4 Steps to Make the New Year Your Best Year

As we wrap up another year, this can be an incredibly exciting–yet somewhat stressful–time. It’s that moment to reflect on the year that’s winding down and set the tone for the new one ahead. And what better way to do this than by using a planner to make your intentions clear? 

It’s hands down the best gift to myself every year. Once I started using planners, I realized that I was reaching my goals more frequently. Or, perhaps, I was already reaching them and was just completely unaware. But the best part is that it helps one keep track of all of one’s amazing accomplishments. We often have the tendency to focus only on what we don’t have instead of all the wonderful things that surround us. Here are my steps to make this mindset shift and to help us all start appreciating the lessons learned, battles fought, and goals reached–as well as setting a plan to accomplish more next year.

Step 1: Pick a Planner

I encourage you to find yourself the most beautiful calendar or planner that excites you and brings you joy. Because you are worth this investment. And I don’t mean to get a super expensive planner. Mine cost around $10, and it is absolutely perfect.

In case you are looking for a little inspiration, this is where I got mine: Katie Daisy. She has the most beautiful and inspirational stationary ever. I carry mine with me everywhere, and it just feels…right.

If you want to explore your artsy side, you can even use a notebook and decorate it as a DIY project. That’s a great way to create a personalized planner.

Step 2: Make Some Time

Pick a day this week to comfortably sit in a quiet, cozy corner to start writing in your planner. Make sure that you won’t have any distractions during this time, so you can really give it some thought. Make this time only about yourself. This is not a selfish act. It’s a self-care act. Many of us struggle when it comes to making time for ourselves. But how can you take care of others and be your amazing self if you don’t take care of yourself first? Make this time something that excites and motivates you. Maybe make a cup of hot cocoa with little marshmallows to add a little extra joy and inspiration.

Step 3: Recap the Year

Before setting goals for next year, first things first. Let’s go back through everything you did this year. Think about the special moments you shared with your loved ones. This includes all of your relationships like family, friends, and even coworkers. What brought you joy this year? Perhaps we can even define what joy means to you. How were things at your job? What were some of your victories there? What were some of your personal victories? And last, but definitely not least, what did you do this year to take better care of your mind, body, and soul? This doesn’t necessarily mean going keto and joining CrossFit. It can simply mean that you cooked more, spent more time outdoors, went on daily walks, practiced being more mindful when it came to stress. Basically, think of anything that helped you honor and love your body.

Step 4: Set Your Goals

Now that we know what we loved about this year, let’s turn our focus to what we would like to incorporate more of in the upcoming one. What tweaks would you incorporate to make the new year even better? The sky’s the limit: If fear of failing were not an issue, what would you want to do?

To end this post, this ritual is not designed to make you feel restricted and stuck glued to a list. I am all for being spontaneous in life. Instead, it’s designed in a way to help you become more aware of your inner wishes and dreams. Sometimes, that gets suppressed by the outside noise we are constantly exposed to in life, and we can forget to turn our attention inward. Be spontaneous and also get to know yourself. Listen to yourself better. Let the universe know what you want. Isn’t that what manifesting is all about?

If you need additional inspiration along the way, check out our lifestyle, dietary, and fitness guides to kick off the new year on the right foot. Whether you’re curious about a customized fitness plan, want to consider the benefits of a Paleo diet, or ditch meat for good, we have the tools you need to tackle your goals.