Oprah Winfrey made the words “Live your best life” famous. But it’s something most of us try to do – particularly when it comes to mapping out plans for the new year.
When implemented, those four simple words can lead to a year of happiness and success. As you plan for 2017, here are 10 steps to plan for your best year yet.
You’ve probably heard the saying, you have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going. Take a few moments to look back on your year. Where did you experience the most joy or satisfaction? What areas of your life could stand improvement? What life lessons did you learn and what did you discover about yourself?
Your answers to these questions will provide vital insights into what you need to focus on and how you can positively transform your life in the new year.
- Realize your full potential.
Whatever task you choose to undertake, give it your all and complete it to the best of your abilities. Even if it’s not something you want to be doing you should still do the best job you can. In those situations, work on cultivating the skills you already have and learn new ones when you’re able.
- Let things go.
Leave the baggage from 2016 behind. We all have old resentments from the past, regrets or mistakes that we carry around with us. They weigh us down and holding onto them is not productive. Make a list of memories or events from your past that you are willing to finally let go of this month. You can also physically declutter items in your home (like excess clothing, broken furniture and old paperwork). By doing this, you will be making space for new dreams to come to you in the new year.
- Write your vision.
Write down what you would love your life to look like in key life areas, like love and relationships, career and contribution, wealth and lifestyle, health and well-being, learning and creativity, and soul or spirituality. Let your imagination run wild and map out an overall vision for your ideal life. Writing down your vision can serve as a road map to make it a reality.
- Plan your work and work your plan.
Take your vision and choose your top goals or priorities for the year ahead. What would make the biggest impact on your life? What excites you the most? Goals take time and energy, so you need to make sure you are committed to your top goals and know why you want to achieve them; how will it benefit or change your life? Then take your top goals and break them down into action steps you can take each month.
- Upgrade your mindset to match your dreams.
Believe in your ability to reach your goals in order to achieve them. Ask yourself: “What beliefs would help me achieve my goals?” For example, believe that you are capable, resourceful, confident, and of value to the world. Write a list of five to 10 affirmations based on your new beliefs and read them daily. Be realistic, though.
- Lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
Living your best life means being healthy and taking care of your body. The better you treat your body, the longer it will stay healthy and functioning well for you. This means you’ll be able to live your best life even longer. Exercise on a regular basis. Drink plenty of water. Eat more fruits and veggies. Cut down on salt, sugar, fried food, fast food and junk food. Get regular medical check-ups. Reduce stress.
- Schedule time to fill your cup.
A happy life is not just about external goals and achievements. It’s also about making time for doing the things we love for creativity, laughter and enjoyment. Find a hobby. Learn something new. Spend quality time with loved ones. Take a look at your calendar and make sure you are scheduling in time each week for fun and relaxation.
- Check your circle.
We are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. Reflect on your circle of friends. Do they bring out your best? Are they supportive and uplifting? Make a commitment to invest your time in good company over the next 12 months, and distance yourself from people who don’t serve your highest good. Sometimes making decisions can be difficult and it will help your ability to make mindful decisions if you have someone trustworthy to talk to about these issues.
- Know your own limitations.
It is important to recognize your full potential, but you should also recognize your limitations. Sometimes being persistent at a specific task is not the right choice because your skills might be put to better use somewhere else. Think about what you’re good at and try to cater to your own skillset when you make decisions.