Happy YOU Year is More Than a Happy New Year
Yep, you read the title right – Happy YOU Year! What are you going to do to make this year a Happy YOU Year?
As you reflect on last year, have you improved your life, your happiness, your sense of well-being? If not, make this year different by making it your own Happy YOU Year.
I’ve already written about goals instead of resolutions but this topic of having a Happy YOU Year is different. It is less specific and more general, but equally powerful. To have a Happy YOU Year is a list of action items that you will focus on throughout the year. Your list will be ways to improve your life that you can look back and compare this time next year. This year we all will face challenges of our own but they can be viewed as something for us to overcome, not be overwhelmed by.
Tips to Have a Happy YOU Year:
* Look back to move ahead. Reflect on the past year. Celebrate the successes you attained and note where you possibly fell short. If you want to regroup and move ahead with anything that you fell short with, make it a goal for this year. Note how you can turn short-comings from last year into successes for this year. Dive into this year by knowing what you want your successes to look like. Set goals, make plans on how you’ll achieve success with your goals and how you’ll get there, and what, if any, resources you’ll need.
* See it to BE it. Are your goals for this year to lose weight, stop smoking, increase exercise, save money, change jobs, de-clutter your house or some other aspiration? Visualization isn’t fluff when done regularly. Think ahead to this time next year. What do you want your life to look like when you fast forward to next year? Are you thinner, are you enjoying being a non-smoker, are you walking a 5k, is your bank balance higher, are you working at another job or have your house organized and orderly? The mindset of “see it to be it” really does work. Studies show, plus my own experience, is that when you can visualize the changes you want to make your actions follow. A few years ago, I regained 32 pounds. Every day, at least once, I would shut my eyes and see myself wearing my favorite pair of jeans. It is as though I had this movie running through my head. In my head, I’d walk in my closet, pull my jeans off the hanger, put them on, the whole process including looking at myself in the mirror as I had them on. It made a big difference for me. Try making your own movie to see it so you can be it too!
* Relationship annual exam. Just as we go for an annual exam to check on our health, do the same with the close, special relationships in your life. Do you need to spend more quality family time, schedule monthly dates with your spouse or significant other, have a girls/boys night out with your friends for some fun, or even have a conversation with a family member or friend about something bothering you in the relationship you share with them?
* Value your values. What is important to you? What values are near and dear to your heart? Does your life reflect those values? List the values that are front and center as to how you live your life and what makes you who you are. Decide what you really care about and what you can do to make a positive change in a cause that matters to you.
* Live with an attitude of gratitude. I suggest keeping an gratitude journal. People that acknowledge their gratitude for things and the people in their lives are happier. Say “thank you” often and make those that you appreciate feel your gratitude.
* Do something new. There’s nothing more exciting than to do something new. I’m a licensed pilot so this one is a biggie for me. The first time I stepped into a plane and went full throttle down the runway, I was hooked. The excitement that I felt is something I remember now just as it was for me that first day I flew. The excitement, fun, accomplishment and doing something new is a huge boost to your self-esteem and your life. What would you like to do that is new? Learn how to play the piano, take flying lessons, ride a horse, train for a marathon, or anything that you’ve been interested in or what you’ve wanted to do but never thought you could. The excitement and thrill of doing something entirely new is just awesome.
* Be YOU. Are you a leader or a follower? Do you go to great lengths to please those around you? Do you prefer to follow the majority than use your voice to be the minority? One of my favorite pieces of advice that I’ve ever received is from a close friend that told me to “use my voice.” To make a long story short, I learned not to use my voice and not stand out by expressing my feelings, thoughts or opinions. Don’t sell yourself short. Be yourself and use your voice. Be proud of being who you are!
* Make it count. Time is the most precious and valuable commodity that we have. Time goes by so quickly and isn’t something we can get back once it is gone. I look at my sons and I see them about 10 years younger than they really are (much to their dismay!). Honestly, I don’t know where the time has gone. From being a mom, making my time count has been a valuable lesson that I’ve learned. We’re all given the same 24 hours in a day…..do you spend it in ways that are meaningful to you or have lots of wasted time? Be generous with your time on people that are important, loved and special to you. Same thing with activities, hobbies, reflection time, meditation or prayer, connecting with nature or other ways that fill you up. For many people, they are more conscientious with their money than they are their time. For this year, make your time count.
Whether you’re reading this in January, April or October, you can always create a new beginning and have a very Happy YOU Year!!