5 Tips for a Fresh Start in the New Year

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At the end of each year, I set aside a little time to reflect on the past year, clear mental and physical clutter, and set some juicy new goals for the year ahead. I love the beginning of a new year because it offers the chance to start fresh and give some new energy to the parts in your life that need a little love and attention. 5 tips to kickstart your new year coming right up…

start fresh

Reflect and Celebrate

Take time to mentally review the past year. What do you wish you had done differently that you can change next year? Maybe you spend way more time on your phone than you’d like (my hand is up!), or got sucked into the endless news cycle, or didn’t spend as much time as you’d like on the things you value most. It’s human nature to want to focus on setbacks, disappointments, and challenges, so after I’ve grieved any losses, and clarified where I’d like to improve, I make sure to write down what I’m really proud of. Even during the most challenging years, we can all find bright spots if we look for them.

Your turn: Celebrate your own personal triumphs. What are you proud of? What did you accomplish in spite of the many challenges of the past year? Jot down all of your large and small victories and celebrate your accomplishments of all sizes.

Clear the Clutter

Every year, on December 31st, I commit to getting my space and my life in order. This includes teaming up with my husband (often with a little nudging) to edit and organize our files and paperwork, and clean out our closets. We make a pile of papers to shred, I freshen up our file box with new labels, and we try on any questionable outfits and always fill at least one bag of clothes to donate.

If this sounds worse than going to the dentist, I promise the thrill of streamlined files and spacious closets is worth the work. Get support right here and here.

Sometimes I get really fired up and do a clean sweep of the entire house – the fridge, under the kitchen sink, nothing is safe! I encourage you to try your own clean sweep for the new year. Even if you just pick one area to tackle, it will make your life so much more efficient in the long run. Also, It feels so good to wake up on the 1st of the year with clean surfaces and tidy drawers.

Pick a Theme

Try picking a theme or a word to focus your energy on for the new year that resonates with your personal and specific goals, values, and priorities. Visualize what you want to create, and home in on how you want to feel. Popular options include: simplicity, abundance, wellness, creativity, connection, and ease. This word or theme can serve as a guide as you make decisions in the new year. When faced with a decision you can ask yourself, “Does this contribute to my feeling of (your word or theme here)?”

Set Some Specific Goals

While vulnerable and scary, when I write down and share my big goals, I feel much more committed to making them happen. If goal setting for an entire year feels daunting, try setting smaller goals for the first quarter of the year. Three months is a good chunk of time to set some brave goals, and to make a lot of progress towards achieving them. Ask yourself what you want to be different in your life by the end of 2022. What do you want to do or accomplish? How do you want to feel? What do you want to contribute? What specific and measurable things will you need to do to get there?

Plan and Schedule

If you’re committed to making your dreams and goals become a reality, it is imperative that you break down each big goal into tiny micro steps, and schedule each step in your actual calendar. You can make sure that your calendar supports your priorities and goals by scheduling not only professional commitments, but also social plans, time off, self care, spiritual practices, and exercise. Sometimes I block out an hour on my calendar that literally says “read and relax.” When it comes to goals and habits, it’s also helpful to commit to a minimum baseline you will commit to – even on your hardest day. This is how I started working out everyday after years of failing.

However you choose to ring in the new year, I hope you make sure it feels intentional, meaningful, and purposeful to you. I’m rooting for you.

Happy New Year, Friends! Xx

P.S. One of my big goals for 2022 is to complete my next book and launch a writing retreat with really good food in collaboration with my chef brother, Max. Stay tuned for your invite to join!

Image Credit: Vivian Johnson Photography

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