Welcome to 2017! I hope you enjoyed the holidaze and are preparing to face what the new year has to offer. While it is certainly tempting to close the book on 2016, you may still be struggling to figure out what you'd like 2017 to be like. It's typical at this time of year to ask yourself questions: What is my purpose? What do I need to change? How can I let go of bad habits? Why aren't I happier/richer/more successful/whatever?
Instead of assaulting yourself with questions, here are some strategies for developing your ability to self-assess and start to create positive change:
- Process the past year: many of us would like to forget 2016 even happened, but reflecting on everything that happened in your life can put things in perspective. There were almost certainly some positives, and even the negatives can motivate you to do things differently in the coming year.
- Create time for yourself: a monthly or quarterly "retreat" can be really helpful in balancing all the things you're juggling. Get out of your regular routine and location- a change of scenery often stimulates introspection, and being out in nature can also be therapeutic.
- Spend time with people who are good for you: surround yourself with people who elevate and energize you, not those who suck the life from you. Figure out how to include these important people in your life, professionally and socially. Life is too short to spend it with people who bring you down.
- Express your gratitude: make sure to tell yourself every day what you are grateful for in your life- people, work, your health, things that bring you joy. Make a point of communicating to those people how much you appreciate them (they are probably the people you've chosen to spend more time with!).
- Be easy on yourself: instead of pushing to change yourself, try to practice self-acceptance. What are you proud of yourself for? What do others admire in you? How have you already succeeded? Accept where you are right now, and encourage the idea that you are already enough.
Let's all try to move into 2017 with a renewed purpose and hope for the best!