Get ready for your best year yet!
It’s ‘that time’ again. The time in between Christmas and the New Year, where you don’t know what day it is, who you are, or what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re finally feeling free and relaxed, and you’re sharing good times with your loved ones - it’s the perfect time to recalibrate.
Traditionally, it’s time to make ’new year’s resolutions,’ but all too frequently, we tend to slip back into our old ways by February. This makes us feel like we’ve failed or let ourselves down, and that our big dreams might not be achievable after all.
Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as long as we have these 3 vital ingredients - authenticity, planning and flexibility.
Instead of making big resolutions that are sure to fade as fast as your holiday tan, follow these 18 steps to consciously create a great 2018!
1. Reflect on 2017
Before we can take our first step forward, we must reflect on where we’ve been. By consciously reviewing where life has taken you in 2017, you’ll be better equipped to devise a plan that will take you from where you are now, to where you want to be by the end of 2018 and beyond.
Ask yourself what lessons you have learned? Is there any unresolved pain that needs to be cleaned up? What did you do well? Did you stray from your path at all? If you’re unsure where to start, here is a recipe for reflection.
2. Set your intentions for 2018
Setting intentions is a little different to setting goals. It’s about deciding how you want to live your life and who you want to become, which is a great first step before focusing on any future goals.
Our intentions will reveal themselves to us when we practice presence (meditation is a great way to practice “presence”), rather than our goals which require us to imagine our future.
Every day we decide who we will become tomorrow, so start each day of the new year with intention. Setting your intentions creates an energy that will support and supercharge your goals for 2018. For best results, turn your intentions into a daily mantra to help keep you focused.
3. Start with great nutrition
If a great day starts with a great breakfast, then a great year starts with great nutrition. Rather than looking to restrict, make 2018 a year of healthy abundance with plant-based whole foods.
Strive to create a nutrition plan around your ideal balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats, and fill your plate with fresh vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and seasonal fruits every day - and don’t forget your healthy treats!
Why not kick off the year with the best nutrition to support you on the way to your health and fitness goals? Tropeaka’s Lean Protein and other High-Powered Blends will give you a head start to a strong and lean 2018.
4. Stick with water
When it comes to beverages, the best choice is clear. One of the most positive things anyone can do for their health is to cut out the alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks, and replace them with filtered water.
Aim for 3-4 litres each day to benefit from better moods, clearer skin, more energy and far fewer headaches. Opting for our most natural source of hydration can also help with weight loss, and carrying a water bottle wherever you go can even help you save more money.
5. Surround yourself with positive people
Our attitude and wellbeing can easily be influenced by those around us, and this is because, energy, whether it’s good or bad, is contagious. So, it’s really important to make sure that we engage with people who connect us to our vitality and make us feel alive, motivated and loved.
Invest your time and energy in relationships with people who inspire you and build you up, and avoid contact with those who leave you feeling drained and defeated.
Be honest with yourself about how your social interactions are making you feel, and commit to making the necessary changes. Clearing out the negativity will leave more space for you to welcome in positive vibes and healthy relationships.
6. Do gratitude practice every morning
Keeping a gratitude journal is a very easy daily practice that can have a profound impact on your life. By simply writing down 3 things you’re thankful for each morning, you’re starting your day with a focus on the positives, which sets you up to generate more positivity throughout the day.
Becoming more aware and appreciative of every relationship, experience and opportunity that has made you who you are is wonderfully enriching, but your gratitude practice can go even further.
It might feel odd at first, but you can express thanks for things that are yet to come. Imagine the relationships, situations and opportunities you wish to attract into your life, and as you write it down, experience the joy of this already being so.
7. Find mental calm and clarity
If you already have a meditation practice and want to take it to the next level, perhaps it’s time to apply for a 10-day residential Vipassana course? Wherever you are on your meditation journey - finding inner calm and deeper self-awareness is a big win that will spread to all areas of your life.
8. Find a workout buddy
Pretty much everyone makes a resolution to get fitter in the new year, and gym membership sales always skyrocket in January. Soon enough though, the novelty wears off and you’re beating yourself up for losing motivation.
If this sounds familiar, then it’s probably because you’re missing one of the best fitness accessories there is - company.
This new year, find yourself a workout buddy. Share your fitness goals with each other, and develop a workout schedule together. Encourage and motivate each other along the way, and most importantly, keep each other accountable. If someone is waiting for you at the gym, you’re much more likely to get there too!
9. Take time out for yourself
It’s your life - so schedule time out just for you. 2018 is the year to put yourself first, practice self-love on a daily basis, and enjoy doing what YOU want to do.
This will mean something different for everybody, whether it’s taking yourself on cinema dates, getting your nails done or going for long, solo walks on the beach. It really can be anything! Enjoying time with ourselves is not only something we deserve but something we need for basic wellbeing.
Taking time out for ourselves means we can be more present in our interactions with others, as it improves our mental health and gives us the opportunity to recharge our social batteries, along with many other benefits.
