Is it just me, or did 2015 seem to go by in a flash? Either way, Happy New Year folks! For me, last year was filled with many challenges, obstacles, and a few BIG life changes, but that’s what makes life fun. I made some great memories, became a dad, and accomplished several big goals. Overall, it was an amazing year. While 2015 was a great year, I know 2016 can be even better for all of us. Here are 20 simple ways to make 2016 your best year ever…
1. Reflect on 2015: First thing you need to do is take time to reflect and review your year. Are you happy with what you accomplished? Are you where you thought you would be? If so, great. If not, why? Ask yourself, “What changes do I need to make in my life to get to where I want to be?”
2. Find Your Why: There is a reason why we do everything we do. Unfortunately, we often get caught up in the menial tasks, and forget why we are doing them. We lose sight of the bigger picture, we lose sight our purpose, we lose sight of our “why”. We are all here for a reason and we all have a purpose. If/when you are feeling overwhelmed with your busy schedule and finding it hard to get things done, stop, and ask yourself WHY you do the things you do…
- Why did you get our of bed? (Because I want to accomplish great things today)
- Why do you have the job you have? (Because I’m providing for my beautiful family)
- Why do you need to write the research paper? (Because I want to graduate from college)
- Why do you want start a business? (Because I want to be my own boss)
3. Set Goals: When I ask the majority of people what their goals are very few people have a specific answers to what they want to achieve in their life, or what their goals and dreams are. Most of the time people respond to me with answers like…
“I don’t really know. Maybe I will go back to school one day.”
“Hmmmm. I’m not sure. I think I might like to own my own business someday.”
If you don’t know where your headed, how will you create a plan to get there? Take time to identify what your goals and dreams are. Write them down and start working towards them. Here’s a post I wrote that will help you identify your goals, How to Achieve Everything You’ve Ever Wanted.
4. Celebrate Your Success: Unfortunately, we tend to overemphasize are failures and under appreciate our successes. By doing this it can be hard to feel good about where we are in our lives. We look back on our past with feelings of failure, shame, and guilt. The truth is that we all have more success than failures, but we are too hard on ourselves to accept and recognize our successes. Celebrating your successes will boost your confidence, your self esteem, and make you feel great about your life.
5. Be Open To Taking Risks: Taking risks can be pretty scary at times, but the only way to grow and achieve anything that seems worthwhile has some level of risk involved. At the time, going after any goal or dream seems scary, but once you’ve accomplished something you had dreamed about for so long you can look back and say you’re glad you to the chance. Remember: No risk…no reward.
6. Help Others: No matter where you are in life there will always be someone who doesn’t have as much as you. There are always people you can help. You can have a huge impact on someone’s life. Too often we get caught up in our lives and we forget that there is no greater joy than making a difference and helping those in need.
7. Surround Yourself With Great People: Attitudes, desires, habits and decisions are all contagious…they rub off on you and influence you. In fact, we tend to become just like the people that we hang around with, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on who you choose to spend your time with. Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If that’s true, who are the five people you spend the most time with?
- Do these individuals motivate and inspire you?
- Do they want you to succeed?
- Are you a better person for being associated with them?
This year, choose to surround yourself with people who lift you up, people who are supportive, and people who believe in you and your dreams.
8. Say Encouraging Things To Yourself Everyday: Everything you believe about yourself and what you can accomplish starts with your thoughts, which is why it’s important to have a positive self image, and have positive self talk. Believe in yourself and what you are capable of. Know that you are your own worst enemy. Tell yourself that you are capable of achieving anything you put your mind to.
9. Read: Did you know that…
- 33 percent of U.S. high school graduates will NEVER read a book after high school
- 42 percent of college students will NEVER read another book after they graduate
- 80 percent of U.S. families did NOT buy a book this year
- 70 percent of adults have NOT been in a book store in the past 5 years
It’s important to commit yourself to a lifetime of learning. We live in a time where there are books written on every topic you can possibly imagine. You can learn about anything and everything you can possibly dream about. Reading has many great health benefits as well. Reading improves memory, reduces stress, reduces anxiety, and prevents and slows the progress of Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
10. Accept Responsibility For Your Life: We often blame others or our circumstances for where we are in life. The only way to move forward in life is to accept complete responsibility for where we are in life. We are 100% responsible for where we are in life. Look in the mirror…that’s your competition.
11. Follow The Five Second Rule: I first heard about this rule when watching a TED talk by Author, relationship expert, and Life Coach, Mel Robbins. You can check out her TED talk here. In an article from Success Magazine, Mel discusses the Five Second Rule. According to Mel, “Anytime you have an idea that seems like a sure thing, act to advance it within five seconds. Why? Because your brain’s main job is to avoid trouble and risk, so in less than five seconds it will persuade you to abandon your idea.”
We come up with ideas all the time that we put off and never do anything about. All because we wait…we delay…we procrastinate. We convince ourselves not to.
If you tell yourself “I should” you have five seconds to act on it before your brain pulls the “emergency brake” and tells you not to do it.
Stop self sabotaging yourself. Stop pulling the emergency brake and act on your ideas with five seconds.
12. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help: To often we are afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. I’ve found that if you don’t know how to do something it’s better to ask someone who knows. People are more than willing to help others. No matter what it is in life, even if you are suffering from depression or anxiety, it’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes we need to lean on others to get us through our struggles. I think asking for help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness.
13. Forgive Those Who Hurt You: In life people will hurt your feelings, say mean things, and do mean things to you. It’s okay, people are human and they make mistakes. There’s no sense holding grudges and being bitter. It’s too exhausting and ruins your happiness. Move on. Forgive them. Forgiveness is always the best option.
14. Be Kind…Treat Others the Way You Want to Be Treated: It’s simple, but everyone deserves to be treated fairly with kindness and compassion. Anyone can handle things with anger, but a responsible, mature person is kind and treats others the way they want to be treated.
15. Be Thankful For Everything: Being thankful for the things you have is the key to happiness. There are people in this world today who are suffering from different diseases, people who are homeless, and people who don’t have enough food to eat. It’s easy to look at the things you don’t have and want more, but be thankful for EVERYTHING you have and realize how blessed you really are. Start focusing on your blessing and not on your problems!
16. Try To Make The World A Better Place: You have the power to make a difference in the world. Our time here is limited and we might as well try to leave the world better than we found it. Whether it’s volunteering, giving money, starting a nonprofit, or just being kind, each and every one of us can make this world better in some way, shape, or form.
17. Take Care Of Your Body: Obesity is one of the leading health problems in the U.S. Studies have found that over two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Having a healthy body is a critical part of living a fulfilling life. You only get one body so take care of it. Make fitness a priority, eat better, cut back on the sugar and sweets, drink lots of water, and get enough sleep.
18. Always Be Honest: Honesty is always the best policy. The whole lying thing doesn’t work out. The truth always comes out, so save the headaches and heartaches. Just tell the truth.
19. Do What You Love: Don’t spend the majority of your life doing something you hate. If you want to do something great and live a fulfilling life you have to love what you do.
20. Always Do What Is Right: There are times in life where it’s actually harder to do what is right. Morally and ethically you should always do what is right, no matter how tempting it is to take the short cut or do the wrong thing. You only have one reputation and once you ruin it you can’t get a new one. Plus, doing the right thing feels good and you can sleep better at night.
I hope 2016 is filled with happiness, love, and personal growth for you and your loved ones. Just remember that life is a roller coaster ride with ups and downs, highs and lows, but you need to enjoy the journey, because one day the ride will come to an end for each and every one of us. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy life. Be Happy. Be Kind. Be Positive. Happy New Year.