Happy New Year!
Every January millions of people make passionate declarations about all the ways in which the New Year will be different.
Whether your goal is to travel, lose weight, make more money, or experience more freedom in your lifestyle—your mindset is everything when it comes to your momentum and your results.
“What must you do, become, have, or change to realize your dreams?“
Looking back over my journey, I’ve gathered 10 best practices that have helped me to stay focused, break out of old habits, release limiting beliefs, and consistently empower myself to create a life that offers me joy, fulfillment, and prosperity.
Just remember, how you do anything is how you do everything.
Persistence, consistence, and unshakable belief in yourself will take you as far as you want to go!
10 Ways to Make 2018 Your Best Year
#1: Stop Caring What Other People Think
One the most effective ways to stay focused on your goals for the long-haul is to avoid comparison. In other words, stop caring what people think.
Caring too much about other people opinions of you will only steer you off your path, and tempt you to engage in activities that are NOT in alignment with who you are.
It’s okay to feel motivated to step up your game when you see another inspired soul walking in their greatness.
Feeling envious, jealous, or competitive are all signs that you’re comparing yourself to others.
If this happens, simply shift your focus back to what is most inspiring to you—remembering that it is one of your key sources of purpose and fulfillment.
Being unapologetically YOU in a world that constantly tries to put you into a box takes courage. But on the days when you don’t feel so courageous—take radical action toward you purpose anyway.
Do this and you’ll be unstoppable this year!
#2: Be Proactive
To be proactive is to accept responsibility for your role as a co-creator of your life.
When you are proactive, you give yourself permission to take action toward your purpose, and cut your losses as you see fit—regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Being proactive means that you are the leader of your life—you don’t justify, make excuses, or dim your light to appease others.
You begin to see obstacles as opportunities, and problems as possibilities.
The more you take the lead in your life, the greater confidence, trust, and self-respect you will develop.
In order to achieve your goals this year, you must be proactive.
#3: Establish a Morning Routine
Having a morning routine is a powerful way to set yourself up for success on a daily basis.
You can use the first hour of each day for self-care (journaling, meditation, exercise, stretching, breathwork, etc.).
Be sure to take a moment to express 5-10 things you’re grateful for, and set an intention for that day.
How do you want to feel throughout the day?
Next, make your daily to-do list with no more than 3 high-priority items.
Your morning routine will help you to ground and center yourself for the events of the day.
You’ll be more prepared to handle challenges that come your way by staying focused on the intention you set.
#4: Declutter Your Space, Time, and Energy
It has long been known that your outer world reflects your inner world.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that the physical environment your create around yourself is in alignment with your highest values.
So look around, what’s filling your space? Is there clutter? Are there piles of paper, boxes, clothes you don’t like, and drawers stuffed with miscellaneous objects?
Does your home and work environment energize, refresh, and affirm you? How do you feel when you’re in your space?
It may be time to let go of some things that no longer serve you.
If you’re unsure, use the 6 month test. Place the item(s) in question into a box and label it with the date 6 months from the present day. If you haven’t used the item by that date, you’ll know that probably no longer holds value for you.
Though time is somewhat relative, it’s one of the most precious assets you have because it represents your life force.
How you spend your time is a reflection of your highest values.
The questions is: Are you spending your time on the things, people, and circumstances that elevate you or bring you down?
For me, decluttering my time looked like creating a daily schedule, a morning routine for self-care, and delegating low-priority tasks (chores, errands, etc.) whenever possible so that I could focus my attention on what is most inspiring to me.
How are you currently spending your time? On you daily to-do list, which are the must-do items vs. can wait?
Your personal energy field is constantly interacting with your surroundings, and is highly influenced by your thoughts.
Although your physical health is partially dependent on eating well, exercising, and getting adequate rest—your mental, emotional, and spiritual health are dependent on your energy.
How are your spending your energy? What’s influencing you?
Use your 6 senses to create an energy around yourself that will support you in creating your ideal life:
Be mindful of what you hear, see, taste, touch, smell, and intuit. All of this sensory information is feeding you in some way.
“As they say, you are what you eat.”
Peaceful space, well-spent time, and supportive energy will help you to stay focused on what’s most inspiring to you throughout the year. Click here to read my post 16 Ways to Declutter Your Energy.
#5: Get Clear on What You Want
In order to set effective goals, you need to be clear on what you want—which is an extension of your core values.
