Every year I get very excited around New Year’s Day and that excitement doesn’t really wear off until June or July. The gift of a new year, a new start, and new opportunities excites me at every level. Just like the sunrise on each new day brings new life, a new year gives me the opportunity to review what I did last year, and let’s me look forward to the goals that I want to accomplish this year. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I can make this year the best year ever, and I want to share my ideas with you.
1. Give First
I have found that best way to find happiness and experience true joy is by being willing to joyfully give of yourself. Give without worrying about getting anything in return. Give simply with the goal of providing some amazing value to the world around you. If you do that, you won’t have any regrets, and you’ll leave the world around you in a better state than when you found it.
2.Take Time to Reflect
A lot of stress builds up inside of us because we don’t take adequate time to relax, decompress, and take time to meditate and reflect upon our lives. This year, I encourage you to mark out time every single day, every week, and every month to sit back and review your life. Take time to think about:
- The things you’re proud of
- The things that you don’t want to do again
- The people that you want to spend more time with
- The people that you want to spend less time with
- The activities and things that make you happy
- The activities and environments that make you sad
- The parts of life that inspire you and encourage you
When you dedicate time to sit back and think about these things, you can focus more energy and time going forward on the things that you want more of. More happiness, more time with good friends and family that build you up and encourage you. Less time with the negative Nellies who make you upset. The things you find when you sit back and reflect can help you shape your future.
I am a hard worker. I like working. I may even be a borderline workaholic. I can admit that. I am also fully aware that working more hours doesn’t necessarily bring me any more money. It doesn’t bring me any more time, it doesn’t bring me any more happiness. So in order to make this year even better than last year, I am challenging myself, and challenging you, to work less.
Leave work on time. Leave work early when you can. Spend more time out in nature. Take walks with your dogs, with your loved ones, with your friends. Don’t believe the dark whispers that still stir from deep in the Industrial Age and tell you that you must work more to succeed. That is rarely true. While there are times that we do need to work long hard hours, I don’t believe that we should ever do this for long stretches of the year or of our lives. If you put #2 into practice consistently, you can review and adjust your work schedule as needed.
Take more time to laugh. Take more time to relax. Take time to appreciate the people and things around you. Work a little less this year and make it your best year ever. I can promise you that you’ll be glad you did. While you might not be any richer at the end of the year when it comes to dollars and cents, I truly believe that you will be richer deep inside your heart and soul.
So what do you think? Are you going to make this your best year ever? I know I am! If you have ideas to share please leave your thoughts in the comments below.