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New Year, New You?

Hello 2018!  I am sure some of you couldn’t wait for 2018 to arrive for a fresh new start, while others will look back fondly at all the positives that graced them last year.  Whether good or bad, 2018 is here to stay (for the next 364 days) so we move past last year and focus on what we hope this year will bring.

So what do you hope to accomplish in 2018?  Unlike some quotes, I find that moving forward sometimes requires us to look in the rearview mirror.  What did you like about last year?  What did you dislike?  What things did you have control over that you managed well or poorly, and how did you handle the things outside of your control?  Were you able to accomplish the goals that you set, or did you fall short?  What did you learn, accomplish, grow from, etc?  If we spend the time reflecting on our achievements and shortfalls, our moments of success and painful lessons learned, we can more effectively set ourselves up for success in the year to come.

So upon reflection, what do you want to alter, change, and keep?  This is the process of refining ourselves.  I think the idea of creating a “new you” is kind of silly.   Why create anew when perhaps a lot of you is great?  We all have things we want to change about ourselves but to say we need to be new implies our current self isn’t worth keeping.  Instead, perhaps you just need to make a few different decisions, changes in your methods of doings, or declutter whether physically or emotionally to accomplish what you want to achieve.

How do you wish to refine aspects of yourself or create positive change?

To evaluate your past year, start by creating categories.  You don’t have to use the following categories but I created some for those of you who may need some suggestions.

  1. Fitness
  2. Health/Nutrition
  3. Relationships
  4. Education/Growth
  5. Business/Employment
  6. Spiritual/Mental
  7. Fun

Now in each category, ask yourself these basic questions:

  1. What did I accomplish that I am proud of last year?
  2. What did I fall short on last year that I hoped to accomplish?
  3. What factors contributed to my falling short and can those pitfalls be avoided/minimized this year? (laziness, external factors [losing job, having a newborn, etc], lack of planning, goal out of obligation vs self motivation, etc)
  4. How can I better manage my stressors that influenced my ability to accomplish my goals? (set aside time for ME no matter what, spend Sunday to meal prep and plan out meals in advance, try to eliminate my attempts to control those in my life [insert Choice Theory], communicate more, etc)

Now, there is nothing wrong with simply giving up on a goal if it no longer applies or inspires you.  So if that is what happened last year, don’t feel guilty about it.  There is also nothing wrong with not accomplishing a goal in one category if it meant that you were able to accomplish what became more important to you in another category.  So perhaps you weren’t able to travel as much as you would have liked, but it was to ensure you could further grow your business.  Maybe you weren’t 100% focused on nutrition/fitness but you just gave birth to a baby and that became your immediate focus.  Don’t judge yourself while you evaluate your past year.  The point of evaluation is to bring awareness and facts to the forefront while leaving emotion out.

So after reflecting on your past year, you are now ready to set new goals for 2017.  What are 1-2 SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time bound) goals you have for each category?  If you have a category you don’t plan on setting a goal in, then skip it.  These are your goals, not mine!  If I left out a category or you want to break down your categories even more, then do it!

Now that you have your goals, make them known and remind yourself of them regularly.  By putting them out into the universe, it is more likely to come to fruition whether by telling friends or posting it publicly.  Once people know about your goals, you feel obligated to reach them and they may also encourage or ask you how your journey is going.  And by reminding yourself of your goals regularly whether it is the background of your phone or a vision board that hangs above your desk, you will be constantly reminded of what you want to accomplish.

No matter how your 2017 went, each new year brings us an opportunity to let go, clean the slate, and start fresh.  So I hope you all have a fantastic 2018 full of achievement, success, and growth!

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