new year plans

Like many of us, I make New Year plans each year at this time. I think about what’s going to be improved on, changed or abandoned in how I approach my work. Each year I come back to this post which I originally wrote years ago, updated and re-published here:

Seven points for a Better Year

Have you noticed how the mismatch between words and the actions?

We shout “Happy New Year” from the rooftops, yet privately look back with regret, and forward with pessimism. If we make new year plans, or resolutions can be tainted by perceived past failure. This reduces our chances of success, which is why so many people will abandon their plans by mid-February.

A clean start

Give your new year plans the best chance of success with a clean start. You can begin to retrain your thinking by focussing on your successes, here’s how.

Of course, it is natural to regret what is lost or missed out on, and negativity, used well, can be useful (see my post on negative thinking), but if you want to give yourself of really having a happy and prosperous year it helps to think differently.

Here are my Seven Points for a Happy New Year:

  1. As you look back over the past year, think about what went right for you
  2. Identify one high point in each month so you get a list of 12 high points
  3. Separately, find five things you have done in last year that you are proud of
  4. Ask a trusted friend or family member what they think you have achieved during the year
  5. Take time to review all this data and ask yourself what most gives you a sense of enjoyment and achievement
  6. Create new year’s resolutions around doing more of what makes you feel good
  7. Train your mind by setting aside time to think about how to create a Happy New Year, practice daily.

Retrain your mind

That which we focus on becomes our reality. You will probably find that your mind tends to review the bad stuff like what it sees as failures and shortcomings. Train it to think differently and you’ll start to feel different.

I know that the past year has been tough on a lot of people. In the new year, some will continue to be depressed about it and with luck prove themselves right by continuing to think like that. Others will decide to do something different, change their mindset, and look forward  to their New Year plans with confidence.

By the way, you can use this at any time of the year to help with focus or motivation. When is New Year anyway? There are several options.

My Best Wishes for the New Year, whenever it is for you.

I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.


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