As I sit here on my couch, I’m writing my annual new year’s post and I have no idea what direction I’m going to take it in this year. Of course, it will have my annual Year In Review Picture Show, but you’re also reading the birth of a thought – a thought that I need to hear myself and one that’s manifested as a result of other voices I’ve heard over the last few months. I’ve been reflecting on the past year, my life, how I want 2017 to go and what I want my life to look like a year from now. Isn’t that what we all do? Sit and reflect? Say this new year will be a better one because the past year wasn’t that great? We come up with resolutions to make our life better and then fall off the bandwagon a month or two or three down the road. Our year ends up looking like every other year … or maybe that’s just me.
How can we make this year different? And better than 2016?
Initiate the Boomerang Effect
When you look at people as a whole, we all just want to be happy and our happiness is derived from feeling loved, accepted, appreciated, healthy and successful. The best thing I’ve learned in my first year of marriage is to make the other person’s happiness become your own. And it’s hard because I’m a really selfish person and struggle with it, but when you put yourself out there for others before yourself, it ends up coming back to you. Kindness travels. Focus on becoming someone who is loving and kind to others. Focus on becoming someone who puts the needs of others before your own. It takes one person to start a chain reaction, but imagine how many more people could be reached if everyone made a change within themselves for the benefit of everyone. It would change the world.
You can’t force other people to love you, accept you, or appreciate you. Life doesn’t work that way. But if you do things for others that will make someone want to appreciate you and if you love and are accepting of others than people will want to return that not just to you, but to others as well. It becomes something like a boomerang; once you throw it out into the world it will eventually return to you – if not reaching other people before it does.
Start a Bucket List
I got to cross off three things on my bucket list/vision board in 2016. It was such a great feeling! Not because I necessarily accomplished something great, but because I’ve been able to say I’ve experienced something new that I wanted to experience. I did it in my lifetime and I can tell you about it. I can show you pictures from my wedding, tell you about my time in Ireland, or my experience being pregnant and giving birth to our first child. That’s so rewarding! What’s even more rewarding is saying you set a goal, worked hard to achieve it, and you did!
Get an idea of what you want so you can start setting goals to reach the really big ones.
You can’t get anywhere or do anything without goals. You HAVE to have them. You have to have them in order to be successful with anything. Even being healthy or financially stable requires goals. Our life is structured around it. It’s not just about becoming a millionaire or losing 100 lbs. It’s paying the mortgage and healing from a cold. A goal is composed of an action and a time frame you need to complete the action in to achieve a certain result. For example: you have to do x, y, and z at work (the action) within 40 hours during a 5 day period (the time frame) in order to make x amount of money (the result). If you do that (the action) for 50 years (the time frame) then you get to retire (the result). It’s a formula. You can fill it in with whatever you want. Each result that you want gets broken down into smaller and smaller goals so it’s easier to achieve by focusing on something small one step at a time. The key is to figure out what you want out of life, get a game plan, take it one day at a time, stay positive and just do it.
You can’t rely on others for your happiness. You can’t hope for change and expect other people to make it. You have to do the dirty work. You have to become the best version of yourself. You have to be the one making a difference. It starts with you.
Final words of wisdom for the new year: You can’t control things that are out of your control. Make the best of your circumstances.
I love and appreciate you for finding your way here and reading this. I hope you have the best year yet in 2017. Reflect in the comments below and share with me your favorite memory from 2016, something you checked off of your bucket list in 2016/setting to check off in 2017, or a goal you’ve accomplished in 2016/set for 2017. Can’t wait to read your responses!