Weight-loss, Career Changes, Educational Journeys, Bad Habit Eliminations, and decisions to finally settle down... Since the beginning of time, the New Year has called for a New Beginning and a fresh start. Unfortunately however, the New Year's high quickly fades once the Christmas lights are taken down and right before Cupid even touches down in February. It's as though the energy, positivity, and optimism of the New Year is merely a trend that cannot seem to withstand the test of time. But with our country facing such economically challenging times, it's important that we are reaching or aiming to reach our fullest potential in all aspects of our lives. This can be done most effectively by not focusing strictly on being rich. Now this may seem trivial and hard to understand -- how is that I can prosper in this hard economic time without focusing on getting money? And what does money and finances have to do with my happiness? Well, if you think about it, many see money as their source of happiness. Whether that be consciously or unconsciously, a lot of our happiness is dependent on our financial situations. As much as I, for example, would like to think that I'm so balanced and that I can find peace from within myself, I do catch myself from time to time feeling helpless or bothered when I'm in a financial bind. Being able to aim for our greatest potential is important so that we can gain a solid and true sense of happiness from the very depths of our souls and not from the money that we may or may not have at the time. Don't lose faith in your resolutions because you're going broke or because you switch your focus strictly to money. Stay on track with the intangible things that you can give yourself so that money is merely an accessory. So regardless if you are asking God to help you be your greatest you in the form of weightloss, career discovery, health implementation, educational structure, and/or in your relationships -- never stop working on them and never lose sight or discredit these things. It is only through accomplishment that you will be able to have something to fall on when you face financial hardships. And it is only through accomplishment that you will be able to do the things that will indirectly bring you money. So the rule of the game is to find happiness in the short and long term goals that you set for yourself and to not put your faith in money. Here are a few things that we can keep in mind when recreating ourselves in the New Year. BUY & FILL UP A PLANNER IN THE FIRST WEEK OF THE YEAR I LOVE new stationary! But I'm a geek, and I know this doesn't apply to everyone. I like to spend the last week of December and the first few weeks of January filling up my planner. I only buy my planners from Target, as theirs are affordable, trendy, clean, and modern. If you're a student, fill up your entire planner with all of the dates from every syllabi. This way, nothing is left out. Fill your planner up with birthday dates, anniversaries, event dates, etc! This will make your planner vibrant and give the illusion that it's already full which will make you want to see what you wrote down on that date. We're stimulated beings. When we see an alert on our phone, we can't help but to look at it. And the same will go for our prefilled planner. Also, add random quotes throughout your planner and random love notes and words of encouragement to yourself. What a delightful surprise come Summer & Fall. ;].
BREAK THE YEAR INTO 3 QUARTERS I break my year into threes, like a college schedule. Spring is Jan-May. Summer is May-Aug. Fall is Aug-Dec. What's the benefit? I set goals for each quarter of my life/year. This allows me to prioritize what I want to do, focus on what I want, and actually complete things because they have deadlines. And if I don't complete something, I bump it to the next "quarter".
CREATE A LIST OF THINGS THAT YOU WISH TO CHANGE, FIX, OR BETTER Write a list of things you wish to change, fix, or better and distribute each thing into a quarter. For me, my first thing that I'd like to change, fix, and better is my internal and external health. January will be when I'll be detoxing and doing my 20-day raw food diet. Come the rest of the "quarter", I'll be eating healthier (no more sodas or fast food) and back to working out four to five days a week. This will help cleanse my body and get it "brand new" for the rest of the year.
HAVE THE SELF INTERVIEW HANDY Print out these questions and these questions, fold up the sheets, and stick them in your planner. I usually secure loose pages to my planner with a paper clip. I like making things interactive because I'm an interactive person. Having fun questions to answer in the back of my planner is the reason why I never leave home without it. I carry it everywhere because I know that if I'm bored, I'll have something to do! The questions are fun because you THINK you know yourself until you see them. Great little project.
FIGURE OUT A TALENT THAT YOU CAN PROFIT FROM What is it that you love to do and are good at? For me, blogging started out as a fun hobby. Then it turned into me designing jewelry, then creating signage and stationary for weddings and events, and then designing layouts. Figure out what you're good at, learn more about it, practice it, and then profit from it. Make it your project of the year and do it on days that you're bored and/or just chilling in bed!
CREATE A LIST OF THINGS THAT YOU WANT OUT OF A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF Dinner once a month? Movies once a month? Massages at the spa every six months? A road trip every quarter? Make a list of a few things that you can be sure to do for yourself.
MAKE A WISHLIST SECTION & A BUCKET LIST SECTION IN THE BACK OF YOUR PLANNER Let the plain pages in the back of your planner be reserved for things you want and things you want to do. The more of the "small" things you write in your planner, the more you'll revisit it.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT THAT YOU'LL CONTINUOUSLY PUT MONEY IN Set an amount per check/week/month that you want to deposit into this account and bring spare change along for the ride. Deposit every penny.
ON THE DAILY, JOT DOWN EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED TO DO This will force you to constantly revisit your journal on a weekly or even daily basis. I jot down everything from laundry to shaving.
GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR PLANNER -- ADD STICKERS OR MAGAZINE CUTOUTS Don't let your planner be a bore. You'll never want to revisit it. You may want to decorate the day you wash your hair. Or the day you work out. A visual is the best way for you to see where you need to make changes. If I wash my hair, I make the days pink. So if I don't see enough pinks, I know that it's time to wash my hair!
Afterthought: Work on the small things that will eventually create the final picture. An artist must use many fine strokes to create the final and complete image on his canvas. (Quote me). Doing so will allow us to be a greater asset to our companies, friendships, relationships, and environments. Which will in turn, open our eyes and opportunities up to the things that we can profit from! When we're down, our happiness won't come from the money we do or don't have but instead will come from the things that we accomplish.
Buy your planner in the upcoming weeks and work on getting the things mentioned above done! You'll fall in love with it and will never want leave home without it! I'll be working on mine tomorrow!