What is most inspiring to you? Do more of it because it’ll be much easier!
Often, we get caught up in focusing on achieving something that will reduce pain in our lives. But in truth, what you want in life is unconditional.
Regardless of your current situation—write down what you want to experience in your ideal career, finances, relationships, health, and lifestyle. There is no such thing as aiming too high.
If you begin with your ideal life, and work backwards to chunk it down. This is how you ensure that the goals you set are ones that you actually feel inspired to achieve.
Here’s an example:
If I set a goal to lose 30 pounds this year, I probably won’t be successful and here’s why:
The goal is based around avoiding the consequences I’ve associated with my current weight. This self-rejecting approach will make my weight loss journey feel more like a chore or obligation because I’m attempting to go against reality.
The reality is that I weight XYZ pounds.
However, if I know that I want to be healthy and strong, I can set goals to achieve this end without being so rigid. The weight loss then becomes a natural consequence of healthier choices.
There’s less pressure, and more freedom to get what I want in a way that is empowering, sustainable, and fun.
To get more clarity on what you want out of life, read my post 4 Steps To Discover Your Purpose.
#6: Set Quarterly SMART Goals
SMART Goal setting is a must if you want to create and intentional experience of life for yourself. Rather than setting yearly goal, quarterly goals (every 3 months) are much less complicated. You can assess your progress mid-year and readjust where necessary. Here’s a quick refresher to help you get started this year. Your goals should be SMART:
S – SPECIFIC
A goal isn’t worth setting if it is vague. It should be very specific so that you can map out your exact steps to achieve it. For example, if my goal is simply to be healthier, there are too many ways I can do so. Because the choices are so varied, I’ll probably end up doing none of them. However, if I set a goal to do a specific 1-hour yoga routine every morning for the next 3 months—I’m much more likely to follow thorough.
M – MEASURABLE
Measurable goals can be tracked in terms of time, quantity, etc. If you cannot quantify your goal, you won’t be able to track your progress and make needed adjustments. For example, if my intent is train to run a 5K marathon, my training goal might be to run 5 miles per day for a certain number of weeks.
A – ACTIONABLE
Actionable goals have an action tied to them. For example, if my goal is to be more outgoing—that’s too vague. An actionable goal would be to attend 1 community networking function or social event every week.
R – RELEVANT
Relevant goal are extensions of your ideal life goals that I mentioned above. If you know what you want, you’ll know which goals are on the way, and how to weed out the ones that are in the way.
Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll en up someplace else.”
T – TIME-BOUND
To ensure your goals are time-bound is to attach dates to work within. Quarterly goal have 3 month expiration date. But you can break that down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals. This enables you to track your progress and work towards BIG goal step-by-step.
#7: Invest In Your Growth
Making this your best year will require a commitment to growth.
This means investing in your education, personal development, and spiritual growth.
In what way can you sharpen your skills? Have you reached a point in your journey where it’s time to invest in mentoring or coaching? Could taking a course help you to move from where you are to where you’d like to be?
#8: Surround Yourself With Optimistic People
As the saying goes, you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time around.
The question is, are those people helping you to move forward or weighing you down?
Do you have a place to meet up with like-minded people who believe in your success? What is the happiness and success level of the people you spend the most time around? Are they dreamers or doers? Are they optimistic or cynical?
If you want to elevate, you need to connect with a tribe of other empowered women (kindred spirits) who will challenge you to reach higher, hold you accountable to your goals, and acknowledge the greatness in you no matter what.
You may find like-minded people at meetups, mastermind groups, spiritual centers, conferences, conventions, trade organizations, and in community groups.
#9: Extend Patience and Compassion Towards Yourself
Inspiration, passion, and ambition are all wonderful things to experience, but without balance they can lead to increased stress levels.
Life is not a race to a finish line—it’s ALL about the journey. So, be kind to yourself throughout the process.
If you fall off the wagon, simply get back on and keep moving. Never regret failure because you may miss the blessing in the lesson.
Be mindful of your inner dialogue—speaking to yourself with respect, gentleness, empathy, and compassion.
#10: Be Persistent and Consistent
When you are fiercely inspired to act—do so and stick with it. As a wise man once told me, consistency gets you the results, and persistence maintain it.
No matter what comes up, stay focused on what’s most important to you.
Develop routines in your daily life to help you establish and maintain productive habits (i.e. daily schedule, to-do lists, morning routine, accountability meetings, etc.).