This is a guest post from Mark Foo, a personal development blogger I’ve been following for some time now. This is also the first guest post on DragosRoua.com. So, please give him a warm welcome. Enjoy!
After the excesses of the holidays, most people use the New Year as an excuse to sit and take stock of priorities. There is no better time than now to get started on making positive steps forward in the upcoming months, from changes in your personal life to getting the ball rolling on professional endeavors both great and small. Starting the year off with a celebration of the possibilities that are available to you is a good way to get motivated.
So in the beginning of the New Year, when partying with friends and family, raise a glass of champagne to the holiday and all that it stands for. The following is a list of little ways I’ve found to help clear away past negativity and get back on track for a fresh start in the New Year.
1. Clean your house. Getting rid of clutter both physically and metaphorically is the best way to clear off space for new beginnings.
2. Take time to reflect on the past year. Think about what transpired last year, including both the positive and negative elements. What was it that made the negative parts negative? How can you move forward this year?
3. Write down goals for the upcoming year. With those reflections in mind, then make the infamous list of New Year’s resolutions. These could be small tasks or large. Because this is your personal list, it can be as ambitious as you want to make it.
4. Get rid of negative thoughts. As Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
5. Take a breather. After one less than great year, I found that I was literally holding my breath and forgetting to breathe at times. Sometimes consciously taking slow, deep breaths is the best way to revitalize energy levels.
6. Spend time with a pet. Animals help reduce stress levels and give us much-needed affection.
7. Call loved ones in far-off places. If you’ve been out of touch with friends or relatives who are in far-flung locations around the globe, there’s no better time than the beginning of a new year to reconnect. Phone cards or programs like Skype make it more affordable than ever.
8. Make a list of books to read in the upcoming year. Depending on your reading rate, this could range from 5-50 new books that you’ve always been interested in.
9. Find a new topic of interest. A new hobby can kick start the New Year with a burst of energy. A friend of mine decided to take up model airplane building this past year, and turned it into a pilot’s license eventually. You never know where your interest could lead.
10. Undergo a dietary cleanse. Eliminate waste products that have built up in your system and cut out the toxins that are a hallmark of the holiday season.
11. Choose one new place to visit. Travel is a great way to gain a fresh perspective on how the world works. If you’ve always dreamt of going to Morocco, why not make it happen this year?
12. Refresh your wardrobe. Throw out, mend, or donate old clothes you no longer wear and buy something new that makes you feel good about yourself. Make it flashy.
13. Get a haircut or new makeup look.
14. Purchase vitamins. Many of us are not eating a proper diet or getting enough nutrients from what we eat. This is a way of ensuring that happens.
15. Evaluate your skill set. Take some career assessment tests or simply make a list of everything you’re good at, and work what you have in your favor into your list of goals.
16. Rethink relationships. If someone is weighing you down or a relationship is simply not working and you know you can do better, have the strength and confidence to leave and start over again.
17. Set a budget. The beginning of the year is a good time to set a serious budget for the coming year and make some goal plans to save more money overall.
18. Have a dance party. This could be with friends or alone. One of my favorite ways to start the day is by cranking some tunes and dancing while brushing my teeth.
19. Take a comedy break. Go to a comedy club for stand-up, or watch some favorite classic comedies. Laughing counts as exercise.
20. Stretch tired muscles. Before and after exercising, be sure to stretch. Go get a massage to feel truly fresh and relaxed for the year ahead.
21. Find volunteer opportunities. Sign up to help those in need, and gain a new perspective on your own life in the process.
22. Revisit favorite albums. Dust off those old LP’s that you listened to as a teenager and give them a new listen. This is organized nostalgia.
23. Organize photos. If your home computer is full of downloaded pictures with no rhyme or reason, it can be a fun year-starting project to get those in order, and send the best to friends and relatives in organized albums.
24. Take in live music. Go out and see a band you’ve never heard of. Find out what’s going on in your own city.
25. Try a new cuisine. If you’ve never thought to try Indonesian food, why not do it today?
26. Set some mood lighting. Put in new flattering light fixtures in your home that will have you looking and feeling your best.
