Christmas has come to an end, this year has absolutely flown by, we’re all most likely feeling very exhausted and pretty down due to the Christmas period being over. It seems very crazy that 2021 is only on Friday, seems this year has just flashed before our eyes. Of course, January can be one of the hardest times of the year, with it being quite a depressing time for many as it’s just after Christmas and the weather is at its gloomiest. It’s definitely not the best time, it can really challenge your mental health and that’s why it’s important to make sure you prep for the new year, in a way that will make you feel better and in turn have things to look forward too.

Once the festivities are over, we then tend to focus on what’s next and what’s to come, of course, 2021 is still very uncertain with the whole situation we’re still experiencing with Coronavirus. But, it’s never too early to start prepping and making yourself feel a little bit more motivated for the next year. It helps a lot to be able to map out exactly what you want to achieve next year and just be able to have things to keep you motivated and positive. So, if you’re someone that struggles with the thought of a new year, then make sure you write down some things to help you prepare, embrace change and let yourself go into the next year with a positive attitude.

1) Create a list of accomplishments 

white printer paper on brown wooden table

Whilst yes, the new year is time for a change and most of us try and take it as a way of moving on from the previous year. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reflect on everything we’ve achieved, because it’s definitely something to be proud of. Start by creating a list, of everything you’ve achieved in the last year, whatever it is and no matter how big or small, it’s still something to note down. You may feel like it’s not something that is necessary, but it definitely is, because when you start to feel disheartened you can think about everything that you’ve managed to achieve and use that as a way of helping you to keep that positive attitude and be able to keep yourself motivated.

It’s one of the things that most of us to tend to forget about, we often focus on the negative sides and what are weaknesses are, which leads us into this toxic cycle of putting ourselves down. But, it’s great to be able to sit back and really focus on our strengths and just how far we’ve come. With such a hard year, it’s nice to be able to see what good came out of it, it may not be massive amounts, but there is always something that we can be proud off, no matter how bad the year was. Be happy about how far you’ve come and the person you’re today. We all have things we’re not proud off or things we class as weaknesses, but we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have them, it’s completely normal. Start making this next year a time that you spend focusing on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.

three pens on white paper

2) Set realistic goals 

We get so caught up in creating goals for ourselves, but often they can be quite realistic. We want to be able to wish we could have whatever we want, but the truth is that’s not always what happens. By setting yourself realistic goals, you don’t feel unmotivated and it will be easier for you to accept what the outcome is. With a new year approaching being able to set realistic goals is so beneficial. Having goals gives us focus and that helps us to keep motivated and to be able to want to continue to be able to pursue what we want. By setting ourselves goals that aren’t so realistic it means that we lose that motivation because things don’t go to plan and the outcome seems to far out of reach.

Goals are something that allows us to measure our progress, being able to look at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown as a person getting to that particular goal. The thing we need to realise with goals is that they take time to achieve, nothing happens within a click of a finger, it takes hard work and determination to get there. Most of the time, there are plenty of hurdles in the way but if you overcome them then you grow stronger. Goals keep that light inside of you still going, enabling you to be able to push on and reach for what you want and it keeps you pushing, giving you that focus, that ability to know what you want and to go after it. Having a new year means setting new goals but make sure they’re ones that will benefit you not leave you feeling burnt out.

woman standing in front of green leafed plants with light bokeh

3) Believe in fresh starts

After this year, it’s safe to say that many of us are welcoming 2021 with open arms, this year has possibly been one of the toughest for us all. It’s been such a rollercoaster and just very crazy really, it’s flown by and it’s not long now till it comes to an end. But, most of us are still very uncertain as of how 2021 will go, but we have to hold on to hope and realise that not everything will last forever and this is permanent. Whilst, it may seem like it’s never going away, eventually, it will but we need to be grateful that we’re healthy and going into a new year, after all the tragedy that has happened this year. But, fresh starts are always something we need and something that we need to hold on too.

Whilst, this year hasn’t been the best we can still be hopeful for the new year to come, we can still have things next year that we can look forward too. Be happy that we can put 2020 behind us and move into a new year, with more hope and practising to be more grateful as we enter another year. Think of 2021 as a reset for you, a time that you can really set out your year and try and make it the best possible one you can. But, of course, we can’t forget that not everything goes to plan, so just make next year a time that you can refresh and just practise gratitude and loving yourself that little bit more.

4) Be better to yourself 

man wearing red long-sleeved shirt standing beside wall

If there is something you do next year, make it being better to yourself, because that is such an amazing thing. It’s definitely understandable that we’re all going through some crazy emotions right now as this year will be coming to an end. No one, really expected this year to pan out the way it did and you may be feeling very strange right now, you might not even be excited for a new year to approach because you’re worried about how next year could pan out. But, it’s important to keep that positive mindset and be better to yourself, check in on your emotions more, learn more about how you’re feeling and why be kinder to your body and your mind. Learn to just understand yourself more, know your triggers and try to avoid them.

Be there for yourself, through the hard times and just take it slow and be happy with any progress you make, no matter how big or small. Invest in more self-care, listen to your body and when it needs rest give it that, don’t burn it out, don’t let it get too stressed out. Not only that but take care of your mind, be honest with yourself, don’t be afraid of change, embrace it. We’re such strong and powerful people, which is why we need to take care of ourselves, our bodies and minds go through so much and we need to show it how much we appreciate it, not neglect it, be happy with who we’re and be confident in ourselves and be very grateful.

5) Have a clear-out 

white Apple mouse beside keyboard

Something that is a great thing to do in prep for the new year is to have a clear-out, may not be on everyone’s to-do list, but a fantastic way to help you feel more prepared. Some of us, do love a good clear-out as it makes us feel better and less stressed because our surroundings are more organised. Just set a day aside to declutter, maybe switch out your wardrobe, get rid of some clothes that you no longer wear and replace them. Get rid of any bits and pieces you no longer need and take them to charity. Don’t feel you need to get rid of everything and leave yourself with hardly any clothes though, but just make sure you go through and if you don’t wear it or haven’t worn it in at least a month or so then donate it. It’s also a way of changing up your style and finding other items of clothing you enjoy.

Of course, don’t feel like you have to go out and buy a load of new clothes, but if it’s something you need like perhaps a new coat for the winter season or little bits like that, then that’s ok. Most of the time, we kind of just keep clothes because we don’t want to part ways with them or we say to ourselves, ‘it’s fine I’ll wear it soon’ and then never do. Sort through your clothing, perhaps in different sections, so tops, jeans, coats, shoes etc and just see what you wear all the time and of course, keep that. Clearing out has so many benefits and is so good for your mental health. It gets you prepped for a new year because you feel yourself going into it with a clean space and you’ve decluttered, which makes you feel more organised.

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Journalist