The start of a New Year is a great time to get excited about the future. And for the next couple of weeks, you’ll be seeing catchy goal acronyms, cheat sheets and journals everywhere to help you start out on the right foot. Me? I take a less traditional route and focus on the things I’ve found matter most (although, I’m a big fan of visualizing, making checklists and taping words of encouragement up too).
Here are the three things I’ve found have the greatest impact on my New Year.
1. Gratitude – Whether or not I’ve set massive records of personal achievement, or battled some of my toughest losses in life (thank you 2018), gratitude is a must. Believe me when I say that weathering the storm isn’t about just surviving, it’s about maintaining the right perspective. I wouldn’t think that going through my own personal hell would cause me to say, “Hey, that was a great year.” But I see already how the battles I fought in 2018 helped me grow in strength, wisdom, empathy, self-care and more. Sometimes the perspective of gratitude can accomplish a lot more than sheer willpower.
2. Hope – Setting goals is so important because if you don’t have a plan, you definitely won’t get to a destination. That being said, my best laid plans mean nothing when I’ve lost hope. As an entrepreneur, I’ve found that some days I can feel like I’m on top of the world and other days I feel like a loser, questioning my sanity. When I hit the bottom, hope is a constant leg up to get out of the dumps. As you write down what you want to accomplish next year, take additional time to believe you can get there. How will your life change when you complete this year’s goals? Hope is simply defined as the “feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” FEEL those emotions and you’ll be pumped before the first to-do task is checked off.
3. Focus – Alright, alright, I am still a realist so we have to have a plan too. Set your goals and focus on them. For me, this means putting them on paper and leaving them in a place that I can see daily (thank you fridge door!). I also like to include WHY I am setting the goal and what it will take to get there on a weekly and monthly basis. I find that I can stay focused when I am working towards my goal consistently and breaking it out into smaller steps. For example, if I want to save $6,000 this year, I would focus on saving $500 a month or $115 a week so that I am making progress consistently and can stay on track.
Whether you’re using an Excel spreadsheet, hand-written journal or the notes app on your phone, I hope 2019 is a year you can look to with excitement of great things to come. With a little gratitude, hope and focus, I have no doubt you’ll rise to whatever challenges – and life achievements – it holds for you!