Everyone loves a new start. The New Year offers a clean slate to write anything on it. You can make 2015 the most magical year ever.
I love to get a new journal. I caress the blank pages and feel such hope and promise. The blank pages are an invitation to start over. To change my life. To change how I matter in the world. To make a bigger, better difference in the lives of others.
What are you going to do to make the best of this New Year? How can you make it the best year ever for you and all those you love?
The best way to make the New Year better is to start over every single day and makethat day shine. I once read that how you spend your day is how you spend your life. All those days add up.
How do you approach a brand new year? Here are my tips:
1. Choose one word for the year:
Instead of making all kinds of New Year’s Resolutions that you will break by January 15, choose just one word to be your focal point for the year. People make huge resolutions to quit smoking, to start exercising, to stop drinking, and before February, they’ve already smoked a cigarette, had a few beers and sat on the couch day after day.
Go for the inner changes. Instead of starting with the outside of your life, change the inside and everything else will change. Choose one word that sums up what you want more out of life:
Hope. Joy. Peace. Love. Magic. Health. Harmony. Adventure. Laughter.
Choose wisely. Get quiet and ask your heart what it wants more than anything. Listen for the answer, then make that one word the focus of your year by making it the focus of every day. Write the word big on a card and put it on your mirror in the bathroom. Carry it in your wallet. Put it on the dashboard of your car. Keep it next to your bed. Your life will soon fill up with that word.
2. Choose to be happy, no matter what:
No one is in charge of your happiness except you. It’s your job to make yourself happy, not your boss or your spouse or your mom or dad or dog or cat. And that’s a good thing, because that means no one else can make you unhappy once you decide you truly want to be happy. No matter what happens ask yourself: Do I want to be happy right now?
3. Make your job magical:
No matter what you do for a living, add some magic to it. Make your work sparkle. Do it with more love. More joy. It doesn’t matter if you are a janitor or a doctor, a secretary or a lawyer, a street cleaner or a teacher, you can make meaning where ever you are, whatever you do.
4. Big dreams need small steps:
It’s great to have a big dream, but you have to take action to make it a reality. You don’t have to take a giant leap to achieve your dreams, just take the next right step. A baby learns to walk by taking small, tiny steps. Soon that baby is walking, then running. Sometimes we need to take baby steps to our dreams.
5. Forgive everyone everything:
Start with yourself. Forgive yourself for last year and all the previous years. Forgive yourself for staying with that person who treated you badly. Forgive yourself for taking the wrong job. Forgive yourself for every mistake you made. You are not a mistake. You are a work in progress. Once you forgive yourself, it’s easier to forgive everyone else.
6. Stay present in the present:
The present moment is all we have. The past is gone. The future isn’t here. Too often I miss out on the joy right in front of me because I’m thinking about my to-do list. Or I’m regretting something from yesterday. When I’m at work, I’m thinking about my grandkids. When I’m with my grandkids, I’m thinking about work. Now I try to stay in the moment I am in. Today is a gift. Open it.
7. Start with the end in sight:
Find a place to be alone. Close your eyes and pretend it’s the end of 2015. It’s December 31, 2015. What will you have wanted from the past year? Be honest with yourself. Then jot it down. Make a small list. Keep it simple. Keep it meaningful. Then open your heart to what is on that list and post it where you can see it. Make it your friend for the year.
8. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Ask for help.
We all need help, but it’s hard to ask for it. I used to be afraid to ask because if someone said, “No” I felt crushed. I’ve learned to keep asking. If you don’t ask for what you want, you won’t get it. If you do ask, you don’t always get it, but you’re a lot more likely to get it.
9. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
Surround yourself with joy. Donate the clothes you have that are the wrong size. Love the body you have. Give away the books and music and movies that make you sad. Toss out the socks with the holes in them. You deserve beauty and joy and happiness.
10. The best is yet to come:
This is a do-over, a brand new start. Anything can happen. If someone broke your heart, they just made your heart stronger for the next person to love you even more. If you lost a job, that just means your life is ready for a new and better job. Stay hopeful. Stay joyful. Keep believing, no matter what, that the best is yet to come.
Happy New Year!