1. Consider your goals for the new year. What do you want? Where do you want to be? What changes do you want to make in your life?
2. Pick 4 words to describe yourself in the new year! For example my words are: Calm, Motivated, Punctual and Healthy. I find that doing this helps narrow down your goals and gets you to the core things you will be aspiring to in the new year.
3. Get a planner. This may seem obvious, but after university I stopped having a planner system at all for a solid 2 years, and I was overwhelmed by all the things I had to remember. I had trouble keeping track of pretty much everything in my life. I did use the calendar on my phone, set alarms and such. But I found that I was still either ignoring them, or not planning towards the event, appointment or task. The other good thing about a physical planner is the tactile feeling of putting pen to paper. I’m personally a really kinetic and visual learner, so I need to see and physically do the thing I need to learn or remember. Not all planners are set, you can find a huge variety based on profession, study or even lifestyle. An Erin Condren is completely customisable but it can be expensive and it only lasts for the amount of time it’s been set for. I prefer Filofax and Kikki K because of the flexibility. The good thing about having a planner is the ability to see far in the future but also to see how far you’ve come.
4. De-clutter your life so you can start fresh next year. Look around your house and take note of all the things you either haven’t used or worn in the last 6 months. Sometimes I find items that I don’t even remember buying. When this happens I reevaluate the need for said item. Either I throw it out, or if it’s in good condition I give it away or donate it.
5. Clean up your social media. In the new year I like to go through Facebook and comb through my friends list. And I ask myself: Who am I hiding or not following. Do I need to be friends with them for some reason? Who on my friend list is toxic and detracts from my life? I consider all of these things and cut them out. Do you really need those high-school friends on there? Probably not. You haven’t talked in over 8 years. Not just friends but family can also be toxic. On professional sites like LinkeIn, I make sure that my information is updated. I upload a new CV, post up an updated portfolio or showreel. I also clean up my connections. Not all connections are good connections. Sometimes they aren’t relevant or perhaps they are a hangover from Uni days when you connected with all your mates independent of their profession.
6. Inactive accounts. Living in this modern world, sometimes we accumulate a vast number of internet subscriptions, accounts, emails and so on. A good way to help with spam, and clean up that digital footprint is to deactivate and detach your email from these platforms. What I do every year is check through my bank account and see what items come out every month. Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, CruncyRoll, website hosting, app subscriptions, magazine subscriptions and so on. I evaluate if I need these services and consider the financial implications.
7. Do a backwards bucket list. A good way to start the new year and stay motivated is to look back at what went well. What have you already done that you consider to be a success? Acknowledging the positives in your life really aids in future planning, and maintaining moral.
8. Create a financial plan. It doesn’t have to be detailed. Make it more about general savings. What I like to do is take note of any debts and make a payment plan. I also create a saving plan. Sometimes this can be tough when you work freelance like I currently do. So you may never be sure 100% how much you can and cannot save. In this case I tend to focus on a minimum sum and a maximum sum to save every week or month.
9. Organise a thought dump. You can do this by scrap-booking, journalling or even having a sketchbook. Find a notebook or a journal that you probably have laying around the house. If you’re anything like me you probably buy notebooks and journals that you honestly don’t need. So open up that cupboard that you throw all your random crap in, and dust off that book with the blank pages. If you get intimidated by the blankness of books I have an easy 5 step post about how to overcome that fear here. I use notebooks and journals to jot down any negative or positive thoughts to help me work through them. Being able to see those thoughts can really help de-clutter your mind and keep focused on more important things than self loathing.
10. Finally make a list of important people in your life. Consider if you have been absent in any of those relationships and want to rekindle or improve those relationships. Make a plan on how you can do so. Perhaps you should call your parents more, or see a friend once a week. A way to reduce stress and anxiety when it comes to maintaining a social life is to prioritise it and actually plan that in! Sure it’s not as spontaneous as most of us would like, but adult life is all about the balancing act.