5 Ways to Prep for Success in the New Year

New year, fresh start! There’s something so satisfying about “starting over,” so to speak, in the new year. Day 1. It gives us an opportunity to think about how we’d like to change/grow over the course of the next 12 months. Rather than writing a post about resolutions, I want to write about ways in which we can prepare for the New Year. Rather than entering into 2018 with a cluttered/anxious mind, how can we hit the “reset” button so we feel more motivated to follow-through with our goals and resolutions?

During the first weeks in January, I do these 5 things to ensure I’m entering the new year with a clean slate:

1. CLEAN your space!

My room is so cluttered I can’t even think straight. This is not an ideal work environment. I do a “deep clean” at least once a year so I can get rid of old projects / miscellaneous items taking up space, to make room for the new creative projects. For me this means reorganizing my closet, picking up my bedroom, decluttering desk drawers/bins, and tossing any school-related papers/assignments from previous semesters. What might this mean for you? Cleaning/reorganizing your bedroom, dorm, desk, car, office, etc.?

2. Get your FINANCES in order.

I am guilty of neglecting my check register – I forget to record all the charges I’ve made on my debit/credit cards throughout the month(s). This leads to a guilty conscience when I spend because I’m not sure I *should* be spending. I used to be so much better at this when I was younger and dealt only with cash! Now, I’m all too ready to swipe my debit card, I hoard receipts, and I don’t understand the concept of credit cards. Clearly, I have some growth to do in this area! So, before heading into the new year, get your finances in order – deposit checks, pay your bills or your credit card statement, create a new “check register” spreadsheet for the new month.

3. REFLECT on your year and think about your accomplishments and what you’d do differently.

This is a really helpful exercise to complete before you make any resolutions for the new year. I think it’s always beneficial to give yourself a pat on the back for the things you’re proud of – and ask yourself, HOW/WHY did I succeed and HOW could I do it again? What do you hope to achieve in 2018? And, conversely, think about the things you weren’t able to achieve in the past year, and what you might do differently going forward. Taking the time to reflect will give you insights you might not have recognized otherwise. Allow these insights to influence your new resolutions.

4. SHARE your resolutions with family and friends. Find an accountability partner!

This is something I’m really going to work on this year. In the past several years, I’ve totally clammed up when it comes to sharing my ideas for new creative projects. I used to be so excited to share my writing with my parents (my two biggest fans), and now, it makes me uncomfortable to tell them when I’m writing creatively or working on something new. But when you share your ideas/progress with others, you’re more motivated to follow-through because someone (other than yourself!) is holding you accountable. That’s powerful! Choose friends/family who will support you in your endeavors, people who will encourage you but also challenge you.

5. DO something you’ve wanted to do but haven’t had the time for.

The best way to enter into 2018 with a positive, can-do attitude is by making time for something you’ve wanted to do but haven’t. Maybe this is taking a weekend trip, or visiting friends/family, or completing a creative project. Whatever it is, make time for it by penciling it into your calendar, and show yourself that you’re committed to your personal plans and goals.

I hope this helps! I may even write a follow-up post describing how these 5 activities have worked for me. I’m excited about everything that’s to come in 2018, and I want to get off on the right foot!

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