At the beginning of another year, some of us look to set goals, make changes or start over anew. Here are some tips to try and help you achieve your goals with ease and clarity.
1. Declutter – It’s amazing what a spring clean can do for you, no matter what time of year it is. Whether you clean out your wardrobe, get your study organised or rearrange the kitchen cupboards (so you can actually find the lids to go on your Tupperware containers), you’ll get a satisfying sense of achievement when you get it done.
2. Set Simple Goals – Life is already complicated enough without lumping unnecessary pressure on yourself. Climbing Mount Everest in two months time when you haven’t exercised in years, have never done high altitude trekking, or checked if your passport is still valid could be a bit of an ask. While it is an attainable goal, planning your path with simple goals can help you to reach your goal summit. For example, finding incidental exercise (using the stairs, parking further away from work and walking) to improve your fitness and progressing to group fitness classes or the gym before getting to more in depth training. Whatever your goal, you’ll be on your way.
3. Make Time For You – In this busy world, we often forget to make time for ourselves, or feel guilty for doing so. Don’t. You shouldn’t. It’s important to take time out to relax, recharge and gain perspective. Even if you just sit down and have a cup of tea, take your time – it is your time and taking that moment can help you feel reenergised and ready to tackle things head on again.
4. Write Things Down – I love a good list. I find they help me clarify what I need to do and it feels good when you can tick a task off as completed. Writing things down doesn’t just have to be lists though; writing down thoughts or worries can help you make sense of things. Having things written down in front of you means you can process them better and think them through. Or if it’s a niggling fear keeping you up in the wee hours of the morning, a quick scrawl on a notepad can remove it from your mind for the moment so you can get to sleep and come back to it in the morning.
5. Learn To Say Yes … And No – Some people are natural born people pleasers. Some people are too scared to go outside their comfort zone. Learning to pick when to say yes or no can lift a weight off your shoulders. It could even lead to new experiences and possibilities. Even if you make the wrong choice, you’ll get something out of it, and your attitude will make a difference.
6. Let Go Of Negative Thoughts – This one is easier said than done, but the slightest change in attitude can make your life so much simpler. “I can’t do that” needs to take a time-out in the corner while “I’ll give it a go” limbers up and fist pumps to the forefront of your mind. If you start off your day with a positive approach, you will feel you are capable of a whole lot more. And you are.
7. Smile More – Find something that makes you smile: play feel-good music you can sing along to at the top of your lungs or watch a funny movie. Maybe you’re feeling terrible and smiling just doesn’t seem possible, but have I got news for you - research has shown that even if you fake it, a big smile can help lift your mood and lower stress levels. And remember, smiles are contagious. Who knows, you could end up making somebody else’s day.