It's a new year, and with it comes all the promises of beginning again with new hopes, new goals, new promises and new desires. A new year is a new beginning. It is like a new birth. As the new year begins, people feel that they need to make changes in their lives, start on a new path, do new things, and say goodbye to old habits, problems and difficulties.
You may want to start making new plans and new resolutions. You might feel elated, inspired and hopeful, but sometimes also apprehensive. The real question is whether you continue and persevere, or quit your plans and resolutions. Are you going to revert to your habitual behavior and continue living the same kind of life, without making any changes or improvements? Or are you going to hold fast to the new opportunities that you seek out to improve your life?
Change does not usually happen overnight. It is a process, often akin to running a marathon instead of a sprint. Life can be difficult at times. Challenges to your life happen daily. When obstacles come your way, how you respond to them determines the outcome of your progress going forward. Here are ten tips for living in 2024:
Choose to ignore doubts and discouragement - There are going to be family and friends who might discourage you. Often, it is best not to talk too much of your plans and your resolutions. People are afraid of change, and might discourage you. Sometimes they might be right, but often, it is their fear of change that is speaking from their mouth. Or, your mind may bring up doubts from past failures or bad experiences. Think, use common sense, and get facts before making a resolution, but once you are sure of what you are doing, do not let anything deter you. Connect with people who support you.
Seek spiritual guidance - There is much to be said about enriching your spirit through prayer, meditation, reading holy writings and spending time with spiritual mentors. Spiritual growth is a process of shedding your wrong and unreal concepts, thoughts, beliefs, and ideas and becoming more conscious and aware of a relationship with God. This process uncovers the inner spirit that is always present, but hidden beyond the ego-personality to grow and know Him.
Establish well defined goals - Without knowing exactly what you wish to accomplish, you will be just drifting and might lose interest and stop what you have started doing. A general and unclear goal is not to enough, and it does not matter whether it is a big or a small goal. In both cases, it should be well defined. If you want to make changes in your life, you should know what kind of changes you want to make. Write them out, and refer to them often to keep on track.
Learn to persevere - In the old days, it was called 'grit.' Usually, when you start something new, you have motivation and inspiration, but after encountering difficulties and obstacles, and if things take too much time to change, you begin to lose your enthusiasm and question whether it’s worth it. At that point, you need to muster your self-discipline and persevere with your efforts. You simply just don't give up. Perseverance is what separates a successful person from an unsuccessful person.
Take action - Too many individuals have the best intentions, but they are either too lazy or afraid or unsure to make a move. Consequently, they accomplish nothing toward their desired goals. Any action is better than no action at all, unless it's motion that moves in a dangerous direction. Common sense tells you that by making at least small steps every day in a positive direction is eventually going to help you get closer to success. Procrastination only results in inaction.
Network yourself - One great way to increase your sphere of influence is to network by attending social business gatherings. Join a Rotary or Chamber of Commerce. Attend meetings that have a theme of common interest. Pass out business cards to everyone you meet, whether it's in the grocery store or a business lunch or happy hour. One sure way to get new business is to talk to people that congregate together. Don't be a hermit.
Brand yourself - Establish a social media brand. Platforms like Linked In are great ways to show that you have a product or service to offer. As well, if you are a small business owner of any type, you should have a website that promotes you and your product. In many ways, you are your own brand. Then broadcast it everywhere you can as often as you can. There really is no shame in self-promotion if you provide value or you offer a valuable commodity. Even Facebook is a good way to go if you want to get the word out about you.
Commit to wellness regimen - Regular exercise strengthens the immune system and makes you less likely to catch upper respiratory infections. It also fights illness, including that it may help flush bacteria from the lungs and airways. By lowering stress hormones, exercise keeps immunity strong. Additionally, establishing healthy eating habits contributes to an overall state of wellness. Having a healthy body is a good way to have a healthy life.
Improve your intelligence quota - Read good books, like non-fiction or inspirational volumes. Histories and biographies of famous leaders are always a great way to help your mind absorb information that can lead to positive personal growth. Take classes or seminars to help you advance in your professional career. Focus on material that is uplifting and promotes healthy mental stimulation. Toughen up your brain.
Focus on financial peace - Plan for both the short term and the long haul. Having a solid financial plan in place helps you be prepared for emergencies, for retirement and for living well. Work with a professional that has the experience and ability to help you develop a program where you protect your most valuable assets. You shouldn't be constantly stressed out about money. Planning financially for your day to day needs as well as your later years and final expenses should be done sooner rather than later. Begin now if you haven't put a plan together.
Good things and bad things endlessly cycle. Resilience relies on staying aware of your choices to influence what you can and then navigating all the rest as well as you’re able. A failing lifestyle contributes to the state of being overwhelmed. The cutting-edge science of staying strong and happy still points back toward the wisdom of old-school, commonsense choices. At the end of the day it's all about doing what makes you successful regardless of what others think or say. Following simple guidelines in every area of your life can truly make a positive difference. Don't try to overthink things.
If you need help in some of these areas, contact me for a conversation. I am glad to help. In the meantime, take time to soak in the blessing that is called life. Even in the darkest days, good things can happen. Choose wisely, and ignore negativity. Have a successful 2024.