• Tamara Dias

Five Steps to Kick-Off Your New Year

“5-4-3-2-1! Happy New Year!” (usually followed by lots of clapping and shouting) is how I’ve brought in the new year for as long as I can remember. But, the ending of 2020 found me ushering in 2021 on my couch as I watched the countdown on television rather than being surrounded by friends and lots of confetti.

Even with all the craziness of 2020, I am determined to kick off 2021 on a positive note.

I saw all of the memes and jokes about how we were all planning to ease slowly into this year. I’m not quite sure how we managed to survive a year with a global pandemic and presidential election, but I am really glad to be on the other side of things. My appreciation for a new year allowed me to reflect on what I wanted to see happen for myself in the coming months.

Because I feel hopeful that 2021 is going to be a fresh start for many of us, I’ve decided to share five action items to help start a new year. I’ve done each of these in previous years, and they’ve been extremely helpful.

  1. Set your intentions: I don’t want this to be confused with resolutions. Rather than focusing on the word that makes people automatically roll their eyes, I believe choosing your intentions is a much more positive approach. Whether you use a vision board or pick a “phrase of the year,” be intentional about what you want for yourself throughout the year.

  2. Cultivate your support system: I don’t know where I would be without supportive family, friends, mentors, and coaches. I surround myself with people who not only are supportive of my goals, but who also challenge me to grow. Based on the intentions you set for yourself, determine how you want to continue to grow your community in 2021.

  3. Implement gratitude: Whenever I focus on being grateful, my perspective changes for the better. A gratitude list? Daily actions of gratitude toward others? Ditching complaining for 24 hours? Each of these are ways I've tried to take a more grateful perspective. After surviving such a hectic year, gratitude has been a cornerstone in shaping my mindset for a new year.

  4. Be willing to learn: I’m an educator at heart. Even when I’m in the position to teach others, I always open myself up to learning from them. What can you learn from the people around you? How can you take in knowledge from places you least expect? If you remain open to learning, you'll find that your growth might surprise you.

  5. Clear out the clutter: Whether you choose to do this physically or mentally, take action towards de-cluttering your life. I start off each year with a 30-day de-cluttering challenge for each room of my house. Removing the excess "stuff" makes me feel lighter and serves as an instant stress reliever.

Whether you choose one or all of these, focus your attention on what works best for you. Although I’m sharing these tips as we kick off a new year, you can revisit them whenever you need to. Sometimes, we need mini resets throughout the year, and each of these can be done repeatedly as we need them.

What can you do to start off the new year in a way that's beneficial for your personal growth?

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