Happy New Year lovely people! I for one am so excited for this year and having time off over the holidays was much needed after a very hectic end to 2017. We had the loveliest Christmas here in Vancouver and it was nice to just chill out for a couple of weeks, catch up on sleep, and recharge my batteries ready for the New Year.
Now that it's here, i'm rearing to go and I really want to make this year better than the last. For me, some of my key improvements over the past 12 months have been achieving a more consistent positive mindset, getting more sleep, having more faith in myself, and prioritising fitness not just for the physical benefits, but for the mental benefits too. The practices I adopted last year are ones that I want to continue pursuing this year so I can keep improving in all aspects of my life.
With that in mind, I think that's going to be one of my keywords for this year - Improvement. I usually like to have words of the year as I think it's nice to have those reminders to keep us going, so my 3 words for this year are going to be fearless, improvement, and gratitude. I don't think you ever need to wait for January to roll around to change your habits or make improvements, but a new year does signify a fresh chapter so it's the perfect time to tackle those things you've been procrastinating and set a plan of action.
So, if you too want to make 2018 the best year yet, here are a few goals and practices to keep in mind that'll help you to be more motivated, more positive, and generally be the best version of yourself this year so you can reach those long-term goals and create the life you want.
"Fearless" was one of my words of 2017, and it's one that i'll carry into the New Year as it's such a powerful word to live by. Living fearlessly means a lot of things. It means not letting fear get in the way of chasing your goals. It means having the strength to tackle challenges head-on, rather than quitting when the going gets tough or out of fear of failure.
It means not letting the judgement of other people stop you from doing what you want to do. It means taking a chance on yourself, and understanding that even if things don't work out how you hoped, you'll still learn from the experience and improve in some way.
I used to worry so much about what other people would think, especially when I'm putting myself out there so much on social media and with my blog. But then, I realized that worrying about what other people will think is simply wasted energy and it does more harm than good. Once I stopped worrying about that, I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I was free to do exactly what I wanted to do.
You do you, chase your goals, and trust that you'll work it out.
Feel good on the inside
A healthy body means a healthy mind. Last year I learned just how connected our mind and bodies are and the power of exercise. Exercise has always been a physical thing for me, but now it's just as much about the mental aspect and my morning spin classes have had such a transformative effect on my mindset. I come out feeling ready and prepared to tackle my day, and i've seen a huge improvement in how productive and positive I feel.
Of course, everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. But if you want to make this the best year yet, your efforts will be much more successful if you're looking after yourself and you feel good on the inside. Meditate in a morning if you wake up feeling stressed, try to incorporate more veggies or cut out bad foods if your body feels sluggish, or try a new fitness class if you're struggling to feel motivated. Do what you need to do to feel better on the inside, because I guarantee, it'll have a positive impact on your mindset, your confidence, your productivity, your overall health, and all other areas of your life.
Whether you make a big change or you take it slow, just do what works for you.
Shift your perspective
"Without rain, nothing grows. Learn to embrace the storms of your life".
I absolutely love this quote, and it's a nice one to remember when life isn't going to plan. We can try to carefully craft our lives as much as we want, but the universe often has other ideas and challenges appear when we least expect it. When this happens, you have 2 options; you can either give in to the negative things that are happening, adopt a "why me" attitude, and let it dictate your life and your mood - OR - you can take control, shift your perspective, try to find the good in the situation, and power through until you get to the other side.
Whether it's something small like missing your train or not landing a client, or something major like going through a break-up or losing your job, there's always opportunity and positivity that can be found. The outcome of our failed plans are dictated by our perspective, and even the worst situations will in one way or another, lead you down a different path and open new doors that otherwise wouldn't have opened. Stressing about situations you can't change will never get you anywhere, so use that energy to embrace what life throws at you and keep powering forward.
Try to make the most of the situations that come your way. Turn negatives into positives and embrace both your achievements and your failures.
Seek to improve, rather than transform
I don't know about you, but I don't really like the whole "New Year, New Me" mentality. I think it suggests we aren't good enough as we are, and by setting a goal to be a completely transformed version of yourself you're basically setting yourself up for failure from the very beginning, because crazy goals like that rarely ever work out.
In actual fact, we ARE good enough as we are, so instead of vowing to be brand spanking new versions, we should seek to become improved, and better versions of ourselves. We should seek to strengthen our relationships, work on improving our skills, being more productive, getting stronger physically and mentally, become more balanced, and doing the things that make us happy.
The foundations are already there, so rather than wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch, focus on improving your current habits and routine to help you reach your goals this year. Remember, there's no such thing as perfection. Just strive for progress and improvement, and set yourself realistic and measurable goals to work towards.
Think baby steps. Small but consistent actions that improve your life will soon add up and make a huge difference over time.
Let go of the things that don't serve you
One of the biggest lessons I learned this year was that it's okay to let go of the things that don't serve you. We often hold onto things, whether it's relationships, possessions, situations, clients, or habits, but there comes a point when those things no longer serve us. What I mean by this is that they don't benefit us in a positive way and they cause more harm and negativity than good.
It's not always easy to let go especially if it's a relationship with a friend or something that you cherish. However, holding onto something that's toxic, that doesn't make you happy, that brings you down, or that has a negative impact on your life isn't healthy at all.
I've been reading "The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck" recently and it's SUCH a great book. It's all about caring less about the things that add unnecessary stress and unhappiness to our lives, and caring more about the things that matter, like family, health, and our values. It offers a refreshing perspective, and although most of it is stuff we know anyway, it's definitely a nice reminder.
Embrace the good things in your life, and let go of the things that don't serve you or are holding you back. It'll open you to new opportunities and allow you to grow and reach your full potential.
How often do you find yourself saying, "Eugh, I have to go to the gym" or "I have to go to work", or "I'm so busy but I have to go buy groceries". It's likely a lot and it's easy for daily things like this to feel like big inconveniences.
But this year, I challenge you to change the narrative. Replace the word "have to", with "get to", and see how it shifts your perspective.
"I GET to go to the gym. I GET to go to work. I GET to go and buy groceries." These suddenly become really powerful statements. I like doing this as it's a good reminder not to take our everyday things for granted. There are many people who dream of being able to just go to the shops to buy food or have a job to go to on a daily basis, so we should consider ourselves to be very fortunate.
Gratitude is a powerful thing, and it's something we should all try to practice more. It's easy to lose sight of the amazing things in our lives when we're constantly striving for more and comparing ourselves to others. Gratitude helps to put things into perspective, especially when times are tough, and it teaches us to recognize what we have and to be content and grateful for where we are in our lives. It teaches us to appreciate our loved ones and not take them for granted and generally just be happier in ourselves and with our achievements.
Be appreciative of what you have & recognize the big and small. It'll shift your perspective completely.
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What are you hoping to focus on to make 2018 the best year yet? I'd love to hear your feedback about what you're trying to work on!