The madness of holiday mayhem is over. Maybe this year, it didn’t even happen. Regardless, now is the time that many of us make a list of resolutions and goals that we hope to accomplish in the new year. New Years goals are great if you follow through, but can be demoralizing if you give up. That said, it doesn’t hurt to try one or two ways to make your new year much better. Something to be happy about is thinking about the new year and what you want for yourself. Here are some ideas for New Years goals you can really accomplish to get you started on a better, happier, and successful 2021:
You can clean your closets to clear physical clutter. But you can also clear your mind and get rid of the “nagging negatives” that keeps you stuck in bad patterns and bad habits. Once you do this you can start affirmations that replace those negative thoughts and feelings with positive, motivating ones. One of the best new years goals is to make a list of the positive things you want to accomplish this year and post them as affirmations where you can see them, often. If you don’t get to them all, it’s not a failure. It’s just part of the journey.
Make Friends With Exercise:
If you plan to exercise, figure out what kind of exercise will work for you and that you will actually like. You don’t have to go to a gym or even do traditional exercises. Maybe this year you’ll try something you like better (swimming, dance, tai chi, yoga). If you are even just a little more active each day, you’ll find it gets easier. Take small steps: walk one stop more from the train or bus; park away from the store and walk the few extra feet to the door; climb a flight of steps, get a bicycle! Exercise also produces a chemical reaction in your body which elevates your mood and makes you feel better, too.
Ditch The Excuses!
Excuses don’t get you to your goals. But if what you’re doing now isn’t working, don’t keep bashing your head against it. Let’s face it: if you keep trying “A” and getting result “B” and that’s not what you want, don’t just keep trying “A”. Maybe now it’s time to think outside of the box and try “C”, “D” and “E” even if you didn’t think those things would yield results (because, obviously, “A” didn’t).
Get Over It & Move Forward:
You can’t move forward if you are consumed with grief, brokenhearted, or consumed by anger. Living well (and being happy) is the key to a happy life, and frankly, it’s also the best revenge! This year, which was arguably one of the gloomiest, I started a “Things To Be Happy About” column just to remind myself of the good things out there in the world. If you are really upset and can’t move forward, create a “gratitude jar.” Every day force yourself to find something, anything no matter how small–even if it’s just that someone wished you a good day, or you communed with your pet). We so often forget those little things that make life better. At the end of a month, empty the jar and you’ll be amazed at how many blessings you really have.
Enjoy Your Status:
If you’re broken up over being broken up, embrace your new, single life. There are good things about where you are right now. Write down all the things you like that your “ex” hated…and do every single one of those things s/he didn’t want to do with you! Go on vacation and revel in the thought that you aren’t stuck with the in-laws and their obnoxious kids, or camping, or stuck at home. Make one of your new years goals to enjoy being alone without being lonely. Connect with old friends, and make new ones. Volunteer, indulge in a new hobby, join a book club, get a pet…the list of things to keep you busy and involved with others is endless.
Put Away The Past:
Constant reminders of sad events keep you stuck in the past. You don’t have to throw away sentimental things but don’t keep them on display. Put them in the back of the closet where you will not be tempted to look for them and “keep remembering.” Decorate your work and living space with new things that will reinforce the idea that life goes on and is still wonderful!
Change Up Your Routines:
Changing your routine is one of the quickest ways to change your attitude. If you are the type that gets up early every day, indulge yourself by going to bed early and staying there until you wake up naturally without the alarm clock. Drink kombucha instead of coffee. Splurge on a spa treatment or massage. Accept a challenge. Agree to that blind date even though you’ve been resisting. Ask your new neighbor in for coffee. You get the idea. Make one of your new years goals to break out of the box and try something new.
Try Out A New Look:
Making a physical change can really help jump-start other changes. It doesn’t have to be terribly drastic but a physical change signifies growth! Try a temporary hair color, or go bolder with your makeup. Change your eyeglasses or pick out a new top in a color you don’t usually wear. Whatever you do, the idea is just to get out of your comfort zone and make an outward statement that shows you’re moving forward.
Reconnect With People:
Get in touch –with a friend you’ve lost track of, with that long-lost cousin, with colleagues that you really like and should be networking with anyway. Rekindle a friendship or perhaps ignite a new flame with an old love! No one is an island, we all need someone to talk to and connect with. There are so many social media sites to find people you’ve dropped but really didn’t want to. Just go and do it!
Wash Trouble Away:
If you find yourself truly at the end of your rope, literally wash those troubles right out of your hair. It worked pretty well for Nelly Forbush in “South Pacific. Take a tip from Nelly, and sing at the top of your lungs: “I’m gonna wash that man/woman/boss/two-timer/nagging kid/obnoxious neighbor/co-worker/colleague RIGHT OUTTA MY HAIR!” over and over. Your tension will be relieved and your troubles will seemingly go down the drain, by the time you’re rinsing out the conditioner! Bonus: clean, shiny hair!
Ask anyone who keeps one: writing in a journal is very habit-forming and also surprisingly revealing, over time. Once you start writing you may find yourself rushing home, eager to put down all the details of your day. Read it over from time to time and you will have undeniable proof of all that you’re doing to reach your goals. Bonus: you get to learn a lot about yourself, and it’s a permanent record of your achievements.