How To Live Your Best Life In 2018

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The Ultimate Guide To Planning A Successful New Year

First things first HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you celebrated the coming of the new year in style, with some amazing company, amazing food and a heart full of love! It's always a blessing to be able to see another New Year's Eve, let alone a whole other year. So, now that we are here in 2018, it's time to kick things in gear and plan out how you can make this year a memorable one.

I believe having a successful year isn't limited to the lucky or the talented. In fact, I truely believe that ensuring you have a successful year can be broken down to a step-by-step guide that anyone who's committed to living their best year can follow. It involves a few simple considerations, some adequate planning, some self discipline and consistency. So, let's get right to it!

STEP 1: REFLECT

The first important step in planning out a successful new year is taking time to reflect on the year that's past. How was your 2017? The consensus on social media seems to be that 2017 was the year of the cocoon for many people. By this I mean, for a lot of people, this past year was about growth and transformation, coming to terms with pain, figuring out who you want to be and gaining a sense of direction. I completely agree with this sentiment! For me, 2017 was a year of self discovery, GOING and GROWING through pain, and aligning myself with my purpose.

Photography courtesy of  Warren Wong

Photography courtesy of Warren Wong

HOW WAS YOUR 2017?

As cliche as it may sound, in order to know where you are going, you must know where you've come from. Take time to reflect on where you were January 2017. Did you look different? Have your social circles changed? Where were you mentally, emotionally and spiritually? Who has entered and/or left your life since then, and why? How has this impacted your sense of self? And most importantly, who are you now given the above? 

A great approach is to consider  what lessons you were meant to learn through last year's experiences, rather than seeing them as failures. This way, rather than it simply being an inconclusive and unresolved ending to a part of your life, there's a lesson learned, and a new perspective you can bring into 2018. Answering these questions will help guide the person you want to become in 2018, it will help leave the negativity of 2017 in last year, and give you a strong sense of direction for the new year.

STEP 2: PLAN

Now that all that negativity and energy has been released from your system from 2017, it's time to plan for 2018! I understand New Year's Resolutions get a bad wrap, but with some careful planning, they can be made into year-long habits that help you live the best possible life you can! Successful planning for 2018 can be broken down into 3 critical elements: your goals, priorities and your habits.

Image courtesy of  Daniel Von Appen

Image courtesy of Daniel Von Appen

GOALS

Start off by asking yourself what goals you want to accomplish in the new year. These goals can be anything from taking better care of your health, running a marathon or starting up a youtube channel and growing your online presence. However, rather than being general with your goals, be really specific, ensuring they're as detailed and clear as possible. For example, if your goal is to increase your social following on instagram, be specific by stating, "I want to hit 20K followers on instagram by the end of the year" or "I want to document more of my life and be posting weekly Youtube videos by June."

Next, break these goals down into manageable chunks. Working according to a month-to month plan, can help better manage your progress. For example, if 20K followers on instagram is your goal, that equates to approx 1,600 new followers a month. With this figure, you can better manage and track your progress as each month passes. Being specific not only gives you a narrow focal point to base your daily actions around, it also holds you accountable to a specific action or target. Additionally, it gives you something tangible to track your progress around. So, be specific and don't hold back! 

NB: Also ensure you write them down in an notebook that can be accessed for reflection. Ideas that remain in your head can be fleeting so it's important to write them down so you can re-read them, reflect on your notes and begin to visualise them.

PRIORITIES 

Priorities are kind of like coaches for your goals. They are designed to keep you in line, keep you focused on the goal, help master your strengths and allocate time to work on your growth opportunities. It can be easy to get lost in your goals, especially during this time of the year when the prospect of new beginnings is so present and strong in our minds. Priorities keep the most important goals for the new year in line of site, and help you build a framework in which the rest of your life revolves around. For example, one of my biggest goals for this new year is to develop a working lifestyle that allows me to work with international clients from anywhere in the world. I have prioritised this as one of my biggest goals, because it will dictate the trajectory of every other goal I've set, such as who I allow into my life/space, the network of friends I develop and even which gym I attend!

HABITS

What type of habits will you need to form in 2018? This is the engine behind your progress. Although dictates how far and how quickly you'll reach your goals this year, it can often be the toughest to build consistency in. For examples, If your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle this year, you might have to research meal prep options, wake up extra early to train, or look into changing poor dietary habits. Building consistency in these things can be difficult, but they greatly dictate how successful you'll be in your efforts. Take great consideration in what changes are required of you, in order to align yourself with your goals. Ultimately, without a proper understanding of what needs to change and how to change it, it diminishes all the planning thats you've done. Give yourself a fighting chance to be the person you know you can be this year, and left 2018 be your year.

STEP 3: WRITE TO YOUR FUTURE SELF

This might sound crazy, but write a letter to your future self! There's great power in speaking, writing and visualising your goals actualising, and this is one of the strongest ways to visualise your success. Detail your top three goals for this year in priority of importance to you, detail how you plan on achieving these goals and promise your future self that you'll remain diligent and consistent in your pursuit of a better life. Address the letter to yourself, to be opened December 31st 2018 and leave it somewhere you can see it and be reminded of your purpose. There'll be nothing more satisfying that reaching December 31st 2018, opening that letter and realising your have actualised the dreams you set for yourself.

STEP 4: TAKE ACTION

It's so easy to have a burst of motivation and determination at the beginning of the year, but what happens once February and March rolls around? How can you ensure you'll remain consistent? The interesting thing about action is for most of us is, we allow our motivation and inspiration to determine action, when in fact, it should be the other way around. Consistent action should be what determines motivation. The more you wake up and smash your daily targets, the more likely you are to develop better habits, the stronger your will power will become and the more results you'll start seeing. The most important part of realising your goals is to take ACTION! Stop procrastinating, stop making excuses and stop waisting time. Just SHOW UP and SHOW OUT. Get to work and build the life you know you deserve.   

I agree that with each new rising of the sun, we are afforded a new day and another opportunity to be the best version of ourselves, however, New Year's is somewhat special. It's reflective of the fact that we've made it to see a new year. In planning your new year, remember that many did not live to see 2018. There are people we left in last year that we wish could see 2018. If you're privileged to have woken up this morning, you're already winning. Use your time on this planet to spread love, spread positivity, and most importantly, realise your potential and live your best life!

Happy New Year!

Until next time.