Friday How-to: New Year, New You (Part 1)

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Although we can make changes to our daily routine and habits anytime throughout the year, January always seems the most appealing. A fresh new start coupled with a fresh new year. I myself have been doing a lot of thinking about how I want this new year to turn out, and I wanted to share the different ways I’ve sought to make my 2013 the best yet.

Evaluating The Past

Was there something in the last year that caused you a lot of stress? Take a look at everything you’re doing. I’m sure most of life’s ailments can full under the “big things” category, like your family, job/school, and other close relationships.

Try to hone in on the precise reason as to why its causing you discomfort. The first step in changing anything is by being honest with yourself – anything less will just bring you back to where you started, as the same problems will inevitably creep back in. It might be scary, but the first step in solving a problem is acceptance.

Setting The Bar

Once you’ve narrowed down what you’re dealing with, you can start to figure out how to deal with it. Its also important to set a few tangible, realistic short-term goals – financial, educational, career and relationship and the like.

Fall off the fitness wagon over the holidays? Or, as is the case with me, over the past six months? Slowly start to integrate it into your life. I know what you feel like saying – “But, I don’t have time!”. Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge is turning something back into a routine. Start slow – one yoga/pilates/fitness class per week. Enlist the help of your best friend and go on Saturday mornings together. A great excuse to catch up and feel fit all at once! Once you get those feel-good endorphins rushing through your system, you’ll definitely feel like going more often.

Is your job stressing you out? Feeling overwhelmed or underwhelmed? Thoroughly evaluate your roles and responsibilities. Sometimes when we’re concentrating on how busy or bored we are, we neglect to see the bigger picture. You may be missing out on key opportunities to grow and evolve. An honest discussion with your boss always helps. Come prepared with a can-do attitude, and enlist their help in identifying ways you can take your position to the next level. Is there something they hate doing? Learn how to help them out. Become invaluable. Is there something you’ve always been itching to try? See if you can start to dabble in it. Feeling like you can’t handle the workload? Bring them a checklist of everything you need to accomplish, itemize them in order of priority, and communicate openly to manage expectations. Trust me – they’ll value your enthusiasm and honesty.

Lost touch with someone you care about? Reconnect. If its still bothering you after a few weeks, its likely a sign that you have unresolved feelings. It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that they feel the same way. Sometimes it can be hard to swallow your pride, but much harder still is losing someone important because you couldn’t get over yourself.

Need to cut out some negativity? The new year is all about fresh starts – and in many ways, that means maintaining the things that are important to you. But sometimes – just sometimes – it means telling certain people/places/things to hit the road. This is a large part of why you need to be honest with yourself. If its dragging you down, it needs to go. The end.

Seeing It Through

Now that you’ve identified the good and bad aspects of your situation, stick to it. Everything requires maintenance – if its bad, you need to work hard at keeping things good. If its good, you have to work at making sure they stay that way. Nothing worth having comes easily – so buckle down and make it happen for yourself!

Written by Carolyn Demitt

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