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When we’re starting the new year a lot of us start with goal setting. Just a simple list with all the things we want to achieve. BUT, that list can also be a place of overwhelm and fear. It’s not long before we look at our list – the excitement gone – as we try and figure out how we can go from here to there.
1. Declutter & organize
Decluttering and organising BEFORE the year ends is a great for starting the new year productively.
I’ve always done it room by room but a suggestion by Marie Kondo (from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) is to do it by category.
This pin gives great step by step of how Marie goes about tidying & decluttering.
It makes clearing out our crap fun instead of the sweaty, stressful mess it can be!
If you’re not keen on Kondo’s steps, other great books on decluttering and living with less are:
- Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
- The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify (Updated and Revised)
There’s something about decluttering that makes you feel better, clearer, neater! And ready to hit the next thing on your to-do list!
With the end of year so close, doing it all in one day might seem like a lot. Another suggestion is to break it up by one category every Saturday. And see how you go from there!
2. Fill out a life wheel
Another great tip to starting the new year off right is to try and avoid simple goals like “to lose weight” or “be happier”. Instead try starting a new year by actually ASSESSING the areas of your life first.
It’s important to look at where you’re happy too. And ask yourself what are you doing in those areas that are working the best for you? What are you grateful for? Give yourself some cred’ for all that you’ve achieved this year!!
Then look at the areas you want to focus and change.
Tony Robbins spoke about this exercise quite a bit. He has a great online life wheel assessment if you prefer that!
Otherwise, a good ol’ paper method is the way I go about it. Basically it’s a wheel sectioned into the different areas of your life. Then you colour up to where you think you are in that part of your life. I.E. if one part of your life is a 10 then you colour in the whole section.
Some areas for your life wheel could be:
- Family & friends
- Relationships &/or dating
- Fun & Recreation
- Money & Finances
- Personal Development
- Your Environment
But this isn’t just an exercise to do at the end of every year. It’s an easy, weekly thing you can do! Studies have shown that by assessing the areas of your life consistently you’ll have more clarity & feel more balanced between work and life. 1.
I’ve created a free life wheel below with space to add a simple goal to which ever areas you want!
Related content: The 6 Most Important Habits Of Successful People Series
3. Use the wheel to set your goals
Once you’ve filled in the wheel, the next step in starting your new year right is by setting your goals.
Choose 1-2 areas that scored lowest for you and choose one small change you can make for each area.
For example, when I was feeling unhealthy I made a goal to drink drink 2L of water a day. That was it. I bought myself a bottle and carried it everywhere. Ever since, I’ve kept the habit.
Making changes happens through tiny moves, over time. It’s silly for us to think starting off the new year as a brand new person is achievable. We put so much pressure on ourselves that we lose the value and enjoyment of achieving our goals and growing.
So think about small ways you can make a change instead of chucking the big things down right away like “join a gym”. When we jump straight to the big goals, it can be demotivating and intimidating. Starting off the new year right is all about starting small and simple.
Related content: 20 New Years Resolution Ideas For 2018
4. Create a vision board of your goals
This is something I do every year (or 2 years since I’ve been lazy!). My vision board is me thinking about how I want to feel and what I want to achieve. Then I google images that I like and blu tac them on to the wall. Simple, easy and cost effective! Plus having them on your wall in your room or somewhere you see them every day really keeps them at the back of your mind.
Use the goals you created from your life wheel review to decide what images to use. Then get creating! This helps in starting the new year off with an amazing vision.
If you want more detailed instructions on how to create a vision board -> Tips For Creating A Vision Board
If you want ideas on how to create a vision board -> 10 Easy Ideas On How To Make A Vision Board
These are 4 simple steps for starting the new year productively, organized and motivated! The life wheel and vision board exercises are great ways to encourage empowerment and decision making. Now you have your goals up on your wall and you’ve assessed where you want to make changes in your life, it’s time to start taking action!!
- Burchard, B. (2017). High performance habits: how extraordinary people become that way. Carlsbad: Hay House, Inc. ↩