New Year’s Eve is an exhilarating night where you gather with friends, pop bottles and champagne and countdown the minutes until midnight. Colorful clouds of confetti are thrown, noisemakers are blown, and small sparklers are lit the moment the clock strikes twelve. It feels like the entire world celebrates the excitement of making it through the year and kicking off a brand new one.
Once the party ends and the accompanying hangover subsides, you will think about how this is the opportune time to change the things you aren’t satisfied with in your life. It could be something as small as a bad habit that you wish you could break, or it could be as significant as your life’s trajectory. If you are genuinely inspired to improve yourself in the new year, here is how to start your first days on the right track.
Look Back At Your Year
Before you can figure out where you want to go, you should take a look back at what got you to this moment in the first place. One of the best ways that you can start the year on the right track is to do an annual review — think about the previous twelve months and carefully analyze all of the positive and negative things that happened during them.
During your personal audit, examine specific areas of your life like your career, your relationships, your finances and your hobbies. Ask yourself if you feel like you made recent improvements or found happiness in these areas, or if there is something missing. The self-reflection could feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s worth pinpointing the reason for your discontent. By finding the root of the problem, you will have an easier time reaching the right solution.
Pick A Resolution To Stick With
People that want to turn over a new leaf and change for the better will pick New Year’s resolutions to try out in the first few weeks of January — the hope is that with enough commitment and time, these resolutions will turn into life-long habits. The most popular choices relate to improving personal health by eating better or doing more exercise and reaching financial stability by spending less. Below is a brief list of other common resolutions that people made in 2018:
- Perform self-care
- Read more books
- Learn a skill
- Get a different job
- Make friends
After doing your personal review and realizing what you’re currently missing out on, pick resolutions that will help solve the problem. For instance, if you’re unhappy with your social life, you should think about making friends or trying out a hobby where you can meet new people. Try to give yourself only one or two ambitions to follow, so that you don’t have too much on your plate.
Do Your Research
Once you pick the resolution that you want to stick with, do some research before you making your first move. Consult an expert in the field, talk to friends about their own plans and scour the internet for any websites that can help. It will give you a better idea about which steps will work for you and which ones won’t.
For instance, if you’re tired of living from paycheck to paycheck or maxing out your credit card, you can look at a website like MoneyKey to see helpful money-saving suggestions to improve your financial situation. Their practical advice encourages you to create a responsible budgeting system.
This budget should only be disrupted for unavoidable emergency expenses, like hospital bills. They also offer personal loans to get people who don’t have anything in the bank out of those situations. The ultimate goal is to achieve your resolutions and reach financial stability, so you can help yourself in emergency scenarios.
The website also has a list of straightforward tips to help you save money in a short period of time and to stop you from wasting a noticeable portion of your income on unnecessary purchases and impulse buys, like:
- Brew coffee at home
- Bring pre-made lunches to the office
- Carry a reusable water bottle
- Make transportation compromises
- Use coupons when you shop
Write Everything Down
Whether you’re working on a reaching a fitness goal or a financial target, taking notes will help you track your progress every step of the way. The small habit will validate your efforts and give you the necessary motivation to continue on. Depending on your preference, there are plenty of ways that you can track your goals — people who are visual and very creative can try bullet-journaling to record their ambitions and tech-savvy people can use spreadsheets or mobile apps to do the same.
The last suggestion for starting your year off on the right track is to be patient with yourself.
One of the reasons why people give up on their resolutions early on is that they feel overwhelmed. Don’t view the resolution as a race that you have sprint through to win — think of it as a marathon, because it will take training and endurance to make it across that finish line.