1. Start completely fresh.
There’s no reason for you to hang onto the negative things that happened yesterday, or feel defeated because you ate terribly the first day of the New Year. What’s in the past is exactly that—the past. Today is a new day, so start completely fresh. Tell yourself that your goals, resolutions, and life-changes start right now, and quit beating yourself up over who you used to be.
2. Begin budgeting.
How many times have you told yourself that you’d start saving….and then blew the remainder of your paycheck on booze, or nights out with friends, or random things you probably don’t need? We’ve all been there. But no more. This is a new year! It’s time to get your spending in order by making a simple budget spreadsheet. Give yourself spending money, bill-paying money, and even a few dollars a month for savings. This will not only keep you on track, but relieve stress as you head into the New Year. And trust me, your future self will thank you.
3. Bring a positive face to work every single day.
No matter if you hate your job, feel indifferent, so-so, or absolutely love it, this year, head into the office with a smile. Who knows? Your smile might be the encouragement a coworker needs to work harder, or to even stay. And plus, your workspace will be much less miserable if you go into the daily routine with a smile on your face.
PS: If you hate your job, it’s time to quit complaining and start making steps to change your position. Start applying at new places. Ask if you can move into a different department. Enroll in a class to begin to switch your field altogether. The opportunities are honestly endless. Don’t let yourself be miserable. Put a smile on and make some change.
4. Clean your room.
No, seriously. Clean your room, your apartment, your house, your pantry—whatever in your life that has become a dumping grounds for your dirty laundry, garbage, or random half-finished projects—clean it. It’s amazing how confident, refreshed, and renewed you’ll feel when you have a spot-free living area, and what better way to feel as you head into 2017?
5. Make time for people.
It’s easy to get caught up in our own selfish desires and obligations. It’s easy to get busy with work, or just to feel too exhausted to spend time with our loved ones/friends/SO’s/whatever. We all live busy lives, but this year, live with intention. Make room in your schedule to see loved ones, distant relatives, faraway friends, or whomever you’ve found yourself too preoccupied in the past to see. Make time for those whom you always say, ‘Yeah, let’s get together!’ and then never find the time. Love purposefully, live intentionally, and develop relationships this year.
So simple, but so powerful. Start making specific spaces for things—even as simple as a laundry basket for dirty clothes and one for clean clothes, or putting all your Tupperware in a specific drawer, or sifting through all your papers and putting them in a binder. A little organization can go a long way, and will help you to feel ordered and empowered in this New Year.
7. Start keeping a schedule.
One of the best ways to make your New Year productive and fun is to keep a schedule. Start writing down dinner dates with your boyfriend, nights out with the girls, bros weekend trips, work deadlines, assignment due dates, time off, doctor’s appointments, etc. Not only will this ensure you’ll be where you’re supposed to be at all times, but you’ll feel ordered, organized, and fulfilled with a busy, happy calendar.
Remember, this year will only be as good as you make it. So put a smile on your face and a spring in your step, and begin.