“Don’t be afraid to choose, and don’t be afraid to start all over if you have to. Nothing is written.” – T.E. Lawrence
We blink and it’s a new year – where does the time go? New Year, New You? Let’s adjust this lens from “new you” to “enhanced you.” This is your year!
For many people, a new year is an opportunity for a fresh start. Reflecting on the past year we can adjust what has worked for us and make improvements, personally and professionally. These tips for the new year will set you up for your best year yet.
Here are 20 tips for the new year to launch you into 2020:
- Enough with the resolutions. According to U.S. News and World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Replace resolutions with goals you can commit to.
- Set goals in writing. What four things would make your life better? Put these four realistic goals in writing and re-evaluate them monthly. Make them specific, and give them a timeline. Don’t worry about finding the perfect goals, you can always adjust them later—just get started! Executive coach Andrea Novakowski advises us to look back at the previous year and acknowledge all that we have accomplished. Take into consideration what worked well for you and what didn’t, what surprised you, what disappointed you and what delighted you. Then list your goals. Ask questions, such as What do you want more of in your life? Less of? What are the most important things you want to accomplish? What do you need to learn in order to to accomplish these things? What is your single most important goal? Download her goal setting kit to get started.
- Eat a frog for breakfast—every day. It’s not enough to make goals, you need to make time for them. Plan your day and eat the frog (the hardest task) first. Addressing that frog, whether it is the start of a project or difficult conversation, will give you energy to keep going. Ribbit!
- #OwnIt. Own your thoughts. What you think about becomes your reality. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. Take charge of your thoughts; stay accountable to focusing on the positive and the desired outcome.
- Challenge yourself. Make changes that will improve your life. And while you’re at it, own your mistakes in the new year, and learn from them. Challenge yourself to move into the future with new knowledge and new possibilities.
- Don’t close a door that could be left open. What are you so angry about? Is it worth it? Don’t let anger cause you to burn valuable bridges. The future is an open book; leave room to reboot your relationship.
- No gossip, period. Remember Mrs. Cravich from the television sitcom Bewitched? Stop looking out your window with judgment. Take a peek inside your own house. Go home and do your dishes.
- Read Designing Your Life—How to Build a Well-Lived and Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Need I say more?
- Watch “Love Actually.” Then watch it again. Smile, Laugh, Cry, Cheer.
- Have a dance party! Music connects. Music unites. Begin your day with a playlist that gets you moving, both physically and emotionally. Live in your song!
- Get off the couch. You have to walk before you can run. Start your exercise program slowly and realistically. Walk 10 minutes, then 20. Find a fitness routine that you can commit to, no matter how small. The little things add up.
- Limit junk food. Do your best to eat healthy. Your body and mind will thank you.
- Sleep is a vitamin. You cannot run your engine without fuel. Get at least 8 hours of sleep. You will be invincible!
- Laugh. Enjoy the people you encounter. Ignite a good belly laugh, every day. Laughter is contagious.
- Be a friend. To have a friend, be a friend. A true friend. “Collect” good people in your life.
- Plus one. What is one more thing you can do to enhance a relationship with your colleague, client, or family? Bring your best to the workplace and to life.
- All phones down—and put away. Be present. Focus on the person across the table from you. With your family, your friends, your colleagues, your clients and the barista serving you your morning joe.
- Serve others. Every morning ask yourself: What can I do to enhance another person’s life today? It could be as simple as opening a door and offering a smile. The gift of your time is the greatest gift.
- Gratitude. Reflect every day on the gifts in your life—you know what they are. And say thank you. The best gifts cannot be wrapped.
- LIVE YOUR LIFE! People have more regrets about the things that they didn’t do than the things they did. The chances not taken and decisions not made. Don’t miss out. This is not a dress rehearsal. Don’t what if your life—get out there and live it!
Happy New Year!
Gail Lowney Alofsin is the Director of Corporate Partnership & Community Relations for Newport Harbor Corporation/Newport Restaurant Group. An adjunct professor at the University of RI and Salve Regina University, author, speaker and volunteer, Gail lives in Newport, Rhode Island. To date, 100% of the sales of her book, Your Someday is NOW! What Are YOU Waiting For? have raised over $42,000 for non-profit organizations. Visit gailalofsin.com for more info.