How are you feeling that the year is practically over? Excited, overwhelmed, indifferent? Despite the rush of the holidays and madness to tie up loose ends before year-end, I’m a big believer that you can still ring in the new year with a sense of calm and preparedness in order to tackle new goals and big dreams.
I’m actually pretty dang excited for the new year because I’m planning to make it adventurous, fulfilling, and thoroughly enjoyable. This past year was great and all, but I wouldn’t credit it with being the best year ever.
Also, I know I’m in need of a break because I honestly forgot the other day whether we were in the year 2015 or 2016. Halp.
To avoid getting foggy brain (see above) and ensure you feel calm instead of overwhelmed during this hectic time, I’ve come up with 20 ways you can reset, reflect, and recharge so you can start the new year with a solid plan of attack.
So grab a notebook, your planner, and a cup of tea, and write down anything that comes to mind while you’re reading this post. Bring it on, 2016!
Reset Your Buttons
1. Unfollow and unsubscribe
Get rid of excess baggage by decluttering your social media feeds and unsubscribing from uninspiring newsletters. Use Unroll.Me to see how many email lists you’re actually signed up for (you’ll be shocked) and say bye Felicia to any that don’t help you out.
2. Decide what to let go of
Which commitments, bad habits, and maybe even relationships are causing you more stress than enjoyment? Think of 1-3 aspects of your life that you could let go of to create more balance and contentment.
3. Reduce decision fatigue
The main reason I choose to live a simpler life is because my brain goes into overdrive if I’m faced with too many choices. Marie Forleo has a great video about decision fatigue and how simplifying your options can really help give your brain a break.
4. Declutter your inbox
Take 20 minutes or so to go through your email account(s) and delete anything that you don’t need anymore. Organize the rest into categories or folders. And make sure you haven’t forgotten to follow up on anything important so you can go into the new year without any unwanted surprises!
5. Healthify your pantry
If you want to start the year on a healthier note (like the majority of people do), slowly start getting rid of the junk food in your cupboards and fridge so that you can replace it with healthier options in the new year. Snacks are a great place to start making the switch – check out this list of healthy snack ideas if you need help getting started!
6. Organize your digital files & back them up
Now is the time to get rid of those files and graphics that you saved to your desktop but aren’t actually going to use. Delete them or start organizing them. Also take the time to back up important documents (and your blog if you have one) because losing all of your hard work ain’t fun.
7. Recharge your batteries
In order to get closer to making your big goals a reality, you need to make time to relax in the midst of the craziness. If you’re constantly pushing yourself to the point where you lose sleep and neglect your health, the outcome of your work will never truly be the best you can produce. Take a step back, stop rushing (here’s how), and give yourself time to breathe before the New Year.
Reflect On The Past Year
8. Reflect on your accomplishments
Take some time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished in the past year and what you’re proud of. I’ve found that keeping a one line a day journal helps me remember both the little things and bigger life events.
Answer this: I am proud of myself for ________
9. Ask if you treated yourself with respect
Did you give yourself credit for everything you accomplished? Or did you doubt yourself one too many times? Reflect on how you can treat yourself like you would a dear friend, and strive to be kind to yourself more often.
Answer this: I will treat myself with respect by ________
10. Reflect on your productivity & time management
Do you feel as if you were on-top of your projects and tasks or were you always struggling to catch up? Is your current productivity strategy working for you or do you need to try another method in 2016? Here are 3 different ways you can manage your to-do list!
Answer this: I am most productive when I ________
11. Think about how you express gratitude
Most of us tend to reflect on what we’re grateful for when the year comes to an end, but have you expressed your gratitude to others? Share how you feel by writing a letter, making a phone call, or sending a gift to someone to tell them how grateful you truly are.
Answer this: I will express gratefulness by ________
12. Ask yourself how you can be more calm
If you’ve been stressing out and wondering how you’ll ever manage to get everything done on your to-do list, it’s important to encourage yourself to calm down and take a breath. The never-ending to-do lists are probably not going away anytime soon, so you’re going to have to schedule in frequent ‘calming down sessions.’ Try adding more mindfulness into your everyday with these tips.
13. Consider how you could improve your relationships
How have you been a good friend, child, sibling, and co-worker lately? Maybe you haven’t and need to reflect on how you can improve your relationships with others. Think about those you spend the majority of your time with (significant others, co-workers) and those you rarely see (faraway grandparents, friends from college).
Answer this: I will nourish my relationship with (name) by ________
Refresh and Prepare for Epicness
14. Set three monthly goals
Instead of New Year’s resolutions which aren’t exactly a recipe for success, try setting yourself three goals at the beginning of each month. I’ve been doing this for a year now, and while I haven’t always followed through with every goal I’ve set, I’ve gotten a better sense of what my priorities are (for example, I can write every day for a month but not meditate).
15. Plan one nerve-wracking activity
Everyone has at least one thing they’ve wanted to try but have been too afraid to make it happen. I’ve been wanting to try circus classes for a while (you know, swinging on the trapeze), but maybe you want to try pole dancing or a running a marathon. See if there’s a groupon deal and just go for it!
16. Bring ease to your daily routine
How can you make your days just a little bit easier? Maybe you need to find a balance between scheduling and spontaneity or perhaps you need a formula for getting you out of bed in the morning. Also think about what you could start automating and delegating to other people in order to lighten your workload.
17. Decide which things you will make time for
Which activities, commitments, and people do you want to make priorities in your life? Think about how you want to feel every day (calm, energized, fulfilled?) and whether they will contribute to or deprive you of that feeling.
18. Define or revisit your core values
Your core values are basically the guiding principles for everything you do, and knowing your top five can help you make tough decisions more easily. Here’s a list of 500+ to choose from (sounds daunting, but you’ll see that many of them don’t appeal to you).
Wanna know my core values? Genuineness, mindfulness, inquisitiveness, practicality, and simplicity. I try to make sure that each blog post I write and every decision I make reflects those values in some way.
19. Think of one place you’d like to visit & schedule it
Instead of keeping a city or country on your bucketlist, take one step toward making it a reality and schedule it into your calendar. Once it’s scheduled, you can start to figure out how the heck you’re going to make it work!
20. Choose your word for the year
For the past two years, I’ve been using Susannah Conway’s Unraveling The Year Ahead workbooks to reflect on the past year and decide on a word to guide the next year. My word for 2016? Possibility. A lot of time I talk myself out of things because I imagine the worst outcomes, but this year I want to think more about the possibility that things could go well and how great opportunities arise when you just put yourself out there.
How are you going to reset before the new year?
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