New Year = New YOU: Focusing on Personal Development
There’s no better time for a fresh start and a new perspective than at the beginning of a new year! Setting goals for the coming year and making New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to transform yourself and shed whatever insecurities, bad habits, or negativity that plagued you throughout the last year. Of course, the turn from the year 2014 to 2015 won’t magically solve all of your personal and professional problems! Meeting your goals and overcoming your hurdles will take work! Here are some ways that you can work on personal development throughout the new year to maximize your potential and transform into a ‘new you’!
1. Try not to give in to negativity
Avoiding negativity is, of course, much easier said than done. Despite how difficult overcoming negative thoughts can be, this is an essential step in changing for the better in the New Year. Particularly if you’re coming out of recent difficult experiences, concentrating on the positive things around you will help you avoid being held back by negative thoughts. When you start feeling gloomy, take a deep breath and think of things that make you happy. Resort to easy, accessible steps that you can do quickly in order to cheer yourself up almost anywhere before negative feelings take root. Keep a picture of a very happy memory on your phone, listen to a song that makes you feel cheerful, or look an old text that you’ve saved that makes you feel appreciated. If nothing else works, sometimes you do just have to ride the negative feelings out. Make it your resolution, however, to firmly pick yourself up as best you can once you’ve taken the time to let yourself feel down. Don’t let negativity become the norm!
2. Practice gratefulness
Thinking of all the things you have to be grateful for can actually help you with your goal of stamping out negativity! If you can think of at least one thing every day that you appreciate in your life, things might look a little brighter. If you operate in your daily routine thinking about how grateful you are for your good job, your nice home, your great friends, or even little things like a yummy breakfast in the morning, you’ll find yourself in a much better mood than if you spend your morning grumbling about how much your commute to work sucks. Practicing gratefulness can also be highly motivating. The more positively you feel about your life and the opportunities you’re afforded, the more likely you are to be pro-active about achieving goals.
3. Don’t forget about self care
Particularly when you’re very busy, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself! Of course, you’ll probably still remember to take a shower and eat at some point during the day, but remember that it takes more than the basics the make sure that you’re well cared for mentally, physically, and emotionally. Working hard is important, and also essential to achieving both professional and personal goals, but if you’re working yourself to the bone every day and letting that carry into your weekends, you might burn out. Every once in a while, take a self care day to rest. Take a hot shower, read the book you’ve been meaning to finish, call the friend or relative you haven’t had time to catch up with, or give yourself a few extra hours of sleep. Do what your body needs and what your mind feels like doing. These can be important to thorough wellbeing just like eating enough healthy meals!
4. Work on communication with others and yourself
Communication is a life skill, both personally and professionally. If you can communicate your wants and needs to others and listen effectively when they answer, you’ll progress towards your goals much more easily. Think about which areas of communication you need to work on most. Maybe you’re an outgoing, talkative person who would benefit from scaling back just a little and listening to those around you more carefully? Maybe you’re a very shy person who keeps their feelings hidden and gets brushed off easily, and so would benefit from speaking up more? Maybe your problem is something as simple as talking too fast or forgetting to check your spelling when you email colleagues? Identify where your communication skills could use improvement, and apply yourself to adopting those improved habits so you can use them as tools to work towards larger goals.
5. Practice stress management
Some stress management tactics can be done in the moment, some are preventative, and others are done in reflection after you’ve made it through the stressful situation. The important thing to note is that stress can throw off your progress in all other aspects of self-development, so you should be mindful of how it affects you and what triggers you most. Some people use meditation or yoga to calm themselves and reduce stress, while others keep their schedules and workloads as organized as possible so they don’t become overwhelmed. Whether you find an outlet in sports, writing, or social activities, try to channel your stress into something productive to minimize the negative toll it takes on you and the progress you’ve made. Don’t adopt a “suck it up” attitude when it comes to stress if there’s something you can do to help yourself!
You’re worth it!
Remember, self-development should be an empowering process, not something you feel obligated to put yourself through because you didn’t feel good enough before! You’re simply striving to be the best version of yourself that you can be. If one of your goals for becoming a ‘new you’ is going back to school, check out the different courses here at Winghill Writing School to see if we can help you reach your goals!