There is perhaps nothing quite so fantastically cliché as the declaration to become a better/smarter/happier/more successful version of yourself with the New Year. This is the stuff that personal development books and life coaches are made of: The motivation to be found at the end of one year and the beginning of another.
But you know what? It’s cliché because there is actually something to it. It’s a thing because, for so many people, the changing of a calendar really can be the push in a new direction they need.
I’m not sure if it is anything mystical or astrological so much as I think that New Years Eve has a way of making people reflect on the year before. And in that reflection, they inevitably land upon the things about the year, and themselves, that made them happiest, and the things they would most like to change.
Often, people find themselves wishing for love in a new year. Or a job they can be passionate about. Or a change of scenery that will hopefully renew an excitement in them they haven’t felt in a long time.
Whatever your goals for the new year may be, it’s important to know that those goals can absolutely be within your reach: so long as you are realistic in choosing them (don’t endeavor to receive your doctorate within the year if you haven’t even started classes yet) and committed in pursuing them.
That means you can’t set a resolution to find love in 2017 and expect that resolution to then just magically come to fruition as you sit upon your couch. If your goal is to find that someone special, you have to be willing to put yourself out there—to go on dates, to smile at strangers, and to strike up conversations wherever you go.
Your resolutions are only as reachable as your willingness to make them a reality.
Accomplishing that requires getting your head on straight for the New Year. It involves thoughtfully determining what your goals might be, and then carefully evaluating the steps necessary to achieve them.
And for what it’s worth, that evaluation can’t exactly happen while drunkenly celebrating on New Years Eve!
Don’t worry… I’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate! I’m just saying that if you would like to fully embrace the motivation a new year can bring, you might want to spend some time contemplating what you hope to accomplish (and how) before you pop that first bottle of champagne.
Set aside at least an hour to yourself where you commit to exploring those questions. Shut off your phone, ask your partner or roommates to avoid interrupting you, stay away from the Internet, and set a scene that will allow you to relax and truly contemplate. Perhaps that involves meditating for you, or sitting down with a pen and paper to write your ideas out. It might be something that requires making your own charts, or you could be the type of person who thinks best in a hot bath with candles and music playing.
Whatever you require to be at your most thoughtful, make it happen. And then dedicate that time to mapping out your 2017.
Of course, accomplishing those goals doesn’t end there in that moment. You’ll have to revisit your plan throughout the year if you truly want to be successful. Evaluating again and again what’s working, what isn’t, and where you are on your path to success.
But yes, achieving a new you (a new life) in the New Year is absolutely possible. Cliches don’t just come out of nowhere, after all. The reason people believe in the power of the New Year is because, for so many who are willing to fully embrace it, that power actually does exist.
The only question is… who do you want to be, and what do you want to accomplish, in the year to come?