The New Year is a great time of year to take stock of what you have achieved, who you have loved, what had made you happy and any magic moments you have had in the last 12 months.
Many of us remember the tougher moments in the last year but rarely stop to reflect on everything that has gone well, made us feel good and even proud of ourselves. It's important to appreciate the good things in life as well as to learn from the bad experiences.
Here are my top tips for setting yourself up for a great start to 2016:
1. Write a list: of all the magic moments and positives from the last 12 months. This can include achievements at work, moments that made you feel extra loved or happy and even happy memories with friends.
2. Set Goals: Now think about what you would like to create in your life for 2016. Forward planning is key as you have goals to aim for and focus on. Set your goals high as even if you miss them you will still be achieving a lot. Remember the old saying "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail"! It will give you more balance across your life if you set goals for different areas such as love, family, friends, personal development, health and fitness and work. Examples could be to laugh more, spend more time with family, make more money or to eat more healthily.
3. Write it down: Write each of your goals down and underneath each of them come up with 3 small steps that you can take to get you closer to reaching your goal. Set a deadline for making them happen to keep you on track. The important thing to remember is that you don't have to get there in one go. Small stepping stones that are easy to do will reduce any overwhelm and keep you moving in the right direction. For example if you have decided to get fitter in 2016 then your stepping stones might be:
- Research local fitness classes on Internet
- Call to find out more information
- Book myself into a class
If you keep them small and simple you are more likely to do the quickly and see results fast. As you tick off each step add a new one until you achieve your ultimate goal.
4. Do what you love: Make sure you plan to do more of the things you love and that make you happy in 2016. If you find that time zooms by and you never seem to fit these things in then it's a good idea to diarise them now.
5. Appreciate those around you: Write a list of the top 10 people that you love to spend time with. It's interesting who pops up on these lists as often it's friends or family that we don't see often. Call them and set a date now to meet up. It could be months away, but the fact that you have it in the diary will make it much more likely to happen.
6. Learn to "Flip It": which is my technique to find the positive in any situation. It can be tricky at first but does get easier with practice. It's a great tool to use to cheer yourself up instantly when life throws you a curve ball or you are having a tough day. It can de-intensify the situation and give you clarity on how to deal better with it.
7. Hold something dear to you: Identify an object that you have with you most of the time that can symbolise all the good in your life. I have a ring that I bought shortly after my divorce that represents everything I am excited about in my life. I wear it everyday and each time I see it, it triggers good feelings for me. It could be a bracelet, a wallet, a chain or a particular perfume or after shave. All that matters is what it means to you and how it makes you feel.
8. Surround yourself with things that make you happy. Many of us are so busy living our lives I the fast lane that we forget that it's the little things that count. Make sure your home is full of things that make you smile, a photo of someone you care about, your favourite colour, uplifting slogans or even an ornament that you love.
9. Maintain a Healthy body: A healthy body will keep you feeling more positive and help your mind to stay strong when you need to. A balanced diet which includes the nutrients you need is a good foundation to this step. Also even a little bit of exercise can make a big difference so try a walk around the block or something more sweat inducing if you fancy it!
10. Smile: Make an effort to smile more as this will automatically lift your mood. All to often we wear our stress on our face without even realising it. Smiling will also make you more approachable as you will appear more friendly and warm to others.
The New Year is a great time to set a fresh focus for yourself. Keep yourself motivated by sharing your goals with your friends so they can help keep you on track and hold you accountable if needed.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year and I wish you all that you plan for and more in 2016!