10. Write a goal list
A great list of goals will surely lead to a great year, right? Well… it depends. Ideally, your goals should reflect the authenticity of your intentions, and the best way to achieve this is to create a ‘To Be’ list.
Rather than your list of goals turning into a stressful and never-ending ‘To Do’ list, create a list of all the ‘being’ qualities of the person you want to become - that is, the most authentic version of yourself.
For example, you might want to be healthy, be peaceful, and be focused. The next step is to ask yourself, ‘what do I need to do in order to be…?’
Once you establish the choices and changes you need to make, the right goals for 2018 will become clear. To find your motivation, make sure you clarify why you want to achieve each goal.
In addition to setting your 2018 goals into achievable weekly and monthly timeframes with realistic action plans, it’s also important to make specific goals for each area of your life, such as:
- Health and Fitness
- Finance and Wealth
- Social and Friends, Romance
- Self Image
11. Get outside your comfort zone
Becoming the best version of ourselves isn’t an overnight job, and every year will have its ups and downs. Our personal growth depends on us embracing change and accepting challenges, and the best way to speed up the process of growth is to deliberately go outside of your comfort zone.
It may be a little unpleasant at the time, but developing a growth mindset allows us to be open and adaptive in our daily lives. As a result, it becomes much easier to deal with the challenges life throws our way, meaning we can easily move on to bigger and better things.
So, in 2018, conquer your fears, take some risks and overcome the barriers that were holding you back in 2017.
12. Travel somewhere new
Whether you’re a seasoned world nomad or an annual adventurer, make sure you travel somewhere completely new in 2018. It doesn’t matter whether you travel to the other side of the world, or to the unexplored end of town, venturing into the unknown and exploring a new place helps us to learn and grow.
Our travels introduce us to new ideas and expand our awareness of the world around us. It helps us gain perspective, insight and understanding.
New places provide us with a new ‘first-time’ experience, which ignites our curiosity and awakens our inner child.
It’s really great for our mental health and even helps us to break old mental, physical and emotional habits. Travelling somewhere new is an opportunity to get lost, face our fear of the unknown and get to know ourselves better.
13. Try Minimalism
In 2018, spend your money on new experiences, rather than new ‘things.’ Better yet, embrace a less-but-better perspective towards all areas of your life, and reap the benefits of meaningful simplicity.
Decluttering our living spaces and reducing our possessions down to the items that genuinely add value to our lives, is just the beginning of the Minimalist lifestyle.
Although it may seem daunting to some, minimalism is so liberating and empowering, with so many benefits in all areas of life, from health to finance - so try it out in 2018.
14. Get creative
Creativity is the most important human quality that we all have within us, but many of us deny ourselves the opportunity for creative expression in our adult lives. In the words of Pablo Picasso, ‘every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.’
There are so many ways to get creative, from starting a photography blog to taking an art class, or even writing a novel. Maybe 2018 is the year you decide to dust off that musical instrument you learned in school, or even begin learning a new one?
Whatever creative pursuits attract you, remember - it’s about expressing yourself. Creating masterpiece after masterpiece is not a requirement to enjoy the benefits of creative expression.
15. Spend more time with loved ones
Spending quality time with your loved ones is the best way to let them know you care. Getting together at Christmas is great, but maintaining meaningful connections with friends and family throughout the new year is what’s really important.
Making time for the special people in your life leads to a more compassionate way of living, as you cultivate empathy for yourself and for others.
16. Meet new people
In addition to our loved ones, new people also come into our lives at different points along our journey for a reason. Some of them come along to teach us important lessons, while others form a support network as they learn similar life lessons.
Perhaps 2018 is the year to get back in the dating game, or join a new sports team or university club? Just remember - when you’re doing the things you love; the right people will come into your life. Do what makes you happy and stay open to new connections in 2018.
17. Spend more time in nature
There is an indisputable link between human beings and all other living systems, and this is why we have an innate love for the natural world.
It’s well known that spending time in nature has amazingly positive effects on physical and mental health, and yet - we struggle to make time for it.
Make 2018 the year you absorb the healing vibrations of the oceans, rainforests, and our beautiful animal friends. Here are five important reasons to get outdoors more in 2018.
18. Keep a journal
Writing down our thoughts at the end of each day is a super helpful habit that reduces mental clutter and enables us to see the day’s events and interactions with clarity.
This is separate to a gratitude journal and is more of a therapeutic and constructive way to cope with stress and challenging situations, as well as being great for getting our creative ideas down in writing. Here are five reasons why you should keep a journal throughout 2018.
In 2018, stay true to your authentic self and follow your plan for the year, but remain flexible enough to adapt to the unforeseeable.
While we can make positive choices each day to chip away at our goals and create our own amazing reality, the beauty of life lies in the unknown and the unexpected.
Some things remain outside of our control, and sometimes the best thing to do, is to go with the flow - it may lead us somewhere more incredible than we could have ever imagined.