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I don’t know if you can relate, but I’m a sucker for new beginnings. I love the New Year, not because of parties or festivities but because it allows me to wipe the slate clean and have a start fresh. I can right past wrongs, reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m headed, go for my big audacious goals and maybe even reach them. Nothing is stopping me as I face the new year – nothing.
Sure, I’d love to say I accomplish everything I set out to do, but the idea is all I need to motivate me to achieve my goals. Maybe one day every box will be checked, but for now, I can hope.
One of the things I’ve learned through trial and error and by my training as a coach is that the best way in life to achieve what you want it to create simple, powerful and effective habits.
These seven strategies are the same strategies I use in my life that have transformed the way I approach my days and get me closer to my dreams. Some of these habits are just small tweaks that over time have had a huge impact on my life. And if you find yourself struggling with your goals and balancing all the aspects of your overstuffed life, these seven habits might help you too!
7 Habits To Embrace For Your Best Year Ever
Reflect On The Past Year
You can’t know where you want to go unless you give yourself the time to see where you’ve been. I like to look at several aspects of my life during this process.
First, I look at the goals I set out to accomplish for that year. Did I reach them? If not, why? I like to do a little digging here to see what might have been standing in the way of achieving what I set out to do.
Second, I review my finances. How much did I grow my savings? Where did my money go? Did I stick to my budget or did I find myself spending in areas that I had not planned? Reviewing my finances each year allows me to ensure I’m staying on track and that my net worth is continuing to grow.
Giving yourself time to reflect allows you space to contemplate what you want for your life. If you just jump in without giving yourself the time to ponder where you’ve been you might not develop the best goals you could for the coming year.
I do a modified version of this exercise each week. I do a review and make the necessary changes to keep moving in the right direction.
- Commonly Forgotten Budget Expenses You’ll Want To Include
- Create A Budget That Bends and Finally Stick To Your Plan
- How To Budget When You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Express Your Gratitude
When we are open to gratitude, we see clearly and perfectly how much good there is in our life. Gratitude affirms that very fact.
We will always be faced with challenges in our lives. There is no limit to what we don’t have, and if we focus on the lack in our lives, we will inevitably be filled with an abundant amount of pain and dissatisfaction. But when we can look at our lives, with a focus on what is right, we experience gratitude.
Like other attitudes, gratitude can be cultivated. We can develop gratitude by reflecting on the gifts that we already have. So each year I reflect on everything I am grateful for and write it in my journal.
Daily I make not of at least one thing of which I’m grateful and reflect on the blessings in my life.
Write Down Your Goals
Often we make up goals in our mind and throw around ideas of how we want something to be. That’s nice, but nothing is stronger than when you take what’s in your brain and commit it to paper.
Writing out clear, actionable, measurable goals is the key to taking them from a day dream to a concrete plan you can’t ignore.
Each year I make no more than five long term goals for my business and life. I post them above my desk so I can see them every day and know exactly what I’m working on achieving.
From there I create smaller objectives each month that is tied to these long-term goals. These are the steps that will get me to the result I’m trying to achieve.
Regardless of whether you are setting a long-term or a monthly goal, it is important to make sure each goal is specific, measurable, actionable, and has a definite time limit so you will know, exactly when you’ve achieved it.
Craft A Spending Plan
If you do nothing else this year, make this the year you develop your spending plan and get a handle on your money. Your money NEEDS to be told where to go. Failing to do so leads to over spending, failing to save, no long-term investment strategy, and spending via credit cards.
I learned firsthand that being disciplined each month and crafting a spending plan for your money is a habit that spills over into every other aspect of your life.
We can’t have a peaceful, joy-filled life when our finances are in shambles.
The best way to eliminate the anxiety that comes from ignoring our money is to tell it where to go. By taking the time each month to develop your spending plan you all but eliminate that worry and stress. It doesn’t take long, but the results are immediate. Take the time to write out your budget. Once you do, you’ll be making it real!
- How to Start The Month Off Right With Your Finances
- Developing A Spending Plan
- Why Living Paycheck to Paycheck Isn’t Necessarily A Bad Thing
Plan Your Home Management Responsibilities
One of the ways in which I get so much done and complete most of my to-do list is I schedule my home management responsibilities. They go right into my planner like all the other important tasks I need to complete. And, because I do this, the things that need to get done, get done.
I schedule cleaning, food shopping, laundry, dishes, cooking and meal prep just like I would a doctor’s appointment or time to work on my business.
What I’ve found is when I schedule, I’m more productive with my other tasks as well. I understand what needs to be accomplished in the course of a day and so I work diligently to achieve my daily goals.
In essence, I create a schedule that has me saving more time, reducing my frustrations and ensuring my home stays in order.
Use A Planner
When I worked in the corporate world, I was addicted to my planner. It allowed me the space I needed to keep track of everything from personal appointments to projects for work. When I left that job, I stopped using a planner and soon found my life was in chaos. After trying digital planners I quickly went back to a paper planner because I knew it worked.
There’s something unique about putting pencil to paper and organizing your life in such a way that it flows beautifully. My paper planner does that for me.
Every brain works differently so you should do your research and determine what planner will suit your needs. I highly recommend the Living Well Spending Less Planner. It keeps goals, meal planning, budgeting, appointments and the like right in one place and all at your fingertips.
No matter what you choose, take the time to find a planner will help you achieve what you want in the new year.
Take Time For Yourself
My life is pretty hectic and filled to the brim with responsibilities. I realized long ago that I had to learn to carve out time to re- energize and recharge or I’d become less productive, and less able to achieve my goals.
What you choose to do with this time is less important than making sure you actually schedule the time to do something for yourself. Get a massage, go for a walk or to the gym. It can be a paid activity or something free, but it needs to allow you the space to contemplate and recharge uninterrupted. We all deserve that much for ourselves.
Crafting your best year ever means not only setting goals but achieving them and the best way to ensure you achieve your goals is to create daily patterns. If you’re ready to make this your best year yet, start with these seven habits – evaluate daily, express gratitude, write down your goals, developing a spending plan, schedule home management responsibilities, use a planner, take time for yourself
These seven habits could change everything!