With 2023 open, there’s a blank canvas in front of you. The question is, what will you paint onto it? What adventures will you have? What goals will you achieve? What memories will you make? What people will you meet?
A new year gives us the chance to be intentional with our next steps.
We get to try on new beliefs and routines. We get to play with new ways of being and inspired ways of living.
We get to create life anew inside the context of the desires we hold for our lives.
These nine tips and practices will inspire you to create your best year yet.
1. Reflect on 2022
You can’t move forward until you’ve first looked back to see how far you’ve come. That’s what reflection is all about. It’s developing the self-awareness that helps you consolidate everything you’ve done and learned in the past 12 months.
If you jump straight into next-step planning, you’ll miss out on all the insights and knowledge the past 12 months have gifted you. In turn, you’re more likely to make needless mistakes, move forward slowly, and even make the wrong decisions.
Reflection is a skill promoted and practiced by some of the world’s top performers and athletes. They know it ensures you learn from your mistakes and make better choices and decisions in the future. Discover how to reflect on 2023 with this downloadable workbook.
2. DON’T set New Year’s resolutions!
If you do nothing else after reading this article, this is the tip to pick!
According to science, 92% of people never achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that they're too vague. For example, I want to lose weight, I want to start a business, or I want to write a book.
These resolutions don’t hold you to account for your results because there’s no deadline and no specificity. If you lack clarity, it’s all too easy to stay in the status quo. After all, we’re creatures of habit and given a chance we’ll revert to what we know [and where we feel comfortable].
So this year, set SMART goals instead of New Year’s resolutions. It’s the most effective way to set yourself up for success. Your Self Journal can help you with this.
3. Create a vision
With a vision, you have an overarching context that you can live into. When you know who you want to be (as well as what you desire to have and do), it’s easier to step fully into your best self.
Use visioning to jump into the future and get a sense of what you want to create. When you know your destination, you can work backwards to figure out your next steps.
20/20 vision is a powerful tool for creating your best year yet. Spend some time crafting yours with the 20/20 Vision Workbook.
4. Plan your time
It’s risky business to leave your New Year plans to chance. Despite your best intentions, when your time feels short and other priorities demand your attention, it’s all too easy to procrastinate on your goals.
A planner will help you manage your time and your priorities. In turn, you move the needle consistently on what matters most.
Use your planner to map out your day with the same diligence and detail that you budget your money.
Schedule tasks in the same way you would appointments - to ensure you optimize the time it takes to do everything on your to-do list.
When time feels as if it’s on your side, it’s easier to work smarter [not harder], so you can accomplish more.
5. Discover your Core Values.
What’s most important to you? Define your core values, and you’ll activate an inner compass that empowers you to head in the direction that’s most aligned to your best self.
One of the easiest ways to define your core values is through the intuitive process of sifting through words and picking those that resonate most with you.
You can do this with the help of the Core Values Deck. With your values defined, feel into what each value means for you (because we all have a personal take). Finally, infuse your values into your day intentionally. In turn, you’ll feel empowered to live a life in alignment.
6. Aim for work-life harmony
It’s tempting to put all your time and energy into one specific goal.
But true happiness comes from feeling fulfilled in all areas of your life. Work-life harmony means success in your relationships, your finances, your health, and your hobbies - as well as your career/business.
When your work gets the best of you, it’s easy to let other areas slip.
But you can push back against this trend through daily 10-minute practices. For example:• Schedule a regular walk/run/yoga class
• Commit to a 10-minute meditation [Headspace has a free course to get you started]
• Make time for an in-depth conversation with your partner or your children with the help of the Intimacy and Little Talk Decks, respectively.
• Increase your knowledge and skills by reading or listening to podcasts
• Small daily actions soon compound into something meaningful.
7. Create a Live List
We all have a list of things we’d love to do at some point in our lives. But how many of those items have you planned to do?
At some point, there won’t be ‘time’, or you won’t have the energy or health.
Don’t leave things to chance. Instead, create your live list and set the intention to experience some of them in 2023:
• Figure out the budget needed to pay for them.
• Schedule time on your calendar.
• Decide what preparation is necessary and plan it.
Imagine how you’ll feel this time next year, knowing you achieved some life dreams.
Best of all, with these checked off, as well as a host of incredible memories, you’ll also create space to add new experiences and adventures to your bucket list.
[Need the inspiration to add to your Live List? We’ve got you covered with these 103 ideas.]
8. Use self-reflection to hold yourself accountable
Life is unpredictable! You never quite know what’s around the corner. Your best-laid plans can face disruption - even if you write them into your planner.
Self-reflection is a powerful practice that can help you differentiate between the things you can’t control and the things you can. By reflecting on your daily performance and approach, you can see where you’ve been procrastinating vs fire-fighting.
Your best self requires you to stay committed to your path - and that’s not always easy. Doubts will creep in, and leaving your comfort zone can send you into a tailspin.
When you hold yourself to account through your reflection practice, it’s easier to differentiate between excuses and reality. You’ll discover plenty of reflection questions in the Writing Your Best Self podcast.
9. Write down your wins
Your big-thinking goals will push you out of your comfort zone. There’s no doubt about that. Things can get hairy when you’re thriving in discomfort. Doubts and fears can hold you back and make you question yourself. Before you know it, you’ve become stagnant!
The good news is there’s a super simple way you can inspire yourself to keep moving - even when you don’t want to, and even when the path ahead feels too hard.
Make it a habit to write down your wins every day - no matter how small. You can use the Win The Day pads to help with this.
Over time, you’ll create a catalogue of successes, which you can refer back to anytime self-doubt creeps in. When you have proof that you've done it before, you’ll find it easier to believe that you can step up again.