11 Ways to Start Preparing for a Better Life in 2017
The new year is upon us and it’s a time where many will feel a sense of new beginnings, a chance for change and an opportunity for a better life. But many make the fatal mistake of setting goals on January 1 and thinking they’ll be successful by January 2. This delusion leads to many abandoned goals before the new year is even two weeks old.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Success in the new year can be yours, especially if you prepare properly. Here are 11 ways to start preparing for a better life this year:
1. Metabolize the past year. Those who don’t learn from their past are destined to repeat it, so evaluate the good and the bad that happened last year. Determine what you would have done differently and what you learned from each situation.
2. Don’t just think of your goals, write them down. Write them in a place that you can reflect upon frequently—it helps you stay focused so you don’t get off track.
3. Make a list of the skills you need to learn to reach your goals. Nearly any big goal will require you to learn something new. Make this process feel doable by keeping track of the new skills you’ll need.
4. Consider hiring a coach. Every successful person has a coach. In fact, they likely have several. I have a writing coach, a business coach, a nutrition coach and a media coach, just to name a few. Getting the support of a coach will help you stay committed and on track when you are stretching beyond your comfort zone, which is exactly what a big goal will require you to do.
5. Pace yourself. Sure, it would be great to lose that extra 20 pounds in two weeks, but it doesn’t work that way. Success in any area of your life takes time. Consistency always wins. Plan for the long haul and you won’t burn out.
6. Plan to reward yourself when you hit milestones. To keep yourself from getting discouraged as you work toward your goal, celebrate the small wins along the way. If your goal is to go back to school, plan to celebrate at the end of each instead of waiting until graduation. If you want to drop 30 pounds, reward yourself for each 10 pounds lost. Just make sure your reward doesn’t undo all of your hard work!
7. Prepare your environment. Maybe you need to clean out your fridge or set up a room in your house to record your new awesome vlog. Whatever it is, pick an official “ready” date, then work backwards from there to have everything done in a timely manner. Don’t say you’ll start a certain day only to realize that you need this or that to get the ball rolling—that would zap your motivation before you even got out of the gate.
8. Don’t binge before you purge. When starting a diet or quitting a bad habit, such as smoking, many people decide to gorge on the very things they aim to give up. This only makes it harder to quit. The more you over-indulge now, the more it will feel like a sacrifice later and the more likely you are to fail.
9. Get feedback. Ask your friends and family one area they think you excel in and one area where you need improvement. When you hear the same weakness from multiple people, use it as an inspiration to with find ways to develop that skill or hire someone to perform those tasks for you.
10. Picture it. Imagery is a powerful technique for helping you commit to your goals for a better life. Try picturing yourself having attained your goal. By visualizing yourself in the position you desire, you solidify your belief that you can do it.
11. Make personal growth part of your new year’s goals. Many people set goals for their health, career or finances, but the truth is, you can’t have permanent behavioral changes without internal change. Make personal growth your number one priority and you will begin to see your other goals fall into place.
Kris Reece is a personal development coach with decades of experience helping people to have more, do more and be more. If you need help in developing a personal growth plan that can put you on the path to a better life in 2017, please reach out using the Contact Me form.