As we go into a new year, there’s a sudden pressure and adrenaline rush for new opportunities or breakthroughs.
I think that a lot of people believe that as we start a new year, that means that things are going to different, our challenges are going to disappear, new and exciting opportunities are just going to pop up but in reality? Well, in reality, we need to do the work too. Change rarely happens accidentally and there is usually a process, especially if there is a specific change you want.
So, before we all start saying “new year, new me”, let’s prepare for the new year and we can be sure that those changes you want will actually happen!
♡ Review the past year
If I want to improve something in my life, the first thing I’ll do is review what I’m currently doing and ask myself why I want to improve.
Every December, I take time to review the year I’ve just gone through. I ask myself a series of questions and take the time to really evaluate how things have gone. If I’m being honest, there are usually some answers that I’m not exactly happy or proud of but that’s life. Every year, we face new challenges and obstacles as well as reaching new goals and achievements. Here are my favourite journal prompts to review the past year.
1. What is one event from 2020 that you can tell your children about one day?
2. What did you learn about yourself?
3. What goals did you reach?
4. If you had to describe 2020 in only 5 words, what would they be?
5. Who was your number one person this year?
6. What new skills did you learn?
7. What are you thankful for?
8. What was the best news you received?
9. What challenges did you overcome?
10. What was your most common mental state?
11. What was your favourite memory?
12. What was the funniest moment of your year?
13. What did you do this year to improve somebody else’s life?
14. What new habits did you cultivate?
15. What is something you would have done differently?
16. What advice would you give yourself 12 months ago?
17. What or who made the biggest impact on your life this year?
18. What was the biggest problem you solved?
19. Did you do anything for the very first time?
20. What goals did you start to work towards?
Of course, you don’t need to do them all but I would highly recommend you do, if you have the time.
♡ Set new goals
In December of each year, I like to take the time to set some new goals. I actually do this each quarter, not just yearly.
I sit down and think about what I want to achieve, both big and small. I consider what impact I want to make on other peoples lives. I consider my previous goals and if I had managed to reach them or not. I consider what my plans for my businesses and family are. I consider how I want to feel.
When I’ve taken the time to look at all aspects of my life, I usually have a pretty good idea as to what I want to achieve and what I want to do. Next, I simply journal on them. I write what I want to achieve and why I want to achieve it. I also usually write about how I will feel when I reach those particular goals.
Most importantly, I’ll assess how SMART they are (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). This ensures I’m not reaching too far and setting myself up for disappointment.
If you’re feeling a little stuck, here are a few journal prompts that may help.
1. What do you want to see, discover, explore?
2. Who do you want to spend more time with in 2015?
3. What skills do you want to learn or improve?
4. Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
5. What do you want your everyday life to be like?
6. Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
7. What do you want to achieve career-wise?
8. How do you want to remember the year 2015 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
♡ Identify any current challenges
As I review the past year and set new goals, I usually notice challenges that I have either gone through or am currently going through.
I find this is the perfect time to consider why I am faced with these challenges and consider how they may interfere with my goals and plans for the next year (or few months if you’re doing this quarterly too!).
Once you’ve spent the time thinking of the challenges and how they may interfere, I would recommend you make a plan on how you will deal with the challenges. This will ensure you’re prepared and ready to disarm the challenges as they arise!
♡ Analyse your current relationships
I don’t know of many people who do this step, but I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful so I thought I would share it.
Every 3 months, as I’m going through this process, I also take time to analyse and reflect on my current relationships. This includes my partner, my son, my family (mother, siblings and grandparents) and my family. You could also include your colleges, neighbours and staff (if applicable).
Similarly, to the above, I do the following journal prompts.
1. How does this relationship make me feel?
2. How can I improve within the relationship?
3. What do I need from the other person in the relationship and has this been communicated?
4. What challenges has the relationship faced?
They are quick and simple questions, but it helps me to ensure I have set clear boundaries, have good communication and consider the other person in the relationship, making me a better partner, mother, friend, daughter, staff member ect.
♡ Take time and recharge
My favourite! Relaxing, recharging and resetting.
I dedicate time to recharge before starting a new year. I spend time doing things I love with people I love and take a break from work, social media and my to-do lists.
Nothing beats starting a new year, refreshed and ready!
I know we’ve gone through a lot of content here but I truly believe that going through these steps will help you prepare for a productive, exciting and fun new year! If you’re looking for a little extra guidance, you can also download my free course here.
Certified Counsellor & Mental Health Coach