why not celebrate every step forward? I believe wholeheartedly in celebrating everything possible. As you make progress, assuming you have established a reward system, you will be rewarding yourself or leveling up. And there are other milestones or accomplishments along the way that are probably worthy of celebration. Celebrate all that you can. Why the heck not?
Concluding Thoughts:I know that life is hard. Trust me I know. Yet, I also know that even in the darkest of times you can have happy moments and good times – great times even. There has never been a better time to take charge of your life and start having it go the way that you would like it to go. And that probably means doing things – habits and practices – that you are not used to doing. Hang in there. The more you do a new habit – the more comfortable it becomes – until eventually it just feels right to do that habit. With a new year approaching I am hoping that you will get excited about your life and your future! I hope you will get excited about celebrating yourself and your life. Why not? What else are you going to be doing? I hope you will try on this process. I mean I really WANT you to try on this process because I know that it works. How can I help you? How can I support you? Post a question on this blog and I will do my best to support you! Love.Life. That is what it is all about.