How was 2014 for you? However this year ends for you 2015 can be an even better year. The truth is, it’s really up to you. Here are 15 things you can do to make 2015 your best year.
- PLAN AHEAD – It’s been said that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Planning ahead and preparing for the things we want increases the likelihood that those things will actually happen. Set some specific goals for the coming year and plan how to reach those goals. Execute your plans and watch “luck” happen.
- SAVE – I read a statement that was so simple and true that it was profound. People are poor because they spend everything they have. Tired of being broke and missing opportunities because you didn’t have the money available? Set some money aside every pay period for emergencies and those unexpected opportunities you want to take advantage of. Once you get in the habit of saving and start seeing the benefits, it will become easier to do.
- SPEND LESS THAN YOU MAKE – This is the key to getting and staying out of debt. Honestly, most people use debt because there is not enough money available to do whatever it is they want or need to do. They also enter debt with the mindset that “I will pay the balance next pay period”. The balance is carried forward, next month the same thing happens and presto, “suddenly” there is a mountain of debt. Spend less than you make every month and you’ll be able to avoid debt, get out of debt and begin to accumulate wealth.
- SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS – We spend a lot of time working and generally not as much time with the people we love doing the things we love. When life comes to a close, no one ever says “I wish I spent more time working”. Be very specific with the allocation of your time. Work when it’s time to work. When that time is over’ stop working and spend focused time with your family and friends. Truly engage with them and feel the love.
- GIVE OF YOUR SELF FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS – So much of our time is used to get the things we need that we often miss the benefit of doing something for someone else. Giving of you can come in many forms. You can make something special for someone; spend time visiting a neighbor, volunteer at church. Look around you for opportunities to share your talents and expertise with others.
- MAKE A LIST OF 100 THINGS YOU WANT TO DO IN YOUR LIFETIME – Begin to dream again. What are some things you’ve always wanted to do? Write them down. Don’t worry about whether or not you think it’s possible for you to do them. This will help you remember how to dream, an art we tend to lose as adults.
- PICK AT LEAST THREE THINGS FROM YOUR LIST AND DO THEM – Start with three of the most attainable items on your list and do them in 2015. Once you begin to see some of your dreams come to life you’ll begin to dream bigger and find ways to make those dreams come to life.
- INVEST IN YOURSELF – You are your best and most valuable asset. You’ve got one life to live and one body to live it in. Learn something new. Reach your fitness goals. Get a regular massage. Get your nails done. Get some quite time. You don’t have to do some grand thing or spend a ton of money, but you do need to take care of you. This is especially important if you are in a position that requires you to care for someone else. Investing time and other resources in yourself will keep you energized and in a frame of mind that allows you to be more effective in all areas of your life.
- LET GO OF FEAR – Fear causes some people to run, some people fight, others to be paralyzed. None of fears effects are positive. Fear is the anticipation of an outcome of something that has not even happened yet. Don’t live the consequences of imaginary events. Do something. If it turns out good, great! If not, that’s OK too. It’s a learning experience either way. Truth is, the worst thing that could happen in most cases is usually the least likely, or not really as bad as you image it will be.
- READ A BOOK-So many things can be found in books. Not salacious novels. Really good inspirational books, biographies, autobiographies, etc. Books that help open your mind to new experiences and information. You could find the courage to start a new business, tools to cope with difficult situations, the permission to live life out loud. The right book can change your life.
- CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS-When you reach a milestone or accomplish a goal, celebrate. Celebration not only brings resolution allowing you to move forward with the next goal, but it also gives you something to look forward to while you’re pushing through.
- APPRECIATE THE “LITTLE” THINGS YOU DO- Appreciate yourself for the things you do every day. We often feel like we are only doing certain things because it’s the responsible thing to do and therefore it’s no big deal. Consider how many people there are with the same responsibilities that do not do what is necessary to take care of them. You chose everyday how you will spend your time and resources. Appreciate the fact that you make and act on good decisions.
- REACH OUT TO AN OLD FRIEND AND MEET A NEW ONE- staying connected with other people is one way to build your support network. Whether your network is for business, pleasure, or your general well-being the more people you know the better off you’ll be.
- GET AND STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE-Physical activity energizes the mind and the body. It gets the blood flowing and helps you stay more focused during the day. It also helps you to sleep better at night.
- KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL-write down five things you are grateful for everyday. This keeps your mind focused on the good in life. Regardless of what happens in a day, there is always something to be thankful for. You’ll be surprised how your general outlook will change for the better.
The decisions we make every day shape our futures. Make a conscious effort to make decisions that will shape the future you want. It really is up to you.