Is 2017 going to be your best year ever?

SmartCompany: Tuesday, January 10 2017:

Those lazy, crazy days of summer Down Under…

For some of you, that’s already over and you’re wanting to muster your energy. Or perhaps you’re dragging your feet and spirits, remembering how that time floating in the pool, sipping drinks or eating fish and chips (or something equally good), felt all-too-brief.

Have you started the year with great news and positive plans, or been devastated to find that what you expected is not what happened, and you are already out of control?

Re-set yourself for 2017 with the following steps.

1. Decide to move forward, not backward

Lots of people I know had a difficult 2016. It was a tough year on many fronts (see the negative “Land of W” below). Hanging onto the memories of your trials and tribulations can be educational to a point, but they need to be considered more objectively—which is why the summer break slowdown can be helpful as you find mental space to consider what you’re dealing with. Consciously position yourself to forge ahead.

2. Be very clear about what you want to do from now on and what you don’t want

Think of yourself clearing out the cobwebs and the clouds hanging over you. Be vigorous while there’s time to think about the coming year before you’re back, strenuously swimming in life’s currents, and grunting and flailing in the waves.

3. Set goals and aim high, while lowering your expectations

What this conundrum really means is, stop aiming for the moon—think Cape Canaveral. Harness your knowledge, research what you don’t yet know, and ration your energies so that you’re not stressing over what you haven’t yet accomplished. There’s work to be done planning and organising to make things happen. Don’t expect too much of yourself too soon. I wrote out my goals for this year and I have been feeling very motivated as they are realistic for once!

4. Create positive scripts for yourself

Were you stuck in the negative “Land of W”, wishing, whining and wasting your time during 2016? Each ‘w’ is completely understandable. You wish things would improve, you’ve needed to whinge or whine about your circumstances on occasion with good friends, and sometimes bad events can cause us to freeze and spend a few too many hours going over what happened (which isn’t really wasting time, but time vanishes nevertheless).

Escape the “Land of W” and make 2017 a year when you create positive scripts for yourself. Be the best you can be. Do something special, however small for yourself and others around you. Do it gladly, with a smile. Refrain from snapping at some pushy person who beat you to a car park, or who zipped in front of you. Just don’t. Think of those people who always let rip about something—it gets ugly, doesn’t it? Think and stop. Is there something better you can do, right now, instead?

5. Commit and complete things

What’s the bet you’ve got tasks and jobs languishing, or people you haven’t caught up with that you always say you will? Maybe you’ve been avoiding them, or feeling overloaded. Maybe you want to get back to walking every day—is it really that hard? Decide on what you will commit to, what you will complete, who you’ll make (proper) time to visit, and celebrate as each thing is done. You’ll feel great!

6. Say: I will find funny!

Find the humour in life. Laughter is good; seek what and who makes you really laugh and feel good. Recognise those who pull you down and prioritise!

7. Unplug

You know what this means. Switch off devices for at least a portion of your day. If you’re on holiday, try to switch off your mobile, your social media feeds, and your email for a day at a time. Can you do a week? I can’t. Discoverpositive scriptstimesummer break slowdown

Being connected head down to a little screen 24/7 really doesn’t improve anyone’s behaviour. You’ll catch up with things soon enough. Unplugging gives us all a chance to notice things around us once more, to appreciate intricacy, beauty, even danger. Your awareness is all the better for it.

Do all of the above for the next few weeks of January and by the time February is here, your advancement will be impressive and you’re ready for the year.

Eve Ash is a psychologist, author, filmmaker, public speaker and entrepreneur. She runs Seven Dimensions, a company specialising in training resources for the workplace. See the rest of Eve’s blogs here.