27. Reroute income. Set up a new bank account. Find new ways of making income, because if you can manage to have several different streams coming in at once, you’ll be firmly on the track to financial freedom in the New Year.
28. Think about new investments. My friend found that she had a little bit of money left over from relatives over the holidays, and decided to invest it to pump up her retirement fund.
29. Mend clothing. If you have holes in your clothing or your pants need to be taken in, take those items to a tailor for an instant wardrobe update.
30. Take the plunge and share your feelings. If there is a special someone you’ve been unable to tell how you feel about them, there is no better time than right now.
31. Donate to charity. Find a cause that you care about, and give away time or money to help support those in need.
32. Try out a new look. This could be literal or more metaphorical. A makeover can give you a fresh feeling for the New Year, or you could experiment with the way you look at other people.
33. Go outside. Get out there and breathe in some fresh air. Your lungs will thank you.
34. Clean out storage spaces. Attics and sheds are the places where we store life’s clutter. Get rid of items you don’t need. There’s no need to wait until spring to do a little bit of cleaning.
35. Take up a new hobby. New pathways for your energy to be channeled into can be relaxing and rewarding.
36. Try a DIY project. Have some friends over and give your bikes a makeover.
37. Set appointments you’ve been putting off. If you haven’t been to the dentist in years, go now so that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on dental implants down the road when your teeth fall out.
38. Take more naps. Getting enough sleep helps improve concentration, reduces stress, and gives you the energy you need to get through all of these goals you’ve set for the New Year.
39. Go for a walk or run without a destination. Meandering around town can lead you into unexpected conversations, unexpected situations, and great finds.
40. Throw a party with friends you haven’t seen in a long time. Get all your friends together for an informal gathering that allows you all to catch up on old times and new.
41. Spend more time with yourself. Learning to enjoy your own company is maybe the hidden secret to confidence. The Dalai Lama even recommends it, having said, “Spend some time alone every day.”
42. Talk to a stranger. Open yourself up to that person on the bus who strikes up a conversation. You never know what sort of story you’re going to hear, and what you might find yourself saying in return.
43. Go to a neighborhood in your own town you’ve never explored. If in the past year you have found yourself falling too much into a routine, this is a simple way to break it, by becoming an explorer at home. You don’t have to go far to find new hidden gems, be it a hole-in-the-wall restaurant or a quaintly situated park bench.
44. Go on a retreat. This could be a yoga retreat in India, or an Artist’s retreat in your hometown. Being among others who share your interests can be positive and inspiring.
45. Throw away old clutter from the home.
46. Overcome a fear that you’ve always had. I’ve always been terrified of heights, but this didn’t stop me from skydiving and bungee jumping when I was traveling in New Zealand, which turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences in my life.
47. Smile as much as possible. One day I tried an experiment and smiled at everyone I saw in a one-hour time span on the street. Every single person returned the smile, and it gave an overall boost to positivity levels.
48. Refresh your dating life, if single. There’s no better time than now to go to a speed-dating event or even join an online dating site that will help you meet new people.
49. Take a look at your resume and give it a facelift. Even if you are employed, chances are you could always move up. Get your resume in working order just in case the opportunity presents itself.
50. Go out in nature. This has a great revitalizing influence on many of us.
51. Purchase a new fragrance for personal or home use. Smell is closely tied to mood, so using an invigorating citrus scent, for example, can help improve concentration and put a spring in your step.
52. Move on from past mistakes and look to the future.
53.Â Buy flowers for the home. This gives an instant feeling of positivity.
54. Be happy with yourself and celebrate new beginnings. The New Year is a time to start over, and realize that anything is possible if you will it to be so.
55. Set off firecrackers. Truly start the year off with a bang!
Do you have a tip that we can start the New Year with a bang? Please share with us in the comment section below.
About the author:
Mark Foo is a Personal Development Blogger @ TheBigDreamer.com where he writes about Success, Personal Finance, Wealth Creation and
Entrepreneurship. You can also check out his FREE eBook The 77 Traits of Highly Successful People at http://www.77SuccessTraits.com.