I used to hate New Years because it would bring a sense of dread that I didn’t accomplish anything, that the “deadline” was fast approaching and I had nothing to show for it, that life was moving on without me. I got sick of feeling that way so I made changes and I want to share them with you. Use the following 14 steps to get your thoughts and actions in order before the new year so that you can hit the ground running towards your goals on January first.
1.Declutter/Organize – Just do it! Purge your clothes closet, dump out the junk drawer and use dollar store organizers to put everything back in, clean that nasty microwave, and either finally list that dang pile of items you don’t use anymore on Facebook Marketplace or give them to the nearest thrift store. Oh, and the trash hiding in the nooks and crannies in your car HAS. TO. GO.
2. One Hour of small tasks – Not only should you declutter your home, but you should declutter that mental to-do list you’ve been conjuring up all year. I recommend making a list of the clutter and then designating one hour, once a week, to cross off as many items as you can until you’ve completed it. These things look like – change that lightbulb on the front porch that has been out for six months, finally start the journal you’ve been thinking about, or call your grandparents.
3. Plan healthy meals – I know that this task looms over most peoples’ heads. Here’s the deal… Eating healthy will help your physical health, your mental health, your energy levels, and your bank account. Use my Meal Planner & Grocery List planner page to help you get started planning healthy meals. This small step alone will make a big difference in starting out the new year right.
4. Be intentional about your actions – This upcoming year is YOUR year. It’s the year you will make strides towards your goals and the year that you will become the person that you want to be. How will this happen? Every single decision you make, adds up to the bigger picture. Make the decision to smile at every coworker you pass in the hallway because it’s important to you to be thoughtful and kind. Make the decision to only say “yes” to the choices that get you one step closer to the vision of the future. It’s the small things that count.
5. Define your goals – But wait! You can’t make the appropriate strides if you don’t know the direction you’re headed. Have a talk with yourself and decide just what your goals are. This includes career goals, and personal goals.
P.S. “If your dreams don’t scare you, then they are’t big enough.” – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
6. Get familiar with yourself – … so you can make adjustments where needed. There is an importance with tracking your moods day-to-day throughout the month to be able to recognize any possible trends. I think you know what to do next. All I am going to say is that a negative mindset will reflect into your relationships and productivity.
7. Choose one thing you want to learn and make time to do so – Hey, you. This is your life, and only your life. So, that instrument you’ve always wanted to learn… learn it. That online course for watercolor lettering… take it. That class on beekeeping down on at the vocational college on Wednesday evenings… sign up for it. It’s time to invest in yourself, whether that be with money or time or both.
8. Buy that item that you’ve been dwelling on that would improve your life and help you reach your goals – This tip can go hand-in-hand with the previous tip or you can take it as a permission slip to upgrade your website builder or your daily pair of shoes. In this new year you are moving up in the world.
9. Get familiar with your spending – Like tip six, this one requires some self-reflection. Use my Spending Tracker to get your card-swiping under control.
10. Recognize the areas in your finances that need fixed – for those areas that you spend too much, consider withdrawing an allotted amount of cash at the beginning of the month and sticking to it. Here is a Budget Worksheet to help.
11. Write out your required expenses, Pour all left over into a small savings fund – Here’s another money tip for you because getting control over your finances is just as daunting, but important as planning healthy meals. Build up a savings account reserved for emergencies and emergencies only.
12. After you’ve got $1000 in the bank, pour all left over into paying off debt – Okay, one more, I promise. Make a plan to payoff your debt at an expedited rate. Plus, you have your emergency fund to use so that you don’t have to go into debt again if something comes up. Check out this Debt Payoff Planner.
13. Choose the ONE thing a day that you are grateful for and choose wisely – After a while, you will find yourself seeking out things to be grateful for all day long and if you stick to one item a day then you’ll be continuously finding new things that top the last one. Commit to giving it a try for the rest of the year. I think you’ll be hooked.
14. Reflect on your year – Reminisce on five ways you grew, four ways you intend to grow in the new year, three highlight events, two things you didn’t get around to doing but you will schedule to do this year, and one thing you love about yourself and intend to make your most identifiable trait.
I hope these 14 tips help you make this new year the best one yet. Or least give you something to think about. Happy Holidays!