Well into 2015, you’ve likely seen a lot of advice on how you can make this trip around the sun the best one you’ve ever had. 365 sun rises and sets exist in this year – will you take advantage of every one of them?
Let’s hope so. Every day is an opportunity, and every opportunity is a chance to take a step closer to reaching your full potential. Some people believe that if you aren’t moving forward, you’re going backwards. While this point can be debated, remaining stagnant could be just as poisonous to your goals as moving backwards. Instead, let’s take 365 steps toward your goals.
Below I detail some easy ways that you can take control of your future in 2015 – and make it a year your 2016 you will be proud of.
Wake Up Early
A seemingly simple habit, waking up early is a habit successful people require of themselves. But it’s not only about waking up early – it’s also about waking up and not feeling hurried right away. That first hour of your day sets the tone for the rest of your day. Do you think your day will be better if it begins with medication, a complete breakfast, a cup of coffee or some exercise? Or would it be a better day if you woke up immediately rushed to get ready, frustrated with children, spouse or pets, spilling coffee and scrambling to be on time for work?
Clearly the first set of options will make your day much more successful than the latter. Taking time for yourself in the morning to focus on making each day a great one is a powerful habit of successful people to help you focus on your goals – and will help you get there.
No Feeling Sorry for Yourself
Sometimes life gets hard and you can’t prevent bad things from happening to you or someone you love. Struggles are inevitable – but feeling sorry for yourself is a choice. Indulging in self-pity doesn’t solve anything and can even hold you back from overcoming the problems you are faced with. Those who feel sorry for themselves often fall into a victim mentality, believing that life happens to them and not because of them. It is important to allow the initial feeling to come forward and be expressed in a healthy way (ie. crying, journal writing, conversation with a trusted friend, etc). We are all emotional creatures and emotion is energy. Once that initial energy is released, it is important to be an action oriented success instead of the chairman of the pity party planning committee. If you find that you are feeling sorry for yourself, take that energy and focus it on gratitude. Look to anything that you can be grateful for, and your self-pity will melt away. An added bonus is you’ll be less prone to feeling that way each time you train yourself to avoid self sorrow. Instead of focusing on the problem – focus on the solution.
The physical and mental benefits of exercise are nearly immeasurable. Not only do you get the surge of endorphins – the feel good chemical – rushing through your body literally making you happier, but you also get the feeling of accomplishment after spending some time in exercise. It doesn’t even need to be much. A brisk walk with the dog, 30 minutes on the bike, or a run around your neighborhood – breaking a sweat and increasing your heart rate helps your body to release any unnecessary stress, and helps to bring clarity to the day ahead.
Find Alone Time
In today’s speedily moving world, finding quiet time to yourself can take a concerted effort. And sometimes you may not even want to be alone – people often avoid stillness and solitude because within the silence you are able to more easily realize your fears. And that’s uncomfortable! But growth and movement lives in the uncomfortable, and time to yourself is critical to building mental strength. Create opportunities to be alone with your thoughts, which will allow you to see where you really are and enable you to create goals for the year.
Write a Letter to 2016 You
Reaching a goal starts with visualizing where you want to go. What is it exactly that you want to accomplish in this year? Sure, you have the idea in your mind, but writing down your goals brings them to life. By seeing your goals on paper it makes them more real, and holds you accountable to reaching them. Additionally, it can be a little murky figuring out exactly what you want to accomplish this year. By sitting down and taking the time to work through your goals, you’ll much more easily be able to conquer your fear of failure and reach out for success. Additionally, it’s fun to have something you look back on! 2016 you will appreciate hearing from the you of the past, like your own little time capsule of measured progress.
2015 can be just another year if you want it to. You don’t have to be all that successful – there are plenty of people satisfied with mediocrity. But I am here to encourage you to dream. To visualize. To step away from complacency and into action. And with these simple tricks, you’ll be taking a few tangible steps to getting there.
What other habits have helped you in previous years? What do you do to find success?