Whilst we may collectively roll our eyes at every ‘New Year, New Me’ pledge that we see on Social Media, there is something about a new year that inspires us to take action to become better people.
Whether we want to get fit and healthy, super-charge our dating life by meeting new people or save more, the future vision of a happier version of ourselves can lure us into making resolutions. Of course, there is also the temptation of parting with your hard-earned cash to join in the latest wonder diet/dating site/get rich-quick scheme. Yet research shows that only 8% will actually stick to their resolutions.
So let us show you how you can make 2018 your best-ever year, with our tried-and-tested approach.
Take a good hard look at your life.
Eeek! Whilst this sounds ominous, it is not as scary as it sounds. This is about figuring out where you want to be, and knowing where you are now. An annual appraisal of your life, if you like. We suggest you break down the areas of your life into sections such as career, finances, health and fitness, hobbies, your everyday environment, your social life, relationships and personal development. Now rate your happiness in each of those areas with 1 being extremely unhappy to 10 being ultimate happiness. It helps if you write a few lines which describe what life in each is like now, and what your 10/10 life would look like, e.g.
The Vision: I am in a happy and loving relationship with someone who has a good sense of humour and loves local history and hiking as much as I do.
Now: I am single and have not had much luck with dating sites. I would like to get out more but my friends don’t share my interests. 3 out of 10.
There are two reasons we suggest this approach. Firstly, creating a vision for your future is key to success. Secondly, aiming to improve your happiness score in each area is likely to give you a realistic goal to focus on. Even if reaching your ultimate goal takes longer than a year, a small increase in satisfaction in an area will give you a lasting sense of achievement.
Prioritise Your Goals.
Now you have completed your Life Appraisal it is time to look at which areas to focus on. The reality is that you don’t have an infinite amount of time or money to spend chasing your dream life. Instead, look at the areas that are causing you the most unhappiness and commit to focusing on those areas first.
Well put simply, because if certain aspects of your life are making you miserable then ultimately it will drain your energy away from your resolutions. You will not feel like hitting the gym if your finances are keeping you awake at night. You will bore potential dates if you give them a 20 minute monologue of reasons you hate your boss. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day will not help you feel better about the damp-encrusted flat you are living in.
Even if you are happy with life overall, choosing no more than three areas to focus on will take the pressure off you. Your life is not a complete disaster, and you are perfectly lovely the way that you are. Just focus on a few areas of your life where you really want to see a difference. Remember, committing to a resolution is about a better and happier life for YOU. So there is no need to go for broke on this ‘New Me’ malarkey.
If you are clever about it, you may even find creative ways of working on multiple goals at the same time. For example, if you want to save cash, and meet new like-minded people then you may want to look at how to enjoy 150 social and leisure activities in Manchester every month for as little as £19.99 a month
Build Good Habits.
Now you have the areas of life you want to work on, and your vision for the future, you need to put in place some habits that you can build into your life and commit to. It is the small changes to everyday habits that lead to success, rather than relying on willpower alone. So instead of challenging yourself to ‘lose a stone in a fortnight’, why not commit to exercising 3 times a week and put it in your diary. If you want to travel more then work out a budget and commit to putting money aside every week so you can afford some fun weekends away. Before you know it, you will have reached your goal and developed the habits to make it a change that lasts a lifetime. Sounds like a good plan to us.
So let’s look back at our lovelorn hiker. What good habits could they put in place?
- Go on weekly local history walks and countryside hikes to meet new people.
- Go to Comedy Nights in Manchester at least twice a month. I may stand a better chance of finding the love of my life if we are laughing at the same jokes!
- Join Social Circle so I can plan the weeks social activities from my phone (and take advantage of the introductory offer-yippee)
If you take this approach to building your dream life, we can guarantee that in January 2019 you will be happier and more fulfilled than you are now. So what areas of your life will you be working on in 2018? Do tell us and share your goals in the comment box below.