It’s so easy to fall in line with the traditional act of making a “New Year’s’ Resolution” – almost like it’s a trend rather than an intentional act of progress and growth. It is very seldom that most of us stick to our resolutions past January 31st anyway. I wholeheartedly believe that the reason many of us fail to follow through with our annual verbal commitment is due to our lack of preparation before New Years. If we are honest with ourselves, how many of us actually sat down and intentionally thought about a goal/accomplishment we would like to have met by the following year prior to midnight on New Year’s Eve? There is nothing wrong with putting things we would like to see/have for ourselves within the next year into the atmosphere, but why should we have to wait until midnight to make a decision about something we already know we want to commit to?
Here are 5 ways to prepare for the New Year before the New Year:
(1) Over the next couple of days, set aside some time to sit and reflect on this past year’s moments of success and moments of struggles. Identify the areas within yourself and within your life that you need to improve on and congratulate yourself for the moments you made right on your commitments and accomplished your goals. How can we say how we want things to be in the future without ever being aware of our current state?
(2) Are you that person that always says you need to save money but always find a reason to burn a hole in your pocket? The holiday season has a magical way of making us feel justified in our overspending by saying, “I’m getting a good deal for it’ or ‘I’m not getting this for me, this is for someone else.” With each urge you have to put something in your online cart or swipe your card in the store, start saving little by little throughout this last month to set good discipline habits leading into the new year. If you can save money in a season that society has told us to do the complete opposite, you got it made.
(3) Clear the clutter. Those articles of clothing sitting around in your closet and drawers that you haven’t touched over the past 11 months, get rid of them. Sell them or donate them. Same with food that’s been sitting in the pantry or fridge a little longer than its intended sell-by date. While it may seem small and petty, a clear space helps produce a clear/free mind and spirit. Decluttering even helps boost your energy and levels of productivity. If you are fighting with the idea of getting rid of somethings, take the time to assess why is there such strong attachment to (insert thing here).
(4) Prepare for your taxes in advance. Begin going over your bank statements month by month throughout the month of December to prevent feeling rushed before April 15th of the next year. Create a checklist of documents your accountant will need when preparing your taxes and start collecting those necessary now.
(5) Leave room for contingencies and the unplanned. Contingencies are events or circumstances that could very well happen but cannot be predicted with certainty. I am all for the “Proper Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance,” but no one has ever been able to plan their life down to a fine line, especially without disappointment. Consider the possibility of emergencies (hospital visit, loss of job, loss of loved one, etc) or exciting moments (meeting future spouse, having a child, starting a business, going viral, etc). Leave room for the Lord to be able to wow you lovingly and surprisingly. Some of our most defining moments have been moments we could have never planned for or prevented if we tried.
If you are anything like me, 2017 probably hit you with some pretty hard blows and followed up and a kiss to make you feel better. Your successes and struggles from this past year has brought you to this very point. Let’s welcome 2018 with open but firm arms. Let’s approach the year with confidence in the things we hope for and the security in knowing that whatever happens, planned or unplanned, was supposed to happen.
Happy Early New Year