Starting Fresh – How to Make 2011 Your Best Year Ever

The year 2011 marks the start of a new decade. What better chance to take a look at yourself and make a fresh start? We all have bad habits that need to be broken and things we know we should do that we just haven’t done. Why is it so hard? Some people thrive on constant change while some avoid it like the plague. The only way to create good change is to make a plan and stick to it, here’s how.

Start with a thorough look at where you are in life right now. How do you feel about different situations like work and relationships? Which ones make you feel good and which make you feel bad? It may help to talk to someone who knows you really well to figure this out, like a parent, sibling or spouse. Sometimes the things we think make us happy may actually make us miserable, like a high-level, high-paying but highly stressful job that leaves little room for other things in life.

Set goals for the coming year. Separate your personal life from your career goals, the last thing you want is to end up with a list that only mentions work-related goals. We all need more time to enjoy life. These goals should be specific so that they can be measured and, thus, achieved. “Finish Project X by X date” is more helpful than “Do my best at work and get things done on time.” Vague goals will invariably set you up for failure, and that’s not what we want here.

Goodlifer: Fresh Start 2011

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Setting goals that are too hard to achieve is not a good way to start this out either. Think about what you realistically can achieve this year and use that as your guide. Getting married, buying a house, having kids and starting your own business is probably too much to fit into one year. Instead, set partial goals — you have to start somewhere, but there is always next year. It’s OK to put some things off for the future, but it’s always good to have a plan so that you know you will actually get to them in the future (of your choice).

Don’t go too easy either. You need to give yourself a good challenge in order for and achievement to feel fulfilling. Don’t be scared. Changes that are too small may not make much of a difference, or even be noticed. Aim as high as realistically possible. If there is a will there is a way.

Goodlifer: Fresh Start 2011

Just do it, on your own. Excuses are the worst enemies of progress. “It’s too cold to go out running.” “I don’t have time.” These excuses are mainly in your head, and you need to start ignoring them if you want to make real progress. Don’t overthink things. Sometimes it’s better to just start, and then figure it out as you go. To finish a marathon you have to start by running a mile. You have to do it on your own. Don’t count on gym buddies to force you onto the treadmill or coworkers to finish something you could do on your own. It’s all about you, and you need to make ‘less talk, more action’ your motto.

Build a support system. Doing it yourself does not mean you should be left all alone. We all need a support system of people to turn to for help when things get tough. Don’t be afraid to call friends and family to talk through hard times and help you stay motivated. Social networks like Facebook can be helpful as well, since you can get a lot of support instantly. Comments or ‘likes’ may be superficial, sure, but they can provide helpful motivation as well, right when you need it.

Don’t cheat. If you’re going to do something, you need to go all in and be fully committed. Cheating on yourself is like cheating on your spouse, it’s detrimental and it rarely only happens once. Why would you do that to yourself?

Goodlifer: Fresh Start 2011

Be patient. Rome was not built in a day, neither was Jane Fonda’s glutes or companies like Nike. They all started with a passion and grew at a steady pace. Progress is rarely a straight shot to the top, there are plateaus and sometimes maybe setbacks, but as long as you keep at it good change will happen.

I have finished my list of priorities, for my career and personal life, and can only tell you that many of them involve changes and taking leaps. I will also be starting out my new year with a detox and workout program, that will help me break bad eating habits, make time for personal wellness and get rid of stress. You will be able to follow my journey here. I will probably need your support. Happy New 2011 everyone! May it be our best year ever.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Good to be inspired and have a cheering gallery full of supporters in your life 🙂 I’m one of them. M.

  2. that so great..

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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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