The Internet is flooded with New Year’s Resolutions, diets and detoxes, workout, wellness, and fitness content, setting goals, setting intentions this time of year. It can be overwhelming. But I love this time of year. The fresh start, the feeling of new opportunity. The collective motivation and energy of people to set goals and strive to be healthier (whatever that is to them).
I can’t help myself but click on every headline I see that has something to do with goals and productivity. I should really stop because by this point, I rarely find any new good info and I am let down by the promises of a catchy headline. I’ve been studying organization and productivity, goal setting, habits, etc., for years now and it’s pretty rare that I hear or read anything new and useful.
I also am a fan of simplicity. I realized over the years that I always overcomplicated things. That’s not terrible all the time, I think complicated things can be interesting and sometimes things are and have to be complicated. But I do my best to try to simplify and uncomplicate anything I possibly can.
I too strive to always be better, plan a little more, be more efficient, be more healthy, workout more consistently. I’m a fan of moderation and also living your life. You never know when it will end, and you don’t want to spend the entire time just wishing and hoping and being too strict on yourself. I see the point of being strict about certain things for certain time periods, but sometimes you just need a break, relax, let go, have fun, eat the pizza!
Now, at 33, I’m on my 10th year of blogging and 6th year of being a full-time entrepreneur & content creator, and I’ve learned A LOT. The hard way. And I want to share what I know in this post, to help you have your best year. Why? Because I wish I knew all of this a decade ago. Can’t do anything about that now, but I can try to help you wherever you are at.
1 // Take time to reflect on last year and your entire life. Write it down.
If reflecting on the last year has you stumped — where do you even begin with this so-called reflection? I walk you through it in my online course Your Ideal Year. (Which is currently open for registration and you will immediately have access to the ENTIRE course. You could start taking it right now. Course closes in early January.)
Trust me, this reflection is vital to you making real change in your life. If you think this is BS, just think to yourself — have you ever seriously reflected on your life? How about the last year? The last month? Are you happy with where you are or do you think there is more out there for you?
I know that for me, while I felt “successful” to an extent, I knew there was SO MUCH MORE out there that I needed to do, but I had exhausted what I personally knew how to do and felt like I needed to try new things to help me break into the next level. Reflection was one of those things.
2 // Invest in yourself. Money and time.
Whatever that means to you as it is different for everyone. Maybe that means paying for a personal trainer, or finally paying for those workout classes that are a little more than you’d like to pay but you love them and know you’ll actually go to them. Is there anything more important than spending money on your health? If you don’t have your health, the rest of life can really suck. Or maybe it’s a course or a book or a business/life coach that you know could help take you to the next level.
This year I personally bought several online courses, books, found a friend that helped mentor me in certain areas of my business that she is an expert in, and I invested in building an entirely new MegBiram.com (launching soon!). I had gone for 3-4 years without much investment in myself or my business. I had done what I as one person (and some interns and freelancers) could do and knew I needed more to get to where I want to be. I’m still working on that, but my investments are already paying off, and I know they will only continue to do so.
I’m gonna say it — my course can totally help you. It’s only $247, which may sound like a lot to some of you. But the value and clarity you will get from it will be more than worth it. Also if you have your own business, blog, or are starting a business, you should be able to write the course off on your taxes (talk to your accountant to be sure for your specific situation). Trust me, I look for EVERYTHING I (legally) CAN to write off because you shouldn’t pay once cent more than you owe! Investing in yourself and your own education is not only important, but helpful on your taxes if you have a business!
3 // Stop overresearching.
My name is Meg, and I’m an overresearcher. I’ve gotten better at this, but it still happens from time to time. No, you do not have to read every single book and article ever published about whatever it is you are doing. There comes a point where you need to STOP and just focus on YOUR OWN PROJECT.
Stop scrolling through a million websites, stop looking at your Facebook/Instagram feed. Put your phone down, put it away, focus on YOUR THING, YOUR GOAL. Stop reading about other people reaching their goals, and actually DO YOURS! If you find reading about other people and researching your topic motivating but then you realize that you never take action on it…then you are using the research as procrastination to actually doing anything about your so-called goal.
