New year, new you. It’s almost a cliché, isn’t it? But the turn of the calendar does indeed bring opportunity for reflection-based change. As you look back at 2018, you will, no doubt, see some areas in both your personal and professional lives where there is room for improvement. It’s only human, after all, to strive for growth and betterment.
How you go about identifying these growth edges is up to you. My family and I write lists at the beginning of every year of our top goals for the coming days, weeks and months. For instance, this past year I came to the exciting realization that, with focus and effort, I can get better at golf. So, on my list for 2019 will be the goal of improving my golf game even more.
On the professional side, I’ve learned that knocking out a big task in a single block of time, as opposed to spreading the job across many days, is something that significantly boosted my productivity and success. I’ll definitely be scheduling my days more like that in 2019.
How about you? Is there something that you’ve noticed at work or at home that you’d like to tweak, change, or overhaul altogether? If so, don’t get discouraged or feel overwhelmed. Instead of a tedious chore, pushing reset on our lives can be an empowering experience.
Think of it this way: When you allow yourself a clean slate to begin fresh, you clear your mind of all of the clutter and position yourself to hit the ground running in the new year. You can achieve this reset-button effect by letting go of behaviors and efforts that aren’t giving you the results you’re seeking. Simply put – stop doing what you’ve always done, and do something different.
If you don’t know where to start, consider these tips that I’ve found helpful in my own life. These are not breakthrough discoveries, but they are useful tools we sometimes overlook. And they can make a powerful impact on the “new you.”
1. Perform a “life audit.”
Audits are designed to maximize efficiency by pointing out inefficiencies. Why not try auditing your life? Start by asking yourself a simple question: “What are you most passionate about in life right now?” Now, ask yourself this follow up: “Am I working toward it?” If the answer to the second question is no, take stock of how you can make some changes to get back on track with your goals and passion pieces. Some things in your life may need more attention, while others may need to fall to the wayside. Whatever the case, you’ll target your true goal, and identify the steps necessary to achieve it.
2. Separate the wheat from the chaff.
Think about how you spend your time. Are there areas where you’re spending a lot of time and energy, without moving towards your goal? Sure, there is mundanity in life, but we don’t want to spin our wheels on the small stuff. Make a list of the things you’re doing that don’t serve your vision for the future and get rid of them.
3. Define new goals and purpose.
Sometimes, one goal can eclipse the rest of the richness of life (vying for a promotion, buying a new home, becoming debt-free). Be sure to spread your dreams around. Because we are always growing, new passions and pursuits will present themselves along the road of life. Keep an eye out for other goals that pique your interest and add them to your list, too. To keep the excitement for the future going, you need to have something to work towards in your career and personal life.
4. Re-chart your course, starting today.
Making significant life changes can be difficult. Still, it beats the alternative. (You know what they say about the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different results.) And, change brings excitement and challenges to your life, which give it flavor. So, with your new list in hand, plan how you are going to accomplish your goals this coming year. Move beyond thinking and get into doing. Be accountable for taking the small steps towards the big payoff. Believe me, once you start moving, you’ll gain momentum and a feeling of pride. It takes just one step to make a beginning.
Anyone can hit the reset button. If you look back and are dissatisfied with how something unfolded in your life this past year, hit the button. Only you can take action to move forward and make progress on what truly makes you happy. And happiness and contentment in life are what we’re all after, right?