The New Year is here and it’s a popular time to think about reevaluating your current situation and making a plan to better yourself—especially if you’ve not yet accomplished what you’ve envisioned for your life. Are you holding onto past pains from your choices? Dysfunctional relationships, poor financial decisions and mistakes happen sometimes; they’re a part of being human. Goodness knows I’ve made some bad choices.
What’s important is not to focus on these things as negative, but instead to recognize the value they hold. You’ve experienced them, you’ve survived through them, and now you have the chance to learn from them. I want to encourage you to grow, be strengthened, and look toward a successful future where your dreams are possible. Whether small or big, there’s no time like this present New Year to instigate a step-by-step action plan for reaching your dreams.
The Best of this Life’s Tips to Starting the New Year Right
- If you’re holding onto hurt, disappointment, sadness or fear from the past, now is the time to address it. Whether through professional counselling, journaling, talking with family or friends, or finding solace in a spirituality or religion you belong to, the first step in preparing yourself for success is to come from a healthy mental and emotional place. Read this article from Mental Health Wellness Week for more tips on how to maintain your mental health.
- Identify the goal you want to accomplish. Have you dreamt of writing a book? Starting your own business? Volunteering for a local charity you feel passionate about? Traveling to another country? Whether small or big, your dreams are possible, but first you must decide what to shoot for! (This is your MAIN GOAL listed below.)
- Once you’ve identified one or several goals to pursue, break down the overall goal into digestible, smaller goals that are easy to accomplish, especially on a timeline. I recommend five bullet points under each goal, which will act as your “stepping stones” to achieving the main goal. (These are your BULLET POINTS.)
- For each bullet point, create an action plan for how to achieve it, and maybe even a deadline to have it reached by. Some bullets may go together, which means that you can achieve more at once! Accountability partners or other tangible constraints (like purchasing tickets, making reservations, scheduling a class, etc.) will act as other factors in pushing you toward success. (This is your ACTION PLAN.)
Below is an example to map it out even more clearly for you, using the goal of “owning a home” as the topic:
MAIN GOAL: Owning a Home
FIVE BULLET POINTS
- Open a savings account solely for the down payment.
- Start an automatic savings program and put away a certain amount each paycheck.
- Contact a real estate agent to discuss budget, get connected with a mortgage broker, etc.
- Research the neighbourhoods and locations of interest.
- Research costs to move.
ACTION PLAN for steps one and two:
-Schedule a time to go to the bank this week and write it in your planner.
-Open the savings account.
-Calculate income and expenses to select an appropriate amount to be taken out.
-Ask the teller to set up an automated withdrawal from your checking to your special savings account.
And so on for steps three, four and five. I want to remind you that your dream life is possible, and right at your fingertips—just come to it with a healthy, positive mindset, and be sure to break goals down into non-threatening, easily doable steps. It’s a bright New Year, with a beautiful new chapter awaiting you.
Let go of the past and master the future, with these tips from The Best of this Life.
I’m cheering for you!