If you find yourself doing this I’m going to challenge you. Stop the research now. Do a first draft of whatever it is you want to do. An outline, a sketch, one mile, whatever. Do that first thing you need to do, then if you feel the need to keep researching, go ahead, but stop again and do a second thing for your goal. Once you start getting closer it is to finishing your project or reaching your goal, the less you’ll want to research and the more you’ll want to continue spending your time on getting it done!
4 // Define.
You really need to define what you want out of life, what you want for yourself, your work, your relationships, etc. In my course I help you go through six parts of your life and define them — the past, present, and future of each part. And then I help you create a path to get what you want.
How can you ever reach anything or accomplish anything if it isn’t defined? How do you know you got there? You have to define what your happiness in your own life is.
5 // Stop talking about it start doing it!
I never want to be that person who just talks about ideas and never does any of them. I’m an idea person so it’s bound to happen to some extent, but similar to overresearching, you have to stop getting in your own way, stop making excuses, and JUST DO IT. Reread #3 for emphasis.
6 // Carve out time and protect it.
Find the time. There is time. I actually walk you through where this time is if you have a hard time finding it in my course. It’s there, you just have to choose it. Then when you find the time, and schedule the time, you have to protect it like it’s the most important thing in your life. It probably is or relates to an important thing in your life, because if it doesn’t, why the heck are you doing it? Our life should really only be made of up the important things.
7 // Plan.
I know in one of those popular books (maybe REWORK?) they talk about how stupid planning is. And I get the point, but I’m pretty sure that most successful businesses have a financial projection, and that the authors had to PLAN OUT their book before they wrote it or pitched it to a publishing company. So I think what they were saying when they said that planning is a waste of time is don’t over plan. Similar to overresearching. Unless you are one of the few people that doesn’t need to plan to get anything done (there are a few of you out there), I think that planning things is SUPER important to actually getting things done.
If you are like, well see the problem is, I don’t know how to plan it out…help!? I got you. I created a system in Your Ideal Year that works for anything and everyone, forever. It’s not only for 2017, or only for January, or only for a certain type of person or job or goal. It’s easy and flexible and you can use it however you want for whatever you want.
8 // Seriously get rid of distractions.
This is something you will have to constantly do because it’s just that hard. Our brains these days are so overstimulated. We literally have mini computers IN OUR POCKETS. At the swipe of a screen we can look up anything we’ve ever wanted to know, use any app, look at any social media — it’s crazy! There are just so many more distractions now than there ever were. To focus on accomplishing just one thing we have to stop ourselves from getting distracted.
You really have to be proactive about getting rid of distractions. My trick is that when I look at my day and the things I need/want to accomplish that day, I pick ONE THING I want to do first and I don’t do ANYTHING ELSE until that thing is done. And if you do everything on your list like this, you’ll get so much more done, and so much faster. Especially if you limit the amount of times you check your email and social media. LIMIT IT. Only do it for a few times a day for a specific period of time. Then stop. I’m going to assume that whatever it is you want to accomplish in life, it’s not to set the world record for amount of emails read, sent, and deleted in one day.
9 // Commit.
Once you’ve figured out those important things you want to do and focus on in your life, commit to really carving out the time and focusing your energy on those things.
If you don’t know where to begin on what those things are, take my course, and you’ll get it all figured out, and know exactly what you need to do to get there.
Also, read this post about the 4 Mindset Shifts that Changed My Life.
Ok I know that was A LOT. But I wanted this post to actually be HELPFUL. All of those boring lists of shit you already know just piss me off — and hopefully this isn’t one of them! The info in this post is a good start, but my course can really help you figure all of this out if you don’t know where to begin. I do it myself each year (see top image!).
I’m not the only one who thinks my course is helpful:
“When you invest in Your Ideal Year you are investing in changing your life right now. This course holds up an honest mirror to the life you live and provides a roadmap to successfully reach your goals with no excuses. I’ve never had such a hands-on resource to awaken my senses and ignite me for the new year. Thanks to Your Ideal Year I feel more prepared than ever to take on 2017!” — Claire of Claire Ashley Beauty
Read more about why I created the Your Ideal Year online course HERE and HERE. Even more details and info on the COURSE SITE HERE where you can also enroll. Enrollment will close in January so don’t wait to sign up and begin the your best year yet!