“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘It will be happier’…” – Alfred Lord Tennyson
Welcome to 2019. It’s time to start the New Year right. All the procrastination, stuffing yourself, indulging to excess, staying up too late — that’s got to go. Replace those bad habits and pure laziness with healthier behaviors.
Trust me. It’s not that difficult. I’ve done each of these tips myself and can attest to their effectiveness.
So, if you want to jumpstart a pattern of living life to the fullest, feeling joy and fulfillment as well as peace, some of my top 10 tips to start the New Year right may be just what you need.
1. Set Your Priorities
You must set your own priorities. Never let others do this for you. The corollary to this advice is to never allow others to impose their priorities on you. To live according to someone else’s wishes is no way to enjoy life. That’s a charade, not something you want to pursue.
When you make your own choices, prioritizing what’s important and what’s not, you’re in control. This is a top recommendation for starting off the new year right.
2. Be Accountable
Remember that what you do has consequences. Every word and action you take has reverberations, many of which you may never know about. People look up to you and model their behaviors after yours. Live with integrity, owning your responsibilities as well as your faults, making good on the mistakes you’ve made.
3. Prize Self-Improvement
Make it a point to continually improve. This means doing some proactive activity on a daily basis. Whether it’s learning a new skill, taking a class, getting involved in a hobby, working on interpersonal communication or something else, self-improvement is integral to living a vibrant, purposeful life.
The goal is to achieve the best you can, to be the best person you can be. With this as your daily goal, you’re bound to see incremental gains. For example, you’ll feel more empowered, confident and hopeful. These are small signs you’re on the right path toward meaningful change, one small step at a time.
4. Know Your Limitations
In your drive to improve yourself, keep in mind that you must know your limitations. This doesn’t mean that you don’t push past your comfort zone. You need to do that to grow. Definitely push, but not too far. How do you know when you’ve gotten to that point? Avoid the feeling of pain, yet accept that minor pressure means you’re probably approaching the boundary of what you can comfortably accept right now. You can venture beyond that point the next time, having added the confidence you’ve achieved from getting this far.
5. Recognize Opportunities
You can train yourself to recognize opportunities. In fact, being able to identify an opportunity is the first step toward success in any new endeavor. Remember, too, that opportunities are often cloaked or hidden. They may be a side benefit to accomplishing some other task, even an everyday one. The key is to be on the lookout for what you might be able to utilize or pursue. Readiness is important in seizing opportunities, as is the willingness to do what it takes once you’ve recognized them.
6. Rely on Your Strengths
There are going to be rough times, periods when the only thing you’ve got going for you is your inner strength. This is what you call on to get you through problems, tragedies, pain, sorrow and suffering. It’s also your inner strength that will help you navigate complex situations, difficult challenges and obstacles.
7. Maintain Balance
It’s important to maintain a sense of balance in life. If you veer too far out in one area, rein it in. It doesn’t matter if its work-home balance, or diet-exercise-sleep balance, or another kind of balance. What does matter is keeping things in harmony. Lack of sleep and pushing yourself mercilessly won’t result in success. Just the opposite, in fact. But maintaining good self-care, recognizing stress and employing adequate coping strategies, taking time for fun and relaxation — these will help you maintain balance. Now’s as good a time as any to get started.
8. Be Genuine in Relationships
One of the most powerful resources you have can be summed up in one word: relationships. But just having mere acquaintances isn’t enough. To gain the most from relationships, you need to be genuine at all times. No faking it or merely mouthing words you think others want to hear. Also, stop talking and listen. A key aspect of being genuine is learning to be an active listener.
9. Speak Clearly
How many times have you thought one thing and said another? It’s no wonder others misinterpret your intentions. You’re not being clear. People aren’t mind readers. If you want to convey something, speak clearly. It’s also important to say what you mean and do what you say. This builds personal integrity, inspires trust and makes others view you as reliable.
10. Dream Big
Was last year a time when you gave up on something that you once thought important? If so, maybe it’s time to revisit that dream or goal. Just because you may have believed the time wasn’t right before doesn’t mean the opportunity is lost forever. With respect to goals and dreams in general, dare to dream big. Nothing inspires and motivates like a heartfelt goal. Consider the fact that if it means so much to you, it’s something to aspire to and figure out ways to bring the dream or goal to reality. This last part is vital. It’s not enough to dream. You must be willing to act on your intention.