Making the best of the new year.
It's the start of a new year, and traditionally it's the time to think about resolutions and making plans to make the new year better than the previous one. Many people make resolutions to quit smoking, go to the gym more, find a better job or just work harder but I wanted to make resolutions that would have an immediate impact on my quality of life.
This year, I decided to make resolutions that would help me live life on purpose. You see, as I looked back at the past couple of years, I began to realize that a large part of the problems I have dealt with have been more about reacting to things that happened due to poor planning. This year, my hope is to be more purposeful in my life so that I have more energy to devote to reaching my goals.
Here are 7 resolutions to live life on purpose:
Set goals by the day, not the year - Making large goals that will be met at some time in the future is great, but without a plan, those goals are just dreams. It's much more effective to set small goals that work towards the larger dream. For example, making a goal to lose 100 lbs is great but it's better to make small goals that deal with making the healthy changes that will get you there. Think about your dreams and then find the smaller goals. For me, I think that making small daily or weekly goals is the best way to not end up breaking every resolution I make.
Make a budget - This one is important. In order to really live on purpose, you have to have a plan for everything. Last year I made budgeting my goal. Although I haven't been perfect about it, my attitude about money has certainly changed. Before I started budgeting, I never had any money and didn't really know where it went. Now, I still don't have much money, but I have a much clearer idea about why that is. This year, to take things a step further, I plan to spend money more purposefully. This means no impulse buys and not spending money on things I didn't plan for. Just because I see a jacket on sale doesn't mean I have to buy it. Often money decisions are made on the spur of the moment in reaction to the "shopping rush".
Be clear about what you want - The idea of standing up for myself always sounds, and feels, very aggressive. It doesn't have to be that way. Being clear about what you want doesn't mean that you have to be rude. Often I find myself accepting things I don't want because I want to be "nice" and I don't want to cause trouble. This isn't very effective. The truth is that you can be "nice" and still be clear about what you want and refuse to accept less than that.
Don't allow fear to be in charge - Fighting fear is really, really hard. The problem is that you can't really live life on your terms when you are being held back by fear. Let it go and do what you feel is right, even if it's scary. Whenever you try something new, fear is right there to tell you why you aren't good enough or why you are going to fail. Too often, we listen because it's easier than calling fear a liar. Which it is.
Take responsibility - My goal this year is to realize on a daily basis that I am the only person who has the power to change anything. By taking personal responsibility for all aspects of my life, I am hoping that I will be able to stop the negativity that keeps me from reaching my goals. It's easy to blame others, but the truth is that it's not their job to change you or even help you. It's great if they do, but in the end, it's our job to make changes and do what needs to be done.
Make connections - Networking is always important, no matter who you are or where you are in your life. Making connections with other humans helps add depth to our lives. For me and other introverted people, it's difficult to see that we still need those connections as well. Even though meeting new people and building friendships is harder for us, it's still important. My goal is to connect more with the people around me.
Use your dreams for inspiration - Last week, I made a little dream board to keep me focused. It's easy to do and it can make you more aware of what your dreams are. Get a bulletin board, or even just a piece of poster board, and put up some pictures of your dreams. Do you want to travel? If so put up a picture of the place you most want to visit. Do you want to buy a house? Put up an image of the type of house you want. The funny thing is that most of us have undefined dreams. Just the simple act of making a dream board will create positive energy and focus on those things that will actually get stuff happening.
The new year is a great time for making new plans and starting fresh. What are your resolutions this year? Please share your thoughts in the comments.