Tips for a Fresh Start in the New Year

Tuesday, January 05 at 09:20 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Join a gym. Read more. Eat healthy. Save more money. Spend more time with family. Meet new people. Write the next great American novel.

The holidays may finally be over, but many of us are still making lists. Only instead of writing down what we want to buy, we're thinking about what we want to change about ourselves with our annual New Year's resolutions. Unfortunately, despite our high hopes and big plans, many of us usually don't get very far into the year before we break those resolutions.

Fresh Ideas for Improvement
It's never a bad idea to think about ways to improve your life, but instead of making resolutions, make a fresh start by taking these important steps:
  • Reflect. Life is always moving, but take some time to stop and reflect on the past year. What were you most proud of? What was most difficult for you? What would you like to change?
  • Set priorities. As you reflect on your life, think about what matters most to you. Is it your family? Your career? A passion you have for something? Once you assign your priorities, start allocating your time accordingly. Then, you can spend more time on what's important to you and less time on things that aren't.
  • Set goals and work toward them. Is there something you would like to accomplish in the new year? For example, do you want to write a book? Or make a career change? Once you determine your goal, list some small steps you can take to work toward it. For example, if you want to write a book, block out a set period of time each day to work solely on writing.
  • Talk about finances. It's smart to get together at least once a year to hold a family financial meeting to discuss your spending and saving habits. You can take that time to assess where you are and adjust your financial goals if they have changed. 
  • Simplify. If you feel you don't have enough time, cut back on some of your lesser responsibilities. You can also simplify your life by getting rid of material things you don't need. For example, if you have a big home that requires upkeep, think about downsizing.
  • Be positive. Instead of focusing on the things you can't or didn't do, focus on the things you've done well. Destructive emotions, such as guilt or anger won't help you improve your life. By being positive, you'll attract other positive people.
  • Enjoy life. We all have responsibilities, but life is very precious and short. Make sure you carve out time to do the things you love to do and spend time with the people who mean the most to you.
So go ahead ... make a fresh start in the new year by following these simple steps. You'll be glad you did!
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