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How to Start your New Year: It’s about Time

How to Start your New Year: It's about Time
How to Start your New Year: It's about Time
Summary. In a recent poll we carried in linkedin, we found that 100% of people achieve only part of their new year’s resolutions and objectives. 82% of them meet more than half of the objectives. The other 18% meet less than half of their objectives. No one in the cohort reported not achieving anything, and none achieved 100% of their goals. This shows that we have the tendency to be overly optimistic with our plans, we lose motivation down the line, or we do not adapt to change as we could be. So how can we manage our expectations of the new year in a realistically optimist way?

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A new year means a new fresh start for most of us. Time to get your life together, achieve your dreams, forget about any negative experience that might have happened in the passing year, and simply be happier. It is this positive outlook that keeps us going and looking forward in life. However, for most of us, it won’t take few weeks into the new year, for matters to get out of shape. There are many reasons why new year’s resolutions get derailed: getting busier, underestimated work load, change of circumstances, unforeseen responsibilities, stress with its impact on mental health, the list can go on. When this happens, we are left with feelings of un-satisfaction, disappointment – in self, in others, and in the universe, resentment and self-doubt, despair, all that can lead to a wave of negative feelings leading to an even more draining. But, it can all change. A new year is certainly a cause for celebration of all that is upcoming. But why not this year make it really count, make the gift of 365 blank days full of positivity and success. Invest your time right and reap the dividends. After all, your time is the most precious commodity in your life.

In this article we go through the first step to achieve your goals. This step is all to do with your awareness of time and setting up the right attitude to optimise your success

The best time to start your new year planning is December or first couple of weeks of January. It is easy to be carried out by the festivities, the shopping, and the end of year parties. However, if you want to be successful, you need to dedicate time: a day, half a day, or an evening for yourself to reflect and plan:


1. Prepare your senses 

Set up the scene, pick a relaxing space that will allow you to explore your thoughts without distractions and clutter. You can enhance it with a favourite scent, relaxing audio, maybe low classic volume music if this doesn’t get on the way.  Add some visual enrichment, such as a plant or flowers. We humans are connected to nature, its presence just makes everything better. Don’t forget about taste, so bring your favourite drink with you.


2. Do not mourn, celebrate

Reflect on what you have already done and celebrate yourself no matter how many of your objectives you met for the passing year, or how small you think they were. Pat yourself in the back for one year of experience in your life. Mourning the passing year through regret, blame, and dwelling on loss will only get you demotivated. Learn from what you have been through, or any mistakes you made. Good or bad, it is all experiences in your life bank, and you are facing the new year as a more experienced and stronger person. So, celebrate your new riches of experience and strength.


3. Show gratitude

Be thankful for all the good that you had, before asking for more. As for any bad fortune or loss you encountered, believe me, it could have been worst, so do not resent yourself, others, or the universe for it. You are still here, and anything can change, so positive vibes please! Ancient wisdom suggests that starting with gratitude will put you in a positive mood, and that will allow you to receive positivity back. It also suggests that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You are here, aren’t you, so this means you are stronger. Appreciate the blank slate, and the time ahead.

“Be grateful for what you have before asking for more”

4. Drop the entitlement

If you think that in this year you should get this and that, then most likely you will fail. This is simply because the universe doesn’t owe you anything. There is a fundamental distinction between ambition and entitlement. Ambition is setting a goal and persistently working for it while positively adapting to unexpected change. It has an element of positivity and optimism. Entitlement is expecting that good things should happen to you. It has an element of negatively and rigidity. Even if you are willing to work for it, expecting that something will happen means being upset when it doesn’t. There are no guarantees in life, and you often get what you didn’t ask for. This is not necessarily bad, sometimes, years later, you discover that this was better for you than what you have asked for. So have faith, work with what you get, learn to leverage, and adapt what you get. In his book Solve for Happy, Mo Gawdat identifies happiness by this equation: Happiness = what you get – what you expect. This means the more you expect, the lower your happiness gets. This evidently means that expectations and entitlement do not do you any favours, they are literally joy killers. Hence, try to reduce them for the sake of your happiness.


5. Beware of the uncertainty

Change is the only certain thing in life. No matter how much we plan, there is always something unexpected that comes along. This is part of the beauty of life. Though, change is a perfectionists’ nightmare that can bring anxiety, worry, and upset to many, it is in fact inevitable. Keep this in mind, it all starts with awareness that your plan might be derailed so you are emotionally prepared and in peace when it happens. In the next sections of this article, we will give you the tools to not only survive but thrive under change.


6. Identify your attitude to risk

It is a new year, time to believe in yourself, be brave and creative, take risk, and push yourself out of your comfort zone. By how much, well that’s up to you and your aptitude to risk. Think of adding challenging objective this year. The worst that can happen is that you will learn something. High risk usually leads to high return when mitigated properly.  With this in mind, you don’t have to do something just because of peer pressure or because every one is doing it in social media. If you are comfortable where you are and do not like risk, that’s ok, just be aware of what you desire.

 If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” John D Rockefeller


7. Declutter your space

While you are exploring your thoughts and adjusting your attitude, think about how to optimise your space so you can think clearly and positively going forward. When your surrounding is in destress, you will also be in destress. People have different attitudes and tolerance to messiness, but for most of us a clear space leads to a clearer mind and higher ability to concentrate. Hoarding is similar concept to not letting go of the past, it pollutes your attempt of a fresh start. Save your space by learning few tricks on the art of decluttering. Do a cleanse to your environment, show gratitude, and give away your extras to charity, you will be doing someone else a favour and it will feel good as a plus. Minimalism is also good for the planet, so try not to replace everything you got rid of later. Japanese declutter guru Mari Kondo provides many tips on how to declutter your house in her website. Don’t forget about your digital space: your social media. Be brave and close, delete, block, and stop following whatever and whomever is not brining you happiness, knowledge, or positivity in your life.


8. Ready to invest

Think of all the 356 days coming ahead, and be grateful for the certainty that change is coming ahead. You have 356 white pages in your diary, that’s a lot of opportunities. This is your time capital, your sand timer did not flip yet, so let’s invest this time wisely. In business, the key to a successful investment is the diversification of the portfolio. So if your new year is your new portfolio, and if your new years’ objectives and resolutions are your stocks here, then try to diversify them, picking objectives from different aspects of your life such as career, relationships, health, growth and so on. This means you are putting all your eggs in one bucket, so if you face a challenge on one aspect of your life later, the other objectives are not directly impacted, leading you to minimise losses and optimise success.

“356 white pages in your diary, that’s a lot of opportunities”


If you liked this article, why not continue this serial and read on the next step for your planning. You can also find the full guide here.

Disclaimer: The content of all our articles is protected by the Terms & Conditions policy. For license of content, please reach out to us directly, our information are on the contact us page.

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