Personal Growth Tips for the New Year
As we prepare to bring in the New Year with a celebration, we often take this opportunity to reflect on our last 365 days. We have had triumphs and failures. We have welcomed new life and new friends and mourned losses. And hopefully, we have all learned something new about ourselves.
Each New Year, people all over the globe choose this marking of time to make resolutions to reach a goal, break a bad habit, or implement a new and positive change in their life. And it’s no wonder why! Personal growth has a profound impact on every aspect of our lives. By striving to improve ourselves we are nurturing our physical, emotional, and intellectual health.
Choosing to practice personal growth can inspire passion, excitement, new motivation, and a general lust for life! So what will you choose to do during your next lap around the sun?
New Years Resolutions
The concept of making commitments to personal growth at the beginning of each year is not a new one. In the past, religions and cultures have used this mark of time to make promises to pay back debts, re-affirm their vows, repent for wrong-doing, and make promises to change and improve themselves.
While it is easy to say that you have a goal that you would like to reach in the coming year, most resolutions are forgotten before the end of February. This is often due to poor planning and unrealistic or unclear goal setting. For this reason, it is critical that you discover what is important to you and why it is important to you. When you have those answers, you will be able to create a clear plan for follow through.
Discover what is Important
It is said that we are our own worst critic. I believe that for most people, this becomes a negative voice that they prefer to drown out and ignore. We, however, are ever evolving creatures who are given endless opportunities to grow and improve. To understand what you would like to change in your life, all you have to do is listen to your inner critic. While you might not like what you hear, it is important to remember that what is true right now can change. And addressing the issue is the first step towards self-improvement.
Ask yourself these questions (honestly) and see what you come up with at the end.
- Five words I would use to describe how I felt this year:
- Which are positive and which are negative?
- Why did I feel the negative things?
- Which traits do I admire about myself?
- What are some traits that I admire about people that I know?
- What would make me happier?
You might choose to practice patience, lose weight, pay off your debt, or make a career change. No matter what your goal is, it should reflect your desire to improve your life. In addition to your personal drive, setting realistic expectations and a solid plan will get you to the finish line!
Too often, our New Years Resolutions are very general. Therefore, we don’t take the time to analyze or properly address the flaw we would like to correct in ourselves. For example, you might make a general resolution to get your home de-cluttered and keep it that way. This is a noble goal to have, but it is a simplified statement.
De-Cluttering your home is a process that requires a lot of time and mental (and sometimes physical) energy. Success relies heavily on your ability to look inward to examine the cause of your clutter and create a game-plan to avoid it in the future. This often involves changing one or more of your day to day habits! All of this is perfectly do-able, however, the amount of planning that goes into this commitment cannot be understated.
Because of this, you might choose to set very specific goals that support your ultimate resolution. Continuing with de-cluttering as the example, you might say that in 2018 you will make a point to get rid of 15 items per week or that you will carefully consider all purchases that are non-perishable. These are very specific goals that you can measure and feel good about on a weekly basis. As a result, you’ll be feeling that sense of accomplishment all year long!
Great habits to start implementing this year
At the very least, we should all be striving to live a healthy life-style, strengthen our personal relationships, and practicing altruism. There is always room for improvement!
If you’re unsure of how to get started, I’ve compiled a list of personal growth tips for the new year. You can choose one or more of these to implement into your routine for a fail-proof boost of positive energy this year!
- Call up a friend or family member once a week just to chat and let them know that you’re thinking about them.
- Bring new life into your home. You might consider adopting a pet from your local animal shelter, planting a garden, or just bring in some potted plants.
- Make a helpful local donation! Before going shopping for the day, call up a local charity to see what they might need and add an item to your list. Drop off the item on your way home.
- Participate in random acts of kindness (and make sure to include your kids as well!). This might be as simple as taking a cart back into the grocery store for someone when it’s cold outside or offering a roll of quarters to someone at the Laundromat.
- Set a “mindfulness” alarm on your cell phone to go off throughout the day. When you hear the bell, stop what you are doing and take 3 deep breaths.
- Make a point to schedule one on one time with loved ones and give each other your undivided attention (read: no checking your phone!)
- Make a short stretching session a part of your morning routine.
- Before making impulse purchases, consider if the item will have a purpose in your home and life. If not, put the item back on the shelf and transfer the cost of the item to your savings account instead. It will then feel like you “made” that money all over again.
- Choose water instead of Soda when going out to eat. (It saves money, calories, and it’s great for your skin!)
- Go out of your way to clean up a neglected area of your home (the junk drawer, linen closet, etc.)
Ready, Set, Grow!
Even if January first has come and gone, it is never too early or too late to get started! Your new-found positivity will only contribute to more good things in your life and inspire excitement in the people that you surround yourself with.
Let’s welcome 2018 with open arms. New Year, new you. Ready, set, grow!