1. Set a GYST day.
GYST stands for Get Your Shit Together, and it’s a self-designed day dedicated to getting your life in order. It’s usually a catch-up day for when you need to get things back on track. We’re human, and it’s normal to fall behind on all the tasks we want to get done. But in my experience, getting too far behind leads to feeling demotivated. When you spend one day a month (or ideally weekly) catching up, it will make you feel so much more put together.
Look at your calendar and schedule a day for GYST. It’s a great time for face masks, cleaning, and all those errands that you never seem to make time in your schedule for – getting those brows done, dry cleaning, washing your duvet, etc. You’ll feel productive, fresh, and ready for the new year.
2. Make an action plan for 2018.
What do you want your 2018 to look like? What are some goals you want to accomplish?
3. Start smashing bad habits.
Don’t wait so long to break your bad habits; start switching the bad for the good right now. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to crush my bad habits is to exchange them and find solutions that will make productive habits easier, and unsatisfying habits more difficult. For example, if I find drinking enough water difficult, I will put out a glass of water on my counter so it’s the first thing I see in the morning. If I struggle with eating too many sweets, I’ll avoid buying them or put them in an inconvenient place in my house, like the highest cabinet.
Start there. Figure out one thing you’d like to stop doing, and write down one way you could make that bad habit more difficult. And then make that a priority for the rest of the month.
4. Create a dream board for your 2018 vision.
A great way to visualize your year ahead is to create a dream board. I use Pinterest to make my dream board by creating a secret board for no one but myself. I’ll upload screenshots of Instagram photos or stuff found on Pinterest that represents what I hope for my life. Everything has a meaning and represents something specific.
You can print them and put them somewhere you can see them every day, or you can create one with magazines on a cork board or poster board. Try out whatever sounds best for you. I find that adding a visual element of my goals makes me feel even more excited to work towards them.
5. Plan something to celebrate with your friends.
The holidays are hectic, and you’re probably already flustered with holiday activities. But planning something simply to celebrate what you and your friends have accomplished in 2017 is sweet. You can totally incorporate the holidays into your plans, but make sure to toast to old memories and to new.
6. Volunteer or donate gifts.
This season can be incredibly stressful for people who can’t afford to provide their families with gifts this season. See if you can give back this season in any way. Donate to red kettles when you see them, or donate toys and food. If you can find the time, volunteer or maybe just do some research and discover somewhere you want to volunteer at in the new year. End the year knowing that you did something good for someone who is in need.
7. Write a letter to yourself.
Write a letter to yourself and think back to where you were at and what you were like in the beginning of the year. What have you learned since then? What would you tell yourself? What advice do you want to give yourself for the year ahead? What do you hope that you’ll become more of in the next year?
I believe in staying in the present moment as much as possible, but it’s healthy to take a moment to acknowledge how much you’ve improved. We’re always eager to jump to the next goal, but take a few moments to think about what 2017 meant to you.
It may feel cheesy to write a letter to yourself, especially if you’re not in the practice of journaling, but just start writing about highlights and lowlights through the year and go from there.
8. Do something on your bucket list.
What have you been wanting to do but never make the time for? Now’s the time! Choose something on your bucket list and make it happen. You can plan something for 2018, but start acting on it. One of the most enjoyable parts of the new year is the fresh start and the reminder that our lives should be filled with as much joy as possible.