In a new year, you need to create a new you. Well, that’s what a lot of folks think anyway. But what if we really don’t need to create a “new ” us every new year? If we did that every new year, our own Mother’s wouldn’t know us.
Lots of people hype up “new year, new you!” without really giving that announcement much thought. What does it mean anyway — that as we close out the old year, we need to ditch our current life and create a new one for ourselves? Hogwash. Yes, of course, sometimes we do need a new “us,” but what if instead of approaching every new year with the objective of a “new you,” you approached it with the goal of an improved you — a fresher, revitalized you?
“The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion.” ―Terry Orlick
new improved you
A new year is a good time to assess the previous one. How is our life going? Are we happy? Do we need to ditch some bad habits? A new year is a fresh start, but instead of trying to re-make our entire life, maybe all we really need is an improved one — a refresh if you will.
Here are some helpful tips on how to reassess our lives at the start of a new year:
1. Define who you really are
Far too often, we make knee-jerk changes to our life, without first getting to know the true “us.” We fail to ask who am I? Where am I going? What are my passions in life? What is my outlook on life in general? Before doing anything to change or improve our lives, we first need to get in touch with our deepest, inner-most self. Take some time to write out who you are in this life. Ask yourself what you stand for, what’s important to you, if you’re happy overall, or just unhappy about one aspect of your life. The act of writing it out will help to stimulate your sub-conscious mind, which will help you get in touch with the real you. Before we start rearranging our lives, we first need to take stock of that life.
2. Scope out who you want to be
What’s missing in your life? If you feel unhappy, why? What aspects of your life bring you joy and make you feel fulfilled? Before doing anything, we need to have a vision and mission statement. Here again, write it out — jot your feelings down and give serious thought as to where it is you want to be in life. Once you get it down on paper, put it aside for 24 hours, think on it some more, then take the piece of paper out to see if it fits in with your true desires in life. The ultimate goal is to get you thinking about who you are and what it is you want to do in life. Having a clear vision of your life is vital to making positive changes that will genuinely improve your life.
e.g. You hate your job and feel that your life is not what it should be. Is it your life that’s a mess, or is it perhaps that you’re just so unhappy in your job, it’s bringing you down and skewing your perspective on your life?
“You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” ―Margaret Young
3. Cut toxic and negative people from your life
New year, improved you? That will most likely require you to distance yourself from people (and circumstances), that bring you down. If you have negative/bad influences, you should give serious thought on how to either cut them out, or, greatly reduce their impact on your life.
4. Put your physical and mental health first
Work with your Doctor to develop a healthy lifestyle — find out what foods you should be eating, what exercise you need, what vitamins might be right for you, etc. Going to a qualified expert is key, so make sure to get the guidance of a professional.
5. Clean and de-clutter
Too often we ignore this step in a new year. Maybe because the thought of cleaning and de-cluttering is unpleasant? It is, but we should never underestimate the power of getting rid of junk — once finished, it helps you feel freer and psychologically, gives you a fresh perspective on your life. But cleaning and de-cluttering isn’t just about the house — these days, a digital de-cluttering is also needed. Delete old apps, get rid of old emails, get rid of any old pictures eating up space on your phone. A thorough cleansing does wonders to improve our mood.
6. Change your perspective and outlook on life
This step is absolutely vital to an improved “us” in the new year. Once we take a look at who we are and where we want to be in life, we need to be committed to making any improvements. To improve, we do need a new mind-set, so getting ourselves mentally prepared (psyched), is important. For example, rather than letting one negative element of your life taint your whole outlook, put it into perspective: “yeah, I really don’t like my job, but my life is pretty good and I’m very blessed….”
“If you can tune into your purpose and really align with it, setting goals so that your vision is an expression of that purpose, then life flows much more easily.” ―Jack Canfield
7. Embrace positivity and gratitude
In my opinion, this is closely tied to 1, 2 and 6. Unfortunately, when we feel out-of-whack with the path we’re on in life, we tend to charge full steam ahead without doing any significant soul-searching. What has worked for me is getting my head around the way my life is now, determining what it is I want to do/be in life and getting myself psyched for a new perspective (outlook). Once I do that, I make the conscious decision to be more positive and grateful. There are really no set steps to follow, but committing to positivity and an attitude of gratitude is essential.
8. Set some goals
For me, I personally do this after I’ve done the other things — I first get a grip on my life as a whole and I clean and de-clutter. Once I feel more focused and renewed, I then craft my goals because mentally, I’m more charged and eager. Goals are highly personal, but you can either do them by a week, a month or even for a year.
“If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
9. Make time for you
Many of us find our lives become off-track when we take on too much. We say yes to everything and before we know it, we’re running around doing this and that — doing things that don’t actually enhance our life. Make the new year the starting point of an improved you, by being able to say no. Make time for you and those you love in the new year, because the time and space to re-charge our mental and physical powers is critical.
10. Be compassionate
Compassion and generosity are proven to improve our overall lives. When we give to, and help others, it makes us feel good about ourselves. This sense of love and compassion helps to energize our mind and body. Being compassionate is a very noble ‘resolution,’ and if more people made that their goal, the world would be a whole lot better.
And finally, one thing we should all do, is leave any and all bad vibes in 2017 where they belong. Don’t drag any negativity into the new year — forgive, try to forget…move on.
“It is your choice to be happy. Make up your mind to enjoy this day, to have a blessed, prosperous, victorious year. You may have some setbacks and your circumstances may change, but don’t let that change your mind. Keep it set to happiness.” ― Joel Osteen