Hi friends! A mix of us are back to work while some of us are enjoying the last remaining days of the year away from the office. Either way, this is one of the best times of the year for planning. As 2017 comes to a close, the time is perfect to reflect on how 2017 went and prepare for the new year ahead. Today I want to talk about what I’m doing for this. Plus, I’m sharing my tips for How to Prepare for an Amazing New Year in 2018.

Let’s jump in!

How to Prepare for an Amazing New Year in 2018

There are many approaches for doing this. I’m even participating in a whole program, which I’ll discuss in a bit. But for now, let’s take a simple 3-step approach. Three steps for last year and three steps for next year…

Assess the Previous Year

Before planning for the new year, it’s important to take a moment to assess how the previous one went.

1) What Were Your Goals / Hopes / Resolutions for 2017?

Remind yourself what you planned for 2017. What were your goals, hopes, resolutions, and dreams? If you have a list, find it and read it.

2) How Did They Go?

Ask yourself how your 2017 goals / hopes / resolutions went. Be honest. What went well? What didn’t? Which goals did you meet and why? Which goals did you not meet and why? You’ll likely keep making the same mistakes over and over again if you don’t recognize and learn from them.

See if you can summarize the lessons to one key point each and write them down.

PS: If you haven’t already celebrated your wins, consider doing so now. One year, I even did a Year-End-Celebration Dinner with a girlfriend where we acknowledged our hard work and successes from the year before. Actually, as I’m writing this I’m wondering why I haven’t scheduled one of these for 2017. Hmm…

3) How Can You Apply This to the New Year?

Take those lessons learned from the previous step and ask yourself how you can apply this in the new year.

For example, did you intend to work out 6 days a week, but you actually worked out 0-1? Why didn’t you meet this goal? Did you have scheduling challenges? Were you unmotivated? Consider setting a more realistic goal for 2018 based on your actual weekly schedule. Maybe try experimenting with different types of workouts until you find one you really like that truly motivates you. ClassPass is great for this. Or, you can sign up for a gym with many class type and facility options.

Plan for the New Year

Okay, time to apply those lessons learned and get ready for the new year.

1) Write Your Goals / Hopes / Resolutions for 2018

Write down your goals, hopes, and/or resolutions for 2018. Dr. Gail Matthews did a study and found that people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals when they’re written down. So yea, write them down because it really helps.

Apply the lessons learned from last year as you’re planning. Consider tweaking goals you’re carrying forward. Try writing new goals that better fit your schedule / lifestyle / values / etc.

Can’t think of any or want even more ideas? I really enjoyed this video by Lavendaire who shares 25 wonderful ideas. This is a collab video and she partnered with another YouTuber who shares 25 more in a linked video. Check them out here:

2) Invest in You

One of the best things you can invest in is you. How? There are many ways of course, but today I want to talk about personal development.

Personal Development Investments

Even within personal development, your options are almost endless. Here are some of my favorite ways to invest in personal development.

Subscribe to Podcasts

Tip: Consider getting a premium app that will improve your experience.

I love to listen to podcasts on my way to work or while I’m running errands. Here are some of my current favorites in no particular order:

  • The GaryVee Audio Experience
  • The Chase Jarvis Show
  • Smart Passive Income
  • 10% Happier
  • Youpreneur
  • Ted Radio Hour
  • How I Built This with Guy Raz
  • Internet Business Mastery
Buy Some Books

I love paper books and Audible and I use a mix of both to get my reading on. I find I start more books than I finish (hehe), but I’m working on that. Books help me learn and expand my horizons. But they can also be entertaining and fun. Here’s what I’m currently reading (not ordered):

  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  • The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  • The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein
  • A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings
Sign Up for a Personal Development Course

I’m currently doing Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever program to prepare for 2018. It’s a 5 day program that I actually heard about early in 2017 but shortly after sign-ups closed. I went on a waitlist that never opened up again for 2017, so I jumped on the sign-up for 2018. If you’re interested in this program, too, consider joining the waitlist. I don’t think that he’s going to open it up again, but you’ll get notified when it does open for 2019. Oh, and he’s releasing a book for this soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Take a Certificate Program or Class

Consider doing a certificate program that will help you expand your knowledge in a particular area. Pursue a passion or further a hobby.

If you can’t tell already, I love to learn. Since I’d currently like to learn more about nutrition, especially, I signed up for T. Colin Campbell’s plant-based nutrition certificate program via e-Cornell.

I’m also looking into art and photography classes.

In the past I’ve also done Zumba trainings, photography class, and other fun classes/programs.

3) Get in the Right Headspace

One thing that has helped me the most in 2017 that I intend to further develop in 2018 is being in the right headspace. I’m talking about focusing on positives over negatives and practicing gratitude. Here are some easy ways to do this for 2018:

  • Write down one thing you’re grateful for every day
  • Keep a gratitude journal if you want to write more than one a day
  • Use the 5 Minute Journal app (write down 3 grateful things and 3 great things that happened each day)
  • Meditate

For more immediately getting into the right headspace, identify places that have the right vibe. For me, I associate coffee shops with being productive and doing creative work. So, if I want to do planning or blog/YouTube work, I love visiting my favorite local coffee shops.

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What do you do to prepare the new year?